Category Archives: Stabilisation

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.


Murphy and Son Ltd are proud to be the main UK distributors of a large range of stabilisers supplied by the following leading companies:


Ashlands Stabilisers recognised worldwide for its Polyclar® range of products (PVPP) used for the stabilisation (longer shelf life and improved flavour) and clarification of beer and wine. ISP range includes products to remove haze-causing polyphenols (Polyclar®10 and Polyclar Super R), and for the simultaneous, balanced removal of haze causing polyphenols and proteins (Polyclar® Plus 730).

Polyclar® V and Polyclar® VT are available for wine clarification and removal of astringent flavours.


Grace Stabiliser Grace has over 70 years of experience in the development of silica technology for the food industry, and actually pioneered the developed of a selective adsorbent for beer stabilisation.

DARACLAR® silica, made from silica gel, is a highly selective adsorbent developed specifically for breweries. With its specialised surface characteristics and unique pore structure.
DARACLAR® silica adsorbs only those proteins which cause haze formation in beer
DARACLAR® silica requires only a short period of time to work
DARACLAR® silica does not affect the flavour, clarity, colour and foam quality of beer
DARACLAR® silica may even eliminate the need for foam stabilisers in some cases.

Gold murphy logo

Murphy’s recommendations:

Polyclar 10 is a PVPP to remove polyphenols/tannins. Depending upon the beer and the shelf life required, dose rates vary from 10 g/hl  to 40 g/hl

DARACLAR® 920 is a silica hydrogel to remove proteins (It is a combination of proteins and tannins that produces haze). Dose rates 50g/hl to 100g/hl

polyclar and daraclar

It is important to chill beer to about -1 degrees centigrade  and hold for at least 24 hours (preferably longer) and maintain that temperature during filtration. It is also important to minimise oxygen in the product.

Tanks and lines may be purged with CO2 or N2. Ensure calm filling of vessels. But a little bit of fobbing into final container helps.




brewers clarity

Brewers clarex used to prevent chill haze

Brewers Clarex is an enzyme that prevents chill haze in beer. This product is so effective that it reduces or even eliminates the costly stabilisation procedure from the brewing process.
This enzymatic solution increases production capacity and reduces operational and energy costs as well as reducing your CO2 footprint.
Chill haze in beer results from precipitation of complexed polyphenol and proteins during cold storage. This precipitation has been shown to result from hydrogen bonding between polyphenols and the proline rich fraction of particular polypeptides. This haze develops over time and, initially, is reversible (haze disappears when temperature of beer increases). The chill haze can become permanent as the hydrogen bonding gets stronger.
Brewers clarex prevents precipitation by hydrolysing the sensitive (haze active) polypeptides. It cleaves specifically the sites where such hydrogen bonding occurs. The specificity of the enzyme ensures that no other beer parameters are affected.
Brewer’s clarex can be used with all kinds of malts and other raw materials. The product is added to cooled wort at the beginning of fermentation.
The required dose rate is determined by:
-the percentage of barley malt, raw barley and /or wheat of the total grist composition
-the specific gravity (plato) of the wort at the beginning of fermentation.
For more information and prices please feel free to email


Ascorbic Acid – effective anti-oxidant, increases shelf life and prevents paper off flavours

ASCORBIC ACID E300 – STABILISER is supplied as a fine white to off –white powder.

Perfect pint

Ascorbic Acid can help make a perfect pint


  • Is an economically effective anti-oxidant
  • Reduces the susceptibility of beer to oxidation haze
  • Increases the shelf-life of pasteurised and non pasteurised beers
  • Prevents “papery” (oxidation) off flavours in the final product

Solutions of ASCORBIC ACID should always be freshly prepared and treated into the bulk of the beer without delay, if possible metering into the flow of beer to tank. Anti-oxidant treatment is more efficient when added before the beer has had contact with air, i.e. as soon as practica-ble after fermentation. Addition of the material prior to cold storage is common practice, in which case the anti-oxidant should be added when the tank is almost full to minimise contact with air.

Murphy’s sell this product in 25kg

The Murphy’s guide to kegging

Brewing Auditkeg


Kegged beer is a product which has been chilled and filtered, usually carbonated then packaged into pressurised metal containers which have a spear or extraction device of some description to aid dispense. In this way it is a different beverage to cask beer although often starts out brewed in the same way. The ability of the brewer to keg enables him to exploit different sales channels compared to cask where his keg beer can tolerate longer shelf life requirements, dispense points with no cellar cooling or sporadic turnover. Typical shelf life for a keg beer for the UK market is 12 weeks whereas for export, anything over 9 months is required.


