Kveik Lutra vs US05 experiment

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just john

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Purpose of experiment....See if Lutra tastes as good as US05 in a low ibu pilsner. 10 lbs pilsner and one pound corn with just two ounces of centennial at flame out. Yes speed is nice but taste rules.

I split the wort into two identical fermenters. The US05 went into the water trickle bath at 67degrees. (We are lucky to have cheap and cold water.) The Lutra was running about 77 in a 72 degree room.

At nine days I sampled the product. Good old flat warm beer fresh from the fermenter. Yeah I know I should let them carb and get cold etc but they aint changing that much.

So I thought about triangles and how much statistics confuses me and I just tasted them.

The US05 was as expected, clean. Nice lemon on the nose and the palate. Really tasty and clean.

Alas, the Lutra was not the same. My previous brew with it had the same thing. A over-ripe fruit smell and taste, with dirt on the taste also. No lemon. Not really pleasant. I guess these are the esters.


With all the hype about Kveik I had to try it and not having to keep the fermenter cool would be easier. But taste is the most important thing.


It was fun doing the experiment. Science and beer. Great combo. :)

Thoughts?
 
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Twinkeelfool

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I never thought lutra was clean at all the few times I tried it. Not bad beer sure but never super clean like people claim. Certainly didn’t want to brew lagers with it.
 
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just john

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I never thought lutra was clean at all the few times I tried it. Not bad beer sure but never super clean like people claim. Certainly didn’t want to brew lagers with it.

And yeah on YT there are guys saying it's clean. Make a pseudo lager/pilsner with it they say. Maybe a saison or something like that. It's maybe getting a little hyped. No one ever wants to knock anything. Wouldn't get the views I guess.
 

aceluby

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Neither are going to get you a Pilsner. Blonde ales, sure, and different ones at that - but nothing really close to a Pilsner.

Lutra also has some quirks to it. It really does best in 90+ degree heat. At ale temps you’ll get the esters described in clean beers like a blonde ale. It also changes quite a bit over time in blonde ales. The esters settle and the yeast cleans itself up nicely. It becomes this slightly fruity blonde that is quite clean. I prefer it in my APAs and IPAs.

You can get a very drinkable beer in a few days, especially with the right recipe, but for a clean blonde, give it a few weeks to settle and it produces a lovely beer. Again, not a lager or Pilsner, but something that I rinse quite enjoyable.
 

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Thoughts?
Have you ever tried Norwegian cuisine? If you haven't, don't bother 😉 It doesn't mysteriously improve going back in time either. That would be a bit weird, wouldn't it? Unlike fully domesticated brewer's yeast strains elsewhere in Europe and North America, 'crikey' weren't selected to be pleasant and refined. Put bluntly, the unfussy Norwegian palate simply didn't demand it. Hence 'crikey' are inferior for fermenting beer.
 

Slim M

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And yeah on YT there are guys saying it's clean. Make a pseudo lager/pilsner with it they say. Maybe a saison or something like that. It's maybe getting a little hyped. No one ever wants to knock anything. Wouldn't get the views I guess.
I seen the hype around lutra and watched guys on the YouTube claiming these amazing results in short time🙄 I gave it a shot with a cream ale type beer. Fermentation went like this ambient temp was 78, fermentation temp was 90 when it got rolling, airlock blowing in 4 hours, and done in 3 days.

I left it in fermenter for 6 days and bottled it up. It carbed up in about 10 days but took 3 weeks to stop tasting like a green beer. I was not impressed and doubt I will try it again. It really never tasted all that great even after 5 weeks. It might be better suited in like a hoppy ale or something fruity.

Was this beer drinkable in a week if I would have kegged it and forced carbed? Yeah, but this was a 2 gallon batch and I was waisting keg space on that. Was it enjoyable in a week? Nope. After this I can’t help but look at these guys on YouTube who rant a rave about pseudo lagers, fast turnaround times, and super clean Kviek makes me wonder do they have taste buds or are they intentionally misleading people for the more views. Either way some of these guys on the net lost credibility in my eyes.

