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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * February 18, 2004 * Irish moss questions < Previous Next >

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Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have read lots of conflicting information regarding Irish moss. Rehydrate - don't rehydrate. Add at the beginning of the boil - with 15 minutes left in the boil - and various intervals in between. Varying amounts - from 1/4 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons for 5 gallons of wort. Has anyone done (or seen) any scientific research on this subject?

Thanks for any info you can provide.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

you forgot: rehydrate, wait until wort is chilled then throw away rehydrated IM. This is my usual procedure.

PTA
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I typically rehydrate 1 tsp. by throwing it in the boil for the last 15 minutes.
 

Chris Testerman (199.168.32.6)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a hefe in the primary that I did not add IM too. I figured "why not add some IM to the hefe, it might clear it up a bit." So I boiled the IM in water on the stove and poured it into the fermenter. DUMB! A few months later the beer has a "fishy" aroma and funky after taste, yulk. Irish moss needs to be in the wort, churning and collecting particles in the boil. Now I add a pinch, just before adding my wort chiller.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 04:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Al Korzonas in Homebrewing Vol. I did a few experiments with Irish moss. While I don't have it handy, it seems he experimented with re-hydration, and concluded that while re-hydrating 24 hours in advance in optimum, 1 hour works nearly as well. It also seems that he concluded that it should be pitched 15-20 min before the end of the boil, and that 1 tsp per 5 gallons was optimum - anything above 2 tsp and you get into the flavor threshold for extremely light beers like American Lite, kolsch, helles, etc.
 

Steve Pierson (206.207.78.210)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 07:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA - I can always count on you for a laugh.

Chumley - You provided exactly the info that I needed. Thank you.
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

IIRC, Korzonas also said 1/4 tsp. was sufficient for extract beers due to the fact that much of the protein had already been removed (or something like that). He recommended 1 tsp. for AG.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't always agree with Al Korzonas but that seems like reasonable advice to me. By the way, an old kitchen blender does an excellent job of rehydrating Irish moss.
 

Mike A. (128.173.139.227)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 08:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Please explain Bill, I rehydrate irish moss with water.
 

Paul Hayslett (64.252.35.181)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 09:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with PTA. I got so tired of finding coffee cups full of rehydrated irish moss during cleanup that I bought a bag of Whirlfloc tablets. Just fling one in the boil with the chiller and flavor hops. One less thing to lose track of on a busy brew day.
 

davidw (199.239.30.126)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 09:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mike, I think Bill gives it a whirl in the blender with some H2O.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 09:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Exactly, davidw. Whirlfloc tablets are nothing more than powdered irish moss with a small amount of baking soda as an emulsifier. I know several brewpubs that rehydrate the moss with water in a blender while the mash is converting. Then they give it a quick hit once again and add it to the kettle for the last 15 minutes of the boil.
 

Mike A. (128.173.139.227)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Would it be better to crush irish moss before rehydrating? Is this similar to the effect a blender has?
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 09:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personally, I can't see hwo crushing the IM would make it work better. Even though I rehydrate, I'm still not sure there'a any real bebnefit to it...it's just one of those things I do because I've always done it. And I jsut started using Whirlfloc, but I can't see any advantage to it over IM...YMMV.
 

Doug Pescatore (141.232.1.10)
Posted on Friday, February 06, 2004 - 10:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have had the same 1 once of Irish moss for the past year. You can really make it last by pulling it out of the fridge on brew night/day/morning and then putting it back in during clean up when you realize you forgot to throw it in. I have needed to buy any more and beers have been crystal clear.

-Doug
 

Michael (66.191.119.113)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 04:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

PTA, that's my usual procedure too!

Not always, though. On my last pale ale, I used two teaspoons. It came out extremely clear, but the head retention isn't as good as it normally is. Now, I may have screwed it up in other ways, but I think I'll add just a little less next time. One and a half teaspoons, maybe.

If I remember to add it.
 

Hophead (209.86.16.120)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 06:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

People, c'mon, it's seaweed. Blending anything that has a purpose of bonding with something else will make it more efficient, but in this case, just remembering to throw the kelp in is enough.

