Kveik Yeast – The Complete Guide Uses, Types (6), Origin, & ABV

Beer in a can and glass brewed using Kveik yeast

Kveik yeast is an extremely resilient yeast from the Norwegian valleys called “Oppland”. It ferments at high temperatures, as well as high alcohol concentrations, making it ideal for brewing.

Kveik is a Norwegian word for yeast, spelled with “k” because it originates from the dialect of the Norwegian valleys called “Oppland” (the Oppland region). Specifically, Kveik is a local strain of yeast that has been used in traditional beer production in this part of Norway for centuries.

It is an extremely resilient yeast that Kveik ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations. The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers. This article covers everything you need to know about Kveik.

This article takes an in-depth look at everything you need to know about Kveik yeast–how it’s made, where it comes from, and how it is used today.

What Is Kveik Yeast?

Kveik is a Norwegian word for yeast, spelled with “k” because it originates from the dialect of the Norwegian valleys called “Oppland” (the Oppland region).

Specifically, Kveik is a local strain of yeast that has been used in traditional beer production in this part of Norway for centuries.

It is an extremely resilient yeast that Kveik ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations. The regular yeast stops fermenting when the alcohol content reaches a certain level but Kveik can tolerate more alcohol.

The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers.

Where Does Kveik Yeast Come From?

The Kveik yeast comes from the Oppland region in Norway. This region is where a large number of the traditional farmhouses (called “gard”) still exist, and these are all places where the Kveik yeast has been used for centuries to ferment their beer.

Kveik yeasts are a Norwegian word with an “k” because it originates from the dialect of Norwegian spoken in this part of Norway called “Oppland” (the Oppland region). The locals would not say “yeast” but instead, use a different word that was derived from the name of this region.

What are the different types of Kveik Yeast?

There are different types of Kveik yeast, but they all have some similarities. All of them are true-breeding strains that were isolated from wild yeast by generations of farmers in the Oppland region.

The Kveik yeasts available today are all descendants of the original Norwegian yeast strains. Each strain belongs to a specific family, and there are six major families in total that have been found.

The Voss type is the oldest type of Kveik, and it’s been used for centuries in Norway. The Hornidal type is a new type that was isolated in 1986 and has only been used since then. Ebbegarden, Stranda, Årset, and Midtbust types are all isolated from Hornidal. Oslo is a newer type that was isolated in 1997 and has only been brewed with since then.

Below, we’ll explore what they each entail so you can decide which is the best choice for your needs:

Voss Kveik

One of the most prominent strains of kveik comes from the Voss region in Norway. It was first brought to the U.S. by a Norwegian immigrant named Lars Marius Garshol and has been used for brewing since 2006.

Voss Kveik is a very hearty yeast strain that ferments beers at about 90ºF with no problems. This is an ideal yeast for brewers who are looking for a high-temperature fermenting strain that produces a clean finish, and crisp beers.

Kveik is an essential element in traditional Norwegian beer making, and while it might seem strange to outsiders, it’s not something new or exotic—it’s just another type of yeast that works better under different circumstances than what we would typically use in the United States (namely, domestic ale yeasts).

When asked why they would use this particular type of yeast, many Norwegian brewers will say they like to make their beer different than everyone else’s or they want to keep the tradition alive.

But you might also find Kveik used by modern brewers due to its ability to ferment at higher temperatures and alcohol concentrations that other yeasts can’t handle as well.

Voss Kveik This type of Kveik yeast comes from a farm called Voss in Norway. It was originally used by farmers to brew beer on their farms. The yeast thrives in temperatures up to 110ºF and can ferment at very high alcohol concentrations (up to about 18% ABV).

Voss Kveik is one of the most popular types of Kveik, so if you’re looking for this type of yeast then you should start your search with Voss.

Beer in glasses

Hornidal Kveik

Hornidal Kveik type of Kveik comes from the Hornidal farm in Norway. Yeast Hornidal Kveik is a strain of yeast that originates from the Hornidal farm in Oppland, Norway. This area is one of the few places in the world where Kveik has been utilized throughout the course of history.

It’s known for being very clean-tasting and producing beers that have a low fruity ester profile.

