The solution is clear
What is Chill Haze?
Distilled spirits contain a diverse array of substances that originate from their raw materials and also from the barrels used for ageing.
These substances include fusel oils, fatty acids and their esters.
When water is added, these compounds, which are insoluble in water, form micelles which appear as turbidity in the product. This turbidity is commonly known as chill haze and this phenomenon is especially significant in brown spirits such as whisky/whiskey but it also appears in other brown and white spirits.
Chill haze formation is generally stronger at lower temperatures, in lower proof products, because of the presence of more water, and in products with longer ageing time in wood.
However, it should be noted that certain compounds that cause chill haze, such as fatty acid esters, also have an important positive effect on the sensory characteristics of the spirits.
How to Remove Chill Haze
The majority of whiskies/whiskeys undergo a process that involves chilling the spirit to temperatures below zero degrees celsius, which forces the chill haze to form and allows it to be filtered out.
While mechanical removal plays a role in the filtration process, adsorption is the major mechanism in the chill haze removal, making filter sheet-based technologies an ideal solution.
Our experience in spirits filtration is unmatched, our products are used for chill haze filtration in whiskies & whiskeys around the globe.
To Chill Haze or Not Chill Haze
For many of the worlds spirits chill haze has always been removed by cooling the product as previously described, however there is a new movement that is starting in the whisky/whiskey industry to experiment with new filtration methods and avoid the chilling process altogether.
“Non-Chill Filtered” whisky/whiskeys are now being produced by several leading brands and this represents a significant change in what is otherwise a very traditional industry.
The decision to remove chill haze at low temperature or to remove it at ambient temperature can be driven by several factors but the main driver is quality which has is seen to be improved by avoiding the refrigeration based removal step. Availability of refrigeration, which can be very expensive, can also be a major consideration for a new craft producer.