Lager vs Kveik: The Test

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Miraculix

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+ fear of oxygen within the co2, for example if long term storage, aging in the keg is practiced
 
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Toxxyc

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Not sure if I posted this before, but back to the test. I bottled a few of those Lutra beer and after 2 weeks in the bottle they're nicely carbonated now. I have already popped a few. They are fantastic. It's starting to show hints of a German Pilsner, which I made, but it seems like the fruity note it imparts delivers a perceived sweetness to the beer, which in turn drastically hides the bitterness in there. It's aging up well, though. Interesting.
 
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Toxxyc

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Alright, we're about a week away from when the kegs are to be cracked, and as luck would have it we're taking a trip down to the coast with family and friends and I'd like to take a few of these beers with me. As a result, I'm going to be working this week on getting the first pours from the kegs to get rid of the sediment in the bottom so that I can fill a few bottles of clear beer. I won't be taking too many as I want a good amount to age a bit longer, so I think 6 of each should be fine for a taster or two.

Anyway, I'm REALLY looking forward to this. There's one bottle in the fridge I can touch still from the Kveik batch (the last two bottles are for my cold conditioning vs warm conditioning experiment re-visit I'll do soon) that I'll probably kill this weekend, and I can just say that if that's the worst of it, I've made a bunch of way more terrible beers in the past.

Definitely adding this recipe to my permanent lineup, even if it's just to have a keg or two lagering at all times. I'll keep you guys updated!

As a PS: The cold vs warm experiment is one that I did when I first started brewing. I made the video, a shitty quality one in 2019, and I've been asked numerous times by a ton of guys to re-do it, so that's what I'm planning. I got more experience, more time and I believe that'll produce more significant results this time. I actually can't wait!
 
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Toxxyc

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And another update. Yesterday, shortly after I posted the above we saw a doc with the youngest, and was promptly admitted to hospital with him. He has confirmed Rotavirus (as do we all, apparently) and suspected Enterovirus as well as an antibiotic-resistant bacterial middle ear infection. Doc said he doesn't think we'll make the trip to the coast.

However, that didn't stop me from trying the last Kveik-fermented beer I had in the bottle last night. Mistake in hindsight as I puked my lungs out this morning (thanks, Rotavirus), but hey, it's one hell of a tasty beer. In the bottle it's closing in on 5.35% ABV, but it's not drinking like it. It drinks like a light lager, something along the lines of a light American lager (a style I'm VERY happy with) but with the aging the hop character that was hidden by the Kveik, as well as the IBUs that was hidden by the Kveik's fruity perceived sweetness is sloooowly starting to come to the fore.

I can just say one thing - I'm a HUGE fan of German Pilsner recipes. Doesn't matter how it's fermented, it seems, the results you achieve with Pilsner malt (or in this case Extra Pale, which is the same thing), a little bit of Dextrin (this might actually explain my slightly lower attenuation I measured, didn't think of this) and Eastern European hops is just amazing. It's hoppy, but not IPA or NEIPA hoppy. It's smooth, crisp (yes, even the Kveik beer) and just drinkable as hell. Like a fresh spring in the middle of a desert to a wary traveler. I'm a big, big fan. From now on, it'll be a constant supply in my keezer, decision made.
 
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Toxxyc

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You and your family get well soon! Had to google that one.. does not sound like much fun.
Heh, thanks mate. We got more tests this morning, and so far he has:

Rotavirus,
Adenovirus,
Metapneumovirus, and
Parainfluenza 3 virus,

alongside some other bacterial stuff as mentioned. In light of the fact that I'm no better tonight, I'm not going to be tapping these beers tonight. I'll be doing it once I feel better. I'm on a shaken soft drink tonight, just till the tummy is better :D
 

hopjuice_71

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Heh, thanks mate. We got more tests this morning, and so far he has:

Rotavirus,
Adenovirus,
Metapneumovirus, and
Parainfluenza 3 virus,

alongside some other bacterial stuff as mentioned. In light of the fact that I'm no better tonight, I'm not going to be tapping these beers tonight. I'll be doing it once I feel better. I'm on a shaken soft drink tonight, just till the tummy is better :D

I'm sorry you and your family are feeling poorly. That sounds like a horrible cocktail of viruses, but it is important to remember that humans are constantly transiently, or permanently, "colonized" by numerous viruses, including many that cause disease. Mostly likely a bunch of healthy people reading this post would also test positive for some of those on your list .. .. just to try to put you at some ease.
 
