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How does it clarify my beer?

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Proteins are one of the primary constituents of hot break. Some of these proteins are known as haze active (HA) and negatively affect beer clarity (they make yer beer cloudy). The proteins are complex molecules folded up into three-dimensional structures that give them a positive charge.

Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is negatively charged. When present in the boil it attracts the positively charged proteins like a magnet. While proteins would normally remain in suspension bonding to the irish moss forms a particle heavy enough to drop out.

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  • (Yes, I know this is an ancient thread. New related question, though :) ) Are there any special tricks to stopping coagulation inside my plate chiller? Like: if I add to boil, then whirlpool, then wait until it's some certain temp or something to "fully gel" (or whatever it does)? I had to stop using IM because it seemed to always clog my chiller during knock out. :( (ACK: I may misunderstand what I was seeing, but that's what I thought I saw.)
    – Olie
    Apr 22 at 22:17

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