BrewTan - Or Do Oxygen Scavenging Chemicals Change the Beer Character

drew's picture

There's been a big kerfluffle in the online brewing world this year over "LoDO" brewing aka Low Dissolved Oxygen brewing. Proponents of the extremely complex methodology theorize that by reducing the amount of oxygen entrained at all times in the mash or the boil that you prevent oxidative reactions that damage the beer's flavor and reduces the overall malt character.

The reason they're obsessed is they're driven to recreate the "it" character they claim German beers have with their malts that they find lacking in many commercial and homebrews.

Fair enough, I haven't been completely sold on the "it" factor, but I'm also not a huge fan of German beers. What? You're shocked?

Fast forward to a chance meeting between Denny and Joe Formanek, a featured profile in Homebrew All-Stars, two time winner of the AHA's Ninkasi award (most medal points in the AHA National Homebrew Competition), six time winner of the Midwest Homebrewer of the Year, AHA Meadmaker of the Year and a Sam Adams Longshot winner. (Ok, seriously that's a disgusting list of bonafides - stop it Joe!)

When he's not making homebrew to make angels weep, Joe's out talking about an interesting product from the Japanese firm Ajinomoto designed for brewers - BrewTan B. BrewTan B is a potent tannic acid compound that's meant to be dissolved in the mash and in the boil kettle. It binds with a number of protein molecules that are prone to oxidation and haze formation. It also, in theory, aids in the lautering process - producing clearer wort that's more sugar efficient. How much do you need? Joe recommends a dosing rate of 1/4 tsp (0.5gm) per 5 gallons of sparge/mash water and 1/2 tsp (1.0gm) dissolved into a beer slurry and added to  the boil at 16 minutes. It's a wee amount!

At the moment, BrewTan B isn't available to homebrewers in the US - Joe's working on that. But Joe's agreed to send our IGORs some BrewTan B to experiment with. Who knows - if the results are as stellar as Denny's initial tests are, maybe, just maybe we can make it available here. (Australian homebrewers have access to it - jerks!) 

To get a broad spectrum of results, we're going to let the IGORs loose to brew their favorite recipe twice. Once with and once without BrewTan B. Let's see what happens!

Experiment Status: 


Proposed By: 



Are beers brewed with BrewTan B, organoleptically different than beers brewed without


Yes, the beers brewed with BrewTan B will be clearer and less oxidixed

Brewing Sessions Needed: 


Special Equipment/Process: 

  • IGOR's choice on recipe. Ideally you use a recipe you know well. Use all your usual procedures and chemistry adjustments. Actually, for this one - no post kettle finings (e.g. gelatin)
  • Brew one batch of beer straight, without Brewtan B. Brew the second with the recommended dosing rates (0.5gm / 5 gallons mash/sparge water; 1.0gm dissolved in a slurry and added to boil with 16 minutes remaining)
  • Ferment, package and treat the same otherwise

Special Observations: 

  • Lots of photos for this one
  • Record your recipe for sharing. Remember sharing is caring
  • Record your lautering efficiencies. Record gravity at several stages, including initial, mid and fnial. 
  • Record lautering experiences - differences in clarites, flow mechanics, bed appearance, etc.
  • Take a photo of a glass of the collected wort. (e.g. post sparge, pre-boil in a glass to demonstrate wort clairty)
  • Photo of boiled wort prior to addition of BrewTan B, photo of boiled wort (still at temp) at end of boil
  • Record gravities of both batches
  • Take photos of final beers at service with strong backlight to demonstrate any clarity defects.
  • Feeling ambitious? Wait a month and repeat the triangle test. Observe any changes.

Experimental Procedure: 

  1. Purchase two batches of your target recipe. (Denny will ship the BrewTan B samples to you)
  2. Brew one batch of beer without BrewTan B. Record all the relevant observations. Pictures galore, etc. (See special observations above)
  3. In a timely fashion, brew the recipe again using BrewTan B at the recommended dosage level: 1/4 tsp (0.5gm) / 5 gallons Sparge/Mash water; 1/2 tsp (1.0 gm) / 5 gallons dissolved in a beer slurry and added to the boil with 16 minutes remaining. Again record all the same relevant observations.
  4. Ferment both batches in the same space and under the same conditions, especially temperature. Match the fermenters and other equpment.
  5. After fermentation subsides, record the length of fermentation and the final gravities.
  6. Package the two beers in exactly the same fashion. (Bottle primed with sugar, kegs and force carbonated, etc) - Record packaging methodology
  7. Perform a triangle test and record the results
  8. Ask the testers for their observations on the samples. DO NOT Reveal the Difference between the samples
  9. Discuss the results and record any further observations (including photos!)
  10. If you're feeling ambitious - wait another month and repeat the test with new tasters. Record the results. Pay extra attention to notes of oxidation.


CA_Mouse's picture
Couldn't tell if the recipe

Couldn't tell if the recipe came out in the submission form.

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.59 gal
Boil Time: 75 min
End of Boil Vol: 7.03 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 5.00 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage

Date: 09/16/16
Brewer: Bob Givens
Asst Brewer:
Equipment: My Equipment
Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 88.4 %
Taste Rating: 30.0

Taste Notes:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
10.07 gal Primo Water Water 1 -
9 lbs Pale Ale Malt, Northwestern (Great Western) (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 87.8 %
1 lbs Barley, Flaked (1.7 SRM) Grain 3 9.8 %
4.0 oz Crystal 40, 2-Row, (Great Western) (40.0 SRM) Grain 4 2.4 %
0.25 oz Magnum [12.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 9.6 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.00 oz Belma - Leaf [9.80 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 11.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Belma - Leaf [9.80 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 9 -

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.049 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.7 %
Bitterness: 20.6 IBUs
Est Color: 4.9 SRM


My Brewtan-B Recipe

I already have Brewtan-B so I plan to start brewing next week.

