I am not a vegetarian, but due to the diverse group of people which do or might consume my beer, I like to keep out any ingredients that might be derived from animals. I recently started using whirlfloc tablets to help with clarity. Are these considered to be vegetarian friendly? Could they also be considered vegan friendly?
Whirlfloc should be considered vegan because it's made from purified seaweed.
Whirlfloc tablets are a blend of Irish Moss and purified Kappa carrageenan that encourages the precipitation of haze causing materials such as proteins and Beta glucans. Prepared in a quick dissolving, highly soluble tablet form. Almost everyone who tries Whirlfloc tablets prefer them to regular Irish Moss.
Irish Moss is made from seaweed
What is Irish Moss? Irish MossDon’t let the name fool you. Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is not the fuzzy, green plant covering stones and creeping up old walls. It’s actually an edible seaweed that grows along the rocky Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America. Typically dark red, purple or brown, the soft marine plant has been used as a brewing additive for nearly 200 years.
Kappa Carrageenan is also seaweed.
A natural hydrocolloid, carrageenan is a natural extract from specific red seaweed species that are farmed and processed. It is used as a suspending and emulsifying stablizer, thickener, binder and gelling agent.
I've confirmed with Google that Whirlfloc consists of "A blend of Irish Moss and purified carrageenan". It's basically seaweed. Therefore, I'm sure it's perfectly fine to use for vegetarians and vegans.
It's gelatin, another clarifying agent that comes from animal bones/cartilage, that they might have more of a problem with.