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Calculate approximate FAN from CofA data?

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  • Calculate approximate FAN from CofA data?

    Hello all,

    This is my first time posting, so please bare with me on etiquette.

    I just started a R&D job for the brewery I work at, and one of my first projects is to research FAN.

    I know there are different ways to measure FAN, but is there any way to calculate (approximate) FAN from data given in a Certificate of Analysis? Has anyone done this or attempted this before, is it possible, or does it even make sense?

    I appreciate all input on the subject.

    Thanks a lot.


  • #2
    I waited until I got back after a few days away to see if anyone else knew any different. As far as I know, it is impossible to calculate FAN as this is produced by enzymatic reactions, which are dependent upon, amongst other things, the malt type, how much active proteolytic enzyme is left in the malt, the mashing conditions including times, temperatures, mash thickness, pH, mashing liquor mineral composition. In other words, too many variables to be predictable. The closest you will get is by using a consistent malt & grist type and extremely consistent mashing conditions, which SHOULD give a reasonably repeatable result.

    I am not aware of any work into predicting FAN being carried out, but then I don't work in a malting or brewing research lab or university. You could try search to see if anything pops up


    • #3
      IÂ’d suggest reaching out to Tim at Oskar Blues as a few years back we ran some collaboration brews on a new barley variety which was supposed to have increased levels of FAN available. He was running a lot of data from the brews as many breweries had participated in the event. I had personally collaborated with Juice and Tristan at the original OB, which has basically turned into the R&D facility.

      My vague memory of the situation was the grower, whom provided the Malt for the experimental brews, was primarily exploring potential of barley varieties geared towards distilling and high extraction processes. I donÂ’t remember seeing compelling data for consistently higher FAN, but they did provide free food and beers so....? I may have been distracted.

      As Dick says, there are a ton of variables in what the end result is. You can probably detect the potential FAN levels from some analysis data, but your end results may vary significantly. It may also depend heavily on analysis processing techniques. As a brewer, I would not trust these analysis points until I had cross referenced with my independent results.