lagering, priming and adding gelatin into my first lagger.

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Feronimus

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Hi everyone. I decided that its time to start my first lager beer (All grain method). Apart from overshooting the gravity a bit all went relatively well. I am planning to carbonate with sugar inside 5L party barrels. I have read somewere that if your going for priming then you should lager inside the bottles/barrels instead of lagering into the secondary. My question on that is this. When i should add the gelatin and how?

Should i add the gelatin during the end of the first fermentation, at the trasport to the second fermentation and leave it there (double loss from turd), or directly with the sugar to the barrels?


An example for adding the gelatin to the first fermentation bucket:
Assuming my fermentation ends ok at 52F or 11C, then without going into the secondary i will lower the tempreture to 37F or 2C and add the gelatin? Then after 4-6 days move to secondary, add sugar, barrel and lager?
 

SmallScaleOperator

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I used to bottle in those 5L kegs. When I used gelatin to clarify I would bloom it in cold water, then melt at 150 or so degrees F. I added that to my primary after fermentation was complete. Wait a couple days and package.
You don't necessarily need to add gelatin to lager your beer, unless you are trying to speed up the process of it dropping clear? How long are you planning on lagering? If you can store it cold for 6 or more weeks you could consider skipping gelatin.
With gelatin, I usually get reasonably clear beer after 2 weeks of cold storage.
 
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Feronimus

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Thanks a lot for the reply!

I was planning to lager the first 2 kegs for 4 weeks till my birthday and the rest for 6-8 weeks. So as i understand gelatin only speeds up the process and doesn't add into it? I was under the impression that by adding both you can achieve a clearer result.
 

jdauria

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Definitely do not add gelatin until the beer is completely done fermenting, otherwise it will drop the yeast out before the beer is done. Yes you can lager in the bottles. What I do is cold crash the fermenter after the beer is done for 2 days, then transfer to keg and lager in the keg for at least a month.
 

SmallScaleOperator

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Gelatin is a clarifying agent that works by electrostatically attracting yeast and other particulates in your beer and helping them fall out of solution more quickly. Lagering is a process, where that stuff drops out of suspension with time and low temperatures. You can defiantly get clear beer with just lagering for 6 or so weeks, the geletin just helps speed up the process. it doesn't necessarily making it more clear. Also, keep in mind that there are other factors that play into clear beer that neither will help. Chill haze won't be appreciably helped by either.
In the end hazy or not you should have a tasty homebrew to enjoy on your birthday. Just don't forget to let it carbonate at the warmer end of your yeast strains temperature range, or you will be drinking flat beer.
 
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Feronimus

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Ok.
Thank you all for your answers. I have a much better theoretical understanding of it now.

As you said lets hope it's tasty and enjoyable !
 
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