R&D

Data Snapshot: Evidence of Independent Hop Haze

Hop compounds are involved in yeast-determined haze and malt-derived haze. They ALSO appear to contribute an independent haze.

By Danielle Sommer

May 15, 2024

Omega Yeast’s researchers used a late-fermentation dry hop in 15 fermentations where the variable was hop choice — first with a haze-positive strain, then with a haze-neutral strain. They measured haze output for both. The complexity of the results across hop varieties suggests that dry hopping leads to multiple forms of haze.

Here you can see that haze varied differently by hop choice in both haze-positive and haze-neutral strain fermentations. That’s a good illustration that there’s an element of hop-contributed haze that is working independently of the kind of haze that shows up from yeast-determined factors.

See how haze formation is consistently higher overall in fermentations using the haze-positive yeast strain (light pink bars). That’s just a visual confirmation of part of the defining characteristic of haze-positive yeast: haze-positive strains are strains capable of producing significant yeast-determined haze. However, since all of the haze-positive fermentations are with the same haze-positive strain under the same conditions, the variation in haze output can be inferred to be due to the influence of the hop choice. 

The same goes for the haze-neutral fermentations: haze output from the haze-neutral strain (dark pink bars) is lower overall compared to the haze-positive strain. This is a defining characteristic of a haze-neutral strain, whose yeast-haze contribution is minimal (even if not zero). Each of the haze-neutral fermentations were also brewed to identical specs, so the variation in haze output by the haze-neutral strain has to do with the hop choice.

This was an interesting set of data for Omega Yeast’s researchers. For ferreting out what is going on here, as it implies an additional, independent hop-determined haze, hop researchers would be better equipped, because of both their extensive knowledge of hops and their access to hop products.

However, from just this basic glimpse, you can see some things that confirm what brewers have intuited. For example, for a hazy style, Galaxy and British V are a great pair. For a bright style, like a West Coast IPA, Simcoe and West Coast Ale I are good at keeping haze minimal.

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