Hazy Pilsner

I have never seen a style explode more in such a short amount of time like the New England IPA, now being deemed just “hazy IPA” more often than not. Anyone who has found this blog or has watched my YouTube channel has likely tried one of these orange juice bombs by now. While I really don’t mind them, they are started to get pretty samey. Where as a “regular” IPA can have citrus, fruit, pine, herbal, spicey, dank, and then some, the NE-style IPA is pretty much just orange juice with hardly any variation.

I did however attempt to make one once and it got oxidized quick, which can happen with these. Oxygen gets a hold of the polyphenols and lingering hops, and goes balls deep on them in the worst way possible. The one attempt I tried to make even started to turn brown within days, which I imagine is the same sort of thing that happens to avocados if left to let oxygen do their work.

There are ways to make a beer hazy, one is of course loading it a lot with hops during and after fermentation. Oxidized polyphenols react with proteins and bind with them causing haze. Another way is to add a low flocculating yeast along with adding some flaked oats, wheat, or rye (up to 10%). While the flaked stuff may not fully make something cloudy, it will enhance the body if anything. Wheat on the other hand is high in protein. When used 25% and higher, if you do not do a protein rest (120F range) to break the proteins up, they will transfer to the finished beer and cause haze.

I took those known hazy causing ingredients/practices and decided to apply same to a pilsner. It’s supposed to be crisp and clear as fuck, and I felt like destroying something beautiful. My first addition to make this hazy was to add some wheat malt. I did not want that sort of spicy thing that can happen with wheat, so I kept it at 15%. The WLP Kolsch strain was chosen because the description literally says “This powdery strain results in yeast that remain in suspension post fermentation. It requires filtration or additional settling time to produce bright beers.” Perfect. I will of course not be lagering or filtering this as well.

The only thing I won’t be doing to help the haze is add a lot of dry hops to this. I want everything else about it to be as close to a pilsner as possible (of course aside from the haze). Wheat may throw some of the “classic” pilsner flavors off though. It’s possible I may not have even needed to add the wheat based off the Kolsch yeast description. More experiments are needed.

The perimeters were set in place. The stage was set. Time to break some style rules!

Video of the brew day:


Batch Size: 1 Gallon
OG: 1.049
SRM: 3.7
Est ABV: 4.5%-ish
IBUs: 40
Boil Time: 90 Min

1.4 lbs (68%) – Pilsner Malt
5.0 oz (17%) – German Wheat
3.0 oz (10%) – Flaked Barley
1.5 oz (5%) – Acid Malt (because of my water)

153F for 70 Minutes

.40 oz (30 IBUs) Saaz (3.4% AA) @ 45 Min
.35 oz (10 IBUs) Saaz (3.4% AA) @ 20 Min Steep

Wyeast 2565 Kolsch

Here’s what went down:

Brewed 7/23/17

7/24/17: Activity is going strong. I like seeing that the next day.

8/19/17: Bottled.

8/26/17 Tasting notes:

2 Comment

  1. Fal Allen says: Reply

    no one should ever make a hazy Pilsner, its like making a dark light beer. And you used a Kolsch yeast – assume you fermented warm – and had no lagering time. SO, not really a Pilsner in any appreciable way …. and it was hazy.

  2. Kevin Pratt says: Reply

    Pils malt, wheat & Kolsch yeast? You just made a Widmer clone. Congrats!

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