Beer finings are substances added to beer during the brewing process to clarify the brew. They bind haze-producing materials and are later removed from the brewed beer. Fining agents are added either during the fermentation process or at the end of boiling. The method used depends on the specific fining agent used. Irish moss and whirlfloc tablets are common beer finings added at the end of boiling process. Chillguard and gelatin are common fermenting fining agents. Adding a fining agent to your brew is simple to do and improves the beer's clarity and flavour.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 5 gallon kettle
- Brewing beer
- Measuring spoons
- Nylon straining bag or cheesecloth
Set to boil at least 5 gallons of wort in the kettle. Wort is the liquid extracted by mashing grains. When boiled, impurities are removed and the flavours become more pronounced.
Add 1 tsp of Irish moss or one tablet of whirlfloc to the wort during the last 10 to 15 minutes of the brewing process. Boiling beer finings for a longer amount of time decreases their effectiveness. Both Irish moss and whirlfloc tablets contain positively charged particles that bond to the negatively charged proteins to form an insoluble particle. Look for the clumps of protein that gather together and drop to the bottom of the kettle.
Strain the beer through a nylon straining bag or cheesecloth. Straining separates the insoluble particles from the beer.
Dissolve the fining agent in hot, not boiling, water. For chillguard, use a half tsp in a half cup of hot water. For gelatin, add 1 tsp to 1 cup hot water. These are the amounts needed for 5 gallons of beer.
Add the mixture to fermenting beer approximately three to five days before bottling or racking.
Remove beer from the fermentor when it is ready. Strain it through a nylon straining bag or cheesecloth to separate the proteins.
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