Carrageenan Application In Beer

Carrageenan Application In Beer


  1. 1.      Introduction


As the market range of beer brands expands and the shipping distance extends, the competition between brands becomes more and more fierce. Meanwhile, brewers and researchers has taken great efforts to make the beer brewing, from raw materials to the whole brewing process and related equipment, move to a new level in the scientific depth and width at an unprecedented rate.

However, the first choice of the customers was the clear, transparent and glossy appearance of beer and thus this was given prominent attention in the beer industry. Consequently, half a century ago, the beer industry began the huge inputs of human, material and financial resources to solve the non-biology stability problems. Of many problems the main reason why haze phenomenon appeared in beer after cooling is that wort contains protein and polyphenols. However, carrageenan could produce special effects with protein to remove hazardous substances so that it entered the brewers’ field of vision.


2. Function Principles and Effects


Harm of Cold Coagulation Protein

In the very beginning of the beer production, the starches such as mart and rice are used to make wort, which contains a fair amount of colloidal substance like protein, eater and glucan. Consequently, part of heat coagulation protein can be removed after boiling and cooling but some cold coagulation protein can’t so the haze phenomenon arises in wort. Furthermore, protein will wrap up yeast and go against the yeast growth. In the later stage of production, this will lead to difficulty in filtering, so the flittering loss will be huge and finally the stability of finished products may even be affected.


Sulfate, the strong anionic group in carrageenan can combine with protein, eater and glucan of positive charges directly or via metal ions. Due to its property of long-chain structure, carrageenan can continuously combine, expand and form floccules. Then precipitation phenomenon will occur in response to gravity and thus wort will be clarified.


The transparency figures of fermentation broth with or without carrageenan for different batch numbers tested at 600nm with the same saccharification process, materials and the same treatment are shown in the table below.



(Without Carrageenan)

Transparency (%)


(With Carrageenan)

Transparency (%)


























Because the use of carrageenan makes impurities like protein precipitate compactly, the filtering loss of beer production can reduce by 0.2-0.3% and this alone can offset the cost of carrageenan. With the use of carrageenan, wort and fermentation broth can well clarify and this will be beneficial to filtering and fermentation. By doing this, the cost will not be raised, so the use of carrageenan is suggested in beer production to improve the quality.


Carrageenans is an effective clarifying agent of wort, so it helps to rapidly precipitate protein and make wort have a nice, clear appearance. Furthermore, it is beneficial for the yeast growth and filtering process. Consequently, the filtering loss can be reduced and the yield of wort can be increased. Finally the biological stability of beer will be improved and the shelf life of beer will be extended.


The application of carrageenans in the beer industry helps to improve the beer quality, and thus increase brand awareness. The path towards the development of beer industry can only be found in meticulous attention to quality.

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On February 20th, 2013, posted in: carrageenan, Products and Techniques by Tags:

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