Experiments

Experiment: Bringing Juice to a Bright Style

Brewers could squeeze more juice into West Coast IPAs more easily with new non-haze-making versions of formerly hazy strains.

By Danielle Sommer

May 29, 2024


Another way to get consistently bright outcomes from yeast strains that are capable of contributing yeast-determined haze is using a version where the haze gene has simply been removed. One such strain, only recently available to brewers, is called Daybreak V. It’s the famously juicy, hazy British V strain — just without its hazy gene. Though other ingredients and processes contribute to haze in the whole beer matrix, when this targeted change is made to a (formerly) haze-positive strain, a substantial source of haze in beer is eliminated. 

Reducing yeast-determined haze can be accomplished by optimizing dry hop timing, rate, variety and format, etc. However, making the strain inactive for haze at the gene-level instead gives brewers an option for less complicated process when consistent clarity is the clear priority. 

Omega Yeast calls their haze-reducing technology Lumina.” A keyword search on their website’s strain list returns all of the strains that have been haze-reduced in this way. If clarity is your goal, you could understand some of these strains simply as improved versions of the parent, like the brighter version of West Coast Ale I. Others, like Daybreak V, ones that have a new application now that they’re non-hazy, may better be considered new tools entirely.

In addition to Daybreak V, Omega Yeast’s research team prepared a haze-gene deleted version of the haze-positive kveik strain Voss Kveik for trials with Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery. Together, Omega Yeast and Rhinegeist discussed the results of experimentation within a presentation on haze at the 2024 Ohio Craft Brewers Association conference:

Rhinegeist Trial: Voss Kveik v. Voss Kveik hzy1Δ

Vital Statistics

  • Batch Size 7 bbl
  • Pitch Rate 1.0 million cells/°P/ml
  • Temperature 68°F

Raw Ingredients

  • Malt
    100% 2‑row Origin Pilsner
  • Strain
    Voss Kveik and Voss Kveik hzy1Δ
  • Whirlpool hops
    Amarillo (4lb), Citra (2lb), and Centennial (2lb)
  • Dry hop
    5lb each Amarillo, Citra, Centennial

Process

The wort was prepared and split. Identical processes were applied to both batches. Fermentation completed around Day 14. Both batches were cold crashed at Day 14 and transferred to keg. 

Rhinegeist’s team first set up wort that allowed hazy and non-hazy outcomes to show up dynamically. For example, they used an all-malt base and a late dry hop: the dry hop timing allowed the haze-capable strain to contribute its maximum in yeast-determined haze for the hazy version, and the malt bill left the path clear from some of the other haze-contributing factors in wort for the bright version.

They fermented half of the split batch with Voss Kveik (OYL-061) and the other with OYL-061 hzy1Δ. The resulting beers were dramatically different in terms of haze: one measured in NTUs up in the 700s while the other came out around just 30. The only difference was the presence and absence of the HZY1 gene in the yeast.

Follow along with Rhinegeist’s Nick Ketchum in the video presentation queued up below to hear more, then restart the full presentation from the beginning. It includes information from Omega Yeast’s R&D Director, Laura Burns, on all of Omega Yeast’s research on yeast and haze. Seminar attendees were given samples of each beer in order to make their own sensory observations during the session.

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