This particular strain of Kveik yeast is great for those who are looking for a light flavor profile, but it doesn’t tolerate higher fermentation temps as well as other varieties. If your fermentation temperature is over 86ºF, then this probably won’t be a good fit.

It’s a very special yeast that produces crisp and clean beers with no off-flavors. To this day, brewers like Øystein Hjelte and Lars Marius Garshol are using kveik to brew “traditional” Norwegian beer styles.

The traditional beer styles brewed with Hornidal Kveik include:

  • Gjetost (a type of cheese that’s made from goat’s milk)
  • Lefse (a sweet Norwegian flatbread)
  • Juleøl (malt beers brewed for Christmas)
  • Kvitøl (wheat beers)
  • Rogaland Pilsner (an old Norwegian style of beer)

If you’re interested in brewing these types of beers but don’t know what yeast to use, start with Hornidal Kveik!

Ebbegarden Kveik

Ebbegarden Kveik is a farmhouse brewery in Gjerstad, Norway. It was founded in 1894 by Lars Tjøstheim. Their farmhouse brewery produces beers based on traditional Norwegian “Kveik” yeast strains.

Ebbegarden Kveik Originating from Ebbegarden farm in Norway.

In the 1800s, Kveik seemed to be a dying tradition until Lars Tjøstheim took over his family’s farm and restored the old traditions of brewing with Kveik. In 1971, Lars started the Ebbegarden Brewery and began selling malt to local farmers so they could brew their own beer at home.

The first time he brewed with Kveik from his farm, it was such a success that he decided to start using it as his sole yeast source for all of his beers. Lars has since passed away and today Ebbegarden is run by Emil Tjøstheim (Lars’ son) and Anton Dalsegg.

Today, the company offers a range of artisanal ales that are brewed according to ancient Norwegian recipes using solely local ingredients and pure spring water from their own well.

Stranda Kveik

The Stranda strain of kveik is one of the most popular and well-known. It was originally collected in the 1950s by a local farmer, who stored his liquid yeast at a farmhouse in the municipality of Stranda.

The yeast was used for brewing until 1974, when it disappeared with the death of the brewer. Fortunately, two brewery employees found and preserved some samples from this yeast before its disappearance.

In 2004, Lars Marius Garshol (a Norwegian brewer and blogger) heard about Stranda’s unique strain of yeast while on vacation with his family in Norway. He tracked down samples from the brewery and brought them back to England to brew beer with them.

He brewed 3 different beers: one at 60ºF (UK ale), one at 80ºF (Norwegian farmhouse ale), and one at 110ºF (the temperature that it ferments at in Norway). All three had very different flavors due to the variations in fermentation temperature. This was the first time that Kveik has been recreated outside of Norway.

Årset Kveik

Årset Kveik is an unusual yeast and is considered a traditional Norwegian strain. It’s a very resilient yeast that Kveik ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations.

The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers. There are many theories as to how the strain of yeast came to be, one of which is that it was the result of natural mating in the wild between two different strains.

Another theory is that it originated from a spontaneous fermentation process in which airborne yeasts were captured by homebrewers who wanted a unique fermentation profile.

Midtbust Kveik

Midtbust kveik is a Norwegian strain of yeast that was first isolated from the village of Midtbust in Oppland, near Oslo. The strain has been used throughout Norway for centuries

Midtbust kveik is known for its ability to handle much higher alcohol concentrations than most other strains, and can also be used for primary fermentation of wort with as much as 20% dry extract content.

It is an extremely resilient yeast that ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations.

The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers.

Clean-tasting beer next to some hops

Oslo Kveik

Oslo Kveik is a kveik strain. It originates from the city of Oslo in Norway, hence the name. It was originally used for brewing in Oslo and nearby towns, but it is now used by many homebrewers outside of that region.

The first thing to know about Kveik is that it’s a yeast, spelled with a “k” because it comes from Norway’s Oppland region.

It’s resilient, fermenting at high temperatures and at high levels of alcohol. It can tolerate temperatures of up to 110ºF.

How is Kveik Yeast used in beer making today?

Kveik yeast is used in beer making today to make a lager-like beer due to the extremely clean fermentation profile of certain strains and to reduce the brewing time. Moreover, many people love it since it thrives at high temperatures and high alcohol content producing high ABV beers.

