Lager vs Kveik: The Test

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MrFancyPlants

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What Kveik strain are you using? Lutra?
Mangrove Jack’s (Voss I believe). My understanding, (grain of salt) is that the higher pressure acts very much like lower temperature: longer duration and lower esters. My fäktoberfest Finished outside at 90f+ and is lager like to my unsophisticated taste. In the winter I fermented next to the wood stove ~110f+? and got heavy orange esters.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Mangrove Jack’s (Voss I believe). My understanding, (grain of salt) is that the higher pressure acts very much like lower temperature: longer duration and lower esters. My fäktoberfest Finished outside at 90f+ and is lager like to my unsophisticated taste. In the winter I fermented next to the wood stove ~110f+? and got heavy orange esters.

Interesting. I recently kegged a split batch fermented with Mangrove Jack's Voss yeast. I fermented half at 65F and half at 85F. The beer is still young, but I find it very hard to tell any difference in the two. I did pitch the yeast into both batches at 90F, and it took about 3 hours for the cool batch to chill down to 65F. It could have been that some of the typical esters were created in that time??

I recently split a 3 gallon batch and fermented 1 gallon batches with US-05, Voss and Lutra. The US-05 is that generic ale character that I expect from that yeast. The Voss one has nice orange character that I expect from that yeast. I am not sure about the Lutra one. It seems a bit thin, accentuates the bitterness a little, and has just a touch of a tart/twang. I think everybody that has tried a sample liked either the US-05 or Voss more (with more votes for US-05).
 

deuc224

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Not gonna lie Im not fond of Lutra at all but seeing everyones comments im thinking this might actually do really really well as a mexican beer yeast!
 

aceluby

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I made two beers with just 2 row and saaz, but one fermented with 34/70 and the other Lutra, both fermented around 70 degrees F. They do not taste even remotely similar, but both are good beers. The Lutra finished more like a blonde ale. Clean flavor, easy to drink, slightly fruity esters, and definitely has its own ale characteristics. The 34/70 was a lager. Slight sulfur on the nose, very clean flavor, crisp dry finish. I will be making both again
 

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I wanted to like Lutra. I made a Mocktoberfest with it and fermented it at about 72°F. Was patient with it and let it condition a good 4 or 5 weeks before trying it. For as long as it took the get thru the batch, I just couldn't get past that weird, musty off-flavor. I can't come up with any other descriptors ... it was just ... weird. To each their own, but I'll be sticking with good ol' lager yeast.
 

aceluby

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34/70 at ale temps makes a wonderful Oktoberfest. The Lutra fruity esters just wouldn’t mesh well IMO.

Lutra is amazing for fast fermenting pale ales though. I’ve got an IPA on tap right now that was 6 days grain to glass that I’m calling Overhang IPA. It’s a very good citra IPA that comes in around 8-9%.
 

leedspointbrew

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I just finished a Faketoberfest with Lutra Kveik that seems pretty clean / tastes pretty good. Is it a true Oktoberfest Lager? Nope;would never claim that it is. But the Lutra and Tettnang make it close enough for my taste.
 

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I made a Voss Pilsner once. The beer had all qualities of Pilsner - plus a distinctive Kveik twang, unpleasantly prominent in a light beer. Which alone made it totally un-Pilsnery.
Never again.
If you want to brew an ipa or apa and don't have temp control in the summer heat, it is a valid option and can produce good to really good results. But not for clean lager like beers,I fully agree.
 

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I've tried Kveik yeasts in several styles: Pilsner, Porter, Light Bitter, hoppy Pale Ale (sorta APA), Farmhouse (sorta Saison) etc - just to test the ability of the yeasts to ferment at high temperatures, as my only temp control is the change of seasons. All those beers, with no exception, tasted FAKE. Intended styles were well recogniziable, no obvious flaws noticed. Just FAKE. Which I hated, strongly. I'll never brew any "conventional" style with Kveik yeast again. Never. Any.

My experience is that Kveik is good exclusively in traditional Nordic recipes up from 1.070. It really shines there and its distinctive twang fits the style perfectly. Saying that, I can't say I rave about those classic rustic Norwegian recipes which I cloned from Lars Garshol's book to a tee.

