LalBrew Voss Kveik Ale Yeast Review

LalBrew Platinum Series Voss Kveik Ale Yeast Review

Traditional Norwegian farmhouse yeast, called kveik, has recently exploded in popularity world-wide. Brewers are embracing this unique type of yeast for its range of uses and high fermentation temperatures. This growing interest has spurred the rise of many new commercially available kveik strains.

LalBrew Voss Kveik Ale Yeast is a brand new dry yeast from Lallemand. As one of the first commercial dry kveik strains, this yeast gives brewers a practical dry yeast option for fermenting with kveik. We recommend Lalbrew Voss Kveik for brewing IPA, American pale ales, and blonde ales. The clean and crisp flavor profile ferments super fast at very high temperatures. Subtle citrus aromas compliment many styles and the risk of off-flavors is low, no matter the fermentation temperature.

Lallemand Voss Kveik Ale Yeast

The LalBrew Voss strain was obtained from Sigmund Gjernes (Voss, Norway), who has maintained this culture using traditional methods since the 1980s and generously shared it with the wider brewing community.

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What is LalBrew Voss Kveik Ale?

Lallemand is a favorite yeast lab for homebrewers and professional brewers alike. Famous for their diverse range of dry yeasts, Lallemand’s consistent products are reliable and high performing. One of their newest offerings, a dry kveik strain, is especially interesting.

Over the last two or three years, Norwegian kveik has been the most talked-about yeast in the brewing industry. This broad spectrum of farmhouse ale yeast is known for high temperature and ultra-fast fermentations. Brewers love using kveik because beers can be fermented in days rather than weeks – saving time and money. Not only that, kveik strains can produce some delicious and unique flavors.

Now, finally, a dry commercial kveik is available for purchase at a very affordable price.

Technical data

Promotional materials have marketed LalBrew Voss Kveik as clean fermenting and neutral. Looking at Lallemand’s flavor and aroma wheel, we can expect some subtle fruit characteristics.

Source: Lallemand

From their technical data sheet, the yeast has the following performance characteristics:

  • Attenuation: medium to high
  • Temperature range: 77 – 104°F
  • Flocculation: very high
  • Alcohol tolerance: 12% ABV

To test out this exciting new dry yeast strain, we brewed up a basic American pale ale which should give this yeast plenty of room for expression.

LalBrew Voss Kveik comes in 11g and 500g packets. We got our hands on an 11g sachet and put it to the test.

Review

To test out this highly anticipated new yeast, I designed a simple recipe that should allow the yeast character lots of room to shine. Opting for a big whirlpool of Australian and New Zealand hops, I hoped I could get away with lots of pungent hop character without a dry hop.

LalBrew states that this strain has “subtle fruity notes of orange and citrus” so I wanted to accentuate this a bit with a firm bitterness. The goal was a pale ale with assertive bitterness, balanced by a crisp malt profile, and fruity Southern Hemisphere hops.

Recipe

Final Volume

Original Gravity

Final Gravity

ABV

IBU

SRM

5.3 Gallons

1.055

1.010

5.9%

~50

4.2

Fermentables

Amount

 

PPG

°L

%

7 lb

Pilsner

35

1.0

68.3%

3 lb

Pale Ale

36

4.0

29.3%

4 oz

CaraHell

34

20

2.4%

10 lb 4 oz

Total

   

 

Hops

Amount

Variety

AA

Use

Time

IBU

0.35 oz

Vic Secret

18.4%

Boil

60 min

20

1 oz

Nelson Sauvin

10.4%

Boil

15 min

16

3.65 oz

Vic Secret

18.4%

Whirlpool @ 170F

20 min

~10

1 oz

Nelson Sauvin

10.4%

Whirlpool @ 170F

20 min

~5

6 oz

Total

    

Lallemand Voss Kveik Ale Yeast

The LalBrew Voss strain was obtained from Sigmund Gjernes (Voss, Norway), who has maintained this culture using traditional methods since the 1980s and generously shared it with the wider brewing community.

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Bison Brew is reader supported and may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

Brew process

The mash was a single infusion, brew in a bag, at 154F for 60 minutes. Mash pH was calculated at 5.30, adjusted with some lactic acid. A full 60 minute boil was undergone with 10g DAP yeast nutrient added at the end of the boil. Yeast nutrient is recommended for most kveik strains.

