Process and Particles: Not all Hazy Beers are Created Equal
When you look at a beer, there can be so many variations to appearance. From color, to amount of foam, to clarity, each difference represents something unique about that particular beer. Clarity is a great indicator of differences in beers as there are several ways in which the haziness of a beer can vary. At Diamond Knot Brewing Company, we have mastered the art of the crafting beer and have learned all of the intricacies that create just the right appearance for each beer.
We often refer to “Biotransformation,” which refers to the transformation of hops and malt protein complexes in the presence of yeast into new aromatic compounds. To get really scientific, this process transforms certain terpenoids into new terpenoids. Essentially large particles drop out, while smaller particles pass through centrifuge.
Another term you may hear us use is “Colloidal Stability.” This refers to the propensity of a beer to form the non-biological hazes due to interactions between beer components. To make that clearer, it essentially means that visible precipitates will form, or better explained as fine particles in suspension. Because yeast particles have more mass, they will fall out of suspension leaving just the fine particles.
“Hop Haze” is another term which is used in describing the clarity of a beer. This result comes from a combination of the amount of hops used and when you dry hop. Grains with high protein allow an environment for the hops and protein to bind, creating a stable haze.
Where we see this process on display is with New England IPAs. By design, New England IPAs are heavily hopped for high aromatics and juicy flavors but formulated to have low bitterness. Some beers are cloudy from yeast due to lack of filtration by design unlike New England Hazy IPA which goes through the same clarifying process as clear beers.
Next time you pick up a New England Hazy IPA think about the unique process that it took to make this delicious beer!