If your home-brewed beer is cloudier than you'd like, a product known as a fining agent can help. One such fining agent is Irish moss, a dried seaweed product available in both powdered and leafy forms. The carrageenan in Irish moss helps break up the protein clumps that cause cloudiness and interfere with the fermentation process, allowing the beer to reach its optimum taste and body. The dried seaweed goes into the beer during the final boiling stages of wort-making, just before fermentation.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring spoons
- Small bowl
- Large stockpot
- Malt extract
- Wooden spoon
- 5-gallon fermenting container, with lid
Measure out 1 teaspoon of Irish moss for a 5-gallon brew. Set this aside until the end stages of the boiling process.
Follow the early stages of wort-making. In beer-making, the wort refers to the malt and hops infusion, which is then added to cold water. This will typically involve boiling malt extracts with water until it dissolves, then adding hops and continuing to boil the wort.
Add the Irish moss during the final 10 to 20 minutes of the wort's boil and stir until it dissolves. The total amount of wort boiling time depends on the ingredients and proportions used -- follow your recipe carefully.
Take the wort off the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Fill a fermenting container partway with cold water. Add the wort, then top off with more cold water until the 5-gallon mark is reached. Once the mixture cools to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, add yeast, seal the fermenter and continue with the fermentation process.
- Brew Your Own Beer; Cris Duncan
- Beer and Ingredients II: The Ultimate Beer Ingredient Guide; Patrick Klungle
- American Homebrewers Association: Take the Luck out of Clear Beer With Irish Moss
- American Homebrewers Association: How to Brew; Beginner
- American Homebrewers Association: Cleaning and Sanitizing