Originally Posted by grathan
To the people who say that cloudy makes no difference, If your drinking suspended yeast and say it has no flavor... try pouring the gook in the bottom of the bottle into a separate glass and drink that and then say it has no flavor.
Had Two-hearted Ale the other day. the first one was crystal clear because it was stored at the temperature of the store's cooler. The second one out of my home fridge was massively cloudy and tasted much different, it was much colder. This flavor difference wasn't even due to suspended yeast, it was something else entirely. Possibly just the suppression of certain flavors from the cold temperature, but still much different.
I absolutely agree with this. I remember brewing my wee heavy with Scottish yeast. For some idiotic reason I decided to cold crash a virtually black beer. 3 days later I opened my fridge to a layer of yeast thicker than I have ever seen. Bottled anyway and cracked the first one two months later...no carb. Three months, nothing, still nothing at 4. It wasn't until 5 months that I got anything and six months that I got a carb I would call low for the style. Even with a week in the fridge and a careful pour, the yeast profile was amazing!
On the other hand, I think we need to be cautious with saying that haze is attributed to yeast. It can be, but there are 4 causes. The first is our brewing process. Rushing our beer before the yeast settle naturally or with assistance is a classic example. One that I think we are doing a good job of explaining here.
Certain malts create haze. The classic example is wheat but even chill haze is a common issue.
Hops are another major source. My example for earlier and my muddy beer falls in this category. My beer was crystal clear before I dry hopped. I just happened to add an absurd amount that created a ridiculous haze. Yet the whole purpose of the brew was a super aggressive hopped IIPA. I gave it the proper time to ferment and clear then dry hopped. Could I have transfer and cold crashed? Used finings? Of course. But this runs counter-intuitive to my brew's purpose. Almost all hops were late hop additions and half were in the whirlpool. Waiting a few more weeks to clear or using agent can clear but might be detrimental to the hop profile and run against the purpose of the beer. In this instance, I knew the beer was not going into a competition so I bottled knowing I would have a nose explosion when I opened the bottle. Fresh, young hops against a boozy super light malt profile.
Finally, there is of course the yeast. Many yeast strains add a tremendous layer of flavor to a beer. Yet some are rather clean, and even how we use them can create a virtually undetectable flavor profile. Nottingham at 57 and then ramped to 59 after krausen is a great example. Super clean, virtually no addition to flavor, and at the expense of maybe 1 point in terms of FG. Any professional brewer can produce a clean beer given the right yeast, most have it contribute something but as a background layer to add complexity or enhance the purpose of the beer
EDIT- I forgot to add another source of haze. This would be the additions of fruit and other "miscellaneous" additions to beer. Things like fruit create a haze that can only be removed by adding enzymes to the beer. The most common would be pectin haze from the cell walls of fruit. This can be cured with the addition of pectic enzyme. Google it or search the site to see how.