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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Januray 20, 2004 * The Ice Age < Previous Next >

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JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was skimming through "Clonebrews" last night trying to formulate my own recipe for an American lager. There have a clonebrew recipe MOLSON ICE in there. I'm not going to brew one but I was a little curious about the "Ice" process. I know these beers hit the market a long time ago, I guess I just missed the boat. From what I understand breweries drop the temperature until ice crystals form on the beer. Then the crystals are skimmed off. What is the purpose of this? I can see how it raises the alc%, but are there any other benefits of doing this or is it just a gimmick. Personally every "ICE" beer I've tried I didn't like. Then again I haven't tried Molson's.........Ahhhh Molson's, the golden one and I go way back, this was the first beer I ever got drunk on. Sorry guys, just reminiscing.
-J.K.L.
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/1/19970.html?1073505675

as noted in the recent thread (above),we prefer the German, EIS- (not Ice)
 

Paul Edwards (68.79.169.64)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The "ice beers" from the big boys use a freezing process to help clear the beer. The ice crystals trap some gunk and then are filtered out. Miller does a "cold filtered" process that I think is similar.

As for raising the alc content, they dilute the beer back to it's original alc content prior to bottling. Otherwise they'd run afoul of the laws about "distilling", at least in the USA.
 

Rob Beck (65.66.154.69)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 03:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As I understand it, the "ice" process is primarily used for flavor stabilization and for smoothing out the rough edges, flavor-wise. It also works with filtration to chill haze proof the beer.
George Fix has a section on it in PRINCIPLES of BREWING SCIENCE. Pages 149-152.
Rob
 

JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 03:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I see, I see" said the blind beer consumer. I thought it was just a way for them to display their alcohol content in big bold script. It seems that these beer generally have a slightly higher percentage than ordinary swill! Thanks!
-J.K.L.
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 04:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>>"As for raising the alc content, they dilute the beer back to it's original alc content prior to bottling. Otherwise they'd run afoul of the laws about "distilling", at least in the USA. "

I don't know about this, most Ice-swill is higher in alc. about 5.5%,

how can removing Ice be considered Distilling, with no "still"???
 

Paul Edwards (68.79.169.64)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 04:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Rob,

you've got a newer edition of Fix's book than I have. Mine's the 1989 first edition. no mention of ice beer back then.

So I looked in Kunze ("Technology Brewing and Malting" to see what he said. The freezing process causes precipation of polyphenols and polypeptides, which then get filtered out. Then de-gassed water impregnated with CO2 is added to adjust the alcohol content.

Yup, the resulting beer supposedly tastes smoother and rounder. Foam and stability are supoosed to also be improved.

JKL - most, if not all, the big breweries today practice "high gravity brewing" so they can push more beer thru the same equipment. Then the beer is diluted at bottling time. So, the ice beer is just not diluted as much as the "lighter beers"
 

Patrick C. (63.250.179.198)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wykowski, you're not likely to find any logic in alcohol laws. Any method of concentrating the alcohol after fermentation is verboten, unless you have the right license. Removing the ice is not distilling, but as far as the BATF or your local revenuers are concerned it's the same thing.
 

Patrick C. (63.250.179.198)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 04:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wykowski, you're not likely to find any logic in alcohol laws. Any method of concentrating the alcohol after fermentation is verboten, unless you have the right license. Removing the ice is not distilling, but as far as the BATF or your local revenuers are concerned it's the same thing.
 

Paul Edwards (68.79.169.64)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As I understand it, the BATF considers any concentration of the alcohol content to be distillation. From the ATF website:

"A still is defined as apparatus capable of being used to separate ethyl alcohol from a mixture that contains alcohol"

The BATF definition is broader than the usual scientific one that talks about separation using heat.

Their motivation is collecting tax buck-age, as there are a million forms and higher fees for getting a distallation permit. The only North Amercian Eis-beers I've seen come from Canada.

When the big guys do high gravity brewing, the beers coming out of the fermenters are over 6 or 7 percent. I remember hearing this on a tour at Coors a few years ago. I don't recall the exact alcoholic content of their high gravity brew, nor would they let us sample any.
 

JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Weather there is any truth in it or not....I have always heard that different states have different alcohol limits on beer. Therefore, beers of the same brand may have different percentages from state to state. If this is true, I assume that this is how they do it. Add a little water here and and a little more or less over there.
-J.K.L>
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The BATF issued an opinion in 1998 that concentrating the alcohol by freezing was not illegal for homebrewers. American commercial brewers have not been allowed to do so, although imported eisbocks can be sold in many states.

As for the alcohol limit in beer, it does vary somewhat from state to state, but this does not apply to homebrewers. In Utah, for example, beer sold at grocery stores and brewpubs is limited to 4 percent by volume (3.2 percent by weight). Stronger beers must be purchased at the state liquor stores.

Other states have a maximum alcohol content on what can be sold as "beer". In some of them if a beer is above the limit it must be labeled as "ale" (even though we know that quite a few of these beers are lagers).
 

Joe Sandlin (66.207.81.26)
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 08:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Coors sends some of their beer concentrate by railroad tank car to Elkton, Virginia where it is diluted, then bottled for the East Coast. So much for "Rocky Mountain Spring Water"....
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 02:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Miller Light is actually brewed to an O.G. of about 1.070 and diluted post-fermentation. A couple of Miller brewers told me the undiluted version is pretty good. Of course the breweries take all of the factors into account, including color, bittering, hop utilization and attenuation, when they formulate their recipes. It's not merely a matter of brewing a strong beer and adding water later.
 

Hophead (172.160.110.227)
Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 04:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I recall back in Texas, the sam adams double bock had to be named malt liquor before it could be distributed in state... I knew the Miller dilution story, but am a little surprised they dilute it after fermentation instead of before...

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