Protafloc kettle finings is a granular carrageenan product which is added to the wort in the kettle to enhance protein removal as the wort cools. Other applications include its use in food as a thickener, coagulant, gel formation and stabiliser.
- Natural product which removes substantial quantities of haze forming material without affecting head retention
- Produces brighter worts, reducing the amount of finings required later
- Increases rate of fermentation and attenuation
- Increases filter runs
- Prolongs shelf life in small pack beers
- Reduces process time
- Is a processing aid not an additive so doesn’t require label declaration
- Reduced tank losses
- 5-10% more efficient than competitive products
The active ingredient in Protafloc Granules is a polysaccharide called carrageenan which is derived from seaweed. Carrageenan in solution is negatively charged, owing to the sulphate groups along the polysaccharide backbone. It is these charged sites which interact with wort proteins.
In solution at temperatures above 65°C, the carrageenan has a random coil structure. As the wort cools the carrageenan takes a much more compact and ordered helical structure which is thought to drag the protein particles together to form aggregates. The aggregates, having a largerparticle radius, settle faster.
Kettle finings are added in the kettle only to allow the carrageenan to dissolve. Wort proteins react with carrageenan as the wort cools and settle in the whirlpool or as a cold break during fermentation to be removed along with the excess yeast.
The removal of particles and protein from wort has been demonstrated by microscopic examination of pre-filtered beers and protein assay.
Since Kettle Finings remove both particulate and soluble protein, and soluble protein is a component of chill haze, it is unsurprising that the colloidal stability of kettle fined beers is enhanced.
Protafloc Granules should be added to the kettle fifteen minutes prior to the end of the boil. The addition time reflects the length of time required to dissolve and disperse the carrageenan into the wort. Should Protafloc Granules be added early in the boil, then degradation of the polymer may occur and product efficiency is lost.
Protafloc Granules can be slurried prior to addition to aid dispersal, especially if using mechanical addition to the kettle.
The reaction between wort proteins and carrageenan is pH dependant and occurs at an optimum pH of 5.3. Below pH 4.4, the reaction does not occur and little benefit is gained from using Kettle finings.
Rates of Use:
The exact rate for a given wort will vary according to the brewery, the recipe and the types of malt and adjuncts used. Typical rates vary from a range of 0.75g to 4.8g per hl. For the home brewer, this means 0.15g to 1g per 20L batch.