In the past decade, Kveik has been gaining popularity in mainstream beer production here in the US. Some Norwegian breweries have even been making beers with Kveik strains, and starting to export them over to us too.

As a result, more and more brewers are experimenting with Kveik as an ingredient in their own beers. A lot of people have also started using Kveik yeast to make a lager-like beer due to the extremely clean fermentation profile of certain strains of Kveik.

This is often done by fermenting at a cooler temperature than usual for a lager (say 55ºF-65ºF) because it ferments so quickly. What’s interesting about this use of Kveik is that it requires some clever brewing knowledge and skill on behalf of the brewer to create a beer that doesn’t taste too sour or tart from over-fermentation.

Perhaps this is what distinguishes those who call themselves “Kveiki” in Norway – those who brew with the traditional ferments from their home valley!

Why Would You Use Kveik Yeast?

Many people are under the impression that Kveik is difficult to use because of its high-temperature fermentation, but this is entirely untrue. Kveik can be used as a normal yeast at ale temperatures with standard fermentations.

The main purpose of Kveik is to produce incredibly clean-tasting beers and to do so it needs to be fermented at higher temperatures.

You might have noticed that many beers brewed with kveik have a signature fruity note. This is due to the extremely clean fermentation profile of certain Kveik Yeast strains.

What Are The Advantages of Using Kveik Yeast?

Kveik yeast is a Norwegian strain of yeast that is highly versatile and resilient. It ferments at high temperatures, in high-alcohol environments, and has no need for the addition of nutrients or sugars to aid fermentation.

  • The major advantage of using Kveik yeast is that you can ferment your beer anywhere from 60ºF to 110ºF (depending on the strain). This means that there’s an incredible range of temperatures in which you can use Kveik to produce a beer without worrying about any negative effects on the yeast. In normal brewing processes, the temperature changes during fermentation are carefully regulated by controlling both the fermentation equipment and by manipulating the temperature inside the brewery. However, when using Kveik yeast this becomes almost impossible as it will ferment at any temperature! This also allows brewers that brew at home to easily create more accessible beers as they don’t have to worry about keeping their house cool enough for fermentation.
  • Another advantage is that Kveik ferments much quicker than normal brewing yeasts. Most strains of Kveik take around half as much time as most other yeasts with some taking less than a day! This makes it perfect for those who want their beers quickly or those who live in regions with warmer climates where keeping a room cool enough could be an issue.
  • Kveik also has no need for any additional nutrients or sugars during fermentation; if anything it can tolerate higher alcohol levels than many other yeasts which will lead to

Disadvantages of Using Kveik Yeast

Kveik is a type of yeast used mostly in Norway. It is a resilient, low-flocculating yeast that can ferment at higher temperatures and at higher alcohol concentrations than most other ale yeasts.

There are some disadvantages of using Kveik yeast:

  • Kveik has been found to be less flocculent than other ale yeasts and so requires longer periods of cold aging before bottling or kegging to ensure clear beer.
  • The high-temperature tolerance means that less attenuation occurs during cold conditioning, which may result in a sweeter beer with lower alcohol content. The ability for Kveik to ferment at higher temperatures also makes it more susceptible to infection from wild yeasts like Brettanomyces than typical ale strains, which require lower temperatures for optimal performance.
  • If not carefully managed by the brewer, this can result in an unpredictable final flavor profile. For this reason, many brewers use Kveik as a secondary fermentation strain after primary fermentation with traditional ale yeast strains like Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Saccharomyces pastorianus.
IS brewing beer bad for the environment?

How to Use Kveik Yeast in Beer Brewing?

Most breweries currently use Kveik Yeast to reduce the time and temperatures that you can do your brewing. The yeast can be used at high temperatures, and markedly reduce the time it takes for complete fermentation to occur from seven to ten days to one to three days when using Kveik Yeast.

It can be used in beer brewing to reduce the time needed to ferment wort, and it can also be used to produce beer at higher temperatures.

Moreover, the Kveik yeast can work well even in high alcohol concentrations making it a great yeast to make high ABV beers.

Kveik is hard to find and expensive when you can find it, but many brewers feel that the flavor profile it produces is worth the cost and effort.

It is an extremely resilient yeast that Kveik ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations. The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers.

