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Chill haze causes/troubleshooting

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daksin

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Hi all-

The last few batches I've been seeing a pretty severe chill haze in my beers- differing styles but all similar process. In the past my beers have been very clear. I always use whirlfloc as a kettle fining and often (but not always) fine my beer with gelatin in the keg before transferring to a second serving keg (so I can transport it or take it out of the keezer as needed without stirring up sediment).

The only thing that's changed lately is I've moved my whirlfloc to later in the boil, closer to 5m than 10 or 15. I can't say if that correlates with the chill haze or not, as I've been brewing a ton lately. My ingredients are pretty standard and my process is nothing unusual- a BIAB mash with a single batch sparge. My water is extremely hard, but like I said that shouldn't be part of it as I haven't had this issue in the past.

Ever had this problem? What are some causes/solutions to your chill haze problems? Thanks in advance!
 

BitterBomz

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I have always had the same problem with chill haze, except for that I bottle my brews. For me, I stick my bottles in the fridgey widgey for a few weeks and let the proteins fall out of suspension after they precipitate. I'm not too familiar with kegging, but I have used whirlfloc. Whirlfloc seems to be the modern standard among clarifiers, but IMHO it never promises a "truely clearer" final product.

My LHBS owner sells a chill-haze-reducing enzyme (keeps it in the fridge), I think he said that White Labs makes it - it's called Amino-Quik. Might wanna try this in your next batch. I haven't used it before, but it should work throughout the kegging process, too. Just ask your LHBS if he/she stocks it and if they have used it before. I trust WL, they make some pretty amazing products :D
 
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daksin

daksin

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Hmm, interesting. The amino-quick sounds like a cool product and WL is just down the road from me- I'm sure I could ask them about it. Still, seems like a bit of a bandaid for a process problem I'm having especially since I've had really nice clear beer in the past. Thanks!
 

BitterBomz

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If you have made clear beers in the past, try taking a few steps back to see where you might have gone wrong. There's so many factors with clarity; hot/cold break, enzymes, finings, clarifiers, grain types (wheat malts/adjuncts), temperatures, flocculation, trub, etc... You know how it goes.

Like I said, I don't keg but you might wanna also look into getting an inline micronic media filter. They run as fine as .5 micron and should help filter out many chill haze compounds. Hope this helps!
 

Rev2010

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Funny, I've used Whirlfloc at 15 minutes end of boil and 5 minutes end of boil several different times and I've never seen a spec of difference in my beer clarity. I've always mostly done multi-step mashes, mostly just a protein rest but sometimes also a beta rest, however lately I've done a few single infusion batches to test if there is any difference and have chill haze. Did some reading up and found a lot of articles that said a protein rest can help minimize chill haze. It rang a bell since my protein rested beers in the past typically pour near crystal clear and only fog up when yeast pours in, so I'm going back to my protein rests and see if it helps again.

I also saw Stone's blog entry about how their IPA recently is getting chill haze. They use Whirlfloc as well as filter and centrifuge and they are still getting chill haze:

http://blog.stonebrew.com/index.php/chill-haze-the-more-you-know/

Going by their post, finding the exact cause might be a bit challenging.


Rev.
 

Rev2010

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The best solution to chill haze that I have found is not to chill the beer to the point where chill haze occurs. :)
Warm beer? Bleh. :) I actually don't mind chill haze, it's just that so many people are used to crystal clear beer that for certain styles I would like a clear beer. In that link I posted above though I have to say the chill hazed beer looks a lot more appealing to me. That golden orange/yellow color is sweet looking.


Rev.
 
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daksin

daksin

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Hum, very interesting link! Funny that even the big guys have this problem from time to time- could just be a variation in the malts lately. I agree that the whirlfloc timing probably has nothing to do with it, but I couldn't come up with much else. Mine seems about as severe as the haze seen in that post, perhaps we're using malts with similar origins (variety, weather this year, etc etc). I do like clear beer and it's something I try for- especially when evangelizing craft beer and homebrew to the uninitiated.
 

Starderup

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Ever since I started kegging, haze is a thing of the past. I have always used Whirlfloc at about 15 minutes, and had been using a whole tablet until I read that half of one is all you need for 5 gallons.
Another brewer told me that it should go in at 10, and since I highly respect his brewing ability, that's when I'm going to add Whirfloc from now on.
 

BitterBomz

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Rev2010 said:
Funny, I've used Whirlfloc at 15 minutes end of boil and 5 minutes end of boil several different times and I've never seen a spec of difference in my beer clarity. I've always mostly done multi-step mashes, mostly just a protein rest but sometimes also a beta rest, however lately I've done a few single infusion batches to test if there is any difference and have chill haze. Did some reading up and found a lot of articles that said a protein rest can help minimize chill haze. It rang a bell since my protein rested beers in the past typically pour near crystal clear and only fog up when yeast pours in, so I'm going back to my protein rests and see if it helps again.

I also saw Stone's blog entry about how their IPA recently is getting chill haze. They use Whirlfloc as well as filter and centrifuge and they are still getting chill haze:

http://blog.stonebrew.com/index.php/chill-haze-the-more-you-know/

Going by their post, finding the exact cause might be a bit challenging.

Rev.
Agreed. That's why I stated that whirlfloc and other common finings seem ineffective. I know It's a compound of Irish moss and something else, not sure what, but Irish moss doesn't seem to help either. From my POV, if it tastes good, that's all that matters. Presentation of a beer with a modified "clear" appearance isn't very important unless you are kegging for a party of homebrewers who will judge the appearance of your brew.
 
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daksin

daksin

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I wouldn't say whirlfloc is ineffective- it's a widely used tool with clear benefits. That said, even stone has problems with chill haze that aren't alleviated by kettle finings. In my opinion it's much more important to have clear beer when serving to non-craft or non-homebrew drinkers as they're used to crystal clear beer no matter what. Brewers and crafties know that beer doesn't have to be perfectly clear and all the reasons it might not be.
 

BitterBomz

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daksin said:
I wouldn't say whirlfloc is ineffective- it's a widely used tool with clear benefits. That said, even stone has problems with chill haze that aren't alleviated by kettle finings. In my opinion it's much more important to have clear beer when serving to non-craft or non-homebrew drinkers as they're used to crystal clear beer no matter what. Brewers and crafties know that beer doesn't have to be perfectly clear and all the reasons it might not be.
Good point, but its just a matter of preference. Go to your LHBS and ask about what I told you, and also ask about Clarity Ferm which is also a WLP. Hope this helps, and good luck!
 

Rev2010

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I wouldn't say whirlfloc is ineffective- it's a widely used tool with clear benefits.
Just to clarify, by my post I wasn't suggesting Whirlfloc is outright useless, I was merely saying in every beer I've personally used it in I haven't seen a spec of difference. I'd actually created a thread relatively recently about how I haven't seen any benefit of Whirlfloc and asking why that might be, possibly something I might be doing:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/no-success-whirlfloc-369356/#post4611995

but unfortunately with this site it seems most of my posts in the "General" forum get only a scant amount of replies before they are buried into obscurity. So I never really got any help to understand what the reasons could be for my ineffectiveness with it.


Rev.
 

Jukas

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Ever since I started kegging, haze is a thing of the past. I have always used Whirlfloc at about 15 minutes, and had been using a whole tablet until I read that half of one is all you need for 5 gallons.
Another brewer told me that it should go in at 10, and since I highly respect his brewing ability, that's when I'm going to add Whirfloc from now on.
Really? My whirlfloc tabs I got from the LHBS say 'Single tab in kettle treats 3 gal'. I've been using 2-3 tabs per batch.
 
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