New brewers or guys with minimal temp control, I do pseudo lagers all the time with a quick turnaround time, but quick in my eyes is like 3 weeks but 4 or 5 is better. I pitch yeast at around 60f ferment a few days at 62 then creep it on up to 68 over the course of about 7 days. Then keg, crash, & carb. I’ve personally have done this with 34/70, CellarScience German, & Diamond all lager yeast. These turn out great. Kviek is cool and for sure has its place but just not for what I like. Sorry for the rant & sorry Kviek fans these are only my opinions which mean little.
 
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aceluby

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Have to agree. If you want a pseudo lager at ale temps, check out the warm fermented lager thread. There’s a lot of better suited yeasts for that.

With tangy, I just had some of my APA that I brewed last Thursday with lutra - 7 days grain to glass and its a damn fine beer. Will get better, but already a very good beer IMO
 
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just john

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US-05 isn't clean. Lutra isn't clean. Both suck at making "pilsners", but might make kind of O.K. blonde ales or cream ales. Try an actual lager yeast like Diamond or S-189. Even fermented warm, these turn out quite good.

Yeah the previous beer with Lutra was a NEIPA and this one was actually more a cream ale - not a Pilsner I guess - but I hate that name, reminds me of hangovers from Genny "cream ale", plus dairy and beer should not mix. :) I call it a "dream ale"

I just figure it's mostly pilsner malt, meant to be light clean and crisp and just let the hops show. It's a pseudo something. Like all my brews really something but never quite sure what. But the lightness of the malt and hops lets the character of the yeast show which is what I was going for in this experiment.

Thanks for the suggestions about yeasts. I think that will be my next split batch experiment. US05 vs one of those or 34/70? . My limitation is the temp that I can run with my water bath trickle set up which is about 67.
 

Slim M

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Yeah the previous beer with Lutra was a NEIPA and this one was actually more a cream ale - not a Pilsner I guess - but I hate that name, reminds me of hangovers from Genny "cream ale", plus dairy and beer should not mix. :) I call it a "dream ale"

I just figure it's mostly pilsner malt, meant to be light clean and crisp and just let the hops show. It's a pseudo something. Like all my brews really something but never quite sure what. But the lightness of the malt and hops lets the character of the yeast show which is what I was going for in this experiment.

Thanks for the suggestions about yeasts. I think that will be my next split batch experiment. US05 vs one of those or 34/70? . My limitation is the temp that I can run with my water bath trickle set up which is about 67.

Have you ever thought about the poor man’s glycol chiller that just uses the coil, ice bath, temp probe and aquarium pump? Seen a few guys doing and seems to work. It’s probably what I would do if I had no freezer or fridge.
 

dmtaylor

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Yeah the previous beer with Lutra was a NEIPA and this one was actually more a cream ale - not a Pilsner I guess - but I hate that name, reminds me of hangovers from Genny "cream ale", plus dairy and beer should not mix. :) I call it a "dream ale"

I just figure it's mostly pilsner malt, meant to be light clean and crisp and just let the hops show. It's a pseudo something. Like all my brews really something but never quite sure what. But the lightness of the malt and hops lets the character of the yeast show which is what I was going for in this experiment.

Thanks for the suggestions about yeasts. I think that will be my next split batch experiment. US05 vs one of those or 34/70? . My limitation is the temp that I can run with my water bath trickle set up which is about 67.

You'll get something lovely with Diamond. Still needs a few weeks of aging, but can be done at 67 F successfully.
 
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just john

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Have you ever thought about the poor man’s glycol chiller that just uses the coil, ice bath, temp probe and aquarium pump? Seen a few guys doing and seems to work. It’s probably what I would do if I had no freezer or fridge.