Recently however I discovered the combination of Kveik and Dark Rye, thanking to Mika Laitinen's blog. That was a revelation.

This summer I brewed 6 extraordinary (to my taste) Kveik beers with different species of Dark Rye: Simpsons Crystal Rye, Homemade Crystal Rye, Ukrainian Red Fermented Rye (same as Lithuanian Fermented Rye I've used before, just stronger), Home-toasted Rye Medium and Home-toasted Rye Dark. Those beers came out absolutely awsome to my taste. Sweet, strong, full, dark, very flavourfull. Now I know what I'm going to use for my stash of the previously neglected Kveik sachets and frozen slurries.
Conventional styles? Never again. They taste just FAKE.
 

Miraculix

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I've tried Kveik yeasts in several styles: Pilsner, Porter, Light Bitter, hoppy Pale Ale (sorta APA), Farmhouse (sorta Saison) etc - just to test the ability of the yeasts to ferment at high temperatures, as my only temp control is the change of seasons. All those beers, with no exception, tasted FAKE. Intended styles were well recogniziable, no obvious flaws noticed. Just FAKE. Which I hated, strongly. I'll never brew any "conventional" style with Kveik yeast again. Never. Any.

My experience is that Kveik is good exclusively in traditional Nordic recipes up from 1.070. It really shines there and its distinctive twang fits the style perfectly. Saying that, I can't say I rave about those classic rustic Norwegian recipes which I cloned from Lars Garshol's book to a tee.

Recently however I discovered the combination of Kveik and Dark Rye, thanking to Mika Laitinen's blog. That was a revelation.

This summer I brewed 6 extraordinary (to my taste) Kveik beers with different species of Dark Rye: Simpsons Crystal Rye, Homemade Crystal Rye, Ukrainian Red Fermented Rye (same as Lithuanian Fermented Rye I've used before, just stronger), Home-toasted Rye Medium and Home-toasted Rye Dark. Those beers came out absolutely awsome to my taste. Sweet, strong, full, dark, very flavourfull. Now I know what I'm going to use for my stash of the previously neglected Kveik sachets and frozen slurries.
Conventional styles? Never again. They taste just FAKE.
Uh now you've sparked my interest. Care to share your favourite dark rye kveik recipe? Preferably with something that I can actually buy. The fermented rye malt sounds really interesting but I think I wouldn't be able to source it.
 

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Sure I can share!
I brewed three recipes from the Brewing Nordic blog: Rongoteus (the author calls it a Dubbel-like beer), Rye Porter and Sahti.

There's many sources on Sahti in the interwebz but that one seems to be the only one that considers Kveik a legit yeast strain for making Sahti. I think it actually isn't (as the traditional Sahti bread yeast is POF+ to begin with, while the Kveik strains aren't), but whatever, a Sahti grist fermented with a Kveik yeast just blew my mind. (To be more exact, I brewed several my own takes on Sahti with different Kveik strains and kinds of Dark Rye: I followed Mika's recipes from his blog and from his book Viking Age Brew and changed the process, as I had brewed several true raw Sahtis before and never cared for the unboiled beer's green & boozy twang and its poor storage ability, so I combined the Sahti grist and the Kveik process, and the results far surpassed all my expectations).

My favourite of those recipes is Rongoteus. I definitely recommend it to anyone who's into stronger, sweeter and fuller beers as I am. As well as to those unsure what to brew with their Kveik yeast. Rongoteus is an amazing beer and it doesn't need any exotic malts.

The mysterious Finnish Kaljamallas Rye malt that's required in some recipes, could be substituted either by [almiost equally unobtainable] Baltic/Swedish/Soviet Fermented Rye Malt or by Home-toasted Rye malt. I tried both, toasting my Rye following Mika's instructions, and I can say it's quite close to the Fermented Rye (and probably to the genuine Kaljamallas) and is a great beer ingredient in its own right.
 
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Miraculix

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Sure I can share!
I brewed three recipes from the Brewing Nordic blog: Rongoteus (the author calls it a Dubbel-like beer), Rye Porter and Sahti.

