In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “what happens when adding gelatin to keg” with an in-depth analysis of the outcomes of adding gelatin to beer in keg which is the clearing of beer by settling down the proteins and yeast in beer. Moreover, we are going to highlight how gelatin works in beer and what steps should be followed for adding gelatin to beer.
What happens when adding gelatin to beer?
When adding gelatin to the keg, the beer in the keg becomes clear and more sparkling. This happens due to the grabbing of negatively charged particles in the beer, such as proteins and yeast, which form clumps and settle down at the bottom of the keg.
Adding gelatin to beer:
Normally, when the secondary fermentation is completed, the yeast present in it starts flocculation that clears the beer. This clearing process may be enhanced by using gelatin that works like a fining agent. In homebrewing, this practice is quite common and can also speed up by adding gelatin at a cold temperature.
The cold temperature is quite difficult to maintain in fermenters. When serving keg, the beer is served cold, which can be an appropriate point to add gelatin as the clearing process by gelatin is sped up at a cold temperature. Gelatin helps to settle the proteins and other particulates faster and quickly.
Gelatin to fermenter or keg:
Gelatin can be added in both fermenters or directly into the serving keg. No matter in what state the gelatin is added, the gelatin works in the same way.
Working of gelatin in beer:
Gelatin, when added to the beer, grabs the negatively charged particles, such as proteins and yeast, that form clumps in the beer. These clumps settle down to the bottom of the fermenter or keg that allows the clearing of the beverage.
Most of the particles, which make the beer cloudy or milky, settle down to the bottom due to the addition of some fining agents, such as Irish moss, during the boiling process. The remaining particles, such as some proteins and yeast, may settle down after the fermentation is completely stopped when gelatin is added to the container or keg containing beer at cold temperature.
Steps to add gelatin to beer:
The gelatin should be unflavored. The addition of gelatin to keg-containing beer needs several steps to be followed.
- Take unflavored gelatin, measuring cup, sanitizer, and thermometer.
- Take a measuring cup and sanitize it with sanitizer to make it germs-free. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water that should be cold and filtered to the measuring cup.
- Take ½ teaspoon of gelatin and add it to the surface of the water and keep the water for 10-15 minutes at room temperature that will allow the partial dissolution of gelatin in water.
- After that, heat the water in the microwave or stovetop at about 150-155 °F. Keep in mind that the water should not be heated to a higher temperature as it may cause gel-formation which will destroy the functions of gelatin in beer.
- Stir the water solution.
- Take a thermometer and sanitize it too to prevent the risk of any contamination of the beer. Test the temperature of the solution with this sanitized thermometer.
- Pour this water solution of gelatin into a fermenter or keg.
- Keep the beer added with gelatin solution for 1-2 days (24-48 hours) before packaging or serving to allow the proper functioning of gelatin in clearing the beer.
Gelatin is an animal-based protein and is made from collagen, an abundant protein in the body that is present in every part of the body. Gelatin is a flavorless or colorless compound that can be extracted from collagen when collagen is boiled in water.
Gelatin is composed of 98-99% of protein but not all the essential amino acids are not present in the gelatin. Some important amino acids in gelatin are glycine, proline, valine, hydroxyproline, and glutamic acid.
Gelatin works as a thickening or gelling agent in a lot of applications. This property of gelatin makes it a great agent to be used for maintaining the texture or thickness of many food products. It can also be used in cosmetics as a moisturizer.
It can also be used in beer as a clearing agent; it has the property to grab the proteins and yeast that form clumps and settle down to the bottom as a result of which the beer becomes clear and more sparkling.
You can read more about gelatin here.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “what happens when adding gelatin to keg” with an in-depth analysis of the consequences of adding gelatin to beer that clears the beer through settling down the negatively charged particles, including different proteins and yeast.
Moreover, we discussed how gelatin works and what steps one should follow to add gelatin in a keg or fermenter containing beer.