Irish moss utilization and rehydration ? ? ?

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Irish moss utilization and rehydration ? ? ?

Postby Azorean Brewer » Sat Mar 09, 2002 3:04 pm

I just finished reading an article "Get grain on your brain" in the March/April edition of "Brew Your Own" magazine. On page 33 there is a good explanation of hop utilization, but there is also covered Irish moss and how it should be added at the 60 min. mark with your bittering hops. The author (Mark Garetz) stated verbatim that
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Irish Moss Usage...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Mar 10, 2002 5:31 pm

I have always considered Mark Garetz to be an authority on brewing techniques, especially hops, but I take issue with his Irish Moss suggestions.

Of the kettle additive producers I have discussed this with, all of have stated that beyond 20 miutes in the boil, the carrageenan that is being extracted from the seaweed begins to break down and results in reduced effectiveness.

I have always re-hydrated the seaweed by soaking it in warm water for 30 minutes prior to adding it to the boil, which is also suggested by producers and brewing schools. This definitly results in better performance and approximates the performance of "super mosses" such as whirl-floc and others which produce better performance by improving the solubility of the active agent.

When homebrewing, I always used 1 tablespoon in 5 gallons of wort. I have seen many different dosage rates, but this rate always worked for me. Around 7 years ago, I did trial batches with varying amounts of IM and after measuring the cold break (that is what IM enhances, not kettle break like some assume) I arrived at that being the most effective amount for my situation.
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Question for Mesa

Postby BillyBock » Sun Mar 10, 2002 9:46 pm

Mesa: Does IM coagulate foam-positive proteins in the boil? If so, is it possible to adversely affect head retention?
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Thanks for the tip

Postby Azorean Brewer » Mon Mar 11, 2002 1:06 am

Sounds Like I got the information I was looking for. Thanks for the heads up. I will continue to use IM at 15 min.s and go to 1 Tblsp. soaked for 30 min. in warm water. Appreciatively Paul, the "Azorean Brewer"
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Irish Moss Use Continued...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Mon Mar 11, 2002 6:25 am

Irish moss does nothing in the boil other than placing carrageenan in solution. The carrageenan does not begin dragging proteins out of the wort until cold break formation occurs in the fermenter (below 100~130 degrees). At normal dosage, head forming proteins will not be effected because they will remain in solution unlike the cold break proteins. The over-use of kettle additives can cause head reduction for other reasons though.
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