Homebrew #5: “Blonde Ale” with Kveik

Not a real blonde

There’s not much to tell about the brewing process of this one, so I’ll keep it to just what’s new or interesting (to me).

I wanted to reuse the Kveik I’ve harvested, and found this recipe. I also chose it because it was a partial mash and extract brew, and I needed a break from all-grain, lol.

It was literally called “The Blonde“. Not just any blonde, THE Blonde.

It was peak summer (August), so I bicycled to Short Finger to pick up my order. I put 10lbs worth of ingredients in my backpack and biked home. It was okay, but I might not recommend it.

Short Finger brewing
I had a beer before I biked home

I’d bought the “yeast nutrient” mentioned in the recipe, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s totally superfluous. C’mon, you think Norwegian farmers needed “yeast nutrient”? Kveik is a beast!!

I did have to crush my own grain again (I forgot to add the milling fee), but at least there was only half a pound (mostly 2-row, some Carafoam).

wake up, Kveik, it’s game day

I was excited to try reusing my saved yeast.

However, I wasn’t sure how much to use or how to make an appropriate starter. As we know, Kveik breaks the rules most of the time. There’s no mention or chapter on using Kveik in “How to Brew”, but maybe one day there will be…

I can no longer find where I got the advice, but I decided on upon 4 tsp of the yeast slurry for the 20 L batch (1-2 teaspoons of yeast slurry per ten liters). Again, I don’t know where I got that from, but I don’t reccomend it, since I’m learning that far less is actually better. I used a sanitized teaspoon to scoop the yeast part out of the jar.

I used the amazing Brewing Nordic blog as my guide for how to do the yeast starter:

Normally I make a starter from dry malt extract 2–4 hours before pitching. A small low gravity starter is enough, such as 1/3 liters of 1.040 gravity wort for a 20-liter batch.

– Mika, Nordic Brewing

So, I used 33g of DME in 333ml of water.

Full disclosure, I totally don’t bother checking the gravity of this mini wort.

The Result: “Not A Real Blonde”

As mentioned, it was a partial mash and extract brew. The recipe just listed “Pilsen” as the LME, so I used “Pilsen Light CBW”. I had to use Mt Hood hops instead of Crystal (I looked up what would be similar to Crystal).

Other than that, I didn’t think my ingredients deviated much from the recipe.

So, I was a tad perplexed when the beer turned out to be… not what I expected for a blonde. It didn’t even taste like a blonde.

From the Untappd entry I’d made:

The result is something that’s not really a Blonde Ale. It’s not even a Blonde color.

I don’t know what this is.

It’s a fake blonde

Tastes good though. Sweet caramel on the front, and malty, with bitter finish, I think. Like a maibock maybe?

– Katie Loves.Beer

In retrospect, I think I screwed up the amount of yeast nutrient. I’m not sure if that’s what gave this beer an identity crisis? Oh well.

I ended up with an ABV of 5.15%. It wasn’t a bad beer, just odd.