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Blonde Ale with Kveik yeast - which strain is best?

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Piggy Smalls

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Shame you're in Perth, my wife doesn't drink tea or coffee, just water and "bubbles" with G&T's as a cleanser, a habit she's passed on to her daughters, so after the festives I'm drowning in champagne bottles.
Oh well big Belgians, barley wines, and Ris's for the foreseeable future, and like Kadmium I've got a 35L Robo so I predict a rather large order for extract going to Coopers, that might be sacrilege in some quarters but I find a 1050 grain in the Robo beefed up with a couple Kg's of extract/sugar is the easiest way to do 1100's, and I've got a new (for me) Kveik strain (Lutra) I'm itching to pitch.
It's supposed to be ultra clean and capable of a lager like beer, which I doubt but as I'm not brewing lagers that's no big deal.
If I get time (still renovating this bleedin house, and switching to commercial couplers) I'll post some results, I can feel a Brulosophy moment coming on.
I actually need to get some champagne bottles so I can have another crack at a Belgian. I made a BGS similar to Duval (Saaz and Styrians IIRC) with the Mangrove Jacks Belgian Ale about 9 months ago and it was pretty good at around 9.5% but it didn’t have the foamy head or smoothness of Duval. I’ve heard they primary to about 6% and then do a bottle refermentation to 8.5% before lagering the bottles for 60 days or something like that anyway. I work in waste management so I should be able to source some to give it a go sometime soon.

The Lutra sounds good. Can you buy it here? I’m keen to try to kveik Vienna lager next.
 

John1954

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I've been using Oslo for a range of brews, stouts, bitters and false lagers. I ferment at 37C with the help of a heat belt, some insulation and an Inkbird. I've found it to ferment very clean and have reused the slurry multiple times. My ambient conditions are a bit different from yours though. Last nights beer shown - every bit as enjoyable as a similar brew fermented with M84.
P1040537.JPGP1040540.JPG
 

Nickedoff

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I've got a pack of Espe in my fridge which I'm looking forward to trying out, sounds interesting:

"WARM ALCOHOL AND FRUIT. COGNAC AND PLUMS. MOST EXPRESSIVE FERMENTED HOT."


Reckon it might work well with a Belgian or a Porter.
 
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Piggy Smalls

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I've got a pack of Espe in my fridge which I'm looking forward to trying out, sounds interesting:

"WARM ALCOHOL AND FRUIT. COGNAC AND PLUMS. MOST EXPRESSIVE FERMENTED HOT."


Reckon it might work well with a Belgian or a Porter.
That looks interesting. I could definitely see it in a Dubbel or a Porter for sure. Cognac and plums are a bit different as flavour descriptors than those normally associated with other kveik strains. I’m keen to hear how it goes.

My kveik blonde has dropped clear and is stable at 1.007. The temp has dropped a bit today so I’m planning on bottling this arvo and using a heater to raise the ambient temp in my spare room overnight. Will post a few tasting notes from bottling later on.
 

Piggy Smalls

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I've been using Oslo for a range of brews, stouts, bitters and false lagers. I ferment at 37C with the help of a heat belt, some insulation and an Inkbird. I've found it to ferment very clean and have reused the slurry multiple times. My ambient conditions are a bit different from yours though. Last nights beer shown - every bit as enjoyable as a similar brew fermented with M84.
View attachment 119780View attachment 119781
That looks delicious! Very clear as well. How much slurry do you pitch per batch? Also, how long do the kveik lagers take before you are drinking them?
 

Nickedoff

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Kegged the nutbrown ale today (hoppy days recipe on brewfather, but substituted Carafa I for pale chocolate as I couldn't get it). Chucked a bit in a pet bottle, chilled it down then 'Ross carbed' it with 35psi and a bit of shaking. I'm sure it'll mellow out over the next few weeks but I'm enjoying a glass tonight and it's not bad at all. Very subtle citrus notes but I fermented @ 5ish psi. 5 days from brew day. Pretty happy with a first attempt at this, one of my favourite beers.
 

John1954

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That looks delicious! Very clear as well. How much slurry do you pitch per batch? Also, how long do the kveik lagers take before you are drinking them?
I'm using about 30ml of slurry in a 23l batch. I don't rush them so usually start to drink them after a month in the bottle.
 

Grmblz

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I actually need to get some champagne bottles so I can have another crack at a Belgian. I made a BGS similar to Duval (Saaz and Styrians IIRC) with the Mangrove Jacks Belgian Ale about 9 months ago and it was pretty good at around 9.5% but it didn’t have the foamy head or smoothness of Duval. I’ve heard they primary to about 6% and then do a bottle refermentation to 8.5% before lagering the bottles for 60 days or something like that anyway. I work in waste management so I should be able to source some to give it a go sometime soon.

