Author Topic: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?  (Read 1710 times)

Offline fistfullofhops

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Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« on: January 18, 2014, 08:42:41 PM »
I can appreciate a nice clear beer's appearance but I have to admit clarity is something I'm not really concerned with so far. To me, a bit of fog sometimes goes hand in hand with a particular beer. Heady Topper is ranked very highly and it's cloudy as hell, so it's got me thinking. I'm more concerned with fermentation/mash temps and how the final product tastes. For a crisp lager I can understand the strive for clarity through lengthy cold crashes etc, but I'm talking ales.

Any of you more experienced brewers agree with me? Or is clarity just a more advanced crossroad that I haven't come to yet?
steve

Offline speed

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2014, 08:52:12 PM »
When I serve my beer to guests I want to make sure it's clear. I guess it just makes me feel more professional :)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2014, 09:11:47 PM »
I try to get my beers reasonably clear.  Obviously a pale ale or IPA could be crystal clear before dry hopping and a bit cloudy afterward (ie., Heady Topper). Usually if I've used good solid brewing methods I'll end up with a fairly clear, if not bright, beer.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2014, 10:48:44 PM »
Try a glass that has a narrow part, like a Pilsner glass. Beer will seem clearer at that spot and clear beer folks won't be quite so freaked out.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2014, 11:51:00 PM »
A little chill haze isn't something I worry about. Brilliant clarity sure is pretty though, and not that hard to do.

Having a two-ounce slug of yeast in the bottom of the can, on the other hand... ::)
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2014, 04:27:02 AM »
Dry Hopped beers are cloudy by nature when they are fresh.  I want my lagers near brilliant.  My ales less so. Dry hopped beers (mostly ales) have usually started to lose a step once they clear bright.  I have a dark lager to dry hop shortly (CP's Claude of Neptune 2), so I won't worry about clarity on that one.  If necessary serve dry hopped beers in an opaque or ceramic mug!
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2014, 06:24:05 AM »
It depends on the beer. I like my German style beers to be very clear. But I actually am suspect of an uber clear IPA or IIPA. And IPA with a little tannin haze is usually going to be pretty damn tasty. And ultra clear IPA a bit less so.
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Offline euge

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2014, 06:47:14 AM »
The expectation is to be brilliant, bright clear no haze perfect carbonation. That is if you were raised on pale lagers like Coors and the like; and I believe the bulk of us have been. But as a homebrewer I could care less if my ales aren't clear and even my lagers. Well, I want my lagers to be bright but they're ready when they taste good- just like my ales.
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Offline thirsty

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2014, 07:17:55 AM »
As long as it tastes good, that's all that matters.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2014, 07:28:20 AM »
But I actually am suspect of an uber clear IPA or IIPA. And IPA with a little tannin haze is usually going to be pretty damn tasty. And ultra clear IPA a bit less so.


+1.  When I go to a brewpub or beer bar and I see the IPA being poured is clear, I pick a different beer.  Dry hop haze is a very good thing.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2014, 07:31:22 AM »
I find myself caring about clarity more now as time goes on.  I still generally do not use clarifiers in my homebrew, and unless it is entrained yeast, the haze has no flavor and flavor is what really counts to me.  But when I am presented with a crystal clear beer, there is just something very special about the sparkle and beauty of being able to see the bubbles rising through it.  Crystal clear beer is a beautiful thing and it deserves to be celebrated.  So I am beginning to think that yes, clarity is important, even if only for aesthetic reasons and not flavor.  There is indeed more to beer than just taste.  Is clarity overrated?  Maybe, probably.  But on both primal and sophisticated levels, looks are still important.
Dave

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 07:59:37 AM »
I agree with Dave. Clarity is important. Some non homebrewer, craft beer drinker friends told me they loved my beer but I had clarity issues. I agreed and resolved to fix it. And I did. I can point to several variables that made the difference but I'd say using gelatin made the biggest difference. I'm even kicking around trying filtering. It's just a matter of paying attention to details and striving to make the best product I possibly can. With that said, I don't mind a little haze in an AIPA because I like my IPAs super fresh and giving an IPA the time it needs to become brilliant would result in a less than fresh IPA, IMO.

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2014, 10:15:43 AM »
Clarity is not a huge concern for me. I like the flavor of unfiltered beer, particularly in ales.

Occasionally I use irish moss and even more rarely gelatin (and only on lagers). Most of my brewing involves beers that should have some hazy appearance (e.g. saisons or very dark beers) or age long enough that they drop clear so there's generally no need for me to worry about fining beer.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 10:19:04 AM »
I find myself caring about clarity more now as time goes on.  I still generally do not use clarifiers in my homebrew, and unless it is entrained yeast, the haze has no flavor and flavor is what really counts to me.  But when I am presented with a crystal clear beer, there is just something very special about the sparkle and beauty of being able to see the bubbles rising through it.  Crystal clear beer is a beautiful thing and it deserves to be celebrated.  So I am beginning to think that yes, clarity is important, even if only for aesthetic reasons and not flavor.  There is indeed more to beer than just taste.  Is clarity overrated?  Maybe, probably.  But on both primal and sophisticated levels, looks are still important.
Well said, Dave! That nails it for me too.
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Offline a witty man

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Re: Any of you feel that clarity is overrated (ales)?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2014, 06:41:01 PM »
For me this is a really style-dependent question. A pils better be clear...but a saison or dry hopped IPA - clarity isn't paramount.
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