A Foggy Phenomenon – Chill Haze

Short’s fans, a few of you have recently called our attention to a foggy phenomenon in some of our favorite bottled brews. You may have noticed a haze present in Soft Parade or any of our IPA’s packaged between December 2014 and February 2015. Affected bottles of beer could be described as having a cloudy, opaque, or hazy appearance with “floaties” or “sediment” present at the bottom.  This has been caused by chill haze.  The good news? Beer affected by chill haze is fine to drink and will disappear when you decant the beer into a glass or soon thereafter.  The extra good news? We are continuing to refine our processes so that chill haze in our beers will be a distant memory.

Chill haze does not impact the quality of a beer. In fact, chill haze is now apparent in our beer because of centrifuging our beer – a process that helps us make the highest quality beer possible. Chill haze is formed when proline-rich protein and polyphenol from malt and hops form a complex using weak hydrogen bonding, specifically when the beer is kept cool and unagitated  for a long period of time.

We began centrifuging our brews in late fall 2014 to help improve the clarity of our beers, but in doing so, we actually removed the yeast particles that protein and polyphenol stuck to before settling in the bottom of our bottles. Now that we are removing the yeast, the chill haze has nothing to stick to.

In a perfect world, our centrifuge would remove all the particles found in our beer that could cause chill haze. However, we now know that we need to provide a little extra assistance to our centrifuge. In order to eliminate any remaining chill haze from our beers, we’re beginning to add a special enzyme called Brewer’s Clarex, in small quantities, to beers likely to develop Chill Haze. The addition of Brewer’s Clarex to our beers will not cause any change in our beer except Short’s beers will no longer develop chill haze.

If you have a beer with chill haze in your fridge, it is perfectly safe to drink (again, chill haze does not affect the quality or flavor of a beer).  Just pour it into a glass! As the protein and polyphenol’s hydrogen bonds warm up, they become weaker and break apart. In doing so, the haze disappears before your eyes.

If you have any further questions about Chill Haze, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].