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Old 05-23-2008, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Preventing Chill Haze with Mash Technique

many of my recent brews are suffering from chill haze. it's especially disappointing in my very light and very tasty belgian golden strong ale. i've read all the posts regarding chill haze and most of them only talk about fixing the problem after the fact. it also seems to be the consensus that the proteins involved in chill haze can originate in a number of different place in the brewing process; during the mash, at hot break, and at cold break. i understand the processes that need to take place during hot break and cold break to reduce protein in the wort, but i'm unclear how chill haze can be reduced during the mash. is it simply a matter of preventing grain particles from leaving the mash, i.e. setting a solid grain bed, volaufing, and only transfering super clear sweet liquor to your kettle? or, are there other steps that i'm missing?

TIA!!

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Old 05-23-2008, 03:14 AM   #2
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It's a matter of getting complete starch conversion. If you are not converting all the starch in the grain to sugars (maltotriose/maltose), then starches may remain and are the factor of chill haze.

In order to see if you are completely converting in your mash, you can do a simple iodine test.

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Old 05-23-2008, 06:46 AM   #3
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Some people use gelatin finnings in the secondary to help reduce the haze. Some people I have talked to say this totally will fix the issue.

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Old 05-23-2008, 07:10 AM   #4
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I'm going to vote for Irish Moss myself.

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Old 05-23-2008, 08:38 AM   #5
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Some of the things that help to reduce chill haze are complete conversion of starch to sugar which a longer mash time helps. Using a good fining agent such as Whirlfloc. Quick chilling the wort after the boil. Aging beer long enough and then chill quickly to serving temperatures to drop the yeast to the bottom which can mimic chill haze. Not using wheat in the recipe which will cloud beer. Note that wheat beers are usually cloudy anyway and it is expected.

You may already know all this stuff but I am just trying to help you think about your process and maybe you will think of something that might be the problem.

I don't have completely clear beer all the time and do not concern myself as long as it tastes great. Young beer is mostly the problem in a lot of cases. They have not had enough time to settle out.

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Old 03-23-2009, 10:05 AM   #6
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Default chill haze

chill haze is different than starch haze. Starch haze should be present regardless of temperature. Good mashing should prevent it by complete digestion of starch. Chill haze only forms at lower temperatures when proteins and polyphenols complex and form haze producing particles. Aim to remove most of one i.e. all protein by a protein rest in mashing and using irish moss in the boil. Followed by fast cooling to remove hot and cold trub. Condition at low temperatures to allow remaining complexes to form then precipitate. If possible condition down to ~0 C for a day or two. Permenant chill haze forms if your conditioning temperature goes up and down. Gelatin is used to remove suspended yeast.

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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Could be high protein malt. I had a 55# bag that every batch I made with this as the base, was chill hazed. The last batch of the 55# bag was clear, after trying EVERYTHING mentioned above and then some.

What fixed mine was actually lowering the protein level of the total grist. Some malts, particularly real inexpensive brands, are not as good as others and will have through the roof levels of nitrogen and protein. Everyone says it is solely a conversion issue and not getting a good grain bed to filter through, but that's not always the case. For mine, it meant instead of 90% of the grist being that malt, I subbed in some 6 row malt (and everyone will tell you 6 row tends to haze easier, but not if your 2 row base is that high in protein) and some rice. By doing this and this alone, my last batch with this malt was crystal clear!

Again, that might not be your problem with the haze, but since it is rarely discussed on this forum as a possibility, I feel the need to share. Hope it helps.

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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There's also another product available (besides the finning agents we usually discuss). I don't know if it is available to the homebrewer though.
W. R. Grace - Chill-Haze and Chill-Proofing

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:43 PM   #9
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Not getting a fast cold break will make it hazy too. I use two Whirlfloc tablets and cool it really fast in 10-15mins.

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Old 03-23-2009, 01:48 PM   #10
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I find that too many homebrewers diagnose haziness as being chill haze; there are a number of things that lead haziness including incomplete conversion, an inadequate hot/cold break, moving the beer to quickly to packaging, etc.

If you have complete conversion, I suspect your rate of chilling is the weak link in your process; if you work to chill faster, encouraging a stronger cold break, your clarity will improve (all things equal). Another thing to consider is that haze could lead to stability issues down the road, as the compounds that haven't been precipitated out of solution are to blame.

Jason

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