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Toxxyc

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Alrighty, we're discharged just this morning. Over the weekend though I felt a bit better and tapped the kegs. Now, notes before I put out my first comments on the beers:

1. Both kegs have now been "lagering" for 4 weeks.
2. Both kegs were fined with the same amount of gelatin from the same pack, using the same method, at the same temperature and everything else the same, around 2 weeks ago.
3. Both kegs have been sitting at 17 PSI for 2 weeks now. Pressure in the two is absolutely identical, as they're connected to a single CO2 tank with a single regulator, just a gas line splitter between the two kegs.
4. I tapped around 250ml from both kegs to get the dregs out first, and after that the clear beer started flowing.

Now, onto the notes. First beer tested was the one fermented with Lutra:
F9Eh1Uxl.jpg


First, clear, almost crystal at this point. The first thing that struck me was the definitive and instantly identifiable Kveik "rotten" aroma on the beer. It shined in the head, and it continued throughout the beer. This specific flavour vented off with time, as it did with other Kveik beers I made as well. It seems to be a characteristic of Kveiks as I've picked it up in Voss, Oslo and now again in Lutra as well. It's something I'm now expecting from Kveik.

Second, it is well carbonated. There are a stream of bubbles rising in the middle of the glass (where the glass is etched to entice bubbles forming inside to make it present better) and they rise fairly quickly. Head is thick and foamy. Lacing on the glass presented OK and head lasted all the way down to the last sip, which took about 30 minutes to get to (I got busy, and it's a big glass).

Next up, the flavour. There's definitely still a fruity aroma and flavour in the beer, albeit toned down after 4 weeks in the keg. It still hides the IBUs in the beer and the beer is not as bitter as I bittered it at. I'm not sure if it's the yeast flavour or the warm fermenting coupled with the aggressive venting of CO2 that pushed the hop flavour and aroma from the beer, but it's very subdued. The earthy, floral and almost spicy notes I hoped for are literally "earthy fruit" at this stage, and that's it.

Conclusion: It's a good beer. Not one of my best, but it's good and still very drinkable. It's got a fairly full mouthfeel and a creamy, almost oily texture to it that's hard to describe, and I'm not sure if it's the correct way to do so. Yeast presence is identifiable immediately and it's not as clean as they'd claim. At all. I would not use Lutra again to make a beer like this, but I think this yeast will do wonders in a NEIPA, for example.

The second beer was the one fermented with Diamond Lager:
dQLiRzWl.jpg


First thing I noticed is that the beer is ever so slightly less clear than the Lutra batch. It's still clear, also almost crystal, but it seemed to have a tiny tiny slight haze to it. I'll do a side by side a bit later and take pictures of the two to compare properly, but this I did notice.

Second, it seems to be less carbonated than the Lutra batch. This has me stumped. I can't figure it out. As per my notes above, they should be identically carbonated, but they're not. It's still carbonated, but there are less bubbles, they rise slower and the beer seems to "hold on" to the CO2 in it better than the Lutra beer. Why? I can't tell you. Head was less but it still stuck around to the bottom of the glass, with decent (but fine) lacing. Head is also creamier than the Lutra beer's.

Then, flavour. This was interesting. Same wort, same everything, but the difference in yeast shined here. There seems to be a slight sour note which I expect to age out, but the hops are way more up front. IBUs jump out at you and the beer is fairly bitter (which I aimed for). There's earthy, floral and spicy hops everywhere, although I have to say I miss a bit of sweetness from the malt. I should have upped the dextrin, or used a light crystal malt for some added sweetness here, or mashed a bit higher, but eh, so you learn.

Conclusion: Diamond Lager does what it does. It's clean, it's clear, it's good. I love it and it's becoming a staple yeast of mine. That's about all there's to say about it.

Finally, as a last note, I'll repeat this test a few times in the next few months as the beers continue to improve in the keg, and I'll specifically aim for the flavours pointed out above to see how they react to age. Stay tuned!

PS: I think I should also do a side by side test in a video and post to YouTube. It's interesting to see.
 

Miraculix

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Alrighty, we're discharged just this morning. Over the weekend though I felt a bit better and tapped the kegs. Now, notes before I put out my first comments on the beers:

1. Both kegs have now been "lagering" for 4 weeks.
2. Both kegs were fined with the same amount of gelatin from the same pack, using the same method, at the same temperature and everything else the same, around 2 weeks ago.
3. Both kegs have been sitting at 17 PSI for 2 weeks now. Pressure in the two is absolutely identical, as they're connected to a single CO2 tank with a single regulator, just a gas line splitter between the two kegs.
4. I tapped around 250ml from both kegs to get the dregs out first, and after that the clear beer started flowing.

Now, onto the notes. First beer tested was the one fermented with Lutra:
F9Eh1Uxl.jpg


First, clear, almost crystal at this point. The first thing that struck me was the definitive and instantly identifiable Kveik "rotten" aroma on the beer. It shined in the head, and it continued throughout the beer. This specific flavour vented off with time, as it did with other Kveik beers I made as well. It seems to be a characteristic of Kveiks as I've picked it up in Voss, Oslo and now again in Lutra as well. It's something I'm now expecting from Kveik.

