Brewtubers Yeast Experiment 2020 is here! The premise is 13 brewers brew the same recipe. The same water profile, malt, hops, and timing. Then each brewer drops in a different yeast to ferment with. A wide range of yeasts to be able to determine the qualities and tastes that the yeast imparts on a brew. Such a cool concept. I am honored to be a part of it.
My journey into this experiment began early one morning. I couldn’t sleep. I was surfing the Facebook groups and I ran across a post in Brewtubers. I was intrigued by the idea, so I started down the rabbit hole.
I decided since one of my goals this year was to expand my brewing profile and do more videos, this would be a perfect opportunity. I dropped my information in. I figured it was probably already closed, but putting my name in also signaled my interest in future experiments. Shortly later, I received a Facebook Messenger invite that brought me into the fold.
I had to then get my ducks in a row. I downloaded the recipe, and made my shopping list. I made quick work of that by running to my LHBS. I got all the ingredients that I didn’t already have. Then a trip to the local supermarket to grab distilled water. I needed the distilled water so I had a neutral water profile to start with.
I needed to get my yeast starter running. For the experiment, I chose Mainiacal Labs Berserker kveik blend. I hadn’t used this blend before, so I wanted to be sure I had more to play with in the future, so I made a 2 liter starter. You can check out my process here:
Brew Day For The Brewtubers Yeast Experiment 2020
After the yeast starter had torn through the DME that I fed it, it was time to fire up the brewing process. Early on a Saturday, I measured out the ingredients that I needed to help myself prep for the brew day. The time had come! It was the moment I was waiting for.
I fired up the Mash & Boil. I filled it with 4 gallons of distilled water with my brewing minerals added in so I had the same water profile. Then, mash away! I started my process, meticulously videoing each step….only to find that my camera on my phone was stopping due to a full memory capacity. Time to grab the camera that I just got, but hadn’t used yet. Let’s use tech that I never have used before. Ok, so some of my video of the process isn’t great, like me cutting off my own head. I got most of what I wanted…..
During the mash, I periodically removed a pan of wort every few minutes to pour over the top. I did this since I don’t have the pump set up on the Mash & Boil yet. The color of this tasty sweet wort was beautiful! With each time I poured a pot of wort, my excitement level raised for this brew!
After sparging out, it was time for the boil. This brew was a little different with the fact that the hopping was a little later than what I normally do. Centennial went into the boil, and it smelled so good. During the brew, I did as all good brewmasters do, I took some creative juices from some local brews! A little Genesee and Other Half Dream Ale and Rising Storm Cherry Pomegranate sour IPA to help me pass the time.
Firing off a whirlpool charge of Citra, this stuff smells so good. Since I was brewing in my basement, I grabbed my older wort chiller. I used this one instead of the Tricoil 1.2 since it fit easily into my Mash & Boil. I rigged it up to the main water line in the basement and emptied it into some pots and buckets to help my cleaning process. I chilled it down, and pitched the yeast. This is where I am not sure of the beer being the same as everyone, since my pH meter crapped out, I couldn’t check the level to match that up.
Six hours later, the airlock was already bubbling away. I wasn’t sure on how fast it would take off, since I didn’t add any yeast nutrients. I wanted to be as true to the recipe as possible. My starting gravity was 1.066 so I was not overly worried about the yeast, as anything under 1.060 needs nutrients according to most of what I have read about kveik.
At 12 hours, the yeast was going like it was an absolute freight train. I had the MAsh & Boil set at 90 degrees to help this kveik blend have some fun. It was definitely the correct choice.
At 48 hours, I took a gravity reading. I did this since the airlock activity was already slowing. I got 1.013, so the Berserker was doing the job as it should! I let it go to 60 hours, then moved it for the cold crash. Being in Upstate NY, and it being Winter time, I moved the Mash & Boil to the garage to be helped for the cold crash. After 24 hours of a solid crash, it was time to drop the depth charge of Simcoe. Time to let it sit for another 24 hours.
Time to move it from the fermenter to the keg for some carbing! I hooked up the siphon to my Bouncer MD, I gotta get the dregs out! The transfer went through without a hitch, and I filtered out some nice gunk, as well as leaving a sloppy layer at the bottom. Just over 5 days before I kegged this, which is CRAZY.
Carbing for some time, it looked pretty good, but it needed some more time. Good thing I am headed out on vacation….or I may have tried to drink it all right then.
Fast forward a week of sitting on CO2 and getting chilled. I returned from my vacation to find this beautiful sight.
The beer has turned into a beautiful West Coast-ish IPA. Some nice citrusy and floral notes. Pretty hazy from the yeast. So yummy. It ended at 1.012 for a gravity, so it rang in at 7.02%. Berserk In BT YE 2020 was born. My first major steps in the Brewtubers Yeast Experiment 2020 were done.
The last step in the initial phase of the experiment is to bottle this tasty swill and ship it off to the ‘hub”. I dropped the pressure on the kegerator and proceeded to bottle 12 bottles. This was the first time I have bottled any beer in almost 3 years! It was a process to get it off the keg, but seemed to go ok. I hope that the other participants are happy with the result.
What Comes Next?
The next stage of the Brewtubers Yeast Experiment 2020 is going to be so much fun. I will be receiving a shipment of 12 new beers soon. Each with a different yeast. We have a rating form to critique the yeast variants. It is going to be a tough job. I won’t be able to taste all 13 in one sitting…but I will probably keep using mine as a baseline to compare along the way.
The best part? I still have beer to drink! There is still some in my keg for me to enjoy and share. I have a debt to pay, a growler to a buddy who provided the bottle shipping box for me. Past that, just lots of tasty beer to drink and share. Also, I get to look forward to the reviews from the other participants.
Thoughts and Things I Learned
What did I learn from the Brewtubers Yeast Experiment 2020? A TON! This experiment has already pushed me to learn more about some different methods of things. I used new ingredients that I have not used before. I learned that buying water is more of a process than just going to my faucet to fill up. I got to work on my video skills a little bit….and they can only get better from here on.
This was not an easy process. Props to Gary for spearheading this and running the distro. I am sure stress was there. I did throw in a thank you beer from Rising Storm for him and a sample of the yeast so he can grow his yeast bank. Thank you to all the other brewers. Your craft will be enjoyed. The best part has been the banter and updates on Facebook Messenger. I have not been part of a homebrewers group before, but I think I have found a home. The downfall is the equipment envy of all the other guys – they all have much better toys than what I do!
Be sure to watch for the posts of the reviews of the different yeasts. I will do my best to really dive into what they are and how they did.
Here is the “lengthy” video of my brewing process and bottling stage. There are some fun nuggets in there. What questions and thoughts do you have? Leave a comment below to let me know!