Irish Moss

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morticaixavier
Irish Moss

What's so experimental about Irish moss right?

Well I have noticed lately that when I use ALOT of irish moss, like a handful (4-5 tbsp) in 10 gallons it works really well. Better than I ever remembering it working when I only used a tbsp. or so.

So what else don't we know about this humble sea weed?

How will Irish Moss work in various concentrations?
Is there a 'Too Much' Irish moss?
Does it actually get more effective if you use more?

Are there other ways to use it?
I've been meaning to experiment with Irish Moss on the cold side. If a powdered form were dissolved in hot water would it work like gelatin?

denny
denny's picture
I've always heard that too

I've always heard that too much IM will reduce a beer's head and body. Did you notice that?

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

morticaixavier
I have not noticed that. I

I have not noticed that. I certainly have not noticed a lack of body in my beers and I brew some fairly small beers.

My ordinary bitter recipe that comes in right around 1.036 and finishes at 1.008ish has lots of body and I use a ton of IM in that as I don't intend to use gelatin. Now this is not a scientific finding as I have not done the test but that is exactly the sort of thing I would be curious about.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Of late I have noticed that

Of late I have noticed that all my brews end up with really thick solid caps of krausen. I had wondered if it was related to the amount if IM I have been using. It doesn't seem to matter much what yeast I am using, it forms a solid mat at the top of the beer. I can see lots of green hop gunk and trub mixed in as well. It's not there when I aerate and pitch but it forms pretty quickly once high krausen forms. I can't say that I have noticed any problems with this. It always drops to the bottom when I cold crash the finished beer and in fact the trub/yeast cake is so compact that I can get almost every drop of liquid out of the bucket with minimal gunk carry over to the keg.

This will be something to include in further experiments.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
So I have been thinking this

So I have been thinking this over and I think that I have a plan

Brew a normal 5 gallon batch on my normal system. Something light and with no late hops (this will be explained later) Kolsch maybe, or ordinary bitter.

At 15 minutes left in the boil split the batch into 5 different pots and add a measured amount of IM to each.
0 grams (2 of these, so could be left in the primary kettle for remainder)
1X recommended grams
4X recommended grams
8X recommended grams

1 of the 'control' 0 grams gallons would get IM boiled and added after fermentation is complete.

Should be able to get a lot of data out of one slightly long brew day.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
I did a little research (in

I did a little research (in lieu of actual experimentation) and discovered that Irish Moss is a negatively charged substance while gelatin is positively charged. This seems to imply that it will NOT work in the same way as gelatin in a finished beer as the gelatin is clearing negatively charged particles and IM would act on positively charged ones.

I am still curious and, time permitting still hope to perform this experiment.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage