Cold Haze

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Cold Haze

Postby Cheers » Tue Jul 16, 2002 12:22 pm

What is the best way to get rid of a cold haze? The last 3 or 4 batches I have made have come out a great color and crystal clear when at room temp. The problem that I am having is, like most Americans, I like to drink cold beer. When I chill the beer it turns very cloudy. It still tastes good, but I am wanting a beer that looks as good as it tastes. Any help would be great. Thanks.
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Thanks Mesa, but.....

Postby Cheers » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:10 am

I am using Irish Moss. I'll try hydrating it next time. I've never tried that before.

I honestly have no idea what it is that is causing the haze. All I know is, if I pour the beer at room temp, it is crystal clear. If it is cold, you can not see through it at all. I am an extract brewer if that makes a differance. Any ideas on which of these options it could be. Thanks again for all your help.
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Try another additive before bottling maybe?

Postby Bud Wiser » Wed Jul 17, 2002 8:46 am

Have you ever tried adding Divergan to your secondary fermentor? It's specifically designed to prevent chill haze so I would suggest giving it a try.
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Divergan = Trade Name for PVPP

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Jul 17, 2002 12:57 pm

Divergan is a specific manufacturer's name (BASF) for PVPP. All PVPP is the same regardless of manufacturer. This additive can work, but as I mentioned in my first post, it may need to be filtered out.

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Postby Mesa Maltworks » Wed Jul 17, 2002 1:24 pm

Well... first what type of haze do you have ?

1) Biological Haze ?

-Bacteria, brewers & wild yeast are the most common culprits.

Brewers Yeast: Usually settles out mostly in primary & secondary fermenters. Remainder usually settles out leaving bright beer during cold storage. To ensure the best performance, make sure to pitch plenty of fresh, high-viability, active yeast into well oxygenated wort. This will promote a healthy fermentation that will be dominated by culture yeast, not bacteria and wild yeast.

Wild Yeast: These babies are everywhere... in the air and on all surfaces. Since, we as homebrewers can only sanitize rather than sterilize, a certain amount of them will always remain in our brewing environment. The two things to most concentrate on here are the places that are in direct contact with your equipment and your hands. As far as the wort is concerned, make sure you minimize the amount of unfermentable sugars. Wild yeast can metabolize them whereas culture yeast cannot.

Bacteria: Most are killed by hop compounds, alcohol and the low pH of the wort. The main prolem is they propagate MUCH faster than yeast ! This is why reducing lag time is so important. Make sure to pitch an adequate amount of viable, active yeast in high krausen into well oxygenated wort.

As yeast cells die, they release proteins that bacteria can feed on. This is particularly trun of lactic acid bacteria. To avoid this possibility, make sure to remove the beer from the yeast load as soon as fermentation is complete. Make sure that you have reached terminal gravity by checking with a hydrometer or refractometer.

2) Non-Biological Haze ?

Forms of: Protein, carbohydrate, beta glucan, polyphenolic, fats, particulate or process additions.

All can be eliminated via proper brewing proceedures.

Beta Glucans: Increases the viscosity (thickness) of beer. Using high modification malts or/and a protein rest are sound practices. Perform a beta rest by holding mashes at 100 deg. f. for 20 minutes.

Hops: When used dry, tannins and oils can cause hazing. This is one area where only silica seems to help.

Finings: If not used properly, they can cause particulate problems. If using irish moss, always hydrate it PRIOR to use for at least 20 minutes in hot water.

PVPP, an inert form of powderized PVC (plastic) can be used to flocculate proteins, but it can take one heck of a long time to settle out in some beers under certain conditions. When this occurs, you have to filter it out, so you might as well have filtered it in the first place !

Also...don't over dose with finings ! Doing so can errode their effectiveness and can even begin forming haze problems themselves.

Fats: (Lipids) Hurt beer heading, can feed bacteria. Skim hot break from wort (very similar to egg albumin), transfer wort off trub within 8 hours of the onset of fermentation. Don't worry... all of the most active yeast will be in suspension at this point. Any yeast left behind in the trub is not among the healthiest of the population and therefore is best left behind anyway.

Starch: Haze imparted by under-converted mashes or steeps. If all-graining, make sure to use freshly crushed malts in a mash that lasts at least 1 hour. Use iodine to test for complete conversion. If steeping, you can do the same test for conversion using iodine. If anyone wants instructions on conversion testing, I can make a separte post upon request. To convert properly, starches need to be held between the temperatures of 142 to 158 deg. f. for at least 1 hour at the higher range and longer for the lower range.

Particulate: Whirlpool wort vigorously at the end of the boil with the kettle removed from the heat source and let settle for 20 minutes. If mashing, make sure to vorlauf (recirculate) your runoff until it is a clear as possible.

Mineral Particulates: Contributed by water and malt. Malt provides calcium, water can provide metals, such as tin and iron which can also haze beer. The sources can be the water system, your piping or the kettles you are using.

Proteins: Use higly modifed malts and/or a protein rest to minimize this source of haze. Whirlpooling will help to settle a large amount in the kettle. A protein rest can be used with well modified malts, but is usually unneccessary. With under-modified malts, a protein rest is manditory. A protein rest is accomplished by holding the mash at 125 deg. f. for 20 minutes.

Tannins: Polyphenols are interactive with proteins and can impart haze to beer. The best reduction practcie is to stop your sparge runnings at 1.008 or at pH 5.8. Any runnings collected after these points is NOT contributing to the gravity of the wort, but rather extracting lipids and tannins. This can impart haze, let alone screw up the flavor of the beer. You are much better off to simply top off the kettle with water.

