If you’ve ever sat down for a pint at your favorite brewery, you’ve probably noticed that many professionally made beers always come out perfectly. That is, they have a bright and crystal clear appearance, free of cloudiness. How come your beer doesn’t have quite the same clarity as these ones? For many newer home brewers, cloudy beer is inevitably something you will experience during your first attempts at creating your favorite lager or ale! What causes this, and how can we prevent it? The answer lies in fining agents.
What are fining agents?
Before we tackle this subject, let’s first define the cause for cloudiness in beer. This usually happens because of a combination of tannins, protein, or yeast. Protein contributes to the body and head retention of a beer, but at the same time, it also causes cloudiness. The same goes with yeast—it is present in the beer during fermentation, and eventually floats to the bottom, but the rate at which it occurs depends entirely on the strain of yeast used.
To remedy this, there are several solutions we can take. One is to use lower protein grains (especially if you are brewing a lighter beer, where clarity is important). Another is to cool your wort as quickly as possible after boiling it. The faster you can do this, the more protein you will get to form clumps and simply fall out, creating a layer at the bottom of your boiler.
Lastly, there is another simple option you can take: adding fining agents during the last 15 minutes of your boil. Fining is the act of adding a product to beer in order to remove suspended solids. For this, we recommend Irish Moss:
Irish Moss can help make your beer clearer, because it interacts with the tannins and proteins in the hot wort. During this process, the Irish Moss causes them to coagulate and quickly fall to the bottom of the boil pot while cooling the beer. The cool part is, you can actually see this happening after you drop a tablet in!
Looking for another solution? We also offer Super Kleer KC, which is a liquid agent for making your wine or beer more clear.