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This is a follow up to my question whether a clear beer is a requirement for quality. My current batch of IPA, has finished conditioning and is very tasty and also to my surprise quite clear. Previous batches although tasting very good were cloudy and leading me to believe that clarity without special equipment or filtering was not obtainable to the home brewer.
I followed my recipe to the letter, although I believe I may have had a more vigorous boil then in my previous batches. Following fermentation I used gelatin as a fining agent without any chilling and allowed the beer to sit for 2 additional weeks in the primary before bottling. The batch conditioned for an additional 2 weeks and then several bottles were placed in the refrigerator. The beer has a satifactory head and is very clear, there is no chill haze.

I am pleased with the taste and quality of this batch, although I am a bit confused to exactly what chain of events resulted in what I believe to be the best beer I have brewed so far. Can anyone shed some light on this situation as I would like to be able to repeat this time and again? Thanks, Quentin

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Vigorous boil + extra time in primary + gelatin = clear beer. –  Graham Aug 13 at 12:02

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In addition to Graham's answer above, it could have been your fermentation temperature and/or the yeast that you used. The fermentation temp may have allowed the yeast to do its job more efficiently, thus resulting in a quick and clean fermentation - settling out better than previous batches that you had done.

Also, the type of yeast that you used could have contributed. Some yeasts flocculate better than others.

In my personal experience, I have found that fermentation temperatures play a large role in clarity of the final product. Ever since building my fermentation fridge, my beers have been consistently been coming out much cleaner.

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I think you have something there. This is the first beer that I have made during the summer season. Fermentation was quite quick finishing in about 4 days. Also I used US-05 instead of a Belgian liquid yeast as it was unavailable. I guess a few things that I forgot to add into the mix of this success. Thanks. –  Quentin Aug 13 at 20:41
    
What about the "cold break" I've heard mentioned in various brewing books, achieved by cooling the beer more quickly? –  ssdecontrol Aug 15 at 12:58
    
@ssdecontrol Cold break definitely helps as well. I'll typically crash the temp in my fermentation fridge after primary/secondary fermentation. –  brendo234 Aug 15 at 17:04
    
@brendo234 I've only ever heard it done after the boil. Is there a difference or should you do it in all three cases? Obviously rapid cooling after the boil is important for sanitation reasons as well. –  ssdecontrol Aug 15 at 19:58
    
@ssdecontrol I prefer to crash after fermentation as well (down to the 34-38 range) for a couple days prior to kegging. This helps much of the suspended yeast and/or proteins to fall to the bottom (crash) and helps result in extra clarity. –  brendo234 Aug 18 at 18:25

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