Other reduction steps:

1) Do not over-crush your malts. You want as much of the husk material intact as possible. An incredible improvement on milling can be made by lightly misting the grains with water as you crush them. This technique keeps the husks pliable and therefore will form a better lauter bed. Try to keep the starch flower content below 20%, but don't under-crush either.

2)Filtration: This is the subject of a recent thread that is still viewable. I can go into detail on this topic if requested.


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I doubt the source is the base extract....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Jul 18, 2002 1:24 pm

Unless the base extract you use is very poorly produced, I doubt that chill haze is coming from that source. If you are boiling for a minimum of 60 minutes, most of the proteins from the base malt will be cast out in the trub after whirlpooling.

The symptoms you describe are dead on for protein induced chill haze. Assuming your base malt is OK, the only source left would be your use of specialty malts. If you are using specialties, what proceedures are you following to incorporate them into the wort prior to boiling ?

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Nothing Special

Postby Cheers » Fri Jul 19, 2002 11:10 am

I am just using regular Mutons products. No specialty malts at all.

One question about your last response, what do you mean after whirlpooling? I do boil for a minimum of 60 minutes but I'm not sure what you mean by whirlpooling.

Thanks again for any help.
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Whirlpooling 101....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Jul 19, 2002 12:26 pm

Since you are using a very good quality malt with no specialty grains, your haze problem is either brewing technique induced or is microbiological. If we keep hammering down through your techniques, I think we can get rid of your problem. A good step to add to your regimen that will go a long way toward improved beer quality and may reduce some haze is whirlpooling:

1) After the boil is over, remove your brew kettle from the heat.

2) Take a large spoon (doesn't need sanitized) and stir the wort in a circular motion as fast as you can until the wort is swirling rapidly.

3) Put a lid on the kettle and let it rest for 20 minutes without disturbing it.

4) Without moving the kettle after it set for 20 minutes, siphon (sanitized) the wort FROM THE SIDE into your fermenter. Do not tilt the kettle to get the last bit of the wort out or you will drag trub into the fermenter. When you are done, you will see that all of the trub is left behind in a cone shaped pile in the center of the kettle instead of your fermenter. Using this technique will lead to cleaner brews that will condition better and have less chance of trub based infection. Any wort loss (small anyway) is worth the increase in beer quality.

PS: Something that just occured to me regarding your original post... are you leaving the lid on the kettle during the boil ? If so, respond back here and I'll explain a number of reasons why this is a bad technique and could also be a contributor to your haze problems.

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No lid

Postby Cheers » Wed Jul 24, 2002 9:23 am

I do not leave the lid on at anytime.

Thanks for the tip on Whirlpooling. I plan on doing a batch this weekend and I will give that a shot. Should I wait until the wort gets down to temp, or do it right away?
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Re: Whirlpooling 101....

Postby etbandit » Mon Oct 01, 2007 10:43 pm

Mesa Maltworks wrote: A good step to add to your regimen that will go a long way toward improved beer quality and may reduce some haze is whirlpooling:
Eric


Eric,

Im currently using Jamils whirlpool technique (March pump that recircultates wort during immersion chilling) for my 5gal batches and I seem to get really cloudy beers rather than clear, for my ales and wheat beers (with or without whirlfloc use). Brewing technique is all good. I am thinking that my whirlpool is too fast its redissolving the cold break. I see no protein trub except hops and the rest looks like brown muddy river water.

A fellow brewer has expressed the same concerns and was able to mend it by slowing his whirlpool.

Have you experienced anything similar with whirlpooling?

Cheers.
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Re: Whirlpooling 101....

Postby wottaguy » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:46 am

Hi Guy's!

Here's the technique that I use.

I don't whirpool by the JZ method by using a pump but I do whirpool gently with a spoon and stir the wort around the IC coils until I get the cool temp that I need..around 60 degF. After I reach that temp, I pull the IC out then with my sanitized SS spoon, i'll stir the wort in a circular motion very fast to create the whirpool effect. I then cover the pot and wait 30 to 40 minutes to allow the trub and other material to settle. When settled, I siphon off the very clear wort from the top of the kettle as to not to disturb the trub etc and collect this very clear wort into my fermenter(s) and leaving behind all of the trub and other break material. This method has worked very well for me and is a lot simpler to perform too.
Do keep in mind that this may not cure all of your haze problems in your finished product. Pay attention to your serving temperatures. I serve my ales at 50 degF and they look clear. If I chill the beers down to 34 degF they haze up due to proteins still in suspension. If you have the patience, try waiting a couple of months before serving to see what a difference time makes.

Hope this helps!

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hey thanks!

Postby warthog » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:49 am

reading this thread made me realize my recent cloudiness problem. i had switched to swishing my ic around to chill my wort faster. then when the wort reaches 70F i dump into my fermenter, maximizing the splash for oxygenation. my understanding was that faster chilling improves cold break, and results in clearer beer. however, my beers have been coming out cloudy. its not a huge problem for me, since i've been making browns, porters and stouts recently. and the beers still taste great.

as its now starting to get colder here, i'm going to start brewing lagers and lighter ales again for next summer. so i was just thinking about how to fix that. so i will try on my next batch (a nut brown), chilling by swirling my ic, then whirl pooling. let settle (with lid on), siphoning to my fermenter (i typically add 1 quart to 1/2 gallon starter, and some r.o. water to the fermenter to top it up and match my planned og, i'll do my splashing then.

does this sound alright?

thanks again, great thread.

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