Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Death to false protafloc!

...as Manowar didn't put it.

One of the things I learnt as a brewer when I went pro was the joys of protafloc. It's a type of copper fining available in tablet form. You add it towards the end of the boil and helps remove protein from the wort that could cause hazes in the finished beer. You chuck in around one table per barrel (18 gallons) and Bob's your uncle - the active ingredient Kappa carrageenan, a sulphated galactose polymer, forms complexes with proteins making a gel with settles out of the beer. 


Proper protfloc tablets

When I went back to home brewing I didn't want to go back to using Irish moss, a less refined and even worse, less fizzy, version. I was delighted to see that Brupaks make protafloc available to the home brewer. Well, I was until I opened the container. Instead of the nice tablets, or possibly a powder, there was a load of dried brown granules that look suspiciously like ground up Irish moss. This seemed a real step back to me, like going from using Alka-seltzer to using willow bark. And sure enough, my recent brews have tended towards having a slight haze.



Not what I was expecting

I was pleased therefore to see that Barleybottom sell actual proper proafloc tablets. I chucked one in my latest brew I made on Sunday and I eagerly await the results.

The instructions actually said use one tablet per five gallons but as far as I'm concerned as I was brewing nine gallons I was doing double the dose anyway so I left it at that.

15 comments:

  1. Ed, check out the new track!

    http://tindeck.com/listen/kpkr

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  2. A few things to say... O dear, O dear, O dear... Thats the exact protafloc I bought and used last week.

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  3. What about those Whirlfloc tablets? Sound like they're not a million miles away from the protofloc (although I don't think they fizz). I got some free samples a year or so ago, used them and they seemed ok. Still using the Irish Moss though (nothing to do with being Irish, mind).

    Wurst, that song brought a tear to my eye.

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  4. Don't panic Rob, the Brupak's protafloc does help but you seem to get lumps like a combination of agar and trub. I think the tablets disperse in the wort better. The beer does clear in the end too, it took a few weeks though. Try doubling the dose if you can't get some of the fizzy stuff.

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  5. Thanks, regarding the track. It's intended to be a very emotional song summing up my thoughts on Rudy. Just coming up with the lyrics was gut wrenching.

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  6. Wurst: Sorry I didn't mention that, I did listen to the track. Have you considered joining Manowar?

    Barry: Whirlfloc does seem very similar, and I have seen Irish moss used in a professional brewery. I find an alka-seltzer like fizz very reassuring though.

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  7. I would join Manowar, if they asked. Motorhead or Venom would be my first choices though.

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  8. I have seen Motorhead but I prefer Hawkind. As to Venom I haven't listened to them for many a year. Rob is an expert on Black metal though.

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  9. Ah, now you're talking. I got into Hawkwind via Motorhead, and love their 70's stuff (when Lemmy was there if course). Still, I like alot of their 80s and 90's stuff. Saw them a couple of times in Dublin which was great. Still have the old sleevless denim with the Motorhead skull on the back, surrounded with scrollwork saying "Born to Lose, Live to Win" and under all that, a Hawkind Master of the Universe logo. Don't have the guts to wear it now that I have no hair (mostly by choice, but not completely :D).

    Kinda liked the cheesiness of Manowar though ,too :D

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  10. Venom were a big inspiration for allot of early black metal, however i don't belive they are themselves classed as black metal. They rule!

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  11. The first time I saw Motorhead was on the Another Perfect Day tour. That was a great show, although Brian Robertson who replaced Fast Eddy didn't really fit in all that well. Venom were more of a novelty. They fit my sense of humor. As far as Hawkwind go, I play Space Ritual often.

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  12. You can't beat Space Ritual. At Hawkwind's 30th anniversary gig Lemmy came on for some songs and 'Shouldn't do that' was fantastic.

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  13. You can beat Space Ritual - the Quark, Strangeness & Charm/PXR5 double tape thingy I bought 20 odd years ago is still one of my faves

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  14. I'll give ya that. Robert Calvert did some classic stuff with them. In fact, I'm gonna listen to the QSAC album now :)

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