WTF? (Why Those Floaties?)

Posted December 6, 2017

Category: General

WTF? (Why Those Floaties?)

“Hey, what’s this in my beer?” is a question we receive from time to time on social media, beer discussion boards or the brewery email inbox. While it’s not possible for us to know the exact cause each time a beer has a less than beautiful appearance due to “floaties,” it’s super important to note that whatever is causing excess sediment or uncharacteristic haze is 100% harmless and, in most cases, shouldn’t negatively impact the flavor or aroma of the beer.

Given that all of our beers (with the exception of most lagers) are bottle conditioned, it’s perfectly normal for our bottled offerings to have some haze causing sediment in the bottom of each bottle. The manner in which the beer is handled before and during pouring can certainly disturb this fine layer of sediment resulting in a beer that has a bit of a snow globe effect. The good news (as mentioned above) is that disturbing this sediment won’t negatively impact the beer, but the better news is that it’s super easy to avoid rousing this yeast or to totally rouse it if you happen to dig your beer that way. Careful pouring, ensuring that the bottle tilts smoothly without being returned to an upright position during pouring (which can cause sloshing and disturb the sediment) coupled with leaving a small amount of beer (less than an ounce) in the bottle results in the sediment being left behind. If you’re interested in rousing the sediment into suspension and adding the last bit to your beer, simply swirl the last inch or so of the bottle for a few seconds and you’ll release the yeast sediment from the bottom of the bottle and deliver it into your beer.

The other common haze/sediment producers (in our beers) are precipitated protein, polyphenols or a combination of the two. With a beer like Unfiltered Wheat Beer, we strive to create a stable protein haze that results in the beautiful, near glowing appearance you’ve come to expect. We like to think we’ve gotten fairly good at producing and maintaining this level of haze, but since beer is produced using agricultural ingredients that vary slightly batch to batch, it’s our job to make subtle adjustments to recipes and processes to continually produce the same beer with the same flavors and attributes you’re used to. Given these circumstances, there will be times when Unfiltered Wheat Beer or other beers produced using higher protein malts will exhibit a slight haze or minimal floaties.

While neither is necessarily cosmetically attractive, the good news that should be reiterated is that there should be zero negative impact on the flavor/aroma of the beer. If you ever have questions or concerns, reach out to us on social media or head to our Contact Us form.

- Jeremy Danner, Ambassador Brewer