Raw materials, brewhouse and fermentation processes are the same as for cask beer. It is in the preparation of the beer for packaging that the major changes occur. The first step is in the maturation. Beer destined for kegging is usually chilled to as low a temperature as the brewer can get it. The lower the better as this precipitates chill haze so it helps to have used carrageenan in the brewhouse too. A beer kept at -2.0˚C can be filtered after 48hrs, -1.0˚C would be 4 days, but if a beer can only be kept at 4 or 5˚C, it may be better to keep it for several weeks.

The second step is a filtration stage. This is to remove all yeast and as much protein and other material that would otherwise promote the formation of haze and off-flavour. Filtration can be through cellulose sheets or cartridge filters of different porosity or by using a kieselghur (diatomaceous earth) filter. All these techniques achieve the same thing; the production of a star bright beer which maintains its chemical and physical stability for the length of shelf life required by the customer. In practice beer is pumped from the cold tank through the filter and collected in a bright beer tank. At all stages it is important to keep air, in particular oxygen from contacting the beer. Oxygen readily reacts with residual proteins and hop resins in the beer to form compounds that eventually lead to oxidised flavours and haze which detract from the flavour. Therefor the rough beer tank often has a top pressure of CO2 gas acting as a blanket as the tank empties and likewise the receiving bright beer tank has a CO2 atmosphere to do the same as it fills.

Keg beer has a higher carbonation than its cousin in cask and this is achieved by carbonating the beer. The most efficient way is to do this inline as the beer exits the filter and fills the bright beer tank. However it can be done by carbonating the bright beer tank directly although this risks stripping out hop aroma and causing floaters through collapsed fob. A typical keg beer carbonation could range between 1.4 to volumes (cask beers are rarely greater than 1.0vol).


Once in the bright beer tank, keg beer is packaged into kegs as soon as possible. The product although stabilised by filtration, is not sterile so most brewers fill their kegs after first flash pasteurising. Pasteurisation is the name given to heat treatment of a liquid to render it microbiologically safe. The amount of pasteurisation given is measured in pasteurisation units, PU’s, defined as the amount of heat delivered to kill microbes in a unit of time. 1 PU is the amount of microbial death achieved at 60˚C for 60 seconds. The scale is logarithmic and can be found from tables but keg beers are generally given around 20 PU’s equivalent to holding beer at 72˚C for a 15 – 20 seconds. The whole packaging process, including pasteurisation, is done under pressure to prevent the loss (fobbing) of CO2. The pasteuriser feeds the keg racker, usually via a buffer tank to cope with variable flows seen during keg filling. Kegs are washed on a specially designed washer as they need to be de-ullaged, cleaned, sterilised, rinsed and back-pressured prior to filling with the pasteurised beer.

Due to possible damage to the beer at the elevated temperatures of pasteurisation, beer can be sterile filtered instead. This usually involves passing the beer through a series of Filter Cartridges, the final cartridge being 0.45 micron.

After filling, kegs are check-weighed to comply with trading standards legislation, labelled and a tamper-proof keg cap placed over the filling/dispense point to protect the contents.


This is the basic process of kegging beer. It is obvious that a different process technique and different equipment is required to keg beer. The underlying principle is to bring a greater stability to the beer to deliver a longer shelf life.

Some further considerations about this process are given below:

  • Even longer shelf life can be achieved through chemical stabilisation in cold tank prior to filtration by using silica gels, PVPP or enzymes according to the raw materials used and shelf life desired by the brewer.
  • There are many different types of keg fitting to found in pubs, and some of the one trip kegs have their own fitting. Your market needs to be investigated when considering keg and fitting type.
  • The prevention of oxygen contact throughout the whole process is imperative to achieve the shelf life stated by the brewer. Oxidised beer is really unpleasant to drink and indicates a fault in the above process. It is difficult to prevent oxygen ingress but permitted anti-oxidants are available to minimise the inevitable contact, e.g. ascorbic acid, sulphur dioxide (max. permitted in beer before declaration is 20ppm).
  • It can be seen that much capital equipment is required to install the correct processing equipment. However keg beer can be made employing sterile filtration technology which precludes the need to pasteurise with its risk on flavour change and energy requirement. Sterile filtering is made immediately after the rough filtering step and produces a microbially stable beer that can be carbonated and kegged as described.
  • The introduction of another product stream to the brewery requires more management, knowledge and expertise. It is worth considering purchasing additional quality control equipment like CO2 and O2 analysers especially to assist with the control of these important parameters.

