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General Overview of How to Produce Haze Stability in Your NEIPA

Haze Stability

Welcome to a technical exploration of NEIPA haze stability. I’m Thomas Monti, head brewer at Schoolhouse Brewing. Today, we’ll dissect the intricate details of brewing a New England IPA that not only tastes exceptional but also maintains its iconic Haze over time.

Grain Bill Formulation with a Biochemical Twist

For our NEIPAs, we carefully craft the grain bill to include 20-30% adjuncts like flaked oats and wheat, chosen for their high protein and beta-glucan content. These adjuncts contribute to the viscosity and mouthfeel, which are crucial for haze stability. We meticulously balance these with base malts to ensure enzymatic activity is optimal for breaking down complex sugars, aiding yeast health, and preventing excessive sediment. Proteins from these grains interact with hop-derived polyphenols to form stable colloidal particles contributing to Haze.

Optimizing Hop Additions for Maximum Haze

Our hopping strategy involves detailed planning: we use hops with high polyphenol contents, such as Citra, Mosaic, and Galaxy, for their haze-promoting solid properties. We employ a double dry-hopping method, introducing the first addition during peak fermentation to trigger biotransformation, where yeast metabolizes hop compounds, creating unique flavor compounds and aiding haze formation. The second edition follows post-fermentation to boost aroma without compromising haze stability. The hop dosage is meticulously calculated to enhance the sensory profile while ensuring a stable haze, typically ranging from 18 to 22 grams per gallon, depending on the hop variety and beer gravity.

Water Chemistry’s Role in Haze Stability

Water chemistry is critical. We adjust our brewing water to achieve a chloride-to-sulfate ratio of around 2:1 or 3:1, enhancing the soft mouthfeel essential for NEIPA. At Schoolhouse, we usually go for 200ppm Chloride and 100ppm Sulfates. Chloride ions strengthen the stability of Haze by promoting the aggregation of protein-polyphenol complexes, while sulfate ions are kept lower to prevent harshness in the beer’s finish. This precise ionic balance is crucial in promoting the proper chemical interactions for stable Haze.

Advanced Yeast Handling for Haze Retention

Yeast management is another crucial aspect. We prefer strains like London Ale III or Conan for their low flocculation characteristics and flavor profiles. Fermentation is closely monitored, with temperatures around 65-68°F to optimize yeast activity and flavor production. The fermentation process enhances the interaction between yeast and hops, further stabilizing the Haze through the output of yeast-derived proteins and hop compound complexes.

Packaging Techniques to Preserve Haze

Packaging is the final, critical step. We implement counter-pressure canning to minimize oxygen exposure, with dissolved oxygen levels kept below 50 parts per billion to prevent haze degradation and flavor oxidation. Cans are immediately cooled and stored at temperatures between 34-38°F to slow down any chemical reactions that could affect haze stability and beer quality.

In summary, creating a NEIPA with lasting Haze is an intricate balance of art and science, requiring detailed understanding and control over each brewing and packaging phase. At Schoolhouse Brewing, our dedication to technical excellence ensures that every NEIPA we craft not only bursts with flavor but also retains its mesmerizing Haze for the ultimate sensory experience.

Headbrewer Schoolhouse

Thomas Monti

Head Brewer

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