For the HOZER advent this year I opted to brew up a Norwegian-inspired Pale Ale. I’ve been wanting brew raw ale since learning about them and Kveik on Lars’ blog years ago. Since I’ve got access to a bunch of different Kveik strains this was also an excellent opportunity to try out some the “newer” blends that really haven’t hit the market yet.
Ingredients for 24L
- Simpsons Maris Otter – 4kg (66.66%)
- Weyermann Malted Rye – 1kg (16.66%)
- Bulk Barn Flaked (OiO?) Oats – 1kg (16.66%)
- Bittering: Columbus – 39g (1.77g/L ~45 IBU – see notes)
- Dry Hop: Centennial – 28g (1.27g/L), Jester – 28g (1.27g/L)
- EYL Ebbegarden Kveik (~200B cells)
The first thing you might notice is that there isn’t any juniper in the recipe. While it’s quite common for the farmhouse brewers to infuse their water with flavours from branches I’ve found that I’m not big on that flavour in beer. There’s been a few breweries in Ontario that have used the branches or berries to which I wasn’t particularly keen on.
My mash target was 65°C for 90 minutes however during the actual brew day I only hit 63.5. I wasn’t taking things too seriously so figured it would be alright and held the mash. While things were mashing I was bringing my sparge water up to a boil. My hops were bagged up and thrown into the sparge water for a 30m boil with the intention of creating about double the bitterness I’d want in the final beer. Since the first half of beers liquid wasn’t isomerized I figured that the blend of the bitter sparge water + wort would result in about 20 IBU. Some farmhouse brewers use a technique like this, however others run their hot wort over hops to extract some flavour and perhaps bitterness.
After collection the wort was cooled to about 35°C then the yeast was pitched. This is where we get to the part of using Kveik that I love; within 100 minutes the beer was already showing signs of fermentation! Two days later the beer had reached terminal gravity but I wasn’t ready to package it yet. It was also at this point that I decided to dry-hop it. The beer was missing something and I figured adding some hops might make it a bit more interesting. My theory behind this is that I mashed too low and too long, resulting in a finished beer that is a bit thin. The beer was packaged into bottles for about 2.5 volumes of carbonation.
Overall, I’d say this was a really fun experience and I want to look into using raw brewing techniques for other beers. It’s a much shortened brew day and with the beer being so hazy it could work well for styles such as NEIPAs or Hefeweizens.