Troubleshooting - Hazy IPAs
Troubleshooting issues with Hazy IPAs
The typical challenges with hazy IPAs include:
- Haze stability from batch to batch: "snowglobing", chunky, or the dreaded "hazy turned clear"
- Attenuation variability from batch to batch
- "hop creep" or refermentation
Most of these factors hinge on yeast health.
We are happy to help troubleshoot issues with Hazy IPAs and thankfully we have helped a number of breweries get to the bottom of inconsistencies, helping them to improve consistency and stress less about these (popular) beers. Answering these questions will help us assist you:
- What is the yeast generation? If repitching, do you know the viability and pitch rate of the yeast? How long is it stored between generations? How long is the beer on the yeast at the end of ferment?
- What is the recipe formulation of the beer? We're happy to take a look at a recipe and process and suggest tweaks.
- Is the wort supplemented with nutrients? How is oxygenation performed
My hazy turned clear/chunky! What happened?
Loss of haze stability tends to be a result of yeast nutrient stress. When the yeast cells don’t have enough nitrogen, they will secrete protease enzymes in order to obtain more nitrogen. A side effect of that is that the yeast can break down some of the haze-forming proteins in the beer resulting in unexpectedly clear beer or “snowglobing”.
Other nutrients like oxygen can also play a role. Breweries making hazy beers with the yeasts commonly used for these beers have found improved consistency by measuring wort dissolved oxygen or at the very least ensuring that oxygen flow rate and transfer line length are the same for all batches. We’ve seen a number of issues where a tank closer to the brewhouse gets a shorter cast-out hose, which also has the effect of reducing oxygen saturation (it takes time for the oxygen to get into the liquid).
Sometimes over/under pitching can also be a root cause of unexpectedly clear hazy beers. Underpitching can make the yeast work harder and over pitching can provide less nutrient for each individual cell, which might cause them to try to use protease enzymes to find new nitrogen. We have found overpitching and under-oxygenating to be a root cause of many "clear hazies".