I don’t post often on homebrewing topics because they are covered very well by others on the various forums and blogs, but a recent blog post made me scratch my head. There is a blog called Brülosophy and they often carry out experiments. Back in the day I was fairly experimental with my brewing, but blogs didn’t exist so most of the results were not published other than on newsgroups and forums. The most recent experiment which they carried out was rehydrated gelatin for fining versus dry gelatin. While I admire them for going through the motions, a few minutes of thought on the topic would have immediately shown why dry gelatin would not work. Perhaps they haven’t taken into consideration gelatin clears the beer by slowly dropping vertically through the beer and capturing particulates which collect in the trub. In fact I never cleared a beer until it was in the secondary with gelatin to be sure I maximized the effect and wasn’t going to end up picking up trub by mistake on transfer. Just sprinkling gelatin on cold wort isn’t going to liquefy the gelatin and will not effectively clear the beer.
I will say the experiments are always interesting although in some cases not well thought out. I’ve seen him carry out two mashes to determine something about the boil. If the concern is the boil then the wort should be from a single mash or the wort combined from both tuns to be sure preboil wort was exactly the same. I hope they keep it up, but I also hope they won’t waste much more time and effort on things like gelatin hydration.