The Lutra sounds good. Can you buy it here? I’m keen to try to kveik Vienna lager next.
Just a quick tip, get the Jacobs creek style bottles, and store in milk crates, they fit really well, those curvy, fancy things are a pain to store, just in case you haven't used champagne bottles before you'll need "tirage" caps and a tirage bell for your capper, got mine from My Slice Of Life - Home, Gift & Trade Supplies - Butcher, Brewing, BBQ but they're available on evil bay as well.
Keep in mind the bottles are green. and highly hopped beers will "skunk" if left in direct sunlight, I'm drinking a couple of beers brewed last Xmas, and one brewed 2017, stored under the house in milk crates with a black plastic garbage bag over them, probably overkill but better safe than sorry.

I got the Lutra from Buy Kveik and Farmhouse Brewer's Yeast - Kveik.com.au they're a bit expensive but have some interesting strains not available elsewhere in Aus, and if you reuse/farm the cost becomes insignificant.

On the topic of reusing/farming, Kveik has to be the easiest yeast in this respect, due in part I think to it's speed/aggressive nature, bacteria/wild yeast just doesn't get the chance to get a foothold, I'm not suggesting you can be lax with sanitation, but over the years I've had the odd infection with other yeasts, and never had one with Kveik. Could be just luck of course but Kveik is the only yeast I dry, all the others are frozen with glycol.

Cheers G
 

BKBrews

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I've got an old vial of Opshaug on the stir plate as we speak in a 2.5L starter. See if it kicks off, then I'll step it up once more.

Going to try a brut cream ale with it. Mash in at 60c with ultraferm for 1.5 hours, 30min at 66c, Simcoe to 20 IBU, pitch at ~30c and let free fall to 24c (just below recommended temp range of 25-35).
 

Piggy Smalls

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Due to lack of bottle tops (of all things!) I didn’t get to bottle yesterday arvo. I had to do it after work today instead.
The temp had dropped a bit overnight and today was a balmy 30 degrees so by the time I got round to bottling the beer was at 26 degrees.
I ended up with 29 king browns and I’ve put them in the room of my house that gets the warmest, going to use a heater to raise the temp overnight and then let the heat tomorrow keep it there.

I had a few samples while bottling and noticed some things:

Aroma is dominated by mandarin/orange from the yeast. With such a pale beer with no dry hop I’m not surprised there is little to no hop or malt aroma but I must admit the yeast has created more aroma than I anticipated. It is quite pleasant but definitely wouldn’t call it ‘clean’.

The taste is really good. A little bit of the mandarin and orange but nowhere near as forward as in the aroma. Also a lemony undertone which pairs beautifully with the cascade. No off flavours whatsoever and I really can’t wait to try this once it is carbed and ready to drink.

I will check in 48 hours and see if I have any carbonation.
 

Grmblz

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Another "quick tip" lol, when doing something like this I usually fill a single PET bottle along with my others, that way a quick squeeze gives a pretty good indication of how the carbonation is going without having to open anything. when the PET is rock hard I'll open it and have a good idea of how carbed the bottles are, this can be a life saver as occasionally it'll be a gusher in which case you have the chance to gently release the pressure on the bottles and recap.
 

DJR

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I've got a new (for me) Kveik strain (Lutra) I'm itching to pitch.
It's supposed to be ultra clean and capable of a lager like beer, which I doubt but as I'm not brewing lagers that's no big deal
It's good. In a clean beer it tastes a lot like a cleaner version of Coopers Pale Ale yeast, not a bad thing, but not exactly a crisp lager. You might be able to play around with pH, pitch rates and temp to get something crisper than mine, I think I underpitched a bit by just pitching about 3g of dried flakes and pitched at 30C down to 25C.
 

Piggy Smalls

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Another "quick tip" lol, when doing something like this I usually fill a single PET bottle along with my others, that way a quick squeeze gives a pretty good indication of how the carbonation is going without having to open anything. when the PET is rock hard I'll open it and have a good idea of how carbed the bottles are, this can be a life saver as occasionally it'll be a gusher in which case you have the chance to gently release the pressure on the bottles and recap.
Thanks G. That’s a good idea. Would have saved me a fair few prematurely opened bottles over the years too if I’d been doing that.