Short to Hellz

1-D Munich Helles

Size: 6 gal @ 68 °F

Efficiency: 80%

Attenuation: 78.0%

Original Gravity: 1.050 (1.045 - 1.051)

Terminal Gravity: 1.011 (1.008 - 1.012)

Color: 4.71 (3.0 - 5.0)

Alcohol: 5.13% (4.7% - 5.4%)

Bitterness: 19.4 (16.0 - 22.0)


9.5 lb (90.5%) Pilsen Malt - added during mash

.5 lb (4.8%) Acid Malt - added during mash

.5 lb (4.8%) 2-Row Carapils® Malt - added during mash

56 g (80.0%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.9%) - added during boil, boiled 30 m

14 g (20.0%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.9%) - added during boil, boiled 5 m

 White Labs WLP833 German Bock Lager



Ca - 68

Mg - 3

Na - 24

SO4 - 78

Cl - 64

pH - 5.31


Gypsum - Mash - 3.4g    CaCl - Mash - 1.5g   Lactic 88% - Mash - 2ml

No- Sparge 7.5g Strike/Mash Water  Mash Temp 149/150

Brewtan - B   Mash - 1/4t    Boil - 1/2t slurry @ - 16m

Wyeast Nutrient 1/2t boil  @ 10m

Whirlfloc boil @ 6m


ejpejp77's picture
P7 for BrewTan-B

Just signed up.

The latest incarnation of my Pilsner recipe should  be a good candidate for this experiment.   I was planning on going with the Weyermann Barke Pilsner grain based on Denny’s recommendation.  Also I want to use the quick lager fermentation technique detailed in the Brulosophy article linked on the page.

The recipe is kind of a sketch at this point but I’ll have the full details in place soon enough.

P7 (Pierce's Polish Pilsner Patent Pending - rev 2)

  • 5 gallon target volume
  • 8 lbs Barke Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM)
  • 1 lbs Munich I (Weyermann) (7.1 SRM)
  • 12.0 oz Acid Malt (3.0 SRM)
  • 12.0 oz Carafoam (Weyermann) (2.0 SRM)
  • 1/2 Tab Whirlfloc
  • Budvar (Wyeast Labs #2000)

Estimated OG: 1.055

Water will be Boston MWRA with Chloride and Sulfate elevated to 50ppm.

Single infusion mash at 150F for 75min and batch sparge at 168F

Staggered additions of Lublin, Marynka, & Saaz at 60 min, 30 min, 15 min, 2 min, whirlpool.

I haven't settled on the exact amounts yet.

No dry hopping planned



Kettle addition

is the 1g addition assuming 5 gallon EOB?

drew's picture
Stevie - yes, the amounts as

Stevie - yes, the amounts as given to us are based on a 5g batch size. 

Stevie's Brewtan Blonde

1.048, ~27ibu, 4.9% abv

86% GW 2-row, 9% Weyermann L Munich, 5% Briess Carapils

mash at 153 for 60

0.5oz Nelson @ FWH

Single US-05 per fermenter

I'm half tempted to brew up a

I'm half tempted to brew up a 3rd batch going full on LoDO and running a second triangle test with it and the brewtan batch.  (I'm about 20 minutes with my angle grinder and a pizza pan from being able to implement GBF's hardware recommendations).  

drew's picture
That would be...

Pure rock and roll!

CDA for the brew tan.

I'll be firing up the burners tomorrow. Here's the batch I'll be testing out the brew tan on.

Type: All Grain
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Boil Size: 9.28 gal
Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Vol: 7.28 gal
Final Bottling Vol: 5.25 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage

Equipment: Stainless Kegs (10 Gal/37.8 L) - All Grain
Efficiency: 72.00 %

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
13 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 80.0 %
1 lbs 12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.8 %
12.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.6 %
12.0 oz Special Roast (50.0 SRM) Grain 4 4.6 %
1.25 oz Galena [12.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 41.3 IBUs
0.30 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 6 -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 7 1.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 8 3.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 9 -
1.20 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other 10 -
2.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.00 %] - Dry Hop 10.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.070 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.019 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.8 %
Bitterness: 45.8 IBUs
Est Color: 23.5 SRM

Measured Original Gravity: 1.065 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.3 %
Calories: 218.7 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Sparge Water: 6.15 gal
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE
Est Mash PH: 5.58
Measured Mash PH: 5.20

Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs 4.0 oz
Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Target Mash PH: 5.20

Slight change to the batch.

Slight change to the batch. LHS was out of Carafa II so there was a substitution for BlackSwaen©Chocolate Wheat 440L and the yeast will be Mangrove Jack M44.


jason.mundy's picture
DO NOT TASTE any remnants of

DO NOT TASTE any remnants of the brewtan B slurry after dumping into the kettle... But if you do, please post it on Youtube.  I'll call it the Brewtan B Challenge.

kiboko's picture

Hi Drew/Denny,


Came across a reference for a product called Lysobier in a local homebrew club forum and was wondering if you guys have heard of it and/or have any comment. Feels like a commercial brewery product, but was wondering what others think.

Cheers and keep on trucking!