Kveik Yeast

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mumblecrunch
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Kveik Yeast

Post by mumblecrunch » Sun Dec 01, 2019 2:47 pm

As we were judging the Big Spruce competition last week, my table noted three things that seemed to be fairly common across most of the eight beers we judged:
  • Carbonation level was lacking
  • Bitterness was pronounced and, in a few cases, overwhelming
  • Hop aroma was muted
I did not judge the Everwood Competition so I can’t say whether these were noticeable there, but I did talk to some other tables at Big Spruce and got the impression that those three were fairly consistent across other tables as well.

I don’t think the first of the three is yeast-related. Best guess I heard was that more people have keg systems these days and haven’t gotten good at bottling from kegs yet.

But the other two certainly seem like they could be yeast-related. I haven’t used any Kviek strains yet myself but have been very curious. I’m wondering if those out there who have used Voss kveik have noticed higher than expected bitterness or lower than expected aroma? Can anyone who judged the Everwood comp confirm whether things were similar in that one? Have people who’ve used multiple kveik strains or strains other than Voss noticed the same or different behavior?

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ConanTroutman
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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by ConanTroutman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:43 pm

I'd be much more inclined to chalk it up to process. It is still a small sample size and varying styles makes it hard to draw much from trends.

Now, granted this is only my own anecdotal experience, but I've never found Voss to lack in hop aroma or be overly bitter. Carbonation my gut tells me is likely a combination of inexperience and people trying to cut things a little too close and rushing things due to the short turnaround for things like IPAs. Carbonation and hop aroma often go hand in hand.

Voss and other strains of kveik aren't fool proof super yeasts by any means, but I wouldn't say any of those traits line up with my personal experience or the general consensus in other circles like Milk the Funk that I've frequented.

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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by GCR » Sun Dec 01, 2019 5:04 pm

Prior to this comp, we had brewed two IPA's using Voss, and one RIS using Hornidal.

Did not really notice any increased bitterness in those brews or this comp.

The IPAs we brewed before and this time had lots of hops, (including dry hop) but I suppose when I think about it, they weren't as prominent in the aroma as they have been in similar beers using more standard yeasts like US05. Kveik seems to want to make its presence known.

In terms of carbonation, I always bottle carb - have never kegged and am not set up for it - and while I never had carb issues for previous brews using kveik, I did have carb issues for the foreign export stout with sponge toffee submitted for this comp.. despite adding more dextrose than I usually would in hopes of having things right in perhaps a shorter period of time than I would usually allot for bottle conditioning. But I think this was due to two things - reduced conditioning time, and inconsistent dispersal of dextrose in the carboy before bottling... always paranoid of introducing too much oxygen in that process, and consequently didnt stir it enough.

I've read somewhere that some people will add yeast for bottling conditioning like US-05 when using kveik.

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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by jacinthebox » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:28 pm

I noticed all of our entries ( NEIPA) presented way more bitter than what the recipe predicted...also the hop punch wasn't what we are used to with a Vermont style yeast. we did ferment high 30's-40C. so we assumed this may have had something to do with it.

beers we have fermented at room temp with yeast turned out as expected...clean
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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by mckay75 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:38 pm

I've used several of the different Kveik strains (Voss, Hornidal, Hothead ale - Stranda, Ebbegarden and Arset). Ebbegarden was the one that stood out to me as being the standout with bitterness. I enjoyed them all..although my last few experiences with Voss have been not so great...just about every batch under-attenuated...usually in the 65% range...even with yeast nutrient.

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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by ConanTroutman » Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:41 pm

mckay75 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:38 pm
I've used several of the different Kveik strains (Voss, Hornidal, Hothead ale - Stranda, Ebbegarden and Arset). Ebbegarden was the one that stood out to me as being the standout with bitterness. I enjoyed them all..although my last few experiences with Voss have been not so great...just about every batch under-attenuated...usually in the 65% range...even with yeast nutrient.
Escarpment does list Ebbegarden as having that quirk, I'd be really curious what the mechanism is there that causes the increased bitterness perception. Either it's kicking off some compound that's adding bitterness, or it's somehow an interaction (or lack of) with alpha-acids present in the wort. I'm sure everyone here has tasted wort before it heads into the fermentor, and despite the sweetness it's usually much more bitter than the final product after attenuating.

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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by wcturnedec » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:58 am

ConanTroutman wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:41 pm
mckay75 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:38 pm
I've used several of the different Kveik strains (Voss, Hornidal, Hothead ale - Stranda, Ebbegarden and Arset). Ebbegarden was the one that stood out to me as being the standout with bitterness. I enjoyed them all..although my last few experiences with Voss have been not so great...just about every batch under-attenuated...usually in the 65% range...even with yeast nutrient.
Escarpment does list Ebbegarden as having that quirk, I'd be really curious what the mechanism is there that causes the increased bitterness perception. Either it's kicking off some compound that's adding bitterness, or it's somehow an interaction (or lack of) with alpha-acids present in the wort. I'm sure everyone here has tasted wort before it heads into the fermentor, and despite the sweetness it's usually much more bitter than the final product after attenuating.
Could it be the lower terminal pH that Kveik strains are reported to have? But this only assumes your mash pH is in lower range between 5.1-5.2.
I did a "clean" beer with Voss (100% Vienna) and noticed a tang/bite when the beer was young but seemed to fade as it cold conditioned in the keg, this could be a result of low terminal pH and being perceived as a sharpness...who knows? Just a guess
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Re: Kveik Yeast

Post by mckay75 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:15 am

I did a "clean" beer as well with Voss in the past...a schwarzbier...and while it was a decent enough beer it too had that tang you speak of. It faded a bit after awhile conditioning...but you could always pick it out. Wouldn't use it again for that purpose. Nothing beats the proper yeast for the proper style. My entry for big spruce also had that tang, even though I fermented it really warm (40C)...I hated it so much that I had to try to hide it with bourbon and oak cubes...which did work to some degree lol.

it was fun experimenting with Kveik for awhile...but I'm good to move on now lol.

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