There's many sources on Sahti in the interwebz but that one seems to be the only one that considers Kveik a legit yeast strain for making Sahti. I think it actually isn't (as the traditional Sahti bread yeast is POF+ to begin with, while the Kveik strains aren't), but whatever, a Sahti grist fermented with a Kveik yeast just blew my mind. (To be more exact, I brewed several my own takes on Sahti with different Kveik strains and kinds of Dark Rye: I followed Mika's recipes from his blog and from his book Viking Age Brew and changed the process, as I had brewed several true raw Sahtis before and never cared for the unboiled beer's green & boozy twang and its poor storage ability, so I combined the Sahti grist and the Kveik process, and the results far surpassed all my expectations).

My favourite of those recipes is Rongoteus. I definitely recommend it to anyone who's into stronger, sweeter and fuller beers as I am. As well as to those unsure what to brew with their Kveik yeast. Rongoteus is an amazing beer and it doesn't need any exotic malts.

The mysterious Finnish Kaljamallas Rye malt that's required in some recipes, could be substituted either by [almiost equally unobtainable] Baltic/Swedish/Soviet Fermented Rye Malt or by Home-toasted Rye malt. I tried both, toasting my Rye following Mika's instructions, and I can say it's quite close to the Fermented Rye (and probably to the genuine Kaljamallas) and is a great beer ingredient in its own right.
Wow, that sounds like my father designed a beer to suit his personal taste. This will make him happy, I'm gonna brew this soon.

Did you brew this with Voss? I still have a pack flying around. Otherwise I would have thought about lutra to give the rye as much space as possible to show it's flavour.
 

Protos

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I brewed those beers with both Voss and Hornindal.
I found that Voss fits Dark Rye Kveiks generally better than Hornindal. Voss, to my taste, brings slightly stronger and tarter flavours than Hornindal. In lighter beers (I mean lighter in colour, not in strength, all my Kveiks are strong) that flavour could be perceived as somewhat obtrusive but in darker beers it plays synergetically with the stronger flavours of the dark grain. Finally, for the first time, I'm not annoyed with that distinctive Voss twang I didn't like in my other Voss beers. Hornindal, from the other hand, lets the grain flavours shine.

Among other brews in that Dark Kveik string, I made two beers: one with Fermented Rye and Hornindal and another with Home-toasted Rye and Voss. Both pairings turned out to be right on spot: Medium-Toasted Rye has less intensive flavour, so more aggressive Voss complemented it well. Fermented Rye (or Dark-Toasted Rye) has a very strong flavour and is tarter, Voss would be excessive here, so more neutral and sweet Hornindal played excellently.

I also discovered such a thing as Dehusked Black Rye. Previously, I employed WM Spezial III for that matter, but now I think Black Rye is better: it adds not just colour but also some fullness. Also, because of its mellower flavour, you may use it in much higher proportions than Sp III (up to 12%) to get very dark beers without excessive burnt flavours. Rye is such an underestimated grain, I don't know why.
 

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Wow that sounds awesome. So Voss it is going to be then.

I think rye is maybe a bit more expensive, or the lauter problems are keeping the majority of the brewers away from it?

I just brewed a bitter with ten percent rye malt and while not really tasting something, I think it really brought some slickness, oilyness, type of mouthfeel. In a good way.
 

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Yes, lauter problems, for sure. Being a BIABer, I just didn't think of that.
It's the same why a 100% Wheat Weizenbock/Wheatwine is not an option for the Big Boys, although in my experience it's superior tastewise to the conventional Strong Wheatbeers. Lautering, yeah.
 

Miraculix

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Yes, lauter problems, for sure. Being a BIABer, I just didn't think of that.
It's the same why a 100% Wheat Weizenbock/Wheatwine is not an option for the Big Boys, although in my experience it's superior tastewise to the conventional Strong Wheatbeers. Lautering, yeah.
I'm doing biab as well. Just made a wheat stout a few days ago.

100% wheat is going to be something I'll try in the future. I found roasted rye malt (chocolate rye) and I also found crystal rye online.

Next beer is going to be a bitter (have to re-evaluate mj liberty bell ale yeast again) and after that, strong Voss kveik rye it shall be!
 

Protos

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That's great you've found those special Rye malts. They are quite rare, and unavailable to me at the moment.
I used a lot of Simpsons Crystal Rye (100L) even before my recent Dark Kveik spree. It's an interesting grain: it has a potent aroma which doesn't transfer to the wort, whatever the proportion (I used up to 16% of it and it still didn't impart much character besides beta-glucans and dextrins). It also gets stale much quicker than Barley Crystal - but again, that hardly transfers into the wort at all.
Similar to Black Rye, it's significantly mellower flavourwise that a Barley Crystal malt of the same colour.
 

