New Belgium Juicy Haze is an IPA/Hefeweizen? (Mini Rant/Discussion)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by DEdesings57, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (410) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Just found out this beer is using American Hefeweizen as the yeast strain, which is in my opinion is not only strange for an IPA but almost seems like cheating for the style they are aiming to hit.(NE style)

    So what, because the American Hefeweizen yeast strain does not flocculate well, producing a cloudy beer, then it's automatically a candidate for a New England Style IPA? That doesn't make sense to me?

    The American Hefeweizen yeast should be used for producing Hefeweizens!(mostly)

    Almost seems as if New Belgium sat down and said, "hey hefes are cloudy, lets hop up a hefe style beer and that will be our take on a Juicy hazy New England one".

    No wonder I was getting banana and clove notes.

    I understand that the beer is also brewed with some wheat and oats, which also produce a "haze" but I would image that in this case the majority of it is due to the yeast strain.

    Your thoughts on New Belgium capitalizing on the cloudy nature of Hefeweizen yeast for their juicy IPAs?
  2. Dan_K

    Dan_K Devotee (464) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado

    Why are you all up in arms? I think to some degree, yeast strains are overrated. The mash temperature and schedule, fermentation temperature, and water chemistry also have a big impact on the final product, but are not often talked about. Heck, you can minimize or eliminate banana/clove notes using lower fermentation temperature alone.

    Oh the things to get upset about this barely moves the needle.
  3. ichorNet

    ichorNet Champion (844) Mar 16, 2010 Massachusetts

    This just makes me wanna grab this beer more, to be honest. I've had some awesome hoppy hefes before, and I figured this was just New Belgium riding the NEIPA trend. I think it's cool of them to try something different with it.
    utopiajane, ESHBG, artemicion and 3 others like this.
  4. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (2,338) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Premium Trader

    While I agree with your initial point - using a hefe yeast strain in an IPA is strange - I don't understand why you are upset? They tried something new - so what? And cheating? I don't get that - how is it cheating? If anything, using a hefe strain is riskier since its going to impart some flavors that many people (myself included) may not like in an IPA.
  5. MikeP64

    MikeP64 Initiate (151) Jan 24, 2015 South Carolina

    Had my first one last was good but not very...IPAey...IPAish? anyway loved the mouthfeel-not bitter at all-almost artificially juicy...
    DEdesings57 likes this.
  6. BayAreaJoe

    BayAreaJoe Devotee (447) Nov 23, 2017 California

    I honestly would probably have never tried one even though it's everywhere in every store around here, but I have to now after reading your description and concerns.
  7. jageraholic

    jageraholic Disciple (313) Sep 16, 2009 Massachusetts

    I've read a few posts about NEIPA yeasts being a blend of multiple yeasts, one being hefeweizen so this doesn't surprise me or anger me.
  8. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (809) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    IPA is used as a marketing term these days.
  9. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,385) Mar 12, 2009 New York

    Indeed. I don't have a link but there was a fairly well-known-at-the-time experiment where bread yeast was used to make beer and given a critical tasting by experienced folks. The beer came out well IIRC.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  10. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,632) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina

    I did't think it lived up to it's name
    MikeP64 likes this.
  11. djtothemoney

    djtothemoney Initiate (137) Nov 30, 2015 Ohio

    Honestly, the most critical component of NE IPAs is the Yeast. The yeast type is more flocculent which is a component of the haziness, the other is the timing of the dry hop. I'm not surprised they are using a hefeweizen yeast, in fact, the other day I was thinking of doing the same myself on a homebrew scale.
  12. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (1,845) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    Oh, where to start?

    1. American Hefeweizen yeast is not nearly as expressive as its German counterparts. It tends to ferment much cleaner, with less noticeable esters and phenols. Yes, it does not flocculate well and tends to produce a hazier beer.

    2. As others have mentioned, fermentation temps, etc can play a big role in either suppressing or playing up yeast character.

