hist-brewing: We're Not Dead...

Daniel W. Butler-Ehle dwbutler at mtu.edu
Wed May 14 15:40:58 PDT 1997

On Tue, 13 May 1997, Bryan Maloney wrote:

> >First, good beer is not cloudy.  This is because they are not giving
> >their beer a protein rest, or they are not pouring the beer properly

Can you document a protein rest in early beers?

> Beer brewed from fully converted British-style malts doesn't need a protein
> rest.

Fully "modified".

> I've found that cloudiness in those types of beers is caused by
> either cracking the grain too fine (too much flour in the mash) and/or
> insufficient aging and fools who think that a week in a carboy constitutes
> a full "secondary" fermentation.  There are cretins out there who think
> that homebrew is ready to drink a mere two weeks after bottling!

Can you document the use of a secondary fermenter for early ales?

AFAIK, flour has little effect on cloudiness as the starches pretty
much either get converted or settle out (being not particularly soluble).  
Although too fine a grist *can* increase cloudiness: the increased
polyphenol extraction from the husks can cause residual proteins to 
coagulate in the beer.

Four days from mash tun to tankard sounds about right for me. Fermented 
in an open wooden tub.  If it's not ready to drink by then, you're 
brewing it too strong (or maybe you're not thirsty enough).  Or perhaps 
you're trying for frivelous modern characteristics like heavy 
carbonation (nearly flat with just a little suds is apparently not 
enough).  And you probably feel that clarity somehow affects the flavor.

Remember: historic brewing.  Beers ancient and antique need not be 
judged on modern criteria.  Some may have been cloudy, some weren't.  
Some took to aging, others didn't.

If you can see through your beer, you didn't stir it well enough.
If cloudiness bothers you, use a ceramic mug.


P.S.-- Where can I get your Drowsy Duck Porter? :)

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