Larsblog - beer

The great stove

As I wrote in the previous blog post, keptinis is a unique style of beer from north-eastern Lithuania where the mash is baked in an oven. Except it's not completely unique, because the Seto people used to do the same. In fact, it seems most of mainland Estonia used to bake the mash in the oven. ...

Read | 2018-07-25 18:22 | 0 comment(s)

How to brew keptinis

Keptinis is a little-known Lithuanian style of beer where the mash is baked in an oven. The first farmhouse brewer I ever wrote about was keptinis brewer Ramunas Čižas. A few years ago I put together a description of how to brew keptinis based on ethnographic sources. Martin Warren followed my instructions, but ended up with just black, unfermentable water. So when Simonas invited me to come to Lithuania to see keptinis being brewed, he didn't need to ask twice. ...

Read | 2018-07-11 15:44 | 16 comment(s)

How to use kveik

So. You've gotten hold of a kveik, and now you're wondering: how do I make best use of this thing? You're right to ask, because many people have found when they try it that it doesn't live up to the hype. They pitch it like a normal yeast, and the result doesn't seem that special. That's because this isn't normal yeast, and you have to treat it differently to get the most out of it. Here are some simple guidelines based on what I've been able to figure out so far. ...

Read | 2018-06-09 16:11 | 23 comment(s)

Brewing in Hardanger

Hardanger in western Norway used to be famous for its traditional culture in general, and also for its farmhouse ale. In the early 20th century, several of the major lager breweries in Oslo made "Hardangerøl", replicas of the farmhouse ale from Hardanger. And in 1973, Norwegian national TV even made a documentary about the local brewing. And in 2014 we accidentally met a brewer from Hardanger. So I'd been looking for brewers in this area, but not found any who were willing to talk. Until my friend Morten came across a family in Aga, Hardanger. ...

Read | 2018-06-02 11:44 | 0 comment(s)

When did people start reusing yeast?

You often hear people say that "before Pasteur nobody knew about yeast," and that using yeast is a fairly modern invention. This is something even microbiologists believe. For example, the landmark family tree of yeast (Gallone et al 2016) paper came to the conclusion that the two big families of beer yeast (Beer 1 and Beer 2) both derive from a single ancestor around 1600 CE. But people have been using yeast deliberately much longer than that. ...

Read | 2018-04-29 13:42 | 31 comment(s)

Roaring the beer

The first time I heard about it was in Telemark (southern Norway), where Halvor Nordal said that one of his neighbours used to sometimes heat the beer very briefly in a saucepan before serving it. His neighbour thought it made the beer taste fresher. I mentally filed this under "Weird, unexplained things" and just left it there. For a few years. ...

Read | 2018-04-21 22:45 | 7 comment(s)

Mead: a Norwegian tradition?

Most people think of the vikings as big drinkers of mead, and believe that Norway has a long and strong tradition for mead-making. I used to think the same, until I started looking into traditional farmhouse brewing. There were lots of descriptions of how people brewed on the farms all over Norway, but nothing at all about mead. ...

Read | 2018-04-15 12:16 | 5 comment(s)

Koduõlu, portrait of a style

We visited quite a few brewers on Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, and Muhu, and tasted a good number of different koduõlu, so it's time to summarize all that to make a proper description of a style that has barely any documentation in English at all. For those who have not followed the blog: we are talking about koduõlu, the traditional farmhouse ale from the large Estonian islands in the Baltic. ...

Read | 2018-04-05 18:55 | 2 comment(s)

Brewing koduõlu on Hiiumaa

On Hiiumaa we drove off the ferry, then a couple hundred meters up the main road, turned off, and within a few minutes we were outside the house. We were there to brew a koduõlu, an Estonian farmhouse ale, with Paavo Pruul, who runs a small bed & breakfast. We parked outside the guest house, where the wooden brewing vessels were standing right outside the door. It turns out Paavo's brewery is actually in the guest house. ...

Read | 2018-03-11 15:06 | 8 comment(s)

Aarne Trei, a koduõlu veteran

From the previous stop we drove just a few kilometers, to meet brewmaster Aarne Trei. I'd really been looking forward to meeting Aarne, because for a couple of years I'd been reading and re-reading the only piece of documentation I could find on koduõlu, a report from a Finnish home-brewer who visited Saaremaa in Estonia in 1995. One of the brewmasters he met and interviewed was Aarne Trei. ...

Read | 2018-02-18 11:45 | 3 comment(s)

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Lars Marius Garshol on How to use kveik

Joe Vienneau on How to use kveik

Allie on Raw ale

Brian Thompson on Brewing with kveik

Adam on The yeast scream

Mike Lundell on How to brew keptinis

Inge on How to brew keptinis

Lars Marius Garshol on Was all beer sour be...

Lars Marius Garshol on Was all beer sour be...

Lars Marius Garshol on How to brew keptinis