Ideal Winter Fining Products: KOMPACTIKLEER & BREWBRITE



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.


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

IBD – Talk on Modern Kieselguhr Filtration.

The IBD Midlands section are holding a talk on Modern Kiesulguhr Filtration. Holger Grosser of EP Minerals will speak on the importance of beer filtration, worldwide brewing figures, state of the art technology and the different types of Filtration on offer to Brewers in the UK. The evening will include a tour of Marston’s Filtration Department.

Venue: Marston’s Brewery, Shobnall Road, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire DE14 2BG,

Date: Thursday 17th September 2015

Time: 18:00 for 18:30 start to 21:00

The talk and tour will be followed by a buffet and beer. To confirm your place, please email Jane Kershaw:


Isinglass – Murphy and Son’s Kleer Finings product range

We have over 100 years’ experience in manufacturing isinglass

In 2002 our processing aids portfolio became complete with the acquisition of the Saville’s Clarification product range and the manufacture of isinglass finings. This is the era when we introduced the “KLEER” range.

For many years Savilles Ltd were the leading name in the supply of detergents and processing aids to the brewing industry. Within this acquisition we also acquired 100 years of their experience with well documented research and development which help us to understand the physical properties and factors affecting its performance and its role in clarifying cask beers, and as a pre-treatment for processed beer.

Meet Pete Ball our Isinglass production manager

Meet Pete Ball, our best asset from the acquisition he is our Isinglass Production Manager and has been manufacturing isinglass for over 30 years. He now commutes daily from Birmingham to our site in Nottingham. There is very little that Pete doesn’t know about the production of isinglass.

pete2    pete1

Why use Murphy’s Isinglass finings?

Like all our products, our range of isinglass are formulated and manufactured here in Nottingham to perform to the highest standard, and will give you the consistent results you require every time you brew. They are also backed by the same commitment to technical support which you would expect from the Murphy & Son name.

If you purchase our clarification products you are entitled to free optimisations and full technical assistance.

All Murphy and Son isinglass products are manufactured under the ISO9001:2008 quality system. This system allows us to manufacture within strict parameters giving traceability and accountability from the raw materials to the finished product. With the modern drinks supply chain increasingly demanding quality and traceability only companies like Murphy and Son have the technical resources to fulfil those requirements.

To manufacture isinglass you must follow the approved manufacturing code of practice that has a very detailed washing procedure, to ensure the levels of potential allergens are reduced to the lowest levels. Our Isinglass is manufactured to this protocol. Anybody not following this protocol will need to label all small pack beer as containing fish products thereof, under allergen labelling regulations.

Our product range.

We offer three blends of Isinglass, Caskleer, Allkleer and Tankleer which are supplied as liquid, paste and powder. In addition we supply a unique product Kompactikleer which is a blend of Isinglass liquid with silica hydrogel to remove both protein and yeast from suspension whilst giving a compact trub.

The Caskleer products are formulated to give brilliant clarity in cask conditioned beer. The carefully selected swim bladders will produce large flocs that drop quickly and will enable beer to be resettled a number of times.

The Tankleer products are designed to give compact sediments and fairly bright but not brilliant beers. As such, they are suited to brewery conditioned beer processing where the clarity is sufficiently good to send the beer for filtration whilst tank bottom losses are minimised.

The Allkleer products are a combination of the above two formulations and are designed to give clear beer with good sediment in either cask or brewery conditioned beers

The Kompactikleer products are advanced formulations designed to provide the best in sediment stability. They are particularly useful where beers are difficult to clarify using standard grades of isinglass finings or where tank base angles cause sediment slippage during emptying.


Look after your Murphy’s Isinglass finings and store correctly in the summer.

Please be aware of the ideal storage temperatures for your isinglass, this will help it retain its quality and effectiveness:

  • Store in cool conditions away from direct sunlight
  • Keep container sealed when not in use
  • Recommend storage temperature 5-15 °C
  • Minimum storage temperature is 1°C
  • Do not allow the product to freeze
  • The shelf life for ready for use isinglass has a recommended storage temperature is 8 weeks from the date of manufacture.

