Know your Brewcabulary: Haze

Haze /hāz/

1.  Cloudy appearance in beer; caused by suspension of yeast or proteins 

2.  Murky fog of wheaty-yeasty goodness

Haze can be a point of contention.  Just read any discussion on a New England IPA and you will see what I mean.  But there is no question that when it comes to most wheat beers, Haze is Good

In point of fact, haze is difficult to keep out of a wheat beer. (Tips for how will be coming soon!) The wheat grain is higher in protein than the barley grain (think gluten) so brewing with wheat adds more protein to your final product.  Like any unique aspect of a beer brewed for generations, this characteristic has become standard for the style.  When it comes to weissbier (literally white beer) the cloudiness is implicit in the name – it is the cloudy protein haze that gives the beer its “white” appearance.

One such weissbier, Kristallweizen, (crystal beer) is the exception which proves the rule. This beer is basically a filtered hefeweizen.  Those haze-causing proteins are filtered out, leaving behind a crystal clear appearance.  It is indeed a beautiful sight, but for me, I'm happy with these lazy hazy crazy brews of summer.  

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