I just took a quick look at the bottles and I can see little fermentation currents in them at the moment but anyone’s guess how carbonated they’d be already. They’re sitting at about 35 degrees now so I’m expecting things to happen pretty quickly after how fast the primary fermentation was.
 

An Ankoù

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Hi.
I've used Voss and Opshaug. I wouldn't even bother trying to make a blonde with Voss- especially at the top of it's temperature range- it's just too dominant. Opshaug, on the other hand is much lighter, but not perfectly "clean" either. I used it in a strong English bitter and thought it gave it a bit of a "sea breeze" taste that was unexpected but not unpleasant. This diminished with ageing- about 6 months in the bottle.
It doesn't get as hot in this neck of the woods as it can in Perth, but my goto warm-weather yeast is Fermentis saflager W 34/70 which will ferment cleanly up to the high 20s C regardless of what the data sheet may say.
 

Piggy Smalls

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Cracked one open today after a quick crash chill in the freezer and it was semi-carbonated. Although fairly flat i am shocked at how cleaned up it tastes at 7 days grain to glass.
There’s definitely a lemony citrus element but everything seems to be pretty balanced. The bitterness is noticeable but smooth and the citrusy undertone blends beautifully with the cascade hops. It’s definitely not ‘clean’ but works quite well as a more expressive blonde ale.
Clarity is better than I expected after no cold crash. I’ve included a photo.
A46A8CFA-27F0-4327-8CC8-CFBC46790172.jpeg
 

Piggy Smalls

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Hi.
I've used Voss and Opshaug. I wouldn't even bother trying to make a blonde with Voss- especially at the top of it's temperature range- it's just too dominant. Opshaug, on the other hand is much lighter, but not perfectly "clean" either. I used it in a strong English bitter and thought it gave it a bit of a "sea breeze" taste that was unexpected but not unpleasant. This diminished with ageing- about 6 months in the bottle.
It doesn't get as hot in this neck of the woods as it can in Perth, but my goto warm-weather yeast is Fermentis saflager W 34/70 which will ferment cleanly up to the high 20s C regardless of what the data sheet may say.
Hi An Ankou.
What beers are you making with 34/70 at high 20’s and how quickly do they ferment out? I’ve only used it once for a Vienna lager I attempted to ferment cool. I ended up with a shitload of diacetyl which ruined the batch and I haven’t brewed a lager since.
As posted above my experience of fermenting a blonde with Voss at 32 degrees has been pretty good to date but I wouldn’t like to try anything too clean like a cream ale or lager with it.
 

An Ankoù

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Hi An Ankou.
What beers are you making with 34/70 at high 20’s and how quickly do they ferment out? I’ve only used it once for a Vienna lager I attempted to ferment cool. I ended up with a shitload of diacetyl which ruined the batch and I haven’t brewed a lager since.
As posted above my experience of fermenting a blonde with Voss at 32 degrees has been pretty good to date but I wouldn’t like to try anything too clean like a cream ale or lager with it.
Used it two summers ago (last summer i was experimenting with kveik) for anything where I might have used Safale US-05: light ale, blonde and an IPA. At the time I formulated a beer for my wife who had taken a fancy to Duvel Triple Hop- Citra. I don't know if you can get it over there, but it runs out at 9½% abv and is a Belgian blonde ale. My version is only 6½% and i use 34/70 at high temperature. My last batch was in August when it was had to find anywhere indoors much less than 30C. Looking at my notes, I racked it into secondary to clarify and dry hop after 10 days, but that's not to say it needed 10 days, I was probably busy doing something else and left it.
Sorry to hear about your Vienna lager. Mine was crap, too. I followed the Greg Hughes recipe which advocates adding melanoidin and chocolate malt. Big mistake. This years attempt will be all Vienna with a bit of Munich.
 

BKBrews

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The cream ale is in the books. Pitched the 1-1.5 year old pack of Opshaug (did a 2.5L starter and decanted) at about 4pm, 3 hours later it’s going absolutely ballistic and has a krausen that would rival a 48 hour WLP001 krausen. Fermenting at bottom of its range - 25c - but pitched yeast at 30c.
 

BKBrews

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Fermentation had visibly slowed down by day 3 and was starting to flocc out, so hydro tested today (day 4) and it's sitting at 1.008. I used some dated Amyloglucosidase (ultraferm) on this batch, and am expecting a tiny bit lower, so I have just roused the yeast back up with a blast of CO2 into the bottom of the fermenter and will see what happens - not bad to reach 80% attenuation in 4 days though. It is very cloudy, so will be interested to see how it clears. A slight sulphury smell hanging around, but it actually tastes very good so far.
 

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