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Think I've Got This Polyclar Thing Sorted.....or Have I?

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einnebcj

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And onto my next round of newb questions....
I'll be bottling my DrSmurtosGA and thought I'd polyclar. Research shows there's about 50 different theories on how and when to do this and a little knowledge is dangerous - so now I'm really dangerous!
Simplest way seems to sprinkle it on top 2 days out from bulk priming/racking......sounds easy to me Orrrrr......
Do I chill my fermenter (I'd have to ice bath it) or not bother? If so, how low.Do I mix the polyclar first in water and shake it for any of the varied times recommended (2 minutes up to 30!) or not bother?Do I do something completely different.....?
The floor is open for discussion......
 

bum

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Did your Polyclar come with instructions by any chance?

Pretty sure the following was affixed to the packet the one time I bought some:

Usage instructions:
Add 5 10gms polyclar (23L batch) to half a cup of freshly boiled water. (For maximum efficiency the polyclar slurry should be stirred for minimum 15 minutes, preferably 60 minutes & kept agitated until used)
Add slurry to cold conditioning beer. (The colder the beer the better).
Minimum contact time of 5 to 10 minutes is desirable (if filtering), however there is no negative impact on the beer with extended times. If not filtering, leave for 2 to 3 days to settle, then rack off the lees.
Bottle or keg.

Too easy (and still not worth it for mine).
 

squirt in the turns

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You're right about everyone having their own method/opinion on this, but one thing that there seems to be consensus on is that the beer has to be COLD for it to work. We're talking as close to being frozen as possible. You aren't going to achieve that with an ice bath.

Polyclar is used to remove chill haze by binding the proteins that cause it. Those proteins precipitate at low temperatures, allowing themselves to be bound to the Polyclar.

One other thing to consider is that if you aren't filtering, you need to allow a few days for the Polyclar to drop out. Again, having the beer as cold as possible will help.
 

Thirsty Boy

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Polyclar works most effectively and quickly on beer which is very cold & mostly clear (of yeast). However - it also works on warm, or even hot beer or wort and also quite yeastie beer - you just need more of the product and/or it will work more slowly.

Polyclar will not begin to do its work until it is rehydrated and then it must actually come in contact with the product form which it is meant to remove the polyphenols.

OK - thats how it works. Lets assume that you wont accept substandard results, so how you use it depends on your situation, how fast you need it to act and how miserly you want to be with the product.

The best, most efficient and fastest result will be had by transfering the clearest beer you cam from your fermenter to a keg, chilling the beer very cold (-1 or -2 degrees), rehydrating your polyclar on something like a stirplate for 20-30mins, injecting it into the keg and giving the keg a good shake up for a half minute or so.

By the time you put the keg down the polyclar will have already done its job and you can just immediately filter the beer (removing both the polyclar and any yeast etc simultaneously), shove in some co2 and get to drinking

Every thing you do which is warmer, less clear, involves the polyclar having to self re-hydrate in the beer and doesn't mix the polyclar thoroughly through all the beer and keep it up in suspension.... means it will take a longer time and maybe require more polyclar to do an acceptable job.

You've racked a beer to secondary, not much yeast in there but its not crystal or anything. You dont have a filter, you'll just be letting things settle out. And its going to be pretty hard to get the beer even down to fridge temps, let alone minus 2 Do you need all that stuff?? nah - you just give it extra time instead (and throw in some extra polyclar for good measure)

Tip the polyclar into the fermenter dry - try to spread it around a little. Now its not rehydrated yet, so at this point its doing nothing - and its starting to sink. So all the beer it sinks past before it rehydrates.... misses out on the treatment. So, in half an hour - go shake up the fermenter, do it again half an hour later, then again. Then stick it aside to settle to clarity. In the time between you putting it aside... there will be days and maybe weeks worth of contact between the settled polyclar and you beer. Rack clear beer off the top of the settled yeast and polyclar.

And between those, a whole bunch of different scenarios - in all of which you can make polyclar do its job, just remember - Cold, Clear and Re-hydrated is the "optimium" scenario, not the ONLY scenario.

cheers

TB
 

juzz1981

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If you dont have a filter, fridge to get the temp down or stir plate ect. Wouldn't using brewbrite be a better option?
I used to use polyclar VT initially and got varied results but now I use 8g per 21lt batch 15min before flameout and end up with crystal clear beer without having to worry about adding polyclar later..

Im only a amateur but that works for me, I still have about 200g of VT that I'll probably never use unless for an emergency.
 

QldKev

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If you dont have a filter, fridge to get the temp down or stir plate ect. Wouldn't using brewbrite be a better option?
I used to use polyclar VT initially and got varied results but now I use 8g per 21lt batch 15min before flameout and end up with crystal clear beer without having to worry about adding polyclar later..

Im only a amateur but that works for me, I still have about 200g of VT that I'll probably never use unless for an emergency.

I purchased a bag of ployclar VT. About a week later I also purchased Brewbrite. Brewbrite is so easy to use and it works!

QldKev
 

einnebcj

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I purchased a bag of ployclar VT. About a week later I also purchased Brewbrite. Brewbrite is so easy to use and it works!

