September 2019: Lærdal Kveik
Release Date: September 9, 2019
This single-strain isolate from the Lærdal Kveik (sourced from Dagfinn Wendelbo) ferments fast (like most kveik), flocculates well, and adds pineapple and orchard fruit aroma to beer. Ferments fast and is likely suited to hazy IPAs or English ales.
What will you ferment with it?
October 2019: Skare Kveik
Release date: October 15, 2019
The Skare Kveik (sourced from Gunnar Skare; actually pronounced "scar-uh") has gained a reputation in homebrew circles for quick and somewhat more neutral flavour profile. Our blend of four isolates from Skare selects the best of the bunch and this blend can be used to produce clean beers quickly, including the recently popular "kveik lagers".
Crispy boys incoming.
November 2019: Halvorsgard
Bjarne Halvorsgard's yeast hails from Ål, which is quite geographically separated from the farmhouse brewing epicentres in Voss and Hornindal. So much so that in Ål, the term for yeast is not 'kveik' but rather 'gong'. Unfortunately, The Gong Ring is a little less catchy.
The yeasts in Ål are quite unique, behaving somewhere between kveik yeasts and Belgian-style yeasts (both contain POF+ yeasts in the mix). The Halvorsgard has strong fruity aromas coupled with light baking spice, which we think is perfect for malty and dark winter brews. It can be used for barleywine, porter, stout, dubbel, and so on. We selected two isolates to make this blend.
Did you know there was so much diversity in kveik yeasts?
Welcome to the inner circle of the latest revolution in brewing yeast.
The Kveik Ring.
Escarpment Labs has a problem: too many Norwegian kveik yeasts to test, and not enough time. Our typical strain testing process requires multiple experiments, test brews and months of time.
The Kveik Ring is a monthly program geared toward getting the abundance of our kveik collection into more brewer’s hands. This is your chance to get access to a wider range of these exciting yeasts, lovingly propagated by the leading experts on kveik. Each yeast released will be tested by us for basic parameters (attenuation, flocculation, simple flavour descriptors) but we will turn yeast characterization into a collaborative process.
How does it work? Every month we will release a limited batch of a different kveik (or farmhouse yeast), available to pro brewers as well as homebrew shops. The yeast will be available to purchase until supplies run out.
.To be the first to find out about the Kveik Ring releases, sign up now.
We've written some useful blog posts about kveik:
The search for KRISPY (clean kveik yeast)
December 2019: Tormodgarden Kveik
This kveik was sourced from Sigurd Johan Saure, who is the founder of Kveik Training, which offers an authentic Norwegian farmhouse brewing experience to guests. This is a unique opportunity to learn about traditional farmhouse brewing in Norway and to experience some of the unique cultural elements like Oppskåk, the convivial tasting of the still-fermenting beer.
This is a classic high performing kveik, with notes of red fruit like cherry. We think it works well in darker beers like stouts, and also traditional raw ales. Great for holiday break brewing!
Marina Russian Farmhouse
While not technically kveik, this S. cerevisiae strain from deep in Chuvashia in Russia is quite unique, and we thought it was worth sharing in the Kveik Ring program.
Marina displays notes of white wine, baking spice, and light vanilla. It is closest in profile to Belgian ale strains and would be at home in Belgian styles or as the primary strain in a mixed culture ferment. Traditionally, it is used in a rye-heavy boiled-mash beer.
Can be pitched anywhere from 25ºC to 39ºC, with cleaner results at the lower end.
the return of Lærdal Kveik
For February, we brought back this single-strain isolate from the Lærdal Kveik (sourced from Dagfinn Wendelbo) ferments fast (like most kveik), flocculates well, and adds pineapple and orchard fruit aroma to beer. Ferments fast and our intrepid Kveik Ring participants responded favourably to the strain.
Charging out of the gates, Stalljen is our Kveik Ring release for March.
From Lars Marius Garshol:
Stig Jarle Seljeset got the yeast from his father in the 70s and has been using it ever since. He has never mixed it with any other yeast. He calls his brewery 'Stalljen' (means 'stable') because it's in the house that used to be the stable on the farm.
The original Stalljen is the dry kveik we pull out of the freezer whenever someone doesn't believe us about how amazingly fast kveik is. They go silent when it starts fermenting after 30 minutes.
We are offering a blend of four isolates from the original culture. This was our fastest propagation ever.
KRISPY is a special blend of kveik yeasts selected by our lab wizards for optimal crispiness and crushability in beer. It can be used to make clean, lager-like beers in a fraction of the time since fermentations can be performed in the 20-30ºC range.
Practically speaking, KRISPY is a selection of two strains from the Skare kveik, and is a bit different from the Kveik Ring: Skare we previously released.
Next month, look out for the next-door neighbour to one of our most beloved kveiks.
We've been busy sorting out how to ramp up production while mantaining a minimal, physical-distancing friendly staffing level. As a result we were not able to schedule a May Kveik Ring release. But, we've been doing our best to keep KRISPY in stock since it looks like you all can't get enough of it!
We will be back at the start of June with the next Kveik Ring release.
June 2020: Framgarden Kveik
The next-door neighbour to the popular Stordal Ebbegarden kveik, Framgarden offers similar properties with a twist. To us, Framgarden offers less guava and more melon and mango notes, which we think would pair perfectly with hops like Cashmere, Sabro, Huell Melon and Galaxy. In terms of beer styles, we think it works great in quick sours and low-ABV pale ales.
Framgarden is sourced from Petter B Øvrebust, and collected by the late and great William Holden.
Mini ferment results: OG 1.040 FG 1.010, fruity, melon-like aroma
July 2020: Hornindal Farm Kveik
What we've done here is devised a strategy to replicate the original Hornindal Farm Kveik (Terje Raftevold #5) as best as we possibly can. We grew as many yeast strains as we could, using our standard yeast production method, and blended it with a custom propagation of the Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus paracasei found in the original culture.
Our regular Hornindal Kveik Blend contains two strains selected for optimal fermentation. Conversely, Hornindal Farm Kveik contains many strains of yeast as well as two strains of bacteria. The L. paracasei strain is hop tolerant and this culture may sour low IBU beers.
In addition to traditional raw ale, we think this culture would be extremely well suited to tart summer beers with fresh fruit.
Test batch results (raw ale, 5 IBU): OG 1.040 FG 1.012
Flavor description: Lightly tart, tropical fruit, milky caramel
Latest release: Simonaitis
Release Date: September 1, 2020
In our continued effort to push the limits of the Kveik Ring program, here we offer an exciting Lithuanian landrace yeast culture, offered both with the resident Lactobacillus and without (as a pure culture). The Kveik Ring: Simonaitis + Lacto can be used as a mixed culture for no-hop sours, where it attenuates and acidifies to make quick turnaround, clean sour beers. The ideal pitching temperature is 30-35ºC. The Kveik Ring: Pure Simonaitis is a single strain of fruity S. cerevisiae which produces strong tropical fruit notes - the original brewer is named JULIUS Simonaitis after all!) The flavour profile is rounded out with a background of baking spice. Temperature: 25-35ºC Attenuation: 72-85%