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Blocker Brews

Adventures in brewing

Kappa, Iota, & Lamda Carrageenan

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.

Great Korean Beer Festival – May 2017

Last week, Galmegi Brewing Co attended the Great Korean Beer Festival at COEX in Seoul. The festival went off very successfully but damn it was a long one, 10 days of 1-10pm beer slinging. Luckily, I wasn’t working the festival for the entire 10 days (I did 5 and that was plenty long enough) since I had to keep up with production back at the brewery. I’m glad I wasn’t at the festival for the entire span because between the Great Korean Beer Festival, Good Beer Week Seoul, and our new franchise branch opening in the Pusan National University district in Busan our stock got decimated. Also we were really popular at GKBF so we had faster than expected beer sales. Not a bad thing to have happen, just means figuring out how to produce more beer than I can possibly produce to catch back up. Fun, fun, fun!

Here’s the promo video for this years GKBF. Has a couple of moments of me talking during Meet the Brewer.

Great Korean Beer Festival 2017(AD) from Great Korean Beer Festival on Vimeo.

Why do I have this blog

Hey netizens and beer nerds,

I’m starting this blog to have some kind of journal, diary, record, or what have you about something that consumes a lot of my life, brewing. I’m brewer in Busan, South Korea which in itself might be interesting to some, but that is necessarily the whole point to this blog…although I’m sure it will come to dominate a vast amount of future posts. I’ll be writing about things I’m working on, things I learn, and perhaps days when things go absolutely wrong (I’ll cross my fingers that this doesn’t happen too often). Hopefully something that I word vomit into a post will prove useful or interesting for you.

Cheers!

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