Miraculix

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That's great you've found those special Rye malts. They are quite rare, and unavailable to me at the moment.
I used a lot of Simpsons Crystal Rye (100L) even before my recent Dark Kveik spree. It's an interesting grain: it has a potent aroma which doesn't transfer to the wort, whatever the proportion (I used up to 16% of it and it still didn't impart much character besides beta-glucans and dextrins). It also gets stale much quicker than Barley Crystal - but again, that hardly transfers into the wort at all.
Similar to Black Rye, it's significantly mellower flavourwise that a Barley Crystal malt of the same colour.
Good to know!

Weyemann has them and this brand is widely available in Germany.

Now I'm thinking about a 100% rye beer.... Beta glucan rest is a must :D
 

Protos

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It's doable, I made Rye-only beers two times.
First time it was a kind of Roggenbier: Rye Malt and a bit of Rye Crystal, M20, 20 IBU, 5% ABV. A sore disappointment. Tasteless, slicky slimy sludge. Even worse than my traditional Roggenbiers, which I've been never satisfied with. I guess, Weizenbier yeast just don't go well with Rye.
So, for the second attempt I decided to boost the strength and flavour in my spring "Roggenwein":

OG 1.080, FG 1.015, ABV 8.5%
62% Rye Malt
14% Rye Crystal
8% Lithuanian Fermented Rye (could have substituted it with Dark-Toasted Rye Malt as well)
14% Dark Demerara Sugar
2% Blackstrap Treacle
Mashing steps 30'@45C, 20'@50C, 60'@63C, 45'@72C
Magnum hops in single charge to 28 IBU
Lalbrew Köln slurry from a Grätzer
Boiling 1H, fermentation 30 days at 17-20C.

BIAB sparge was a bit tougher than usual but nothing to cry uncle of either.
Now, after half a year of bottle conditioning it's a really very good beer. In another half a year it's going to be a treasure, I'm sure. Adding sugar was a wise decision as I see now. It thinned the beer somewhat and, although heavy and silky, the beer is not slimy (as the first beer was).

This very successfull Roggenwein experience emboldened me enough to plan a similarly made Oatwine now: Oat Malt, Golden Naked Oats, Toasted Oat Flakes and a healthy dose of Light Cane Sugar.
 
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madscientist451

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So, for the second attempt I decided to boost the strength and flavour in my spring "Roggenwein":


8% Lithuanian Fermented Rye (could have substituted it with Dark-Toasted Rye Malt as well)
So is this something you make yourself, or do you buy it?
I never heard of it before, so I looked it up and apparently its an ingredient used in rye sourdough bread?
 

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So is this something you make yourself, or do you buy it?
I never heard of it before, so I looked it up and apparently its an ingredient used in rye sourdough bread?
Now I also looked it up and found several places in Germany that sell "fermentiertes Roggenmalz" for baking purposes. Is that the one we would want to use?
 

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Exactly, rye soudough. It's primarily a baking, not brewing, ingredient.
However, in Baltic states and in Poland and Soviet block countries it's also widely used for Kwass and Kwass-like homemade drinks. The unique Finnish Kaljamallas malt used in Sahti is probably the same thing (though I'm not sure as I haven't got me some genuine Kaljamallas yet).
It's impossible to make at home, it's made by Lactic fermentation of heaps of the green malt before roasting it to 150-200L. I buy it online.

I got the idea to use it for brewing from an article on Roggenbiers in a German magazine where it was suggested in several recipes. Then I reasearched Sahti brewing and thought it could be a passable substitution for Kaljamallas. So I tried it and was impressed and it's one of my staple ingredients for dark rustic beers now.
 
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Protos

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"Fermentiertes Roggenmalz" - I'm sure it's exactly what we're talking about.
It's called the same in all languages. In some, it might be called also the "Red Fermented Rye Malt".
 

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"Fermentiertes Roggenmalz" - I'm sure it's exactly what we're talking about.
It's called the same in all languages. In some, it might be called also the "Red Fermented Rye Malt".
It's said that it's used for colouring the bread and also giving it some additional aroma.

