Recently at my brewery we ran out of kettle finings, but unlike back in the US we can’t just place a call and order more. Originally we used a brewers tablet that provided nutrients and kettle finings which worked fantastically, so naturally we tried to order more. This time Korean customs decided to stop it for inspection when entering the country (there are no Korean brewing supply suppliers). The company that makes the tablets wishing to keep their formula proprietary, would not disclose it’s ingredients. As a result of this with holding of information, Korean customs decided to burn our tablets and charge us for the destruction (they even sent us pics of a guy dropping the tablets into an incinerator). Our battle with Korean customs on a weekly basis is ever a source of frustration and tedious bureaucracy. Thus I had to search domestically for kettle finings.
The most common kettle fining used is carrageenan otherwise known as Irish Moss. Carrageenan can be found in Korea, but when we found it the suppliers asked “do you want kappa, iota, or lamda?” which we had no answer for. I did not know that there were many forms of carrageenan (these forms are called isomers). Luckily, a little google-fu relieved me of my ignorance and brewers want kappa-carrageenan which is derived from sea weed. Here is the article I found from the Encyclopaedia of Brewing by Chris Boulton.
Now the next battle is convincing the company that buying a $600 sack of kettle finings is worth it…wish me luck.