If you have kept your eyes on taplists around town, eyeing local breweries’ new one-off beers, you have probably seen a beer brewed with Kveik yeast. The Norwegian sourced yeast strain is known for its unique properties in both flavor profiles it develops as well as being known to handle extreme temperatures. Now, San Diego, CA-based White Labs is adding its own Kveik strain – WLP518 Opshaug Farmhouse Yeast to its vault, making it available year-round to professional and homebrewers. The strain was sourced and isolated from a Norwegian farmhouse brewer.
More from a press release:
“Kveik strains are on the rise, but we didn’t want to add just any strain to our lineup,” said Chris White, founder, CEO and president of White Labs. “We’ve spent a lot of time studying different kveik strains and found that this is one of the best.”
The company worked with Lars Marius Garshol to source the culture kveik-style yeast from farmhouse brewer Harald Opshaug in Stranda, Norway. Opshaug used the strain for years, brewing kornøl-style raw ales with juniper branches and kveik like other brewers in the area until he was exposed to modern brewing theory, which teaches that this method of brewing is wrong. In an effort to stay current, Opshaug switched from the kveik to a commercially available strain, but he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of the kveik, which he calls “the good sort,” so he made it a point to keep it alive throughout the years.
Kveiks are known for their high-temperature tolerance and WLP518 Opshaug Farmhouse Yeast is no exception. Opshaug often pitched the yeast at 73-75°F (23-24°C), but the strain has handled up to 91°F (33°C). He would harvest yeast from the top after 30 hours, and the beer would be finished after 48-50 hours.
Strain description: Sourced from our friend Lars Marius Garshol, this kveik strain was isolated from a mixed culture which belonged to Harald Opshaug, a farmhouse brewer in Stranda, Norway. This strain was originally used in the 1990s to produce several kornøl-style beers. It is a clean fermenting yeast and has tolerated temperatures up to 91°F (33°C) while finishing fermentation within three to four days. The hop-forward, clean characteristics of this strain make it ideal for IPAs and pale ales.
White Labs Inc. is an international company headquartered in San Diego that provides liquid yeast, fermentation products, services, analysis and education to professionals and enthusiasts alike. Continually raising the bar in the art of fermentation, White Labs stretches the limits of science to set new standards in purity and freshness. From the industry’s first pitchable liquid yeast to a complete revolution in the way it’s propagated and packaged, the White Labs innovative spirit is tireless. For more information on White Labs and its various products and services, please visit whitelabs.com.
Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding.