From the HBD Archive
From: Martin A. Lodahl <pbmoss!mal@hplabs.HP.COM>
Subject: That's the Breaks!
Date: 1989-10-24 15:34:20 GMT

Mike Kahn asked a few cogent questions in HBD 285:

"One, what is the difference between a bitter and a pale ale?"
The container, Mike. A pale ale is, by and large, a bottled bitter.
The term "Bitter" generally is used (with a few notable exceptions,
such as Fuller's ESB) to denote a kegged or casked ale.

"Two, what is malt extract?"
Concentrated wort. The major weakness in the process of brewing
with extracts is that we can't control either the composition or
process involved in producing the extract, which makes our final
result less predictable than if we were starting from grains alone.

"Three, what exactly is Irish Moss and what is its purpose?"
It is a species of algae, known to the processed food industry as
carageenan. My understanding of its purpose is to enhance protein
flocculation, and possibly to aid in fining. I've only used it
once, and it didn't seem to make enough of a difference (in fact, I
couldn't detect any difference at all) to justify fooling with.

In the same issue (one of the classics!), Patrick T. Garvin asked:

"Could someone post an explanation of what hot and cold breaks are?"
The breaks, as I understand it, are formed when protein clumps
("flocculates") and precipitates out of the wort. Some of this
occurs during the boil (the "hot break", surprisingly enough), and
seems to need both the high temperature and the "kick" of a vigorous
boil to really do its thing. A larger volume of flocculation (in my
batches, anyway) occurs when the temperature is reduced after the
boil, and the faster it's reduced the greater the (cold) break.
These proteins are possible culprits in elusive "off" flavors, and
are definitely major causes of chill haze. You're better off
leaving them in the bottom of the boiler.
- Martin
= Martin A. Lodahl Pac*Bell Minicomputer Operations Support Staff =
= pacbell!pbmoss!mal -or- mal@pbmoss.Pacbell.COM 916.972.4821 =
= If it's good for ancient Druids, runnin' nekkid through the wuids, =
= Drinkin' strange fermented fluids, it's good enough for me! 8-) =

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