Underpitching Kviek

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by BarbarianBrewer, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    A couple months ago I brewed a cream ale with Omega Hothead yeast for the first time. The brew day was uneventful. Fermentation started about 82F/28C and raised it to 92F/33C after week because the airlock was still bubbling quite steadily. I have heard and read that it's best to underpitch Kviek yeast to get it to produce more esters. So I pitched about 1/3 of what the BF calculator suggested. I sampled the beer after two and then three weeks of bottle conditioning and tasted a moderately strong semi-sweet apple cider flavor. If this were a regular ale yeast I would assume under-pitching caused acetaldehyde and would never do that again. However, this was a Kviek yeast. Could this just be a product of the Hothead yeast or did I underpitch too much? If it's caused by underpitching, then is there a recommended underpitch target for Kviek?
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I found Hothead did produce an interesting flavour but I haven't used it in a while so I don't remember the exact details.
     
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  3. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    What was the date on the pouch? I just had the same experience with a whole pouch, 5.24 oz of Imperial A44. I was expecting that at day 5 it was gonna be still for a day or 2 and I'd be bottling but that didn't happen until about day 15. Now here's the payoff...GAME CHANGER! I tried it in my tried and true brown brew and it's a whole new recipe! It bought out the malt, it's sweet like a porter and the hops are just right...balanced...and the pouch was just at the end of its viability date!
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well it could just be the twang from the yeast. Most kvieks I use usually Express fruity esters. Or a citrus thing with Voss.

    But its recommended to underpitch so not sure what happened there.
     
  5. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Manufacture date was June 26 and I brewed on August 7th, so it was only 42 days old.
     
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  6. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I’ve only used Voss. I always get an orange peel flavor from it.
     
  7. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    So much for that theory!
     
  8. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    From Omega Yeast's website they state that OYL-057 Hothead has a "It has a unique honey-like aroma with overripe mango". It's possible that what my brain tells me is semi-sweet apple cider is really honey/overripe-mango. But I am still curious whether there is a lower limit to underpitching a Kviek yeast. What are other brewer's experience with underpitching Kviek yeasts?
     
  9. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I do 1/2 tsp for 1.3 gallons
     
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  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you're not familiar with over-ripe mango, your brain is likely doing exactly what you think it's doing. One of the hardest parts of sensory evaluation is connecting words to aromas and flavors. I could see confusion of honey/mango with cider.
     
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  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    David Heath has some great videos on kveik yeasts.
    Milk the Funk is also a pretty decent source.
     
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  12. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    Excellent video. Thanks for posting @thunderwagn.

    In it they refer to a Brulosophy exbeeriment (http://brulosophy.com/2019/11/25/ye...nderpitching-kveik-yeast-exbeeriment-results/) where tasters could not reliably detect a difference between an 18 billion cell underpitch and a 220 billion cell standard pitch beers. The yeast in this test was Imperial's A-43 Loki strain, but I think it safe to say my pitch rate of 1/3 standard had little, if any, impact the flavor of my beer. In fact the brulosophy article had this comment: "However, to my palate, the underpitched beer had a very subtle apple character in both the aroma and the flavor that was absent in the standard pitch batch."
     
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