This recipe is adapted from Lars Maruis Garshol’s book Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing. It’s based on the strong heimabrygg, or boiled ale, homebrewed by Bjørne Røthe in the Dyrvedalen valley of Norway’s Voss region. Røthe uses the Rivenes kveik, which is often shared among farmhouse brewers in Dyrvedalen; it’s similar to the more widely available Sigmund strain.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
9 lb (4.1 kg) pilsner malt
9 lb (4.1 kg) two-row pale malt
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
6 juniper branches (tips only)
2.5 oz (71 g) East Kent Goldings [5% AA] at start of boil
Omega OYL-061 Voss Kveik, LalBrew Voss Kveik, or other Voss kveik strain
Put half the branches in the bottom of the mash tun, before adding the milled grains. Put the rest of the branches in about 12 gallons (45 liters) of water, and heat to 162°F (72°C)—this infusion is your hot liquor. Mash in to reach a temperature of 151–154°F (66–68°C). (As Garshol writes about the mash temperature, “none of the local brewers know for sure.”) Mash for 60 minutes. Optionally, add a few hops to the mash. Lauter and top up as necessary to get about 9.5 gallons (40 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Add hops and boil for 6 hours, or until reduced to your desired volume. Cool the wort to 99°F (37°C) and pitch the yeast. Ferment at about 99°F (37°C), insulating the fermentor, if necessary, to keep it warm. Ferment for three days and serve without carbonating. The beer can be enjoyed warm or cool.
Use the thinner tips of the branches, which yield fewer tannins. In place of juniper, Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a good choice and more commonly available in much of North America. Watch out for the savin juniper (Juniperus sabina), which is toxic.