The Shape of Haze to Come + “Hype Beers”

We’re just a day away from the first release of The Shape of Haze to Come, and without a doubt this beer, and it’s release, has generated a lot of buzz. Since we’ve been asked more than a few times, here are some details about this beer just in case you missed our post last week.

For starters, no, this isn’t just an unfiltered version of The Shape of Hops to Come.

The grist composition of The Shape of Haze to Come is exactly the same as it’s big brother, minus the use of Honey malt in place of the Caramel 60 used in Shape. The total amount of malt is the same.

We can’t say the same for the hopping.

All of the hops from Shape are used in Haze with the notable addition of the use of Mosaic in the whirlpool and dry hop. In addition, while Shape is hopped in a very ‘traditional’ West Coast style with hop additions every 15 minutes during the boil, Haze has a completely different hopping schedule, and is modeled after a New England IPA in that the majority of the hops don’t hit the kettle until 15 minutes or less in the boil, save for a small bittering charge at first wort. The emphasis is certainly on late kettle, whirlpool, and the dry hop, with the Newport, Simcoe, and Topaz all hitting the kettle at the end of the boil with the added addition of Mosaic used in an extended whirlpool that’s 30 minutes longer than the whirlpool addition in Shape.

After that we dry hopped Haze with Citra and Mosaic at a rate roughly one pound per barrel more than Shape’s two Citra additions. The first dry hopping occurred two days into fermentation taking into consideration the theory of dry hop bio-transformation. Not familiar with the dry hopping ‘theory’ of bio-transformation? Bio-transformation takes advantage of active yeast for removing unwanted dissolved oxygen, natural mixing of the hops through out the maturing beer which helps in better extraction of desirable hop oils, and transformation of essential hop oil compounds into flavor compounds associated with citrus, stone fruit, and other fruit forward flavors and aromatics.

This was the first beer we’ve ever dry hopped during high fermentation, and to say the least, we’re sold on the concept of bio-transformation.

After dry hopping for seven days we then spun Haze through our centrifuge to remove yeast, trub (protein), and the first dry hop into a tank containing the second dry hop of Mosaic and Citra that was purged of nearly all oxygen prior to transfer. Our normal dry hopping process requires us to open the hop ports on the top of our fermenters during dry hopping, which also exposes the beer to oxygen, which is the worst thing for beer, especially hoppy beer. With this process we avoided this oxygen contact nearly as completely as possible.

From this second seven day dry hopping we then racked and packaged Haze directly from the tank without any additional separation through our centrifuge. The resulting haze is 100% hop haze, no yeast or trub, which over time age a beer considerably faster than a filtered or separated beer.

The end result we feel is a good marriage between a West Coast and New England IPA. Haze has a subtle bitterness paired with a dank, and juicy flavor and aroma that’s reminiscent of tangerine, grapefruit, mango, and pineapple. Sometimes I swear I’m drinking a glass of grapefruit and mango juice, and to say the least, we’re really excited to get this into your hands.

As for ‘Hype’ beers and lines…

There’s a good chance that there will be a line on Thursday for this beer. But, maybe there won’t. Who knows? We’ve had long lines at releases, and we’ve had no lines at releases; most certainly more of the latter. We’re stoked on the response about this beer’s release, but please keep in mind that we put a lot of time and effort into every beer we make, whether it’s an unfiltered double IPA or a true to form German Alt. If you’ve paid any attention to this brewery you know we’re fond of both, and get just excited at the release of a new lager as we do a beer like Haze. We’ve got a ‘Hype’ beer under our belt, and it’s called Churchville Lager, a two time GABF medal winning Vienna Lager. But, you don’t care about Lagers, do you? “Show me the hops, man.”

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