It's an idea but I would just buy another fridge at that point. Might be what I end up doing anyhow. But if I can get clean ferments at 67 I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I've never been a huge lager lover anyhow and mostly just want a clean crisp beer with the yeast out of the way. Sulfur notes are supposed to be good? I don't get that one. Ah yes, just a hint of low tide. :)
 

aceluby

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It's an idea but I would just buy another fridge at that point. Might be what I end up doing anyhow. But if I can get clean ferments at 67 I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. I've never been a huge lager lover anyhow and mostly just want a clean crisp beer with the yeast out of the way. Sulfur notes are supposed to be good? I don't get that one. Ah yes, just a hint of low tide. :)
You’d probably like mangrove jack’s California lager yeast. It’s meant for steam beers, but I’ve used it for a Helles, Oktoberfest, and a “lager” and it really is just a really clean yeast. Lager without sulfur notes (though I actually like them). It’s a nice yeast, though I still like the character of warm fermenting 34/70 a bit more
 

CascadesBrewer

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At nine days I sampled the product. Good old flat warm beer fresh from the fermenter. Yeah I know I should let them carb and get cold etc but they aint changing that much.
Be sure to report back once you have tried the beers once they are carbonated with some age.

I recently split a 3 gallon batch with US-05, Lutra and Voss. On my initial side by side tasting, the US-05 and Voss batches were about what I expected. The Lutra one had a little bit of an off twang to it. That was probably after 3 weeks in the bottle.

After a few weeks of conditioning and some cold storage the Lutra version significantly improved and was much more "clean" tasting.

Unfortunately, the few sets of the bottles I had remaining developed a bit of an dull oxidized character. The US-05 bottles were more oxidized, but the Voss and Lutra batches had lost their hop and grain character. I want to cycle back to something similar but with 2.5 gallon batches that I keg and keep cold in my kegerator (or with a better bottling process).

A while back a buddy of mine split a batch with Lutra and a traditional lager strain and lager fermentation schedule (I am not sure which strain). When I did a side by side (at which point the Lutra batch had been in the keg for maybe 2 months) the Lutra version was "clean" to the point where it was dull and boring. The traditional lager version had more body, sweetness and lager-like character.
 
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just john

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Be sure to report back once you have tried the beers once they are carbonated with some age.


Yeah I will. I'm patiently letting them sit in their kegs while I get rid of the Lutra Neipa that is in the other keg. I'm drinking it but it's not great. It does seem to be improving though.

But if I have to wait a month for the Lutra brew to get close to the cleanness of the US 05 which happens sooner, what's the point of the Lutra? If I couldn't ferment at 66 degrees the Lutra might make sense. But it's also more expensive. But heck all this science by drinking beer is great. :)
 

aceluby

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I have a Citra APA recipe it works wonders with. It is replacing S04 as opposed to US05, but I had it kegged in 6 days, drinking on day 7, and on day 9 I served it at a party. It dropped crystal clear and I couldn’t get any yeast character at all. Though I do have to say the hops might have been slightly muted, it actually worked quite well for the style. That sucks it didn’t work for your NEIPA
 
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just john

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As promised, a follow up. Three weeks from brew day start. Both were fined with gelatin. Both went from 1058 to 1006 SG. 10lbs pilsner 1 lb corn 2 oz centennial at flameout. Looking for a simple and blank slate to judge the yeasts. Did PH and gypsum CaCl additions for a cream ale profile in Brewfather. The type beer is closest to cream ale.

The 05 is crystal clear, the Lutra still has a slight haze...the esters?

On the nose the 05 is clean citrus. Ripe lemon and orange peel.

The Lutra nose is overipe banana mixed with overripe orange. I want to say rotten but overripe seems more diplomatic. Doesn't smell good.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. The mouthfeel of the Lutra seems heavier/more viscous and has a weird subtle sour twang.

The 05 is light, sweet and crisp with a subtle citrus character from the hops.

Basically I can't stop drinking the 05 one and the Lutra one I will have to make my friend drink, because he will drink anything. I would have to choke it down. Close to a dumper for me.

Frankly I'm very surprised by how different these beers are.

But my previous Lutra brew was also funky. The heavier hop bill hid some of it. And maybe the corn in this brew didn't agree with the Lutra? Maybe I just got a freak batch of yeast? Maybe I'm a freak? Maybe any yeast fermenting at above 75 will make "flavors"?
 
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McMullan

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I'm more surprised the yeast companies selling 'crikey' don't describe them accurately, with honest phrases like 'unbalanced twang', 'unpleasant funk', 'sticks out like a broken toe' and 'random floccer'. But they are selling them, I guess. And if customers want to believe in romantic marketing tales that's exactly what they'll get. Marketing is a confidence game, of course. If a product fails to meet expectations it's most likely a con - more about the money than the product.
 

