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I have an IPA fermenting that has close to 5oz of hops in it. I've had success with using gelatin to clear up other beer styles (Cali Common, saison), but I am planning on dry-hopping this with another 3oz of hop cocktail. As I don't want to waste those hops and/or strip away their lovely aromatics, would I be ill-advised to use gelatin on this batch? What about cold-crashing for a few days at the end of dry-hopping?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes it can take away flavor and aroma. If you really want to keep the beer as fresh and vibrant as possible, then cold crashing is the best option.

Not that gelatin is bad - but in my experience it does "round off" some of the flavours, making them less intense. I actually enjoy this, since it reduces the amount of conditioning by a couple of weeks. The amount of flavor reduction is slight and may be worth giving up for the improvement in clarity and taste from removing the hazy yeast and proteins may be worth it.

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I view the stripping of flavor and aroma by gelatin (or other finings or practices such as filtering) as a recipe issue not a "should I or shouldn't I" concept.

For example, if you want to use gelatin to clarify but you think you've lost some dry hop character; next time you need to up the amount of dry hops. Simple as that. Same can be said for all the ingredients.

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