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:

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:

Murphy and Son Ltd
Alpine Street
Old Basford

Raw Material Seminar – 25th March 2015


The Institute of Brewing and Distilling

Southern United Kingdom Section


Raw Material Seminar

Charles Wells, The Brewery, Havelock Street, Bedford, MK40 4LU

on Wednesday 25th March 2015.


The Southern Section presents a whole day seminar on The Use of Raw Materials in the Brewery. The seminar is aimed mainly at those students taking the General Certificate examinations but will be of interest to all brewers, particularly those from smaller breweries. It will give practical help and will include advice on examination technique and a mock examination. 

The day is chaired by Derek Prentice. Derek is currently passing on the knowledge gained during a lifetime in brewing at Truman’s, Young’s and Fuller’s by acting as a tutor. He is also near to opening a new brewing venture in Wimbledon.


Adam Johnson is currently Technical Sales Representative at Murphy and Son where he provides technical and sales support for customers in the south of England, south Wales and Ireland. This includes advising on all aspects of the brewing process and then extensive range of Murphy’s products. He has a brewing degree from Heriot-Watt and began work as a quality technician at Belhaven Brewery before joining St Austell as Quality Brewer where he ran the laboratory and developed the QMS and HACCP systems.


Sophie de Ronde is the Brewing Technologist for Muntons, helping out brewers with recipe and ingredient queries and also has the facilities to brew pilot trials of their ideas. She gained a BSc from Essex University and, a couple of years later became Head Brewer at Brentwood Brewing Company where she spent seven years developing the consistency of the core beers and creating different beer styles and specialities from Fruit Saisons to rich Imperial Stouts.
Ed Wray holds a degree in Microbiology from Imperial College, London and Post Graduate Diploma in Brewing and Distilling from Heriot-Watt University. He joined Campden BRI as Project Brewery Maltster from The Old Dairy Brewery, where he was Head Brewer. During his time The Old Dairy he was responsible for production of a range of regular and seasonal beers and achieved SALSA accreditation. Having joined BRI he runs the pilot brewery and is involved in a wide range of project work for clients.


Andrew Whalley is Technical Sales Advisor at Charles Faram & Co Hop Merchants, advising brewers on hops, recipe formulation, and brewing. He started his brewing career at Lastingham Brewery in North Yorkshire before moving to York Brewery as Head Brewer, to start up the new brewery in 1996 and spent the next 16 years at York before moving into the brewery supply chain with Charles Faram in May 2012. He passed the IOB AME in 1999, and has been travelling to Slovenia and the USA since 2003 buying and assessing hops, discovering different styles of beer and brewing techniques.

09:30 – 09:50 Registration and Coffee
09:50 – 10:00 Welcome by Chris Reid of Charles Wells
10:00 – 10:45 LiquorAdam Johnson will look at the use of water in brewing. The focus will be on the composition of brewing liquor and the treatment options available to make adjustments dependant on raw liquor and desired beer style.
10:45 – 11:15 MaltSophie de Ronde will outline the attributes of various malts and malt products, outline the key characteristic of the various products available, how they are used in the brewery and the effect that different grist compositions can have on the finished beer.
11:15 – 11:30 Coffee
11:30 – 12:15 HopsAndrew Whalley will cover the history and cultivation of hops. He will outline the different hop varieties, their use in the brewery from brewhouse to maturation and their effect on the final product.
12:15 – 13:00 Brewery and Laboratory Tour
13:00 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 14:30 YeastEd Wray will outline the basic characteristics of brewing yeast and its relationship with other microorganisms that are present in the brewery. He will outline the wort characteristics required for good yeast growth and how yeast is cropped and cared for after fermentation.
14:30 – 15:00 Examinations and QuestionsDerek Prentice will lead a session on examination techniques and will answer general questions with the remainder of the speakers to give the benefit of their experience.
15:00 – 15:15 Tea
15:15 – 16:30 Mock ExaminationDerek Prentice will present a mock examination on raw materials, how they are used in the brewery and the effects they have on the final product and present model answers, as well as giving advice on examination technique.
16:30 – 16:45 Final Questions and Comments
16:45 Close
The Seminar is limited to the first twenty-five applications received and the cost is £50 for IBD members and £65 for non-members, both exclusive of VAT.
To attend e-mail Payment by cheque to Dr Pete Channon, 189, Jeans Way, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU5 4PS or by bank transfer. Telephone enquiries to 07771 933091.