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Using Irish Moss

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fsinger

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I've finally gotten good brew by using partial mash brewing - with good fresh grains steeped for 20-30 minutes before adding DME and various hops.

Getting started with fresh and properly steeped grain has given my brew the "body" I needed to make it just the way I wanted (along with fresh leaf hops).

This weekend I'm trying a new recipe, the Ale version of a Czech Pilsner. Uses light DME, 8oz of grains, etc., but calls for 1 tsp of Irish Moss @ 45 minutes into the boil. I've never used Irish moss before, so reading the label on the moss pack I find that it "clears proteins in beer wort".

Aren't these "proteins" the thing that gives beer it's body or "thickness"?? Unless I hear differently from some of you guys, I'm not going to use it, just in case it gives me a thin, watery brew. Am I wrong here???
 

Swervo Maneuver

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I may be wrong, but what I've read sez protiens cause chill haze and other minor annoyances.

Seems to me dextrins and other such unfermentable sugars lend body to a beer. I do not believe protiens contribute much to body.

So, since you are brewing a Czech Ale, I might go ahead and use the moss. You'll likely be more pleased if your brew stays clear when you chill it.

And these kinds of brew typically are light bodied, so there you go.

Good luck, either way I hope it's delicious.
 

homebrewer_99

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If you want clarity use Irish Moss in the boil, 2 teaspoons.

If you want more body to your light beers add Malto-Dextrine to your wort. I recommend 2-4 oz. Four does a really good job. I would not add any more than that. It will get thick tasting.
 

neldor19

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Irish Moss helps the coagulation and precipitation of proteins that cause haze.It has nothing to do with the body of your beer.It can only do good :) Rehydrate 2 tsp in a bit of warm water and add it to your boil for the last 15 minutes.If boiled any longer than 15 min youll start to lose the effects of the Irish moss.
Good Luck!
 

uglygoat

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never used irish moss before.

i rack the wort after it's cooled to a clean carboy. let it sit for a few hours... it settles out. i then rack it atop the the yeast slurry and blamo! instant fermentation sans the trub :)

i tend to drink my ales at cellar temp so i don't see too much haze, but i'd not care if i did ;)
 
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fsinger

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So maybe I was wrong, and yes, I do want a clear final product since it will be very light. Thanks for the response.
 
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fsinger

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Thank you all for the help. I'm going to use some irish moss during the last 15 minutes of the boil, which seems to be the agreed upon action. The brew is not a wheat beer, so I would like it clear but without losing body. If the moss has nothing to do with body, then I should be happy.

I also have new fermenter that has a spigot on the bottom to pull off the lees every day if I want to go to the trouble. I'll post a question about the fermenter in another sections.

Thanks again!
 

DeRoux's Broux

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i've never used irish moss or gelatin to clear my brews. i have an amber ale on tap right now that is as clear as can be. i've never had a chill haze problem. of course, i have my first lager beer lagering, so we'll see? come to think of it, my HBS has never recommend it either? a full wort boil will help for sure, maybe a little whirlpooling while chilling (avoid splashing!), rack carefully not to allow sediment to transfer, and maybe cold "condition" for 10 days before you bottle (if you have that capability and room). POOF! CLEAR BEER!

cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

tnlandsailor

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I use a product called Whirlfloc. It's basically concentrated Irish Moss in tablet form. I use one tablet for 5 gallons in the last 20 minutes of the boil. I have been really pleased with how well it works and it's fairly cheap.

When using Irish Moss, apparently, it seems to be more effective when you hydrate it prior to use. Put a teaspon in a pint or so of water and hydrate it for 15 minutes before adding to the boil.
Prosit,
 

Dude

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tnlandsailor said:
I use a product called Whirlfloc. It's basically concentrated Irish Moss in tablet form. I use one tablet for 5 gallons in the last 20 minutes of the boil. I have been really pleased with how well it works and it's fairly cheap.

When using Irish Moss, apparently, it seems to be more effective when you hydrate it prior to use. Put a teaspon in a pint or so of water and hydrate it for 15 minutes before adding to the boil.
Prosit,

I use Whirlfloc too. I've noticed a huge difference in the clarity of my beers.
 

andre the giant

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I've used Irish Moss on almost all my all grain batches. I usually pitch it into the boil around 15 minutes before the end. I never rehydrate it first... Maybe I should start doing that....

The beer seems pretty clear, regardless of whether I put IM in it or not. Flavor and body don't seem to suffer either.
 

brackbrew

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I've used Irish Moss in every ale I've ever brewed. While it's supposed to coagulate and settle out proteins at the end of the boil, I still experience a good amount of chill haze. I recently read that whirlfloc tablets are concentrated versions of the active ingredient in irish moss. If you are concerned with clarity, the same source recommends using whirlfloc at the end of the boil along with SuperKleer K.C. and Polyclar in the secondary. Personally, I think it's a matter of brewing technique--i.e. utilizing a full-wort boil if you have the capabilities and having control over your steeping. Check out this month's BYO about steeping specialty grains. If you combine careful steeping with a full wort boil, you'll reduce haze and off-flavors considerably.
 
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