Brewer's Ed

Two Tips for More Clarity with Haze-neutral Strains

Two ways even haze-neutral strains can be coaxed into clearer outcomes from the yeast-side of things, before fining agents come into it.

By Danielle Sommer

May 15, 2024


With a Process: Early-fermentation Dry Hopping

In Omega Yeast’s flask experiments, researchers observed that an early fermentation dry hop had a clarifying effect for any strain that could produce yeast-determined haze. Even in a double dry hop scenario that involved an early- and a late-fermentation dry hop timing, the result was just like the early dry hopped flasks: bright. 

Haze-neutral strains produce so little haze in the first place that it’s not significant enough to base a haze style strategy on (unlike haze-positive strains, which are capable of driving the styling on their own); but, still, the amount of haze potential haze-neutral strains have isn’t purely zero. If you’re experiencing a mysterious minor haze factor that you just can’t get rid of, consider this:

The Haze Spectrum

In its full complexity, yeast-driven haze ability is actually more of a spectrum than a binary. The categories haze-positive or haze-neutral are based on whether a strain could cause more or less than 200 NTUs of turbidity when dry hopped at a timing that was most conducive to their highest haze contribution (aka late in fermentation).

Haze graph

With later-fermentation dry hopping in a simple hazy recipe, British V (haze-positive) produced significant haze, while West Coast I (haze-neutral) did not contribute a significant amount at all.

What’s the significance of 200 NTUs?

When particles previously invisible to the naked eye group together, they appear to us as cloudiness or turbidity. There are a lot of ingredient interactions that can lead to haze. Haze is measured in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTUs), which measures how much light scatters as it passes through. The higher the number, the more turbid it is. Something like milk, for example, can come in at a whopping 4000 NTUs. Hazy IPAs usually compare to orange juice” in turbidity levels, ranging from about 200‑1000 NTUs. 200 NTUs is around the minimum amount of turbidity we’d like to see for a hazy style. A lager, on the other hand, typically measures much lower.

What we’re talking about here, however, is that this phenomenon works for any strain that’s contributing haze, including (perhaps counterintuitively) a haze-neutral one. Because the amount of haze a haze-neutral strain like West Coast Ale I contributes is very low (see graph above), but it isn’t zero, if you’re troubleshooting a minor persistent haze factor or if you’re investigation using fewer and/or less of clarifying or fining agents, it could be helpful to know how an even already very low haze-producing haze-neutral strain could be made to produce even clearer results from a small, early dry-hop charge.


With New Strains: "Lumina" Technology.

With the haze spectrum above in mind, the next option for clarifying yeast-haze even from haze-neutral strains is entirely new to the haze conversation. Omega Yeast calls it Lumina technology. What it does is either make existing strains even more apt for the bright styles they’re already used for — or makes new strains that are newly apt for bright styles. Lumina strains are all strains that have had their hazy gene removed. There are currently three from Omega Yeast.

Formerly haze-neutral strains without the hazy gene:

  • West Coast Ale I + This is an even brighter Chico. Chico is known for use in bright styles already, so this version just does it a little better. Removing the hazy gene eliminates even the small amount of yeast-derived haze it can produce (see the graph above).
  • Point Loma + It’s a Chico variant, so it was a surprise to everyone that it was actually behaving in a haze-positive manner. Dry hopping rate, timing, hop varieties, types of hop products, etc in, say, a West Coast IPA means there are likely plenty of brewers battling against this strain’s substantial yeast-haze potential. Maybe you’re one? That issue is cleared up when its yeast-haze ability is removed at the gene level.

A formerly haze-positive strain without the hazy gene:

  • Daybreak V This is British V, the famous juicy haze-maker, but il-Lumina-ted. Formerly very haze-positive, now its characteristic juice” can be used by brewers without the yeast-determined haze potential.

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