Ever since I brewed my first New England IPA (or Hazy Beer), I've been on a quest to achieve the perfect haze that not only looks good, but sticks around too. Far too often, I've brewed a hazy beer that drops clear after a few months in the keg. I've also previously blogged about the different techniques that professional brewers use to lock in haze stability in their beers.
I recently came across a product from Totally Natural Solutions called HopGain® Haze which is hop extract that you dose into a finished beer to add long lasting haze. According to the website, the product:
- Imparts no flavour, aroma or bitterness.
- Produces stable, natural hop haze
- Can be added to bright beer
- Provides a tuneable haze for a range of beer styles
In this article, I'll take you through an American Wheat Ale that I brewed and then dosed with HopGain® Haze. This recipe is loosely based on the Modern Times Fortunate Islands beer (and the homebrew recipe from the Mad Fermentationist).
The Recipe (BIAB)
Let's get brewing! The recipe below is for the all-grain Brew in a Bag method, but it can be scaled to suit your needs depending on your setup.
Batch Size: 5 gal
Boil Time: 60 mins
|Extra Pale Malt (Crisp)
|Wheat Malt (Crisp)
|Boil (60 min)
|Boil (30 min)
|Hopstand (0 min)
Let's get brewing
The night before I was due to brew, I measured out my water and filtered it to remove any chlorine, chloramine and other impurities. I also dosed the water with a sprinkle of Sodium Metabisulphate as an extra precaution. If you'd like to learn more about how I prepare my water for brewing, I recommend reading this article below that I've previously written.
As always, my chores before a brew day also involve cleaning and sanitising as much as I'm going to need.
The following afternoon I fired up the Grainfather and aimed for a strike temperature of 67 C and added the grains. Once the mash was complete, I added the bittering charge of Magnum hops and started the boil. With 30 minutes to go in the boil, I added the Citra hops. After the 60 minutes of boil time was complete, I added the Rakau hops to the whirlpool at around 80-90 degrees for around 20 mins before cooling the wort with my chiller.
Once the wort was at pitching temperature, I pitched the yeast starter. Before racking to my fermenter, I took a reading of the original gravity (OG) which came in at just over 1.048.
The waiting game
With the airlock bubbling away, I patiently waited for my brew to be ready. On day 12, I dry hopped with Citra and Amarillo hops.
Once fermentation was complete, I cold crashed the beer overnight and then transferred to a keg and dosed with the whole 20 ml glass vial from Totally Natural Solutions. I then pressurized the keg and waited another few days before tasting.
Appearance - A pale wheat beer with a definite haze. There is also a mousse-like, fluffy head that lingers long after being poured.
Aroma - A lovely tropical aroma that is slightly subdued - it smells like a fruit salad.
Taste - A decent amount of bitterness followed by a slight sweetness. Very happy with the flavour and I get notes of mango, passionfruit and a bit of candied lemon. I am really enjoying using Rakau hops in my beers lately. This beer is very quaffable!
I tested the beer over a period of a few months and I am very happy with the results. The haze stuck around (and is still sticking around at the time of writing this) and the beer tasted great too!
One of the great things about HopGain® Haze is that you can use it to "tune" the haziness of your beer. For example, if you are brewing a Witbier and need some light haziness that sticks around, add a bit less of the liquid. If you need more haze, simply add more. HopGain® Haze will improve beer consistency, reduce microbial risk and reduce beer loss through absorption.
Would I recommend HopGain® Haze from Totally Natural Solutions? Absolutely!