Category Archives: Auxiliary Finings

What should you expect from this year’s malt specifications?

We’ve been discussing the expected malt specifications for the coming year with our malt suppliers and wanted to feed back so you can prepare and tweak your recipes as required.

The malt nitrogens coming into breweries with the new seasons malt are likely to be higher than usual, at around 1.7%. The winters are not expected to be quite as high, but are still above average, predicted at up to 1.5%. This is a result of environmental factors, as last year saw low rainfall which made it harder for the barley to establish properly. Blame the British weather, it’s a national habit and we brewers are no different. You can however, prepare for this and if you need any technical support in doing so, we’re always on hand. The key implications revolve around your use of copper and auxiliary finings, the rates of which will need to be reoptimised once malt is in breweries and will likely increase. You can expect to see the first malts of this harvest in breweries across the country from mid-February onwards.

Could do with a bit more information on the matter? No problem!

It starts with the farmers, who sow different varieties of malting barley in autumn and early winter, known as “winters” and again in spring, known as “springs”, both of which are harvested from early July onwards. The latter are becoming more popular as they tend to be easier to grow but do require more fertiliser to get a decent yield by harvest time. Winters don’t require as much fertiliser making them cheaper for the farmer but extract value to the brewer tends to be less.

In brewing, we refer to the percentage of protein present in the malt as percentage nitrogen, it is quoted on malt analyses and used as a price guide and quality indicator. For example, feed barleys have a high protein content to feed the animals. Brewers however, want nitrogens to be lower, at around 1.4-1.5%. This provides enough yeast growth, flavour and beer foam without any substantial problems with haze, stability and excess yeast growth, above these levels and the later can become an issue. There is therefore, always a focus on this parameter at harvest and purchase time.

How come the percentage nitrogen is predicted as being higher in British malt this year?

The issue is in fact that of last year, where we saw a prolonged dry winter and spring in the main growing regions of the UK, resulting in crops not establishing well. To help crops along, farmers spread higher amounts of fertiliser which in turn pushed the nitrogens up. This is because the fertiliser is taken up by the growing plant and deposited in the developing ears of corn which are the grains harvested as barley for the malt crop. Had they not done this, the crop may well have failed altogether, something which did happen in a small number of districts resulting in some shortage too. The maltsters work with what they get off the fields, blending barleys to get an overall consistency which they can sell to brewers. However from a brewer’s perspective, with already high nitrogens and a limited supply, the quality of malt coming onto the market is weaker when compared to the previous years’ crop. Therefore, the forecast is less stable beer.

As brewers there are various techniques at our disposal to control protein (nitrogen) in the brewing process, and this is where we at Murphys specialise! Carrageenan and auxiliary finings are both process aids that remove this protein. It follows therefore, that brewers will require more of these products to treat the higher nitrogen malt expected this year. Something which we can support with our optimisation services and technical expertise, provided to you by a team of master brewers. Choosing Murphys will be an invaluable decision in 2018.

Like to perform your own optimisations? We’ve just the kit you need!

The Murphy Copper Finings Optimization Kit, which contains all the equipment required, as well as documentation on how to perform your own optimisations.

Function of Auxiliary Finings

Auxiliary Finings

General Considerations
• Auxiliary fininqs aid the action of isinglass finings by enhancing the total negative charge, especially when contribution by yeast is low. This improves the electrostatic interaction between proteins and isinglass finings. Beers fine more quickly because of the larger floc size.
• Auxiliary finings are available in solution as acidified polysaccharides, silicates, alginates and formulated blends.
• Factors which need to be considered are the type of auxiliary finings, dosage rate, storage temperature and conditions, time of addition, fining performance, yeast count prior to fining and compactness of sediment.

Range of Values
• Sulphur dioxide content of liquid auxiliary finings is typically between 200 and 300 mg per litre.
• Solutions of auxiliary finings should be visually bright prior to use.
• Yeast counts are typically 0·5 x 106 – 2 x 106 cells per ml with a mean of 1·0 x 106 cells per ml.
• The dosage rate of auxiliary finings is typically 0·9 – 3·5 ml per litre (¼ – 1 pint per barrel), but is related to the isinglass dosage rate and depends on compactness of the sediment.

Operational Protocols
• Liquid auxiliary finings are stabilised with sulphur dioxide and stored in inert containers at ambient temperature There must be adequate ventilation in the storage area because levels of sulphnr dioxide particularly on delivery can be high.
• Addition is made in-line through a dosing pump as beer is transferred from fermenting vessel to racking tank or directly to tank or cask
• Addition of alginate auxiliary finings is made at least 4 hours before addition of isinglass finings. Due to the rapid action of silica based auliliaries they can be added either pre- or post-isinglass finings. The actual time of addition is determined by experience.

Measurement Protocols
• Every batch of finings should be inspected visually and examined for infection by micro- organisms.
• Fining action is monitored by making the equivalent addition of finings to appropriate samples of beer and noting daily the size of flocs, speed of fining action and clarity of fined sample
• A nine gallon cask is fined and stillaged in the sample cellar for a larger scale production check on the fining performance
• Finings contribute to sulphur dioxide levels in beer The levels of sulphur dioxide in samples of fined beer should be measured. Auxiliary finings supplied by Murphy & Son Ltd. will add in the order of 0·25 – 1 ppm SO2 to the beer at typical addition rates.

Take a look at our Auxiliary finings range

 

FREE kettle, isinglass and auxiliary fining optimisations if you purchase our clarification products plus free liquor analysis, if you purchase our liquor treatments.

Our products and services help the brewing industry to help control their processes, minimise losses, maximise yields and to help run a more efficient brewery. Our unique selling point is that each product is backed up with free technical support.

Our friendly team of brewing experts offer services which give advice with all types of brewers’ problems. Our laboratory offers free kettle, isinglass and auxiliary fining optimisations if you purchase our clarification products plus free liquor analysis, if you purchase our liquor treatments.

dwb 1Liquor Treatments

Liquor treatments are vitally important to the brewing process. By converting your water supply into acceptable brewing liquor you will gain many benefits such as controlling your alkalinity, enabling optimum pH levels throughout the process which improves enzyme activity, extract yield, fermentability, clarity and stability.

Send in 30-50ml sample of your liquor to our laboratory with a cover letter, we will email you an analysis of your ions and recommend water treatments. Remember this service is free of charge for those who purchase our liquor treatments and you can have your water tested annually.

For more information regarding liquor treatments, why don’t you read the following article:

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/murphyandson/water.html

akaClarification products

For customers who purchase our kettle fining, to obtain a precise dosage rate please send in 1 litre of your unfined wort to our laboratory.

For Isinglass and Auxiliary optimisations please send in 1 litre of your unfined beer.

All sample must be in plastic containers, fully labelled and accompanied by a cover letter with full contact details.

Please find the following article regarding clarification in beer:

http://www.murphyandson.co.uk/murphyandson/all-bright.html

Murphy and Son Ltd
Laboratory
Alpine Street
Old Basford
NG6 0HQ