That's actually very nice, I bake a lot, so it's dual purpose for me. :)

I will order some.
 

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Fermentiertes Roggenmalz is what gives the traditional Schwarzbrot its unique earthy-sour aroma. So, it's a useful addition to the baking cabinet as well, indeed.
In beer, it's like... it's hard to compare. Definitely, not like roasted malts. Maybe (although not exactly) a very dark and immensely potent English Amber or Belgian Abbey Malt on steroids is the closest thing I can compare it to, although the flavour is different. 3% are already noticeasble in beer, and at 10% it becomes the dominant flavour.
 

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It's impossible to make at home, it's made by Lactic fermentation of heaps of the green malt before roasting it to 150-200L. I buy it online.
So here's a video about making a rye sourdough starter using rye flour, so would it be possible to do this with grain and then just roast it in the oven?


EDIT: here's another video showing fermented rye malt:
 

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Well, then maybe it's possible. I'm not that deep into Fermented Rye production. Personally me, I wouldn't try making it at the kitchen given the elaboratedness of the process. Even the common pale malt where the process is not as complex, rarely comes out really good when malted and kilned at home. And this stuff is trickier to produce, so easier to screw it somewhere in the process.

Also, what I've heard is that to be fermented correctly Rye needs to be fermented in huge quantity, like tons at a time, because the heap ferments unevenly and when the fermentation is over, it consists of several layers of unequal look and quality, of which only certain layers are chosen for further processing (roasting). One definitely can't recreate that at home.

So I think it's better to search for indusrial-produced Fermented Rye. It's not such a rarity in baking stores, I think.
 

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Good to know!

Weyemann has them and this brand is widely available in Germany.

Now I'm thinking about a 100% rye beer.... Beta glucan rest is a must :D
Could consider beta glucan rest for say half the grain mill and then add the rest in later.
You don't want to lose the beta glucan fullness in the final product by mashing it away.
Having just made an imperial stout in my all in one with high proportion of different rye and wheat it was a challenge.
Fairly sure my crush on the rye was the perfect size to block all the holes in the bottom screen on my all in one mash pipe. I used double dose of glucanase as well, so it was physical issue rather than chemical disruption.
Lesson learnt and next time I'm crushing finer and mashing a good portion in a bag overnight in half the water then pulling it squeezing and sparging it with the rest of the mash water. Then I'll mash rest of grains as normal.
Can't seem to source any crystal rye here at the moment but found found Gladfield black forest rye malt which could be interesting in some beers.
 

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If we're talking about a mash with a very high (>50%) Rye proportion, then even a very long Beta-Glucan rest wouldn't strip the beer of its fullness. I've tried pretty lengthy (up to 50 minutes) Beta-Glucan rests on my 75%-100% Rye beers, and even after performing those rests, plus Protein rests, the final beer still retained massive fullness and excessive slickiness. Performing B-Glucan and Protein rests in 100% Rye beer might bring some benefits for the ease of sparging (which isn't a major concern in BIAB brewing anyway) but had pretty insignificant effect on the final beer, surprisingly less prominent than in the beers with moderate (10%-25%) Rye content.

The only reliable way I found to make my Rye beers less viscous was adding sugar to the kettle. Employing low-temp mashing steps might help a bit but not nearly as much as I was expecting.
 

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@Protos

Thank you useful advice, maybe I'll just manage the particle size better and mash the rye in a bag next time.
I'm still fairly sure it was the rye that blocked up the holes in my mash pipe last brew, 15% wheat malts, 8 % oats and 4% rye malts. Not had problems in the past with that much wheat and oats and I found the malt pipe mesh plate blocked when I emptied it. Basically battled/ waited for hours with a stuck mash and stuck sparge but got there in the end.
 

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I have no experience other than BIAB so can't offer any useful suggestions on why your mash pipe got blocked, but in my experience 4% Rye has a negligible impact on viscosity of the wort. At such a tiny proportion, Rye would boost a bit the mouthfeel of the finished beer, but would be practically unnoticeable during the sparging process. I can only speculate the culprit might have been just an unlucky crush size rather than your grain choise. Rather a physical than chemical issue - just what you've suggested above.
 

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