No boil, no problem: Brewing a “raw” beer

Obscenity Raw Ale - Wild Mind Ales.JPG

Next up in our exploration into the boundaries of brewing: Obscenity, a raw (never boiled) beer.

This experimental beer was made with equal extract contribution from malted barley, unmalted wheat, and honey. Unlike most beers, Obscenity was never boiled. Instead, the beer was brought to 180°F for a whirlpool addition of Rakau hops before being cooled for primary fermentation at above 90°F with Norwegian Kveik yeast. To accentuate the yeast’s tropical flavors, the beer was dry-hopped with additional Rakau.

With this beer, Head Brewer Ryan Placzek wanted to push the boundaries of traditional brewing a little bit. Normally, you need a higher portion of malt to convert all the starches to sugars, but by using so much honey, we were able to use less malted barley than is typical. Since the Kveik yeast is a BEAST, it won’t get fatigued like other brewer's yeast, meaning fatiguing the yeast with so many simple sugars from the honey wasn’t a concern.

This uncommon brewing method is an ode to historic farmhouse brewing and resulted in a dry beer with a surprisingly resolute body. The hops and Norweigen yeast combine to create an array of tropical fruit flavor that is reminiscent of dessert but without any of the sweetness.

As we continue to look for interesting ways to get from ingredients to beer, we’ll have many more experiments just like Obscenity that hopefully provide you with a new perspective on what beer can be.