    3. Since NEIPA is not a recognized style, there's really no right or wrong way to make one, at least in terms of yeast used, to stay relevant to this conversation.

    4. It actually isn't unusual for brewers to experiment with yeast strains that seem somewhat odd on the surface in these NEIPAs. I've heard of English, Belgian, and many others used. Some accentuate hops well, some contribute 'juicy' esters of their own.

    5. Not to geek out too hard, but consensus seems to be that permanent haze in NEIPAs results from the interaction of proteins (from grains) and polyphenols (from hops). It actually has less to do with the yeast, though it can certainly be a contributing factor.

    In short, there's really no need for righteous indignation or a knock against NB. Everyone is capitalizing on hazy IPAs right now. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  13. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (410) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Wow I did not know that, I just learned something new.
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As a homebrewer the American Hefeweizen yeast strain that I am familiar with is White Labs WLP320. A description of this yeast:

    “Used to produce the Oregon style American Hefeweizen, like Widmer. Unlike WLP300, this yeast produces a very slight amount of the banana and clove notes. It produces some sulfur, but is otherwise a clean fermenting yeast which does not flocculate well, producing a cloudy beer.”

    According to the Mr. Malty website the source of WLP320 is the Widmer Brewery yeast which they obtained from Zum Uerige:

    “Zum Uerige (through Widmer)”

    The Zum Uerige yeast is an Altbier yeast strain (not a Hefeweizen yeast strain).

    I am uncertain whether this level of information is important to your line of questioning in this thread but I figured I would provide it to you just in case.

  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Do you have some source documentation here? Something beyond some person posted x?

    I am by no means an expert here but from my readings the 'popular' yeasts to brew the so called 'NE' style IPA are typically certain English Ale yeast strains. In particular WY1318 (which is allegedly from Boddingtons) and WY1098/WLP007/S-04 (Whitbread). I have read where folks opine that the Alchemist yeast strain (referred to as the Conan yeast strain by homebrewers) can result in a so called 'NE' style IPA but that is inconsistent with my experiences.

  16. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (410) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    Thanks for the informative write up @ryan1788a5

    Im not hating on NB, in fact my conclusion for the beer on NBS was:
    "They nailed the appearance and mouthfeel but failed on the hop complexity. Solid beer overall."

    But hey now I know that Hefe yeast strains are being used for NEIPAs, and it's not as uncommon as I thought.

    But this beers particular muted hop character had me a little concern as I said in my review as well.

    Drinks like a fine Hefe though :wink:
    #16 DEdesings57, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
    ryan1788a5 likes this.
  17. DEdesings57

    DEdesings57 Devotee (410) Aug 26, 2012 New Jersey

    I have herd of those yeast as well, but for me personally, a beer using American Hefe was a first.
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I recently posted the Beersmith podcast with Michael Tonsmiere on the topic of the so called 'NE style IPA. I will post it again below.

    I would encourage folks to watch the entire video but for those interested in the yeast discussion this starts around the 24:30 mark.


    artemicion, cavedave and DEdesings57 like this.
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    @JackHorzempa the WLP-320 write up is the first time I have hears of any clove from the Widmer strain via Zum Uerige. The Uerige strain is one of the cleanest Ale strains out there, but of course one can get banana from most yeast if the temp is too high.

    Widmer is a commercial example of an Am. Wheat. The BJCP says “Esters can be moderate to none, but should not include banana. No clove phenols.” So I find the White Labs write up a little confusing.

    Maybe I will have a Widmer Hefe in Portland at Homebrewcon just to see what I taste.
  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    This is the first time I have heard/read this as well.

    I am in agreement with Ryan as regards: “Since NEIPA is not a recognized style, there's really no right or wrong way to make one, at least in terms of yeast used, to stay relevant to this conversation.”

    Also, based upon my readings I am of the opinion that the permahaze is an aggregation of proteins & polyphenols. I am not of the opinion that a contributor of the permahaze is yeast in suspension. I have yet to read any science (e.g., an article in a peer reviewed journal) on this topic so it seems to me that there is nothing definitive here.

