Brewery Products For Discerning Brewmasters

When beers are produced, they contain a wide variety of natural components originating from the fermented grains that lead to cloudy beverages. The components that create the cloudy haze include proteins and other organic compounds that are undesirable in the finished product. For hundreds of years the addition of "finings" has been used to achieve beer clarity. Finings bind to these haze-causing constituents and they settle out and can be removed leaving a crystal clear beverage.

Although considerable advancements have been made in centrifugation and membrane filtration technologies, brewers have discovered that the traditional cask beer fining technology continues to have relevance and synergy with contemporary brewing techniques. Today, brewers use a combination of both traditional and innovative techniques in their filtered beer to enhance quality and improve process efficiency.

The most commonly used fining agent has always been Irish Moss. While some other natural and synthetic products have been proposed and are used, traditional beer manufacturing still relies upon the actions of Irish Moss for haze control. Acadian Seaplants Limited harvests and processes Chondrus crispus, commonly known as Irish Moss that is rich in carrageenan. Carrageenan is the active constituent in Irish Moss primarily involved in the electrostatic attraction of the particulates responsible for haze production. Despite the use of alternative fining agents and advanced filtration techniques, Irish Moss is still in high demand in the brewing industry because of its high content of protein-reactive carrageenan, ease of use and its sustainable, natural resource characteristics.

Acadian Seaplants Limited also harvests and processes a 100% organic Irish Moss, which is beneficial to breweries since organic beer is one of the leading trends in the brewing industry.

How Irish Moss Works

For most beer styles, clarity and the absence of haze is considered to be a highly desirable feature. The challenge to the practical brewer is to reliably achieve this without compromising the beer's body, foam stability or flavour.

Usually added during the boil phase of beer production, ionic groups contained in Irish Moss attract the charged proteins of the wort to form insoluble complexes that fall out of the solution as the settling process continues in the kettle or whirlpool tank. The large flocs pull out other haze-causing particles, thereby improving the clarification.

The advantages of using Irish Moss as a fining agent are numerous:

  • Protein coagulation and precipitation occurs naturally under boiling conditions, making this an ideal place to assist the removal of the high molecular weight fraction.
  • The protein coagulation occurs in a compacted trub pile with minimal entrapped wort. Thus, brewing losses (i.e. wort loss) are reduced.
  • Biological contamination is not an issue with this procedure, as Irish Moss can be added during any stage of the boil.
  • Irish Moss is removed with the sediment, and is not present in the finished beer. Thus, it is not a beer additive, but rather a processing agent.
  • A 100% natural product – no additives, preservative or binding agents are used.
  • Irish Moss is an marine plant-sourced product that is suitable for "All-Vegetable" or "Animal-free" ingredient claims.
  • Acadian Seaplants' Irish Moss is processed in a facility holding an organic certification from Pro-Cert Organic Systems Ltd
  • Kosher certified COR 357

When used at controlled rates, Acadian Seaplants’ Irish Moss will reduce wort losses and thereby increase the brewers' yield. The sanitation time will be reduced because the trub pile is settled, allowing for easier clean up and cleaner fermentations resulting in better filtrations.

Acadian Seaplants' Irish Moss is used by leading breweries worldwide:

  • As a cost-effective kettle coagulant
  • To help produce better brew house yields
  • To maximize kettle efficiencies
  • For cleaner fermentations
  • For superior fermentations