Isinglass(fish bladder), too gross, or o.k. in beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Cnote_crafty_1, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Cnote_crafty_1

    Cnote_crafty_1 Aspirant (236) Apr 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I have been seeking out Dark Island ale from the Orkney Brewery, when I found out from a source that they brew all of their beers(supposedly) with Insinglass. Well, one distro got some Dark Island for me and now I am not sure that I want it after knowing this. Can anyone confirm if Orkney brews with this stuff? I know Guinness used to use this, but I gather now they are done with brewing with it. Also, what is everyones take on this brewing method?
  2. cl3

    cl3 Disciple (319) Aug 16, 2013 Wisconsin

    You'd never be able to tell the difference between a beer fined with isinglass and one that was clarified using something else, if you weren't told. It is an odorless/tasteless powder. So unless you are vegan/vegetarian, I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. beertunes

    beertunes Poo-Bah (5,434) Sep 24, 2007 Washington

    You have undoubtedly drank many beers that used Isinglass, and you seem to have come through just fine. It's not a thing to worry about.
    FBarber, hopsputin, TrojanRB and 7 others like this.
  4. marquis

    marquis Crusader (745) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Although isinglass has been used,once it has done its job it settles to the bottom taking the trub with it.You do not ingest any.
    It has been used for centuries, it is similar to gelatin. It is quite common to see brewery signs promising "Fine Ales and Stouts" denoting that finings are used. Burton brewers commonly found that their beers dropped bright without finings.
    #4 marquis, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  5. MNAle

    MNAle Savant (978) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    The only legitimate issue with isinglass being used in brewing is if you are a vegan/vegetarian, and a relatively strict one at that since, as @marquis states, it doesn't actually end up in the beer.

    For everyone else, insinglass (fish bladder) suffers from the same kind of problem that affected "pink slime" and gluten... it just doesn't SOUND good! (Yeah, I know celiac disease is real, but the fad of avoiding gluten - again, IMO - is because it sounds bad... after all, who wants to eat glue?)
  6. Jpliler

    Jpliler Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2018 Louisiana

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  7. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (809) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Fining beer is an excellent technique, despite the current trend toward hazy beer, and is very appropriate for many styles.
  8. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (536) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    ^^ Key points in the discussion.

    Isinglass is just a process aid and not in the final beer. Being concerned about it makes as much sense as being concerned about plastic bags grain is shipped in; or steel/copper in the brewing equipment; or coolant in wort chillers...none of which are in the final beer.
    #8 Ranbot, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  9. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (825) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    A lot of very expensive wines also use Isingless for fining.
  10. stevepat

    stevepat Disciple (329) Mar 12, 2013 California

    I think the issue with pink slime was/is more the image, everyone knows meat doesn't look like that so it's off putting when you see it and are told it is meat. As to fish bladder extract in beer, sounds exotic to me.
  11. PorterPro125

    PorterPro125 Crusader (758) Jan 19, 2013 New Brunswick (Canada)

    It doesn't bother me. It's a natural way to clarify beer that has been used for a long, long time.
    rgordon, TrojanRB and EvenMoreJesus like this.
  12. chipawayboy

    chipawayboy Devotee (441) Oct 26, 2007 Massachusetts

    Faith in BA forums restored (momentarily) - fully expected a bunch of looney responses about the outrage and danger associated w isinglass. Cheerss all - ya done good.
  13. seth27

    seth27 Initiate (79) Mar 16, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Not to blow your mind even more but there's also BILLIONS of tiny mushrooms in your beer too.
    Lahey likes this.
  14. deadwolfbones

    deadwolfbones Initiate (68) Jun 21, 2014 California

    Many beers are also made with seaweed and horse hooves, jfyi. None of 'em ever hurt ya. (Can't say the same for the horses, though.)
  15. Cnote_crafty_1

    Cnote_crafty_1 Aspirant (236) Apr 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    Good to get info from someone across the pond there. What are Burton brewers?
  16. Cnote_crafty_1

    Cnote_crafty_1 Aspirant (236) Apr 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    and Unicorn horns as well
  17. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Champion (820) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Pretty common to use this to fine beer. I’m sure you’ve been drinking and will continue to drink beer dined with isinglass and never know it.
    dcotom likes this.
  18. marquis

    marquis Crusader (745) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Those brewers at Burton on Trent,once one of the world's most important brewing centres.The water there is ideal for Pale Ales and water treatment to emulate it is often called Burtonisation
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  19. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (1,971) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Premium Trader

    I wouldn't give it a second thought.
    Mothergoose03 likes this.

    THANAT0PSIS Crusader (759) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    No offense, but it really has no bearing on the beer (aside from its use in fining), and it logically should not affect your decision to have or not have a beer. It's a traditional ingredient, and I'd be shocked if you hadn't already had an isinglass-fined beer in your lifetime without knowing it.

    The only situation that you should logically care is if you are a vegetarian, and, as others have said, that is a questionable reason since it does not actually end up in the finished product.

    I italicized "logically" since I know we all have our little illogical moments, but this is really a non-issue when you break it down, and, again, I'm sure you've drank a beer that used isinglass without knowing it.
    EvenMoreJesus, dcotom and cavedave like this.
  21. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,277) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I agree. If people (including me) eat fried pigs intestines, I can drink a beer that had powdered fish bladder pass thru it.
    User_Name, beertunes and dcotom like this.
  22. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,593) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    I saw I saw a beer special many years ago and it was at Batemans, and they were ladeling in fishy stuff to the kegs for a beer competition. I used to love Batemans beers when I could find one, never gave it a passing thought.
  23. Cnote_crafty_1

    Cnote_crafty_1 Aspirant (236) Apr 8, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I just heard from a Norman J A Sinclair of Sinclair breweries, which ownes Orkney brewery. He said that at the moment they brew all of their beers with it, but they are moving away from it in the their bottles. I think it does not affect the taste, but it seems kind of unneccesary to brew that way. Beer is most of the time not used with animal products and I think you could certianly do it the same way without using animal products. I am not an animal advocate(although I do love animals), but it seems that just because they have been brewing one way for years and years, doesn't mean that they couldn't one day change that habit. It is kind of a waste of fish if you are not eating it. Rant done,