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.
 

Miraculix

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You and your family get well soon! Had to google that one.. does not sound like much fun.
 
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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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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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Not a lager but I made an APA yesterday with Lutra. Went from 1.072 to 1.016 in 24 hours at 97 degrees. I've had good success with this yeast in faux imperial lagers and especially my Baltic Porters.
 

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Thanks for sharing Toxxxyc. Love the experiment.
I kinda like Voss for dark style beers, but gave up on kveik as a lager alternative
 

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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.
That's shocking. I too have been running side by sides with Lutra and lager yeast. I love the quick turnaround with the Lutra, but I get this musty white grape/wine aroma and flavor that doesn't fade in the keg. It's not super offensive, but not what I want in my true lagers.

Tettnang is one of my most used hops! LOVE it in my Kolsch. I used Lutra in a German Pils recipe with Hallertau Mittelfruh, and it was splendid. Re-brewed the same grist with Saaz and Lutra, and Saaz does not mix well. It's certainly drinkable, but NOT what I would consider a German Pils, by any stretch. Much prefer the Hallertau batch. YMMV.
 

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That's shocking. I too have been running side by sides with Lutra and lager yeast. I love the quick turnaround with the Lutra, but I get this musty white grape/wine aroma and flavor that doesn't fade in the keg. It's not super offensive, but not what I want in my true lagers.

Have you read the thread where people argue that grape flavor is the key to true lager??


I guess that proves that you should brew what you like and not worry about what anyone else thinks!
 
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Toxxyc

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OK so these beers are both still in the keezer and being enjoyed as I can enjoy them, and the differences between the two as time goes on is becoming super interesting. I'll do a proper side-by-side test in a few weeks and hopefully capture it on video with some commentary on the two, but for now, I'm just excited by how the beers are changing over time. In short:

The Diamond lager batch is becoming more crisp as time continues, and the hop flavours continue to dominate. The beer seems sweeter and it does carry more malt flavour and aroma in the glass from the first second of the pour. It still continues to be seemingly lower carbonated, which I still can't explain, but carries a good carbonation now, with a respectable head and head retention in each pour.

The Kveik Lutra batch is changing more interestingly. The "rotten" Kveik flavour I pointed out is changing, and it's no longer a fresh yeast rot aroma I'm getting from it, but to me it's changing to almost salty and "umami", that's presenting more and more identifiable as the beer in the glass warms up. By the end of the beer I can swear it tastes similar to marmite or vegemite or whatever it's called in various parts of the world - essentially a salty yeast extract. I can't explain it, but it's there, and it's not particularly terrible either.

Another thing I find is that if I start my "session" with a Diamond lager beer, I tend to think the Diamond lager beer is better. If I start my session with a Kveik Lutra beer, I tend to think the Lutra beer is better though, so this is about as conflicting for me as I can imagine. It's emotional torture, since I was ready to write off Kveik and swore by Diamond Lager.

I do think it makes it only more interesting though.

As a PS: Both beers ended up clarifying to absolutely crystal clear, literally as clear as any commercial lager out there. It's fantastic. Stay tuned!
 

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The "rotten" Kveik flavour I pointed out is changing, and it's no longer a fresh yeast rot aroma I'm getting from it, but to me it's changing to almost salty and "umami", that's presenting more and more identifiable as the beer in the glass warms up. By the end of the beer I can swear it tastes similar to marmite or vegemite or whatever it's called in various parts of the world - essentially a salty yeast extract. I can't explain it, but it's there, and it's not particularly terrible either.

I've never had Vegemite or Marmite so I have no means to compare, but I have tasted a couple of Lutra beers where I know the resulting beer smelled and tasted like canned tuna. I actually love tuna... but not in my beer. I wonder if these are related. I guess I should get a jar of a -mite sometime to find out.
 

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I've never had Vegemite or Marmite so I have no means to compare, but I have tasted a couple of Lutra beers where I know the resulting beer smelled and tasted like canned tuna. I actually love tuna... but not in my beer. I wonder if these are related. I guess I should get a jar of a -mite sometime to find out.
DM save your $$. It is nasty stuff it you didn't grow up with it. My NZ mom used to eat marmite on toast, but I tried it once and that was it. Think salt lick with yeast paste. Yummy :barf:
 

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By the end of the beer I can swear it tastes similar to marmite or vegemite or whatever it's called in various parts of the world - essentially a salty yeast extract. I can't explain it, but it's there, and it's not particularly terrible either.


....Men At Work have entered the chat.............


