Kveik is actually an old Norwegian word that simply means yeast. However, when it’s used in today’s context it means a farmhouse yeat that is usually from Norway. But there are also other versions of Kveik from Lithuania, Latvia, and further afield.
If you want to learn more about different yeast types check our Philly Sour Yeast Info & Souring Method.
The basic information on the yeast
The fermentation time for Kveik yeast is usually between 1 to 3 days. It doesn’t result in any harsh flavors and tastes good really quickly. There are many different varieties of Kveik that are suitable for a wide and varied amount of different beer styles.
Kveik can support beer styles of various alcohol strengths. Usually, up to 15% and still offers the same fast conditioning times. You can expect regular strength alcohol beer to be ready much faster. The commercial brewing scene has been exploding with Kveik fermented beers from all over the world. There is also a huge rapidly expanding brewing scene for Kveik within the homebrewing communities.
Main versions of Kveik yeast
There are currently 54 different strains of Kveik yeast. It’s important to understand that the selection of these 54 strains doesn’t actually end there. There are two versions of Kveik yeast.
There are commercial strains. these are single-strain versions. They don’t include any form of bacteria and are cleaned up and ready for commercial breweries. Technically they are cut down on processed versions of the real thing. The selection available in this form is quite restricted at this point.
Farm version or the actual original form and technically a real Kveik. This version is very rarely just a single strain. It is in fact anything up to 10 or more strains of yeast in one serving. The end result of having more than one strain of suitable yeast in a beer fermentation provides something very special and flavorful end beer. Naturally, these strains have been selected to work well together. Some of them also contain bacteria.
When it comes to choosing between the multi-strain originals versus a single strain this yeast will change, often quite rapidly.