Beer Fining Agent: Carrageenan in Beer
Improving the Clarity

Beer Fining Agent: Carrageenan in Beer



Carrageenan is widely used in the food processing industry because of its excellent properties such as gelation, thickening, emulsification, film formation and stable dispersion. In the manufacture of beer and fruit wine, it is mainly used as a beer fining agent, and the reaction between carrageenan and protein can effectively clarify the wort in beer to achieve the purpose.

beer fining agent Carrageenan in beer (3)

1. About Beer

beer fining agent Carrageenan in beer (5)

Beer, which most people have drunk, is bitter and refreshing with a unique flavor. Beer is brewed with wheat malt and barley malt as the main raw materials, with hops, through liquid pasteurization and saccharification, and then through liquid fermentation. However, without beer clarifying agents, the beer would be cloudy and opaque, so in beer brewing, a beer fining agent such as carrageenan, edible gelatin, konjac gum and other hydrocolloids are usually added to beautify the appearance of the beer.

2. About Carrageenan

Carrageenan can be dissolved in water at about 80°C to form a viscous, clear or slightly milky solution that flows easily. It is more easily dispersed in water if first wetted with ethanol, glycerin or saturated aqueous sucrose solution.

The solution obtained by boiling carrageenan with 30 times of water for 10min can form colloid after cooling.

The viscosity of carrageenan increases when combined with water.

Carrageenan reacts with protein to emulsify and stabilize the emulsion.

Carrageenan has excellent characteristics such as gel, thickening, emulsification, film formation, stable dispersion, etc. It is widely used in food, medical and chemical industries, and is mainly used as a beer clarifying agent in the manufacture of beer and fruit wine.

3. Beer Fining Agent - Carrageenan in Beer

beer fining agent Carrageenan in beer (1)

Carrageenan is used as a beer clearing agent in the beer production process.

In the whole brewing stage of beer, there are two important production processes, i.e. Wort Preparation and Beer Fermentation.

The normal fermentation of beer depends on the quality of the prepared wort, and the clear and transparent appearance is an important aspect of wort quality. In the process of wort preparation, the use of wort clarifying agents to remove excess protein is an important way to obtain clear and transparent wort.

Carrageenan is one of the ideal wort clarifying agents among all.

Beer and fruit wine often contain some colloidal substances that make it cloudy, causing difficulties in filtration and affecting the clarity of the final beer and fruit wine, so beer fining agents or beer clarifiers must be added to remove the turbidity.

However, it is difficult and time-consuming to remove these substances completely with normal clarifying agents.

By using the reaction between carrageenan and protein, wort clarification can be effectively achieved.

beer fining agent Carrageenan in beer (6)

4. The Principle of Carrageenan as a Clarifying Agent in Beer

The anionic group of carrageenan and the positively charged hydrophilic polymer proteins in the wort form a bond through electrostatic interaction, and rapidly promote the coalescence of various tiny proteins, lipids, dextran and other molecules into large flocs to speed up the sedimentation.

These flocs settle by gravity, thus achieving the purpose of beer clarification.

5. Benefits and Advantages of Carrageenan in Beer


The use of carrageenan as a beer fining agent can speed up wort clarification, improve the abiotic stability of beer, and help the flocculation and precipitation of hot coagulants in hot wort. The growth of yeast was also improved.

It can be seen that carrageenan is an ideal wort & beer clarifying agent in wort preparation, and it can significantly improve the appearance of wort quality, especially in the case of poorly dissolved malt and poor quality, the effect will be more obvious.


The wort treated with carrageenan does not have any negative effect on yeast fermentation, and the color of the brewed beer is light yellow, and the physical and chemical indexes are in accordance with the national or enterprise product standards.


The abiotic stability of the beer brewed with carrageenan is improved, the shelf life can be increased, the total wine loss and diatomaceous earth consumption can be reduced, which brings certain economic benefits to the enterprise.

6. Disadvantages of Carrageenan

Carrageenan can remove turbidity and make the liquid bright and shiny, which is a high-quality beer clarifier. However, carrageenan also has a disadvantage, that is, the gel formed is brittle, less elastic, and easy to syneresis (water leak).


How to solve it?

This disadvantage can be solved by compounding carrageenan with konjac gum.
Konjac gum and κ-carrageenan have a strong synergistic effect, can significantly enhance the gel strength and elasticity of carrageenan, reduce the water secretion of carrageenan, its effect is stronger than locust bean gum, in the food industry has a wide range of applications.

Hydrocolloids in Beer application
Wort Clarifier, Beer Stabilizer

Gino has developed a variety of wort clarifier, beer foam head retaining agents (beer stabilizer), including Alginates ( Sodium alginate, PGA ), Kappa Carrageenan, Hydrocolloids Stabilizers.

Any Questions? Need Help?
Contact Gino Gums & Stabilizers, Get the Answers to All Your Texture & Stability Questions
Scroll to Top

Get The Exclusive

News, Resources

More about what you'll get from our newsletter!

  • Technical papers, articles and videos on food texture and stability;
  • The newest food trends, consumer demands and texture innovation;
  • The right food gums & stabilizers system that solves your challenge;
  • A team that can handle the complexity and help you formulate products;
  • Supplier selection criteria and methods and other purchasing skills.

Subscribe to Find the Secret to Connecting a Better and Healthier Life!