Irish Moss

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Irish Moss

Postby jayhawk » Thu Feb 13, 2003 10:20 am

I just brewed two batches of pale ales. Half way through brewing I realized I was out of Irish Moss, so I didn't add any. Will I now have perpetually cloudy beer, or will it just take longer to clear?
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Time & Cold

Postby BillyBock » Thu Feb 13, 2003 2:52 pm

Time and cold will eventually cause the chill haze to drop out. You could use Polyclar at bottling/kegging time which will adsorb to the haze and drop it out as well.

Cheers!
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Another question on clarrifiers ? ? ?

Postby Azorean Brewer » Fri Feb 14, 2003 2:21 am

Chris,

I ran into the same problem, I brewed this past weekend, a Marzen and a Pilsner. When I was ready to add my Irish moss to my first batch there was only enough for that one and none for the second.

Has anyone had any luck using Gelatin a few days before bottling in the secondary? I will not be going to my HBS before I bottle which is 40 miles away, but I have read that if you put a package of unflavored (plain) gelatin in about 1 cup of 170F water and dissolve it, let it cool and dump it into the secondary 2-3 days before bottling that it will help...

Any advice to Chris and I would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Paul.
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Gelatin

Postby BillyBock » Fri Feb 14, 2003 3:19 am

Paul: Knox unflavored gelatin--works like a champ (and cheaper too). Here's a few snips from Noonan's "Brewing Lager Beer" on the generalities of using gelatin finings from p165(which are useful for ales as well):

--"Either brewer's gelatin or unflavored pure-vegetable gelatin may be used, so long as it is dry, smooth, pale-colored, and odorfree."
--"The beer must be colder than 50*F for the gelatin to react with the ferment; the closer to freezing temperature that the beer is, the more efficient the action of the gelatin finings."
--"The dissolval of the gelatin with beer, wort, or water must be meticulously handled, so that the finings are completely liquified and then evenly dispersed into the aged beer. The finings will not combine with culture yeast and albumins unless they come into intimate contact with them. To accomplish this, the gelatin must be diffused throughout the entire volume of beer."

With regard to use of gelatin finings on p202 he says, "Prepare the finings by mixing one-eighth teaspoon of vegetable gelatin per gallon of beer with two to three teaspoons of cold beer, wort, or brewing water. Mix thoroughly, pressing the liquid into the gelatin to form a smooth paste. Allow fifteen to thirty minutes for the gelatin to become evenly moistened and then mix several tablespoons of beer or water into it. Mix it to a uniform consistency. Repeat, adding progressively larger volumes of liquid to the gelatin, until 8 fluid ounces of solution per gallon of beer is obtained.

"Gently heat the solution to dissolve the gelatin. Do not boil. Thoroughly mix the warm solution into the aged beer by stirring or rocking the lager vessel for two to three minutes without aerating the beer. Allow the beer to resettle and rest undisturbed for ten to fourteen days before bottling."

Hope this helps. Cheers and happy brewing!

Bill
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closer to fine...

Postby Gravity Thrills » Fri Feb 14, 2003 6:37 am

I think any Irish moss or any fining agent is better than none if you want reasonably clear beer in a reasonable amount of time. Like most homebrewers, I found out early on that achieving a good cold break with a healthy dose of Irish moss toward the end of the boil is an important first step toward that goal.

If I have found myself out of Irish moss just before or during a brew session, I have had good luck finding some at a couple of the local health food stores. (People make an herbal tea with it, among other things.)

In the event I did not get copper finings in, I would, like you, look to some of the other fining agents available and dose a few days before racking from secondary. In my experience, gelatin has only been really good at precipitating yeast - and that is its traditional role in British brewing. If a lot of your haze comes from starch/polyphenol and protein, I don't think gelatin will do too much for you.

Paul, I know the issue for you is tryng to use what is on hand because you can't get to a shop soon enough. But, for the last several months, I have had great success with Dave Miller's suggested one-two punch of Polyclar and bentonite. Reinheitsgabot followers would have an especially hard time with this, because you are essentially dumping shaved plastic and clay/mud into your precious beer. But if you ever try it I think you'll like the result. Miller warns that you should start with recommended dosages the first time you use it, and then cut back a little on the fining with each successive batch until haze again starts to become a problem. This fine tuning will tell you how much you actually need to use. It's important to use only as much as you need because polyphenol actually strips some color away from your beer, and also the haze precursors are also body and mouthfeel components.

The Noonan info Billy provided about having your beer chilled as best as possible holds here as well. At the end of secondary, I chill my carboys down overnight to 40 F, rack to a clean carboy and add finings, rocking gently to distribute evenly. Over the course of the next four days, you can see the band of the lowest density finings fall to the bottom of the vessel, leaving the clear and slightly lighter beer behind. Then package as usual. I have read in winemaking literature that bentonite can take a month to settle out, but I assume they are using substantially larger doses. I only use a quarter-cup of a dilute solution that was made according to the Miller specs - I think 2 ounces (mass) blendered into a quart of near boiling water.

Cheers,
Jim
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Don't often use

Postby fitz » Tue Feb 18, 2003 6:59 am

I don't often use finings, but one thing I do often is add some amylaze enzyme into a very light beer to aid in converting the unfermentables into fermentables. This helps greatly in clarifying and chill haze removal. Also, the chilhaze does disapate after it has chilled for a while. maybe you just need a bigger fridge to store more beer.
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Sounds Great

Postby Azorean Brewer » Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:06 am

Fitz,

I am looking for a used (good) larger type chest freezer and I will buy a temperature controller so I can cold condition year round. I could store bottled beer as well as secondary carboys as needed. Thanks for the info.

Cheers,

Paul.
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Hey Paul

Postby fitz » Wed Feb 19, 2003 11:10 am

I am in the process of doing a major addition to my home. The wife wants to get a new fridge, so all of the appliances matche in color. I guess I'll just have to take the old one(3 years old) And use it for my beer fridge. I just hate when that happens. Frosted mugs in the freezer, and a huge fridge full of beer.
Can it get any better?
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Some dogs ...

Postby Azorean Brewer » Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:30 am

Some dogs step in poop and come out smelling like roses, Good for you man, once the fridge is full of beers and mugs let us know, we'll all help you drian it so you can fill it up again :-)
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Gelatin & Irish Moss...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:46 am

I've been following the two threads that are discussing gelatin use and have noticed that both threads had postees that decided to use gelatin as a remedial action since they did not use irish moss.

Gelatin is primarily used as a chill haze removal tool at temps. below 40 deg. F. It will drag yeast out of solution that gets bound within the protein matrix as it settles out, but is not as effective as isinglas, which is specifically for yeast flocculation enhancement.

All of the comments I have read of the results from using gelatin have indicated that the postees have executed a great boil which produced a lot of hot and cold break even though irish moss was not included. But... irish moss performs functions that enhance trub formation and cold break that even the best boil and gelatin will not remediate if there was a problem within the boil or whirlpooling. I only wanted to mention this so that other readers might not get confused into thinking they could eliminate irish moss (or other carrageenan preparations)and clean up the beer in the secondary with gelatin as a rule.

Keep using irish moss (when you have it!) ... there is no single better agent for kettle addition that will lead to a quicker and better conditioning of the resultant beer. Clarity is only a part of the conditioning equation.
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