Interesting about the yeast extract flavor. I've yet to ferment with these Kveik yeasts but, to be honest, I hope I don't get that kind of off flavor. Do you think a pressure ferment would remove that or would that cause more harm than help when going for a lager style beer?
 

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....Men At Work have entered the chat.............


Interesting about the yeast extract flavor. I've yet to ferment with these Kveik yeasts but, to be honest, I hope I don't get that kind of off flavor. Do you think a pressure ferment would remove that or would that cause more harm than help when going for a lager style beer?
I wonder if Men At Work actually enjoy Vegemite… maybe they do, but not INXS? ;)

I’ll bet pressure either does nothing (probably), or makes the problem worse (less likely). Pressure is more a tool to be used for limiting certain esters. It ain’t no snake-oil cure-all.

That might be the job of Vegemite? ;)
 

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That's what I was wondering. Maybe, because of its high fermentation capability, Lutra doesn't need to be pressure fermented for a lager beer.

Don't know about MaW, or INXS, but I've never had Vegemite. I've wondered about it, but I've never heard anything good about it, so must be one of those Aussie things.

But then again, I'm from the South. The land of fried chicken, sweet tea, and diabetes so what do I know...
 
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Vegemite is like a salty spread that you put on toast and stuff. It's not bad at all. I have to add this flavour isn't "in your face" like I might make it sound, but it's there, in the back. The fresh fruity notes I had in there from the Kveik seems to be going or gone.
 

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That's what I was wondering. Maybe, because of its high fermentation capability, Lutra doesn't need to be pressure fermented for a lager beer.

Don't know about MaW, or INXS, but I've never had Vegemite. I've wondered about it, but I've never heard anything good about it, so must be one of those Aussie things.

But then again, I'm from the South. The land of fried chicken, sweet tea, and diabetes so what do I know...
It's actually one of these UK things. :D Don't now if it spread (pun intended) to Australia though.
 

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Vegemite is like a salty spread that you put on toast and stuff. It's not bad at all. I have to add this flavour isn't "in your face" like I might make it sound, but it's there, in the back. The fresh fruity notes I had in there from the Kveik seems to be going or gone.
Sounds like a bit like autolysis to me? Maybe the yeast starts to digest itself after some time without nutrients?
 
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Toxxyc

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Yeah it does, but it's not enough time for that to happen. Autolysis happens months after the fact, and keep in mind there's very little yeast left in this beer. It's crystal clear.
 

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Yeah it does, but it's not enough time for that to happen. Autolysis happens months after the fact, and keep in mind there's very little yeast left in this beer. It's crystal clear.
Depends on the cannibalistic tendencies of this strain. Wouldn't surprise me if this strain would start to eat each other after some time without any food. Some leftovers might be what you are tasting.
 

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Yeah it does, but it's not enough time for that to happen. Autolysis happens months after the fact, and keep in mind there's very little yeast left in this beer. It's crystal clear.

I can't say that what you're tasting is autolysis. But I can say that autolysis is happening all the time. The important question is at what point does it become noticeable (if it ever does) in a particular beer? That would in turn depend on things like "how much yeast?" (as you alluded), yeast health (driving the rate of autolysis), the particular beer's other flavors (masking autolysis flavors or not), and the taster's thresholds.

I only mention this because I've seen a lot of posts that say that autolysis doesn't happen for several months (or pick whatever timeframe), or that autolysis "just doesn't happen at the homebrew level" (whatever "at the homebrew level" means). Hopefully, what folks really mean by "doesn't happen" is "isn't generally noticeable (yet)."

It can be illuminating to look at cells under a microscope, stained with methylene blue (like when counting viable cells). The cells that turn blue are dead, and if you look closely, some of those are misshapen/fragmentary. This can even be seen in cells taken right out of a liquid pack, or with freshly hydrated dry yeast.
 
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Lutra drops out so fast for me, I transfer clear beer after 7 days in primary. Don't think he's getting autolysis flavors.
Hell , my starters of lutra settle while going from stir plate in kitchen to basement brewery!
I was a bit dismayed when I couldn't get my wort to clear in the kettle. I figured I'd have to use some gelatin or Biofine Clear. I was amazed when I took a sample after 5 days and it was already clear. I then cold-crashed for 3 days and figured, "Yeah, but I bet it'll be hazy at kegging time." Still clear, though.

I noticed that the yeast cake looked more like fluffy beige Fritos hanging out at the bottom of the fermenter. Anybody else get that?
 
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