How do you use kveik?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

To use kveik effectively, there are a few key steps to follow. Let’s dive into the process and explore how to get the best results with this unique yeast.

1. Make a highly fermentable wort: Kveik strains typically struggle to ferment maltotriose, a complex sugar found in wort. To compensate for this, it’s crucial to create a wort that is highly fermentable. This means using a high percentage of simple sugars, such as maltose or glucose, and minimizing the use of complex sugars like maltotriose. By doing so, you provide the kveik yeast with a wort that it can easily ferment, resulting in a more complete and efficient fermentation.

2. Add nutrients: Kveik strains benefit from the addition of yeast nutrients, especially those containing nitrogen compounds like diammonium phosphate (DAP). These nutrients help support healthy yeast growth and fermentation, ensuring a clean and vigorous fermentation. Follow the recommended dosage on the nutrient package, typically adding it at the beginning of fermentation or as instructed by the manufacturer.

3. Make sure it gets lots of oxygen: Oxygen is essential for yeast growth and reproduction, especially during the initial stages of fermentation. To ensure the kveik yeast has sufficient oxygen, make sure to aerate or oxygenate your wort before pitching the yeast. This can be done by vigorously stirring or by using an oxygenation system. Providing ample oxygen will help the kveik yeast establish a strong and healthy fermentation.

4. Experiment with temperature and pitching rate: Kveik strains are known for their ability to ferment at a wide range of temperatures, including higher temperatures than traditional yeast strains. This flexibility allows for experimentation and the creation of unique flavor profiles. Start by following the recommended temperature range provided by the yeast supplier, and then feel free to adjust within that range based on the desired flavors. Additionally, kveik strains are known for their high pitching rates, so consider pitching a larger amount of yeast compared to traditional strains to achieve optimal results.

5. Maintain stable fermentation temperature: While kveik strains can tolerate higher temperatures, it’s still important to maintain a stable fermentation temperature throughout the process. Fluctuations in temperature can stress the yeast and potentially lead to off-flavors. Use a temperature-controlled fermentation chamber or other means to keep the fermentation temperature within the desired range. Consistency is key to achieving the desired flavor profile and a clean fermentation.

In summary, to use kveik effectively, focus on creating a highly fermentable wort, providing adequate nutrients and oxygen, experimenting with temperature and pitching rate, and maintaining a stable fermentation temperature. By following these tips, you can harness the unique characteristics of kveik and create exceptional beers with distinct flavors and aromas. Cheers to your kveik brewing adventures!