Which breweries currently use Kveik?

Many American breweries, such as Burnt City Brewing in Chicago, use Kveik to make a lager-like beer. Beers such as “The Kveikening” are made using Kveik yeast. This is because the yeast ferments at high temperatures, which is difficult for the average brewer to reproduce.

How can you use Kveik at home?

To use Kveik Yeast at home, you will need to add a teaspoon of slurry for 25 liters of wort. The usage of the yeast is as described below. One of the main things that you will love about Kveik yeast is that it lowers the fermentation time from seven to ten days that are taken by regular yeasts to one to three days.

The most common uses for Kveik today are as follows:

  • As a primary fermenter for low-hopped beers such as pale lagers, Pilsners, and bocks. Kveik will give you clean-tasting beer with less harsh bitterness than traditionally used yeasts.
  • As a secondary fermenter for beers with rich fruitiness and esters such as barley wines, Belgian strong ales, or Belgian sour ales. Kveik can be pitched into any type of wort to produce unique flavors.
  • Fermenter for making mead or wine
  • Kveik yeast can be used in any type of fermentation process where you want to add a touch of character without being overwhelming or musty like some other types of yeast can be.

What is special about Kveik yeast?

What is special about Kveik yeast is that it has resilience in temperature and high alcohol content and reduces the brewing time by more than half.

Kveik yeast is a local strain of yeast that has been used in traditional beer production in the Oppland region for centuries.

Kveik is one of the few yeast cultures that can ferment on this scale, which means it is being looked into as a possible solution for brewing higher gravity, higher alcohol beers like Imperial Stouts and Barleywines in the future.

Kveik yeast is also more resilient than necessary and can tolerate temperatures up to around 115-120°F without any issues (though brewers usually do not want to exceed 120°F). It’s worth noting that Kveik yeasts are so tolerant to high temperatures because they have evolved over time to survive extreme heat on farms where they would be exposed to summer days without shade.

This allowed them to continue brewing when other strains like ale yeasts would die off due to heat exposure. In addition, Kveik yeasts are susceptible to fermentation byproducts such as acetaldehyde or ethyl acetate, which give the beer a distinct flavor or aromas like bananas or green apples respectively.

Yeast strains from traditional Norwegian farmhouse brewers achieve the cleanest-tasting beers because they are resistant to those byproducts.

Conclusion

Yeast is an important element in the production of beer. Kveik yeast is a Norwegian term for this kind of yeast, which originates from the dialect of the Norwegian valleys called “oppland” (the Oppland region). Kveik strains are extremely resilient and can ferment at high temperatures and alcohol concentrations. These strains produce beers with clean taste. If you want to know more about kveik yeast, keep reading!

FAQs

What is Kveik?

Kveik is a Norwegian word for yeast, spelled with “k” because it originates from the dialect of the Norwegian valleys called “oppland” (the Oppland region). Specifically, Kveik is a local strain of yeast that has been used in traditional beer production in this part of Norway for centuries. It is an extremely resilient yeast that Kveik ferments not only at extremely high temperatures (up to about 110ºF), but also at significantly higher alcohol concentrations. The strains are incredibly quick fermenting yeast that produces very clean-tasting beers.

Where does Kveik come from?

As mentioned above, Kveik is a Norwegian word for a local strain of yeast from the Oppland region in Norway. It’s said to have been used in traditional beer production for centuries.

How long has Kveik been around?

It’s not entirely clear how long ago the first Kveik was discovered or who found it or what circumstances led to its discovery. However, some research suggests that the use of this type of yeast can be traced back as far as 200 years ago!

Is it safe to homebrew with Kveik?

Yes and no – you can homebrew with it if you understand what you are doing and follow instructions carefully, but like any other ingredient that you add when not used in the right way it can spoil your brew. However, it is an excellent yeast since it is resilient and reduces brewing time considerably.

Is Kveik similar to other yeasts?

Kveik is different from other yeasts in that it can withstand higher temperatures and higher alcohol levels. This makes it perfect for brewing hot beverages like coffee and beer!

What kind of yeast is Kveik?

Kveik Yeast is a farmhouse yeast derived from multiple strains of saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is closely related to the brewing yeast strains used by most major breweries and wineries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.