This article originally appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of Zymurgy Magazine
By Ryan D. Kriesch
Many yeast suppliers currently produce kveik yeasts that have been sourced from different regions of Norway. Some labs are even isolating specific strains from blended cultures and making whole new possibilities available to homebrewers. Omega Yeast, Imperial Yeast, Bootleg Biology, The Yeast Bay, Propagate Lab, Lallemand, and White Labs all produce at least one kveik strain at the time of writing.
These novel Norwegian yeasts have become a new favorite among pro brewers and homebrewers alike, in part thanks to such yeasts’ ability to ferment at heretofore unbelievably high temperatures—glycol chiller definitely not required. Most kveik strains can ferment as warm as 98°F (37°C) or higher, and as cool as 70°F (21°C).
This is a game changer for homebrewers who live in the Southern states and other warm climates. In summer, those of us in the flyover states can just place the fermenter in the garage or on the back patio and say, “Have fun, my little yeasts—see you in a few days.” Kveik strains are incredibly versatile, and if you have not yet picked one up and played with it, I highly recommend doing so. Each kveik yeast has a story to tell.
Without diving into the history of kveik yeasts (read Lars Marius Garshol’s Historical Brewing Techniques for that), I thought it would be good to hear from those in the lab who are producing these unique strains…