SP, just remember to throw it in before you turn your burner off and you'll be A O K.

You may get more of a difference in the finished product playing country music vs the blues, than wondering if you should blend and/or rehydrate your irish moss before adding it to your boil kettle.

And now, for something completely different...
 

Doug J (67.73.165.138)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I play country music when making cream ales, and the blues when making dopplebocks. Blues music makes cream ales develop chill haze.
 

Michael Boyd (66.81.40.109)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Youse guys put seaweed in your beer? What's next fish guts?

Michael

P.S. I use the "Rehydrate and throw away after brewing" as well
 

Michael (66.191.119.113)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I spit in every batch, too.
 

Jim Layton (67.29.233.67)
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Spitting into boiling wort won't do any good, as the heat will denature the enzymes within seconds.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 09:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When I noticed how bad the irish moss smelled I stopped using it, the beer seems to clear well enough in secondary anyway. I don't know what is worse though, the trub or the moss :) Gelatin also smelled bad. I've been trowing all of it in the fermentor now without clearing agents, hop residues, break material all of it.

Question: Has anyone noticed any difference between beers using clearing agents or not? flavour or aroma wise?

I do not like the looks of cloudy wort though, but I noticed that with my poor boiling,chilling and mash technique, it would probably take 6 hours for the wort to sediment. And then I woul have to discard at least 10% by volume.

How do you guys do this? don't you have to waste a lot of wort and time in order get a clear wort? I'm thinking a good filtering device would be the only sensible thing. I'm trying to figure out some clever autoanticlogg filter device to use.

/Fredrik
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.104.222)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have experimented with moss, flock and nothing. Maybe because I age my beers for a lengthy period but I have not seen results from clearing agaents that make me want to spend money on them. I do however keep some geletin for very stubborn brews. I only use it after all fermentation has stopped and in very small amounts as it can also drop the flavour right out of your beer.
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.228)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael, ask and you shall recieve.

A substance called isinglass, which is made of sturgeon bladders, is used as a fining agent (i.e., it makes the beer more clear) in some British beers, particularly traditional ales.

Ok, what's next?
 

Chuck Denofrio (64.135.203.30)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

plastic. No smell or taste. If you swallow some, oh well.
I agree with BBB, these flocs work too well. The flavor will diminish with time.
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.228)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 03:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with BBB and Chuck. Time and Temperature will usually clear most of my beers. I do use Irish Moss sometimes, if I remember to put it in. But it works in the kettle and stays there.

In doing some google searches this morning, I came across a newsletter by Cecil Adams called "The Straight Dope". I've never read any of his stuff, but near the end of the paper, he says,

"The preceding exercise in handy home chemistry is supplied by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer group based in Washington, D.C., that recently made a not-very-successful effort to get manufacturers to voluntarily reveal their ingredients. I don't mean to single out the Miller company, but you may be interested to know that Miller Lite contains propylene glycol alginate, water, barley malt, corn syrup, chemically modified hop extracts, yeast, amyloglucosidase, carbon dioxide, papain enzyme, liquid sugar, potassium metabisulfite, and Emka-malt, whatever that is. I would venture to say that light beers as a class tend to have more additives than others, simply because they'd be totally flat and tasteless otherwise."

At least they have the four basic ingredients, kind of. But I think they are totally tasteless anyway.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The major brewers did use some non-natural ingredients in the 1970S and 1980s. I can't speak directly for Miller, but I know for a fact (confirmed by several conversations with brewers and brewing managers) that Anheuser-Busch uses nothing but natural ingredients today. My understanding that the same is true of the other large brewers.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 03:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Duplicate post.
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.228)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 04:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I went back and tried to date that article, but couldn't find one. It's in his Classic's folder, so it could be old.

Old article or not, it's still tastless....
 

Michael (66.191.119.113)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 12:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jim, who said anything about the boil?
 

Jim Layton (4.72.31.54)
Posted on Monday, February 09, 2004 - 12:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Michael, good point.

BTW, are you planning to enter your beers in any upcoming competitions?

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