Second, it is well carbonated. There are a stream of bubbles rising in the middle of the glass (where the glass is etched to entice bubbles forming inside to make it present better) and they rise fairly quickly. Head is thick and foamy. Lacing on the glass presented OK and head lasted all the way down to the last sip, which took about 30 minutes to get to (I got busy, and it's a big glass).

Next up, the flavour. There's definitely still a fruity aroma and flavour in the beer, albeit toned down after 4 weeks in the keg. It still hides the IBUs in the beer and the beer is not as bitter as I bittered it at. I'm not sure if it's the yeast flavour or the warm fermenting coupled with the aggressive venting of CO2 that pushed the hop flavour and aroma from the beer, but it's very subdued. The earthy, floral and almost spicy notes I hoped for are literally "earthy fruit" at this stage, and that's it.

Conclusion: It's a good beer. Not one of my best, but it's good and still very drinkable. It's got a fairly full mouthfeel and a creamy, almost oily texture to it that's hard to describe, and I'm not sure if it's the correct way to do so. Yeast presence is identifiable immediately and it's not as clean as they'd claim. At all. I would not use Lutra again to make a beer like this, but I think this yeast will do wonders in a NEIPA, for example.

The second beer was the one fermented with Diamond Lager:
dQLiRzWl.jpg


First thing I noticed is that the beer is ever so slightly less clear than the Lutra batch. It's still clear, also almost crystal, but it seemed to have a tiny tiny slight haze to it. I'll do a side by side a bit later and take pictures of the two to compare properly, but this I did notice.

Second, it seems to be less carbonated than the Lutra batch. This has me stumped. I can't figure it out. As per my notes above, they should be identically carbonated, but they're not. It's still carbonated, but there are less bubbles, they rise slower and the beer seems to "hold on" to the CO2 in it better than the Lutra beer. Why? I can't tell you. Head was less but it still stuck around to the bottom of the glass, with decent (but fine) lacing. Head is also creamier than the Lutra beer's.

Then, flavour. This was interesting. Same wort, same everything, but the difference in yeast shined here. There seems to be a slight sour note which I expect to age out, but the hops are way more up front. IBUs jump out at you and the beer is fairly bitter (which I aimed for). There's earthy, floral and spicy hops everywhere, although I have to say I miss a bit of sweetness from the malt. I should have upped the dextrin, or used a light crystal malt for some added sweetness here, or mashed a bit higher, but eh, so you learn.

Conclusion: Diamond Lager does what it does. It's clean, it's clear, it's good. I love it and it's becoming a staple yeast of mine. That's about all there's to say about it.

Finally, as a last note, I'll repeat this test a few times in the next few months as the beers continue to improve in the keg, and I'll specifically aim for the flavours pointed out above to see how they react to age. Stay tuned!

PS: I think I should also do a side by side test in a video and post to YouTube. It's interesting to see.
Thank you very much for the detailed report on the comparison. I've witnessed the same when trying lutra. I used it in an apa type of recipe and the kveik taste was not such a big problem there. It was so little that I could totally see this yeast as an easy summer replacement for us05 if one doesn't have temperature control. But otherwise, I'd probably prefer a clean ale yeast.

And lutra compared to a lager yeast, completely different thing, I agree.
 
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Toxxyc

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OK, guys, hear me out.

So I have had a preference for the Diamond Lager batch since I started this test way back, like 7 or 8 weeks ago. I made this clear a few times in this thread and I'm not afraid to admit it.

I am therefore also not afraid to admit that, for this specific recipe and this specific beer at least, I can't decide if I enjoy the Diamond Lager batch or the Kveik Lutra batch more. Yes, the Lutra one isn't as close to what the recipe called for, but the recipe I used used a hop I learned I'm not super fond of (Tettnang). Perhaps that's why, but man, this Lutra beer goes down like crazy. It's just drinkable. VERY drinkable.

I'll see what time makes of it, but I've had a few tests of this now, and had two other guys also give their inputs on blind tests (they don't know which tap is which) and both seem to prefer the Lutra batch. Rotten off fruity flavours and all.
 

Miraculix

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OK if the temperatures stay this way in Germany, I'm going to order me some dried lutra, you got me :D

Anyway, not a bad yeast at all, just not what it is advertised as.
 
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Toxxyc

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I have to say it's very similar to what I experienced from something like S-04, except for the slightly "off fruit" flavour. Apparently that can be helped by using nutrients though, so perhaps I should add more of it in a future brew. Overall though, a good, fast yeast.
 
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