Category Archives: Kettle 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.

Addition of Copper Finings Murphy and Son Ltd

General Considerations

• Copper finings are derived from seaweeds and the active ingredients are carrageenans and furcellarans. They are available as dried seaweed, e.g. Irish Moss, or as extracts in the form of either pellets or powders.
• Copper finings can be added directly to the copper. Alternatively powders can be slurried with cold liquor prior to addition.
• The optimum rate of addition of finings should be determined annually when starting the new season’s malt or whenever there is a change in the type or supplier of malt.
• The rate of addition of finings will affect the clarity of both hot and cooled wort. Incorrect addition of copper finings (both over and under) can give poor fining action in the cooled wort and beer which fines with difficulty.

Range of Values

• Optimum rates of addition may vary from one malt variety to another, from season to season and from brewhouse to brewhouse. Murphys are happy to offer an annual optimisation service to our customers, either in our labs or on-site.
• Typical rates of addition are in the order of 1·0 – 5·0 gms per Hectolitre (10 ppm to 50 ppm, 1·63 – 8·15 gms per barrel).• Hot breaks should consist of large flocs in bright wort. Cold breaks should be a heavy fine sediment in bright wort.
• The haziness of worts from the heat exchanger should be within the range of 2 – 6 E.B.C. haze units. If worts are too bright fermentation problems are sometimes encountered because the release of carbon dioxide and consequent ‘stirring action’ that such a release promotes, are hindered.

Operational Protocols

• When casting to a hop-back, finings are added during the last 5 to 15 minutes of boiling. If the practice is to recycle worts at the hop-back finings can be added at this point. When using a Whirlpool, finings should be added at casting from the copper.
• Whatever method of addition is used the copper finings must be evenly dispersed.
• Rates of addition should be optimised according to results obtained.

Measurement Protocols

• The formation of hot breaks is assessed visually after sampling from the copper at casting.
• Cold breaks are assessed visually after sampling from the cold wort mains and allowing to stand for a minimum of 2 hours.
• Rate of addition of finings; a graph is drawn of casting, gravity against rate of addition of copper finings and breaks are indicated as excellent, good or poor. The rate of addition is altered when poor results are observed.

Kettle Finings at Murphy & Son

Ideal Winter Fining Products: KOMPACTIKLEER & BREWBRITE

IDEAL WINTER FINING PRODUCTS: KOMPACTIKLEER AND BREWBRITE

kompactikleer

Murphy and Son’s Kompactikleer

As the nights are drawing in and temperatures are dropping, this may be the ideal time to consider trying some of our products that reduce the chances of chill haze. We currently have two products that can be used to replace the existing processing aids that you currently use.

Chill haze occurs when proteins and tannins form loose covalent bonds forcing them from solution into suspension. Cask beer often reached temperatures well below that at which they are served during storage and transport, and chill hazes readily occur.

The use of a Silica hydrogel, or PVPP can help prevent chill haze as these products bind to the dissolved protein or polyphenol removing them from the solution and thus lowering the potential for chill haze.

Polyclar Brewbrite is a kettle fining product that uses both PVPP and carrageenan to bind tannins as well as protein in the copper. Kompactikleer is an isinglass, silica hydrogel blend which binds in haze potential protein the cask.

brewbrite

These products have a proven track record in the UK and the USA.

For more information regarding these products please click on the tech sheets or please contact frances.maud@murphyandson.co.uk

Kettle Finings – Murphy & Son’s carrageenan product range

Our kettle finings (carrageenan) products are added to the wort in the kettle to enhance protein removal as the wort cools.

Benefits

  • Natural product which removes substantial quantities of haze-forming material without affecting head retention
  • Produces brighter worts; reducing the amount of finings required later
  • Increases rate of fermentation and attenuation
  • Increases filter runs
  • Prolongs shelf life in small pack beers
  • Reduces process time
  • Is a processing aid not an additive so doesn’t require label declaration
  • Reduced tank losses
  • 5-10% more efficient than competitive products
  • Tabletted for easy use

The active ingredient is a polysaccharide called carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed. The following photos are from Nick Brading our Export Manager who paid his annual visit to the Philippines to audit our suppliers.

Picture2picture 1

 

Carrageenan in solution is negatively charged, owing to the sulphate groups along the polysaccharide backbone. It is these charged sites which interact with wort proteins.

structure carrageenanIn solution at temperatures above 65°C, the carrageenan has a random coil structure. But, as the wort cools the carrageenan takes a much more compact and ordered helical structure, it is this which is thought to drag the protein particles together to form aggregates. The aggregates, having a larger particle radius, settle faster.

Kettle finings are added in the kettle to allow the carrageenan to dissolve. As the wort cools the wort proteins react with carrageenan and settle in the whirlpool or at a cold break during fermentation, to be removed along with the excess yeast.

The removal of particles and protein from wort has been demonstrated by microscopic examination of pre-filtered beers and protein assay. As the levels of kettle finings increase, the fine particle counts in each of the size bands decrease. It should be noted that the particles below 2 microns are mostly responsible for blinding filter pores.

  • Kettle finings vary in when they should be added to the kettle, for example Protafloc should be added 10 minutes before the end of the boil, whereas Koppakleer is added at the end of the boil.
  • The reaction between wort proteins and carageenan is also pH dependent and occurs at an optimum pH of 5.3, The reaction does not occur below pH 4.4, so there will be little benefit from kettle finings at this pH or below.

Since Kettle Finings remove both particulate and soluble protein, and soluble protein is a component of chill haze, it is unsurprising that the colloidal stability of kettle fined beers are enhanced.

Our range of kettle finings products are Koppakleer, Protafloc, and Wortkleer, please contact us to discuss which kettle finings are suitable for you.

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