Brewer's Ed

Troubleshooting Haze by Strain Selection

Check these things off your list when you encounter a haze issue

By Shana Solarte

Jun 3, 2024

When brewers get in touch about trouble with haze, Omega Yeast’s experts start by asking the brewer what yeast they’re using. Whether you’re looking to make more haze or clear it up, here are a few scenarios that are common topics experienced by brewers:

Brewing clear beer while unknowingly using a haze-positive strain

Some brewers have been using strains that they didn’t necessarily realize were haze-positive. One example of this is Point Loma (OYL-043): considered by some to be a better version” of West Coast Ale I aka Chico, but it also comes along with some haze-generating capabilities that makes it a useful tool for brewing hazy beers, and might work against the brewer in a clear beer, depending on certain factors.

Difficulty generating haze while using a haze-neutral strain

Extra Special (OYL-016) and West Coast Ale I are popular strain options for their reliability, and many brewers have tried and struggled to make hazy beers with them. As one brewer once told Omega Yeast’s crew, no matter what we do they always seem to drop clear.” We generally suggest reserving these strains for your non-hazy beers. While it isn’t impossible to achieve stable haze with these strains, it will be hard work to make it stick.

Sometimes it’s hazy, sometimes it isn’t

Another case is the DIPA strain (OYL-052), commonly known as Conan. DIPA was one of those interesting scenarios in which brewers were finding that their beers sometimes dropped clear and other times remained hazy. This is a scenario in which dry hop timing can aid your process. Omega Yeast’s research has found that later dry hopping tends to produce stronger haze.

Other questions:

  • What clarifying agents can we use and still make hazy beer? People often use Whirlfloc and it still makes a hazy beer, but Clarex and Biofine would reduce haze considerably.
  • Does yeast contact help retain haze? As of right now, Omega Yeast’s research team is running experiments to see how the presence of yeast in the cone affects haze stability (if at all). Early results are leaning towards no.
  • What’s next for haze? Next on the horizon, haze reduction. A reliable, haze-neutral strain like Chico can have its haze reduced, making it even easier to make West Coast IPAs super bright. Reducing haze on an already haze-neutral strain can help reduce the need for clarifying agents and may even allow some additional dry hopping without the concern for new haze formation.

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