Overview

There are many additional ingredients that can be added to during or after the brewing process. These ingredients come in organic, biologic, or chemical form and range from ph balancers to enzymes. They all have their uses, and the are broken down below.

Flavor and Body Enhancers

The following additives are used to adjust flavor, sweetness, and body.

Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used both as a food additive and in the brewing process. It can be derived from any starch but is commonly derived from barley and wheat. It contains a low amount of fermentable sugars so it does not add signficantly to the alchohol content of beer. Instead it adds to the body and overall character of low gravity beers by adding a malty flavor. It is added during the boil.

Anti-Foam Agent

Anti-Foam Agents come in a number of forms but are intended for the brewing and fermentation process to prevent boil overs, and clogged airlocks. They will not effect the finished beer's head retention. They are generally made from food-grade silicone that essentially reduces surface tension in the wort.

PH and Water Adjusters

Water can vary drastically depending on region or area of the world. There are a number of products that can help adjust the softness or pH of your water. Some are listed below.

Calcium Chloride

Calcium Chlorid(CaCl2) is used in a wide variety of applications. Aside for use in brewing to the adjust water makeup, Calcium Chloride is used in food, sports drinks, and is even applied to roads in cold regions for controlling ice. Its odorless and comes in white to light gray granules. It is partially soluble in water and is generally added to the mash or boil. It can be used to harden the water for areas with soft water, as well as lower the pH.

Gypsum

Gypsum occurs naturally and can also be produced. Gypsum is a common mineral that can be found in ranges from crystal form to compact rock-like form. Gypsum is used in medicine, as a food additive for a source of calcium, as one of the core components of constuction drywall, and as the base for Plaster of Paris. Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) dissolves in water during the brew process and serves two major purposes. It lowers pH. It also adds sulfate ions which helps crispen the hop bitterness.

Burton Water Salts

Burton Water Salts are used to harden soft water as well as alkalinity. Its a mixture of mineral salts and comprised of gypsum, Epsom salts, magnesium sulfates, and potassium chloride that provide alkalinity to water. It also benefits yeast by providing magnesium and potassium. It is common for pale ales as it enhances the bitterness in hops.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid is a alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is largely produced from milk and is used in the foods, medicine, and even detergents. Lactic acid can be introduced in the mash tun to lower pH. It is also used at bottling time to raise the acidity which is common in white beers.

Fining Agents

Fining agents help bring clarity to the beer or wine. They can be used during the brewing or fermentation process depending on which product you use.

Gelatin Finings

Gelatin Finings is a form of gelatin that attracts unwanted proteins and tannins during the fermentation process. It is derived from animals skin and bones. Its positive charge in its ions create an attraction from the negatively charged particles floating in the wort. They attract and clump together, which ultimately results in more mass and causes it to sing to the bottom.

Irish Moss

Irish Moss is actually not a moss but instead a lichen and is used as a fining agent in beer. It is derived from seaweed and contains polymers that react with polyphenols, lipids, and proteins in a way that causes them to attract and condense. This happens as the wort cools, as Irish Moss is generally added in the last 10 to 15 minutes of the boil.

Whirlfloc Tablets

Whirlfloc Tablets are a refined or processed form of Irish Moss. It is used in the same ways as Irish Moss and contains the same polymers.