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i have a question on the subject of finings...
i got a little packet of glycerin finings in my brew kit. its said on the packet to whack them in either after of before fermenting. does anyone know how long it takes for them to work...? or do you go for the "suck and see" approach?
I have always been advised to add the finings just before the fermenting process stops (about 75% of the way through).

I usually just wait until the bubbles are starting to slow down after it has been gushing for a day or two and then add the finings.

I would imagine it would slow down or prevent some fermenting if they were added at the start as the idea behind finings is to bring the sediment to the bottom. By doing that the yeast may not be able to function as well.

I could be wrong but that is my assumption on what would happen if you were to add them earlier. Anyone else got info?
I have spoken to my local HBS guy who said not to worry about it, this guy is great, very honest and doesn't push you into buying anything that he doesn't recommend unlike a lot of places. If you don't understand something he'll explain it in words you do understand and he doesn't mind after hours phone calls.

Finings in his opinion is what a waste if your racking, all you have to do is wait until the fermentation is complete and just wait another day for it to clear.

I have always done this right from the word go and never been crook so far so I guess I'm doing something right.
I have also been giving the same advice, especially when using lager yeasts. I am currently using Salfager yeast and the guy at the HBS said that it will clear through and finings would not be required.

I guess if you rack your beer it will clear out nice and clear as well.
I always use finings. I add them when I rack to secondary. I use them to make sure all the yeast is at the bottom of the fermenter so that I don't end up with crap in the bottom of my kegs, or in the beer lines.
It also gives a really nice clear beer.
The use just mix the sachet up with about 300ml of hot boiled water and add to secondary when racking and stir.

I used finings in my last ale brew. However, I didn't notice any significant difference in the amount of sediment or the clarity of my beers. I bottle all beer into PET bottles, and always pour the beer out, leaving the sediment in the bottle.

So yeah, I'm not going to bother this time. Maybe when I get my second carboy and start secondary racking of beer then I'll use them more. Hard to say though.

my hbs guy ( who hasnt given me a bad tip yet ) reckons to use finings as a last resort as it "strips the beer " his comment not mine ! :rolleyes:

bottoms up :blink:
I haven't used finings but I might give it a go for comparison - some recent info from a Aust. craftbrewing posting by Jeff Renner follows.


...simple technique of fining hazy or cloudy beer with
gelatin. I use a 7 gram packet of grocery store unflavored gelatin
for my 30L batches, and I suspect that's more than is necessary.

Suspend the gelatin in a cup of cold water and heat in a microwave
until it clears and begins to simmer on the edges. This hydrates the
gelatin and probably helps kill nasty bugs. Then stir it into your
beer in the secondary or add it when you rack. In a carboy, you can
watch the beer clear from top to bottom over the period of a day or
My general rule of thumb is three days for them to work. Usually the beer has cleared before then but three days will make sure.
If the yeast or beer is really really cloudy then maybe a week.

Put it this way, I've always left it a minimum of three days and usually a week and always have a clear beer.

so could I for example, add the finings once I am ready to bottle? Like that morning open the top, pour the finings in (stir..???), close and start bottling?
I personally would never use finings as it goes against the grain of why I brew. I like to know what is going into the brew, if it comes out cloudy, I really don't care, it's the taste that counts. My wife is vegan (no animal products at all), hence I'm restricted from using possible animal products (though I have been granted permission to use honey, as long as there is enough "normal beer" available for her.). The thought of putting fish guts in my beer is enough to turn me off. The commerical brewers use finings, but only as a marketing excerise for wuses who don't like unclear beer. I do use kettle finings (Irish Moss), but that is seaweed and I have no problems eating seaweed, however I gut any fish I catch and throw it away (usually to the pelicans who hang around where I go fishing.) drinking fish gut beer is not something I would do by choice.
Hmmm I agree, finings are not needed. Boil long and hard, rack to a cube after ferment is over and put in fridge for 2-4 weeks

Jovial Monk
I'm fairly sure commercial breweries are moving away from finings as the new labelling laws that apply to the wine industry also apply to them. No-one is going to drink a beer with "may contain traces of fish" on the label.
Gelatin is actually from cattle hooves, isinglass from fish swim bladder and there are other beer finings that don't stay in the beer at all, they drag the proteins and haze out and drop out as well e.g. xerogels (silica) and PVPP.

Boiling the gelatin can actually make it inactive, just dissolve it in warm water and avoid boiling it.
Even if it's no longer in the product I was under the impression they still need to declare it as a processing aid under the new regulatinos though.
Geez, this is digging up a post from the past.

I haven't actually used finings since I went all grain which is around the time of my original response to the post.
I used it because the shop I bought my keg system from recommended it to keep sediment out of the beer lines.
I haven't had a problem since not using it.
In fact I'm sure there are a few sachets of finings lying around here somewhere. Getting a bit on now though :p

I have used gelatin once and it definitely helped clear the beer. Normally I wouldn't bother but this was a pils intended for a comp and I had to repitch some yeast part way through the fermentation. I boiled up some bakers yeast to add at the same time for nutrients.

Anyway, the beer was looking more like a wit but when fermentation was done, I added the gelatin to primary, cooled it and racked to keg 2 days later. It is a clear beer indeed.

I also had a bit extra which I naturally conditioned in PET bottles. The sediment at the bottom of the bottle was very coagulated, presumably from the way the finings works.

I used 1 teaspoon in a 23 litre batch.
The only finings I've tried are irish moss, and the results didn't seem great enough to keep on using it. I'm not one to continue to buy things to put in my beer if they don't add to beer in some way. Clarity isn't really an issue as a cloudy brew seems fine to me. This post did get my mind working though. If protien is one of the elements responsible for clouding can a protien skimmer be used instead of finings to remove it? Skimmers are used in marine fish aquariums and basically use a fine cloud of bubbles to collect protien from the water. Has anyone ever tried this?
Fuuny you should mention that mandaloril. My mate is also an aquarium nut, and came up with the exact same idea. I'll let you know how it goes when he tries it.

I suppose the biggest problem would be risk of contamination.

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