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G'day all - a question on brightness and clarity.

I've started fermenting a kolsch using Wyeast 1007, which doesn't floc easily. I intend to fix this by adding finings at the start of the conditioning - as I drop the temp it should help the solids fall out of suspension and into the trub. Am I on the right track here?

Edit: I should add this is mine and my brother's first go at an extract brew, after years of on-again off-again brewing out of cans.

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You may not have to add finings if you drop the temp and cold crash it. There are many ways to clarify your beer:

  • Filtering possibly the fastest method
  • Fining using isinglass or similar to artificially flocculate the yeast
  • Cold crash drop the temp to about 2C/36F and the yeast will mostly drop out
  • Time and Gravity this is by far the slowest method but will eventually drop most yeast out of suspension.

If you need the beer clear in 3 days then add finings, if you have a month to condition then I would leave it for 25 days and if still not clear then add finings. You may find you don't need to.

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  • Thanks Mr_Road - Will cold crash after conditioning for 2-3 weeks and see how clear it gets before trying finings. Cheers! – Knuckles Oct 20 '16 at 0:15
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You are correct that cold will help. When you think it is done fermenting, drop it down to around 0C and hold it there and that should drop out your yeast, plus most people feel that this kind of cold conditioning is beneficial for Kolsches. If you're kegging, then you are good to go. If you are bottle conditioning, then you might want to add back a small amount of yeast at bottling time.

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  • Thanks Dave. I'm bottling, so adding yeast will probably be the go - should I stir the yeast in before bottling or just pitch on top and leave it for a day? – Knuckles Oct 20 '16 at 0:13
  • My bottling procedure is to add my sugar solution to the bottling bucket, gently rack onto it by putting the hose in the bottom edge of the bucket so that the beer creates a natural rotation, then when it is done racking, I take a large spoon and gently stir the beer to mix the sugar. If I am adding yeast, I sprinkle it on top of the beer as it is racking over so it gets to swirl in before I stir. For what it's worth, I use a partial sachet of US-05 when I add yeast at bottling, but you can use most any yeast you have. – Dave Oct 20 '16 at 17:46
  • I'll remember that for next time. Do you do the same for any lagered brew? – Knuckles Nov 7 '16 at 5:38
  • I'm pretty lazy when it comes to bottling, meaning that the beer will sit in my carboy for a while before I bottle. I usually give myself a bit of insurance by letting a little bit of yeast get sucked up when siphoning over to the bottling bucket. I had an American Barleywine sit for a while, and both because it sat as well as the high alcohol content, I added some dry yeast to the bottling bucket. – Dave Nov 11 '16 at 18:38
  • I also had an English Mild where I was shooting for low carbonation, something like 1 volume. It ended up being too low in the bottle. I think the next time I do that, I will add some extra yeast to ensure there are enough active yeast present to consume all of the small amount of sugar. – Dave Nov 11 '16 at 18:41

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