QldKev
Ahhhhhhh - if only I'd known about Brewbrite last Friday night when I did my boil! Oh well......next time.
 

labels

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Ahhhhhhh - if only I'd known about Brewbrite last Friday night when I did my boil! Oh well......next time.
What is Brewbrite and what does it do - which suspended solids does it precipitate. I've never heard of the stuff

Steve
 

manticle

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It's a proprietrary product that is used as a kettle fining, like whirlfloc/Irish Moss/carageegan.

However it also contains some compounds similar to that found in PVPP or Polyclar. The idea is that an addition to the kettle knocks out both hot break protein and helps with chill haze further down the track (and possibly helps with yeast floc as well), thus supposedly removing the need to add any further finings..

This is my understanding - I have used gelatine, polyclar, irish moss/whirlfloc tabs and carrageegan but I use only whirlfloc and Cold conditioning/time to clarify beers now.

Polyclar being plastic never appealed to me and while I'm not Veg, I like the idea of being able to offer my beer to veg friends and find cold and time does as much as I need.

Never tried brewbrite but a google search in the top right hand bar will bring up a few threads.
 

labels

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Thanks for the info, very helpful.

Like you, I prefer not to use anything. I used to use Irish moss but don't even bother with that any more. Cold conditioning does the trick for me.

But patience is the key. For young gun-ho brewers there is no such thing as patience, they brew beer like their love life!


Steve
 

manticle

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I find irish moss/WF and some patience letting the kettle sit uninterrupted does wonders for letting the hot break and hop debris drop out (and a good whirlpool).

Have some pure carrageegan I was given but that never seemed to work as well (maybe got my dose wrong).

Anyway less is often more and patience and good beer go hand in hand I reckon. Then again, I still bottle and crack grain by hand with a corona and I'm only 37 (a balding 37 mind you but fit and handsome enough by my reckoning).
 

Charst

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Did your Polyclar come with instructions by any chance?

Pretty sure the following was affixed to the packet the one time I bought some:

Add 5 10gms polyclar (23L batch) to half a cup of freshly boiled water
Regarding Temps of the water does anyone know the effects of adding the polyclar to the the water? ie boiling waters effect on the substance.

@Thristy. Great Post but the suggestion to shake a beer three times that ive already racked to secondary and assume is 99% fermented overall would make me more worried about the negative effects of oxidation than the positive effects of clarifying the beer, am i too frightened of oxygen post ferment?
 

Bribie G

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If you google around PVPP you'll see that it has been in use for a long time for many purposes other than beer finings. It is completely neutral to the human body and in fact is found in some tablets and capsules you may well have already taken, as well as some hair conditioners etc. There was even a version being trialled to make artificial blood plasma. However once it's settled out, especially with kegged beer, your intake would be tiny and in the case of filtered beer, nil.

Brewbrite is a great product but anecdotally from some brewers such as Tidal Pete and myself and others we have found that if you keep it too long it can become "slack" in the chill haze department for some reason after a few months, so best to buy it a tub at a time. The "pure" Polyclar seems to last forever.

Brewbrite is the only kettle finings I use, it's a fantastic coagulator: instant breadcrumb soup in the kettle. The chill haze reduction is just an added benefit to me and if I'm doing a beer that must be crystal clear when cold - such as a keg to impress megaswillers or family, or a comp beer, I've been known to have two bob each way and also Polyclar the finished beer.
 

manticle

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If you google around PVPP you'll see that it has been in use for a long time for many purposes other than beer finings. It is completely neutral to the human body and in fact is found in some tablets and capsules you may well have already taken, as well as some hair conditioners etc.

I know.

I just prefer not to add extra stuff in if I can avoid it. I realsie it is completely irrational (or would be if chill haze was an issue - I rarely drink beer under 7 degrees).
 

einnebcj

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Thanks for all the info. It would seem that because I've missed my window for Brewbrite on this brew, I'm left with two options realistically. 1) - live with a bit of cloudiness on this brew as everything else requires at the very least some cooling which I don't have the facilities for OR 2) go buy that $20 fridge off Gumtree this weekend and then at the very least I can stick it in that for a week and let nature take its course.....or if I want to, throw in some gelatine as well which I have handy.

No cold = no clear!

In the words of UB40....Every hour of every day I'm learning more. The more I learn, the less I know about before......
 

bum

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No cold = no clear!
This is not true. It can just make some aspects of clear beer happen faster. That same week waiting will still benefit your beer without a fridge. Also, many learned board members suggest gelatine works better at warmer temps than cold (this seems to go against the grain of received wisdom, however).
 

einnebcj

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This is not true. It can just make some aspects of clear beer happen faster. That same week waiting will still benefit your beer without a fridge. Also, many learned board members suggest gelatine works better at warmer temps than cold (this seems to go against the grain of received wisdom, however).
So are you suggesting I just let it sit in the secondary for an extra week before bottling? It's a DrSmurtosGA which seems to have a suggested secondary of between 1-2 weeks depending on who you talk to......so would you be suggesting 2-3 weeks.....and I gauge it by observing the clarity of the beer and make the call to bottle whenever I'm happy with the result?
 

bum

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You could even get away with leaving it that time in primary if you wished. Secondary will work too. As long as your temps aren't any hotter than you should ferment at you can definitely leave it for the times you suggest - I'd even recommend it.
 

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