Author Topic: Protein Haze  (Read 1141 times)

Offline typebrad

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Protein Haze
« on: November 08, 2014, 01:07:26 AM »
Who has experienced this? Were you able to pinpoint the cause? What did you do to resolve the issue? I've heard water chemistry, I've heard mash temps, I've heard oxidation at different times can cause it.

I had one batch that fall victim to this. No clue what happened, because I've never experienced it before.

Anyone?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 02:05:56 AM »
I don't know if I've experienced it, but I know a couple ways you can prevent it.

Irish moss added in the last 15 minutes of the boil will help prevent it.  Is Irish moss completely effective?  I have my doubts.  But it should help a lot, at least in theory.

If you brew all-grain, then a brief protein rest at 122 F for about 5 minutes will more certainly prevent protein haze, however this also comes at the expense of reduced body and head retention in the final beer, so limit it to 5 minutes or less to minimize this impact.  In as little as 10 minutes at 122 F, your head and body will be poor in my experience, making for a very watery and lifeless beer, so don't figure "more is better" because it's not.

Also keep in mind that there are other sources of haze, including yeast, tannin, contamination, pectin, etc.

Gelatin will knock out yeast and contamination but not protein or tannin.

If memory serves, the tannins can react with phenols to form a haze that in theory can be reduced using Polyclar which is essentially a powdered plastic.  Again, personally I have my doubts whether this does anything, as it hasn't helped in cases where nothing else worked and I was pretty sure I had this kind of haze.  But of course you're welcome to try it if the other stuff doesn't help.

I'm not really an expert on water chemistry but I'll bet it can have a huge effect on haze if there is too much or too little mineral content.  Someone else will probably chime in about this.

In fruit beers and ciders, pectin haze can be minimized through use of pectic enzyme added to the fruit before the fruit is added to the beer or cider.  If you don't treat the fruit and the pectin sets in, I don't know if it's possible to remove it -- I'm not saying that you can or cannot, I'm just saying that I personally truly do not know if it is possible or how to do it.  Again, someone else out there knows more than I do.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 02:10:01 AM »
So far every beer that I thought had a protein or chill haze with ended up being nice and clear after enough time had passed.

Offline typebrad

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 02:17:04 AM »
So far every beer that I thought had a protein or chill haze with ended up being nice and clear after enough time had passed.

You mean after enough time bottle conditioning?


Also, I thought maybe my haze was yeast related. Because it sat in the fermenter for a month, then a week cold crashing. Can sitting on top of a yeast cake for that long cause haze if you don't go secondary? I hate going secondary. Such a pain in the ass.

Admittedly, I didn't check my gravity. I just fermented for three weeks, dry hopped for one week, cold crashed for a week. Maybe contact with too much trub, hops, yeast caused it ...

Brewing two new batches this weekend. Going to be much more observant and careful with these two. Got lazy.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 02:19:24 AM by typebrad »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 02:30:54 AM »
Dry hopping can cause haze as well.  I'm not totally sure why this happens but if memory serves I think it might be from tannins.  So in this case, you might try the Polyclar, which like I said before, might not even work anyway.  If you can add your hops in the last couple minutes of the boil or at flameout instead of dry hopping, then you might be able to prevent this haze.  If I'm right.  Which I might not be.  But maybe I am.
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Offline rbclay

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 04:31:38 AM »
you say you've had one batch like this. how many batches have you made? just curious if you're a newbie or not. no offense intended.

i agree with jim. give it time. you are talking about bottles, yes?
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 04:32:26 AM »
So far every beer that I thought had a protein or chill haze with ended up being nice and clear after enough time had passed.

You mean after enough time bottle conditioning?


Also, I thought maybe my haze was yeast related. Because it sat in the fermenter for a month, then a week cold crashing. Can sitting on top of a yeast cake for that long cause haze if you don't go secondary? I hate going secondary. Such a pain in the ass.

Admittedly, I didn't check my gravity. I just fermented for three weeks, dry hopped for one week, cold crashed for a week. Maybe contact with too much trub, hops, yeast caused it ...

Brewing two new batches this weekend. Going to be much more observant and careful with these two. Got lazy.

Just saying that every time I think I have some bizzar clarity issue it ends up that time and cold cures it

Offline typebrad

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 04:56:29 AM »
you say you've had one batch like this. how many batches have you made? just curious if you're a newbie or not. no offense intended.

i agree with jim. give it time. you are talking about bottles, yes?