    The ‘mystery’ that still exists is why do certain yeast strains foster this permahaze? Is it a result to yeast biotransformation of hop compounds?

    I had the pleasure of conducting a blind tasting of a split batch of beer that a fellow homebrewer sent me. It was the exact same wort whereby he fermented half with WY1318 (London Ale III yeast) and WY1056 (American (Chico) Ale yeast. These two beers looked and tasted differently. The beer produced by WY1318 had a permahaze while the beer produced by WY1056 was significantly clearer. There was also a notable difference in mouthfeel between these two beers with the WY1318 beer having a softer/fuller mouthfeel as opposed to the WY1056 beer which was cleaner/crisper in comparison. The WY1318 beer was akin to a so called ‘NE’ style IPA while the WY1056 was more like a West Coast IPA in my opinion.

  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Jeff, this is the first time I have read about this yeast strain so in that context it is a "first time" for me as well.
    Sounds like a plan. I will be in Portland in June as well. Maybe we can drink this beer together. You seem to have a discerning palate for the clove flavor (4-vinyl guaiacol) so if this exists in this beer I am confident that you will perceive it.

  22. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I never have at Zum Uerige.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    But that is because of the differing grain bills and mashing regime of the two beers, right?

    In order for perceptible 4-vinyl guaiacol (4VG) to be produced there also needs to be sufficient amount of ferulic acid present and the Widmer brewers make this condition present from the wheat malt and an appropriate mashing regime?

    I suspect that the description provided by White Labs has the inherent assumption that WLP320 would be used to ferment a Wheat beer and consequently there would be wheat malt in the grain bill (and sufficient ferulic acid present in the wort).


    P.S. It seems that what is key here is conducting a Ferulic Acid Rest as part of the mashing regime. I have only read about this happening when brewing Wheat beers.
    #23 JackHorzempa, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  24. zid

    zid Champion (859) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    If one expects to find banana and clove, they'll find it to some extent no matter the beer or yeast. In addition, it's probably hard right now convincing a drinker the an IPA tastes like a NEIPA if it doesn't look the part. This is in no way a criticism of @DEdesings57 . This is how everyone is wired.

    You gotta wonder how many drinkers would state that a Hefeweizen tasted of bananas and clove and a NEIPA tasted like mango, passion fruit, and orange if nobody ever used those terms with those beers before. This isn't to say that people aren't actually picking up on flavors that are actually there, but one should never underestimate the strength of preconceived ideas.

    While I agree with the people that feel like this is less of an issue than how it's being presented, I also think it's perfectly fine for @DEdesigns57 to call brewers out on this if he feels that this somehow isn't the "proper" way to do things. (Although this thread might change his mind certainly.) As drinkers, we make judgements like this all the time. Sometimes those judgements are narrow-minded and sometimes they are asking for some sense of reverence (if not both).

    The idea that the NEIPA isn't "officially" recognized is almost meaningless. There's no such thing as "right" and "wrong" just because some beer style list adds it to the ranks. It's recognized by brewers and drinkers, and sometimes that contract between the two feels like it was broken... just like for other styles. This "style" is in its infancy however, and that does actually matter in this discussion.

    BTW, this definitely isn't the first time I've heard of brewers using "Hefeweizen yeast" for a cloudy IPA. This approach doesn't belong to New Belgium.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Chris, can you provide specific examples of other breweries/brands which use Hefeweizen yeast to brew so called 'NE' style IPAs? Are they genuine Hefeweizen yeast strains (e.g., WY3068 - the Weihenstephan Hefeweizen yeast strain) or do they use the Widmer Wheat beer strain?

  26. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,165) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Good beer. Don't really care about yeast specifics.
    Averwo likes this.
  27. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,406) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    That seems to confirm my initial thoughts that despite the name, Widmer Hefeweizen is actually an American Wheat Ale with a pretty neutral yeast profile. Whether it's appropriate or not, that's gotta be in the end product.