Whisky River

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I'm more surprised the yeast companies selling 'crikey' don't describe them accurately, with honest phrases like 'unbalanced twang', 'unpleasant funk', 'sticks out like a broken toe' and 'random floccer'. But they are selling them, I guess. And if customers want to believe in romantic marketing tales that's exactly what they'll get. Marketing is a confidence game, of course. If a product fails to meet expectations it's most likely a con - more about the money than the product.
All the increased marketing makes hearing actual hands on experiences even more valuable to cut through the BS. Thanks @just john for doing an objective comparison. And for following up with the results, often promised rarely delivered. 👍🏻
 

McMullan

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All the increased marketing makes hearing actual hands on experiences even more valuable to cut through the BS. Thanks @just john for doing an objective comparison. And for following up with the results, often promised rarely delivered. 👍🏻
I expressed my honest assessment re 'crikey' several years ago. It's crap. I don't sell it. I'm not going to BS about it. It's crap. There are hundreds of brewer's yeast strains. Why bother pitching 'crikey'? A significant number of blind tasters actually prefer dried bread yeast. Including me, tbh. Diehard fanboys from several years back now accept it ain't all that. Beware prolific PouTubers and their self-defeating disciples who claim otherwise.
 
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just john

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I'm going to start a "Poutube" channel ( good one McMullan ) and tell folks that can't ferment cool not to worry and that they too can make beer. Cruddy funky beer. You know, level with them. Just give the bad news. Tough love. Call it the "Get Real" channel. I'm sure I will get at least two subscribers.


Credit to the YT channel Brew dudes. They did a 05/Kveik comparison and honestly stated a preference for the 05. There has been no hype about Kveik from them that I have seen.
 
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just john

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Well one month later the Lutra one is drinkable. It has to be since the US05 one is gone. I nearly cried when it ran dry. This was a new recipe beer style for me and I was surprised how much I can like a clean crisp fresh low IBU pilsner/cream ale. And at about 6.7% ABV I was surprised at how clean it was. After all the milkshake fruit punch and high IBU malted milk shake beers, east and west that I've been drinking and brewing I was craving simplicity and quaff-ability.

And why is it called "cream" ale again? It's the furthest thing from cream as there can be, I vote we change the nomenclature there. It makes a delicious clean beer sound disgusting. Maybe call it a PilsAle. A light refreshing pilsner malt based low IBU ale.

Anyway, back to practical matters, yes the Lutra is now drinkable after a month. It still has a little funk and none of the delightful hop aroma/taste of the 05. Instead there is hay, over-ripe orange and plastic dirt? But my mind knows it has alcohol so it tastes OK-ish? Oh how our minds fool us.

So, as others have said, looks like with time the Kveik beer settles, cleans up and gets better. But it's still pretty bad. Now that I've had second one. And I'll say from an admittedly limited perspective, if one has to use room or higher temps and can wait a month for the beer to get OK - after the three day ferment - it can work. It can make a rich tasting beer that one can drink. But like others of you above, I'm very skeptical of the "clean" thing.
 
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dmtaylor

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And why is it called "cream" ale again? It's the furthest thing from cream as there can be, I vote we change the nomenclature there. It makes a delicious clean beer sound disgusting. Maybe call it a PilsAle. A light refreshing pilsner malt based low IBU ale.

Cream ale gets its name from the same source as the term "cream of the crop", meaning that it's like the "best ale" you can get... according to whoever invented the style like 100 years ago or whenever. It has absolutely nothing to do with milk or vanilla or any other misinterpretations over the past decades. It simply means that its quality causes it to rise to the top compared with other ale styles.
 
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just john

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Cream ale gets its name from the same source as the term "cream of the crop", meaning that it's like the "best ale" you can get... according to whoever invented the style like 100 years ago or whenever. It has absolutely nothing to do with milk or vanilla or any other misinterpretations over the past decades. It simply means that its quality causes it to rise to the top compared with other ale styles.