Hitting my original gravity of 1.055, I pitched one 11g sachet of LalBrew Voss Kveik in wort which was quickly chilled to 90F. The yeast packet says to rehydrate in some warm water. I figured this is kveik – it’s a resilient and powerful yeast – so I skipped this step and sprinkled the contents of the 11g package directly onto the wort.

The fermenter was placed in the fermentation chamber set to 90F and a blow-off tube was attached.

Impressively, there was very vigorous fermentation after only 6 hours! The blow-off was producing non-stop bubbles and the krausen was thick, creamy, and healthy.

After 24 hours, fermentation started to slow. I attached a spunding valve set to 25 PSI to start carbonating the beer.

After 48 hours, fermentation was finished at a final gravity of 1.010. I started a soft cold crash over 2 days to 41F. I left the beer condition at 41F for 2 more days and closed transferred to a purged corny keg. The beer was not fully carbonated, so I pressurized to 30 PSI for 24 hours.

In total, grain to glass was exactly 7 days.

Tasting Notes

Since this is a kveik and can be used for quick turn around beers, I thought I would jump right in and get a taste of this beer young. At 7 days from grain to glass, the beer was ready to drink and tasting delicious.

The beer pours a pale, slight amber with a white fluffy head. Hazy but not murky, the yeast seems to have almost fully dropped out. The large whirlpool hop addition with high alpha hops is likely causing the pleasant and stable opacity.

On the nose, there’s bright lemon peel, pithy grapefruit, bitter orange, and light pineapple. The taste is similar but with a massive citrus flavor of kumquat and mandarin orange. More layers of tropical flavors like pineapple are accentuated by a slight acidity. The firm hop bitterness rounds out the beer and keeps it refreshing and very balanced. The mouthfeel is quite dry but with a slightly-sweet body.

Having brewed regularly with Vic Secret and Nelson Sauvin, I am familiar with their individual flavors. The tropical and juicy flavors are certainly prevalent in this beer. The LalBrew Voss Kveik allows these delicious hop characteristics to shine. I really love the subtle acidity on the finish as well, which makes this beer very thirst quenching.

There is absolutely no hint of flavors associated with hot fermentations like high alcohols, fusels, or solvents. This yeast is impressively clean and the quick turn-around is a huge bonus.

What styles can you brew with LalBrew Voss Kveik?

This yeast, being ultra-clean, is quite versatile. The obvious choice is American pale ale and West Coast IPA. The subtle citrus and tropical fruitiness of the yeast compliment hoppy flavors. But being quite neutral, the strain gives you lots of flexibility.

You could brew lager-like ales with delicate hop and malt profiles. Consider trying a blonde, cream ale, or a kolsch with this yeast. Noble-type hops, like Saaz, would be a great fit to allow those subtle herbal qualities to shine through.

If you want to brew a traditional Norwegian farmhouse ale, this yeast is also clearly a great option. Since it’s isolated from the Voss region of Norway, consider brewing up a farmhouse-style raw ale with juniper, as is common in the area.

For beers with desirable esters, like English ales and New England IPAs, LalBrew Voss Kveik would not be my first choice. I could definitely see it working in a hazy IPA, but fruit flavors would need to be derived from the hops. The slight acidity on the finish might clash with the pillowy soft mouthfeel of NEIPA – but it’s certainly worth experimenting!

Lallemand Voss Kveik Ale Yeast

The LalBrew Voss strain was obtained from Sigmund Gjernes (Voss, Norway), who has maintained this culture using traditional methods since the 1980s and generously shared it with the wider brewing community.

Amazon MoreBeer
Bison Brew is reader supported and may earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase.

Final Thoughts

Clean and neutral, Lalbrew Voss Kveik is an amazing yeast for American pale ales, IPAs, and even pseudo-lagers. Having a dry yeast version of such a versatile and quick-fermenting strain will be game-changing for many brewers. I know I’ll be keeping a few packs of this yeast in the fridge at all times.

We recommend LalBrew Voss Kveik Ale for brewers looking for fast turn-around and clean fermentations. Don’t expect much for yeast expression. This yeast is remarkable in its clean and straightforward character. It almost feels as though we’re cheating when using this interesting dry yeast. Give it a try instead of US-05 or your favorite liquid American ale strain. You won’t be disappointed.

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