Podcast Episode 238: Laura Burns of Omega Yeast Offers an Expert Approach to Stable Beer Haze

The R&D director of the Chicago-based yeast purveyors combines her brewhouse experience with years of lab work in yeast genetics to help brewers understand how yeast does—and doesn’t—create stable haze.

Jamie Bogner May 14, 2022 - 4 min read

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Brewing isn’t a typical career path for research scientists with doctorate degrees, but for Laura Burns it was a practical way to apply academic learning in a creative environment. After finishing her doctorate, she worked in brewhouses from Tennessee to Chicago before landing at Omega Yeast, where she’s assumed the title of director of research and development. There, she’s helped develop new yeast products to solve problems for brewers, and she’s worked diligently to understand why and how yeast create certain flavors and textures in beer.

In this episode, Burns follows up on her recent presentation at the Craft Brewers Conference with an in-depth discussion of haze. There are plenty of myths surrounding haze in beer, and Burns cuts through the anecdotes and assumptions with direct results from extensive bench testing to help brewers create more stable haze in their beer. Burns covers:

  • creating stable colloidal haze without yeast in suspension
  • understanding the haze-positive yeast phenotype
  • yeast evolution that has led certain strains to develop haze-positive qualities
  • strains beyond London Ale III that exhibit haze-positive characteristics
  • the chemical makeup of the protein-polyphenol reactions that constitute stable haze
  • dry-hop timing strategies to maximize or minimize haze
  • hop variety impact on haze

And more.

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].