Thank you. Maybe I should have researched it before going on my rant. I thought I sort of knew what it meant, but it wasn't that. That changes everything. Now it's cool. What a difference a little knowledge can make huh? Makes me feel a little more dumb now. :)
 

easttex

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There seems to be a dichotomy in homebrewing: brewers who enjoy kveik and brewers who do not. Personally, I've brewed with Voss and Lutra, both at room temp, and never had a problem with either. Lutra is a house strain for me. In fact, the only award I've ever won for a beer was a cream ale I brewed with Lutra (ironic considering this thread).

And I've probably used US-05 more than any other yeast. It's just clean and dependable, if you can keep the temp to the low 70°s. And I've  never brewed a "warm" lager that was worth a damn; inspite of what the Internet says.

I think the allure of kveik is generally driven by newish brewers who haven't developed a refined palate and who want to brew without worrying over ideal temperature control. I understand that completely. With that said however, temperature control is what separates homebrew from great beer. And after you've brewed long enough and maybe judged a competition or three, you taste the difference. And you'll probably taste the difference in a kveik beer that's been brewed warm and served fresh. The esters will be there. Just like most yeasts, kveik benefits from some lagering time to settle down and clean up.

So no, I've had success with Lutra by over pitching and fermenting in the mid-70°s. I always add lots of yeast nutrient and oxygenate too. Lutra in my recipes tends to run its course then drop very clear. But...lots of other brewers have tried it and hate it. I don't know what I'm doing that they are/aren't but my results have been favorable.
 

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just john

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I used one 1/2 pack of Lutra for the 2.5 gals which according to some is over-pitching and I always oxygenate with the shake method and both finished at the same low 1006 FG. I did not use any extra nutrients.

Even now, the Lutra is just barely drinkable. I'm drinking some old Miller Light from the back of the fridge rather than the Lutra. That's how bad it is. Others that have tried it agree. I tried to get my BIL to drink more but he threw in the towel.

I literally made one of the worst and one of the best beers I've ever made, with the only difference being the yeast.

Given such radically different results folks get with it I have to wonder whether perhaps Lutra isn't always Lutra. Maybe the yeast we are getting is just not consistent. This seems to me to be the most likely reason.
 

Slim M

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Well easttex I’ve tried and didn’t like it but I followed the recommendations about pitch around 80-90 and let it roll. My ambient was around 75 so I bet the fermenter easily hit 85 during the peak. It fermented fast & dropped clear quick. 6 days later I bottled and condition at room temp for 7 days then 3 weeks in a fridge. It sucked reminded me of marmalade or something.

Might be possible that if it was held at 70 it might be cleaner but I don’t know if it’s worth it. I guess I begin to wonder what’s the point or benefit if your having to add temp control might as well use something else. I’m not picking on anyone but wasn’t that the big selling point no temp control & speed of fermentation? I would suspect when you drop the ferm temp with your control to get cleaner taste you sacrifice some speed.
 

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I’m not a YouTuber and I’m not selling anything but I can honestly say that I have brewed 3 pseudo American lagers with Lutra and all 3 have been fantastic. Crisp, clean and crystal clear with gelatin fining. Simple recipe of mostly Briess Pilsner malt with rice and corn, magnum to bitter at 20 ibu at 60 minutes. I pitched a packet of dry Lutra at 85 and held it there. All 3 kicked off in 3-4 hours and fermented out to 1.004-1.005 in 3 days. I let them sit a couple days to clean up then cold crash, keg, fine with gelatin and they’ve been great in 7-8 days. I have hated the other 4 kveik strains that I have brewed with but I am sold on Lutra for pseudo lagers.
 

Slim M

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I’m not a YouTuber and I’m not selling anything but I can honestly say that I have brewed 3 pseudo American lagers with Lutra and all 3 have been fantastic. Crisp, clean and crystal clear with gelatin fining. Simple recipe of mostly Briess Pilsner malt with rice and corn, magnum to bitter at 20 ibu at 60 minutes. I pitched a packet of dry Lutra at 85 and held it there. All 3 kicked off in 3-4 hours and fermented out to 1.004-1.005 in 3 days. I let them sit a couple days to clean up then cold crash, keg, fine with gelatin and they’ve been great in 7-8 days. I have hated the other 4 kveik strains that I have brewed with but I am sold on Lutra for pseudo lagers.
My experience was with the dried lutra. Are you using the liquid culture? That might be they key also.
 
