Global liquid yeast and fermentation company, White Labs, is launching a new kveik strain — WLP518 Opshaug Farmhouse Yeast — that was isolated from a farm in western Norway. It is a neutral, hop-forward strain making it an ideal choice for cleaner beer styles that you can ferment at higher temperatures.
“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 to 50 hours.
WLP518 Opshaug Farmhouse Yeast is being released through the White Labs Vault, making it available for professionals to order year-round. Homebrewers can pre-order it through The Vault for Homebrewers.
- Style Recommendation: IPA, pale ale
- Alcohol Tolerance: Medium to High (8-12%)
- Attenuation: 70-80%
- Flocculation: Medium to High
- Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 77-86℉ (25-30℃)
- 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.