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Category: Brewing Ingredients (page 2 of 2)

Dextrin

Dextrins, and in this case specifically maltodextrins, are a group of mostly unfermentable carbohydrates produced by the partial hydrolysis of starch or glycogen. Dextrins and maltodextrins typically impart little to no flavor upon the finished beer, but are important because they can be a valuable method for adding gravity and perceived body and mouthfeel to a beer. This can be extremely helpful when you are brewing a heavy adjunct based beer such as a gluten free ale that might have a thin body. Maltodextrin is often made from corn, and a typical composition will be .5% dextrose, 2.5% Maltose, 3.5% maltoriose, 93.5% higher saccharides. You will want to consult your vendor for actual numbers.

Chill Haze

Chill haze is the cloudy or hazy appearance that a chilled beer gets when it is too high in residual proteins or tannins. For the most part, haze and turbidity are highly undesirable unless you are brewing a beer such as an American wheat, hefeweizen, or Belgian wit, where the style calls for a certain amount of haze. It is easier to try and avoid chill haze as opposed to trying to remove it from a beer.

 

Best practices for avoiding chill haze include properly controlling your mash out, sparging, lautering, and recirculation temperatures. Tannin extraction becomes a real issue when you exceed a temperature of 170° F in your mash tun, so always do your best to keep your sparge temp near 168° F for proper sugar extraction, but do not exceed it or else you will risk stripping too much tannin from the grain.

 

A consistent rolling boil and hot break are also important when it comes to reducing excess proteins. During the boil and hot break, proteins will merge together, becoming very dense and dropping out to the bottom of the kettle where they can be separated and not transferred to the fermenter. Perhaps one of the best and easiest ways to help avoid chill haze is to use an inexpensive fining such as whirlfloc. Whirlfloc is my personal favorite haze clearing fining; it is a blend of Irish moss and purified carrageenan. The Irish moss and carrageenan bind with the proteins and aid in precipitation. I will typically use one tablet per 5 to 15 gallons and add it at the last 15 minutes of the boil.

 

If you find yourself in the situation where when chilled your beer has haze and you have not yet bottled it, you can try one of the following methods to help clear chill haze. Extend your conditioning time and cold crash your beer to 34° F for a couple of weeks. This will aid in precipitation and help move suspended yeast and protein to the bottom of the vessel so that you can rack or transfer the clarified beer off the top of it. As a last ditch effort, you can use a beer clarifier such as gelatin. The gelatin should bind to the excess proteins, and drop some of the haze out of your beer.

 

Calcium Sulfate or CaSO4

Calcium sulfate or CaSO4 is also known as gypsum. It can be used to boost sulfate or add permanent hardness to a mash. You will want to verify with your vendor, but one gram per gallon typically adds 62 ppm calcium,147 ppm sulfate, and 153.5 ppm to the permanent hardness.

 

Calcium Sulfate

Calcium Sulfate

Calcium Chloride or CaCl2

Calcium chloride or CaCl2 is used as water additive to reduce the pH of a mash. One gram per gallon typically adds 72 ppm of calcium and 127 ppm of chloride, but you will want to verify those numbers with your vendor.

 

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Carbonate or CaCO3

Calcium carbonate or CaCO3 is precipitated chalk. It is typically used in brewing as a water adjustment to increases the pH of a mash. You will want to verify with your vendor, but 1 gram per gallon usually adds 106 ppm calcium and 158 ppm carbonate.

 

Calcium Carbonate \ Chalk

Calcium Carbonate \ Chalk

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