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just john

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Such different results from the same yeast ... makes one wonder if there's some interaction between lutra and certain hops or certain water chemistry or some other variable we're missing.

That could be and/or as I suggested above, the yeast isn't a consistent strain. It might be mutating around. I know this is why one should not repitch a harvested yeast too many times. Whether this could happen at the commercial scale I don't know. I suppose if QC gets lax that it could.
 

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I’ve been reading HBT threads over ten years and never caught one that was current until now so I’ll chime in. I’m curious here cause I did a pseudo lager with Voss in late summer that I fermented in my basement at about 65 ambient and it was awesome, crystal clear in 3 weeks and well regarded at two separate parties. I used Pilsner malt, flaked corn, and galena hops. I bought some dry Lutra and am planning on doing the same recipe just to see if any difference based on my recollection of the Voss beer. I am not sure how muted the orange marmalade from the Voss was due to my lower ferm temp but I had no issues. Last time I used Kveik was in a Chinook heavy IPA over 2 years ago which I fermented in the 80s and it was a mess of hot orange grossness. That beer made me think of Goo Gone.
 

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My experience was with the dried lutra. Are you using the liquid culture? That might be they key also.
Dried Lutra 1 packet not rehydrated pitched and fermented at 85 . I'm drinking one now and it's really good and legitimately lager like. 80% Briess pilsner, 11% instant rice, 7% Quaker 5 minute grits and 2% acidulated malt for ph correction. 0.5 oz of Magnum at 60 minutes. In the past I brewed with Framgarden, Voss, Hornindal and Ebbegarden and I really disliked all of them. Lutra is completely different than those. I need to try Bootleg Biology's Oslo and Escarpment's Crispy as they are purported to be equally clean kveik strains. Condensation on the glass but it's clear and it cleared quickly with gelatin finings on the keg.
 

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McMullan

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I think the point is, a valid comparison between any 'crikey' strain and a commercial brewery yeast strain leads to the same conclusion; brewery yeast are much better. The 'hysteria' has more to do with marketing and beliefs than anything else. Hook, line and sinker, frankly.

If a brewer wants a genuine Lager with the convenience of sprinkling on dry yeast, after several months assessing it, I'm happy to recommend Diamond Lager yeast.
 

Skinny McFadden

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I think the point is, a valid comparison between any 'crikey' strain and a commercial brewery yeast strain leads to the same conclusion; brewery yeast are much better. The 'hysteria' has more to do with marketing and beliefs than anything else. Hook, line and sinker, frankly.

If a brewer wants a genuine Lager with the convenience of sprinkling on dry yeast, after several months assessing it, I'm happy to recommend Diamond Lager yeast.
What fermentation temps have you tried with Diamond? It will likely be one of my next yeast purchases.
 

dmtaylor

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What fermentation temps have you tried with Diamond? It will likely be one of my next yeast purchases.
I've had great results in mid-60s.

EDIT: My system is NOT under pressure. It will complete fermentation quickly, with minimal sulfur and diacetyl, but still it does improve and become more clean in taste after approximately 3-4 weeks.
 
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BUCKNUTS

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I think the point is, a valid comparison between any 'crikey' strain and a commercial brewery yeast strain leads to the same conclusion; brewery yeast are much better. The 'hysteria' has more to do with marketing and beliefs than anything else. Hook, line and sinker, frankly.

If a brewer wants a genuine Lager with the convenience of sprinkling on dry yeast, after several months assessing it, I'm happy to recommend Diamond Lager yeast.
That's your opinion and I would somewhat agree with you in that I do traditional lager brews and when I have one on tap side by side with a Lutra version they are better but not by a huge margin by any means. I find your obvious disdain for the yeast amusing and I suspect it would color your perception if someone handed you a good beer brewed with it. To each their own and while these psuedo lagers won't replace traditional lagers for me I like being able to produce a clean crisp delicious beer in a weeks time. Cheers guys
 
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