    I used to use a German strain in all my hoppy beers because it gave me the results I wanted. I see no reason to question this one until I've tried it.
  28. ilikebeer03

    ilikebeer03 Crusader (788) Oct 17, 2012 Texas

    Bought a single. Good beer! Great price. would buy a 6er if i can find fresh.
    Didn't get banana/clove. I knew there was hefe yeast going in, and looked for them. didn't find any.
    Not going to punch you in the face with hop aroma or taste the way a $16/4 pack NEIPA will. But that's expected going in paying 8-9 / 6 pack. That said, very nice hoppy tropical fruit aroma and taste. Lower carbonation, doesn't have that harsh IPA bitterness/mouthfeel.
    Certainly looks the part.
    Definitely not 'cheating.' If you want to talk about 'cheating' I think that is breweries adding flour to the mash to get the haze. The haze in this beer is derived from the beers ingredients (yeast, grain specifically).
    Lahey likes this.
  29. zid

    zid Champion (859) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Sorry, I wish I could say. I don't remember where I've seen this at all, but I seem to recall seeing this discussed in association with larger breweries as opposed to local IPA specialists. Which is interesting when one considers the specifics of the beer in this thread and how some larger breweries used to say that they couldn't reproduce NEIPAs due to shelf stability issues. Coincidence? How's my tin foil hat look? Honesty, I should shut up because I have no real info and no understanding of this whatsoever! There's a decent chance I'm just being stupid... or that any discussion I've seen on the topic was filled with misleading information.

    This is not really a good answer for you, but just to give you something else - Bell's describes their Titania as a dry hopped American wheat ale IPA. I haven't had that beer, but I've seen it being compared to NEIPAs. Perhaps it's a good example of the blurring between boundaries, and/or perhaps it's a good example of people over-zealously comparing things to NEIPAs.

    Hoos78 likes this.
  30. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (1,845) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    If you've never been, you should really visit White Labs directly if you are ever in San Diego. They have a bar there where they do these exact sorts of tastings. They will ferment the same wort in different batches with different yeasts and put them all on tap so you can taste them side by side. Really interesting stuff, and open to the public.
    TongoRad and zid like this.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, I really should have done that when I attended the 2015 HomebrewCon in San Diego. I just didn't make it over then.:flushed:


    P.S. FWIW I will be visiting Imperial Yeast when I attend this year's HomebrewCon in Portland. I have already discussed this visit with Owen and Jess of Imperial Yeast.
    ryan1788a5 likes this.
  32. zid

    zid Champion (859) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    Yeah - I've always wished I could go there for that.
    Harrison8, ManBearPat and ryan1788a5 like this.
  33. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    The yeast also has to be POF+.
  34. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    I heard recently that the White Labs in Asheville has a similar tasting room.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    But without an adequate level of ferulic acid there would be no perceptible 4VG despite the fact the yeast has the POF gene, right?

  36. ryan1788a5

    ryan1788a5 Poo-Bah (1,845) Nov 27, 2009 Massachusetts

    Probably. I couldn't say firsthand as I haven't been down there
  37. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    That would be true also.

    I’m wondering if 320 is the same as 1010. Or 320 has contamination to give clove.

    Uerige does have a wheat beer. The alt has a multi step mash, wheat I don’t know. Comments are a little bannna, clove is not mentioned.
  38. Hoos78

    Hoos78 Initiate (199) Mar 3, 2015 Ohio

    Haven't had Titania, but it sounds like it could be a hopped up version of Oberon. I mean, Oberon hits all the NEIPA style notes, with the (gargantuan) exception being hop presence.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,571) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would think that the Zum Uerige brewers would conduct a Hochkurz mash (i.e., two step mash then mash-out) for their non-wheat beers; in other words they would not conduct a ferulic acid rest for a non-wheat beer.

  40. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,363) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    You would be thinking wrong. They do step mash with many steps to get maximum attenuation. One step is in the ferulic acid range.