I've been brewing a little over a year with all extract and now 3 batches into all grain as a BIAB brewer.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2014, 11:33:08 AM »
To avoid protein haze you need to get a good hot and cold break. To get a good hot and cold break you need to do a few things:

1) pH needs to be in correct range. 5.2-5.6 will get you in the best range for proper hot break in the BK. A meter is by far the best option here but pH strips can be a viable option.

The most simple way to approach pH adjustment is this: For pale beers you may need to adjust pH down. Calcium chloride and lactic or phosphoric acid is the easiest way to do this. For dark beers you may need to adjust pH up, and for that calcium carbonate will work. Of course it is best to know your water chemistry to know what water adjustments you need to make to make depending on style, but it is not absolutely crucial to nail water for every style. It is crucial to nail your pH.

2) You have to have a good roiling boil. You don't have to boil the hell out of it, a good turning over of the surface is all you need. But it need to be more than a simmer.

3) As Dave said, Irish Moss or Whirlflock (I prefer the latter, which is prepared IM) will make a big difference in getting the protein to coagulate and drop out during the hot break. I have noticed big difference in the amount of coagulate in a hydrometer flask that WF or IM was added as opposed to flask that was not. So use it if you have it. It won't correct a major problem with pH though.

4) Cold break happens when you cool the beer down below a certain temp. I'm not sure what that is but I believe it is under 100 degrees. I believe it is best to cool it as rapidly as possible to get the best cold break. I chill every beer I brew down to at least 64 degrees before aerating and pitching. It is not necessary to remove the cold break from fermentor to get clear beer. Once the proteins have coagulated they do not dissolve back into the beer. You still have to have the pH in the proper range to get a good cold break.

If you wort will not clear before pitching yeast you will know you have a protein haze, or a starch haze from an ingredient that did not convert. If your beer is clear when warm but cloudy when cold this a chill haze and is also a problem with protein and most likely pH related. As was mentioned, you may also have a yeast haze that will clear with finings or filtering. Dry hopping will cause a haze due to tannins and hop resin and contamination can also cause a haze.

That's what I got!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 11:45:34 AM by majorvices »

Offline typebrad

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 01:15:10 PM »
Thanks to Bru'n Water, a little Gypsum and some Lactic Acid, my pH should be right on point this time.

My hot breaks and boils have been good, but in a 100° garage where I live, cold breaks were tough this summer. Looking forward to brewing in a 50° garage this weekend.

Thanks for the input everyone!

Offline typebrad

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2014, 01:16:55 PM »
Oh, one more thing. I had been brewing for 5.5 gallon batches and using one Whirfloc tablet. I'll be brewing for 7.25 gallon batches now. Should I use a tab and a half? Tab and a third? Or do you think one tablet will still do the trick?

Offline majorvices

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2014, 02:00:55 PM »
Thanks to Bru'n Water, a little Gypsum and some Lactic Acid, my pH should be right on point this time.

My hot breaks and boils have been good, but in a 100° garage where I live, cold breaks were tough this summer. Looking forward to brewing in a 50° garage this weekend.

Thanks for the input everyone!

I certainly wouldn't just trust a spread sheet for pH. You have to have a lot of faith to think your water report is exactly what it says on the analysis.Often times the analysis is averaged over days or months or even the entire year. Water may change daily depending on rain and the water company may even pull water from several different sources. I'm no water expert, by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that if you don't nail pH you won't ever have a clear beer.

With the cold break, you may only be able to lower your temp with your chiller to 100 degrees or so, but you can easily drop 5 gallons down to below 70 with an ice water bath or spare fridge in a few hours. That should be enough for cold break and proper pitching temps.

As far as WF goes, .5 tap for 5 gallons is all you need. 1 tab should be fine for 7 gallons.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 02:02:46 PM by majorvices »

Offline typebrad

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2014, 03:22:56 PM »
I use a "sump pump" or recirulating pump through an immersion chiller into a bucket of ice water now. Drops the temp in the brew kettle to pitchable temp in about a half hour.

And I know water fluctuates, but we have pretty stable water from one aquafor where I live that stays pretty consistent. Of course I will have Ward Labs re-test from time to time though.

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2014, 10:35:30 PM »
Protein haze is spoiling my beer
Please make it get out of here
Mashed at 5.2, so I don't know why
Excuse me, while I begin to cry

Oh, wrong thread...  :-[

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Protein Haze
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2014, 01:02:36 AM »
Help me... help me... oh, no, no!  ;)
Dave

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