Drying Kveik – 4 Months

I am now four months into my drying kveik experiment. Four months ago I dried some Voss Kveik, and have been providing monthly updates on its viability since. For those wanting the back-story:

Trypan blue staining of dried kveik, 4 months after drying.
Trypan blue staining of dried kveik, 4 months after drying.

Drying Kveik – Viability at 4 Months

Viability continues to decrease in lock-step with past months, at a rate of 6-8% of viability lost per month. Based on this, I

At this rate we should reach 50% viability somewhere between 6 and 7 months post-drying. I would estimate that would be enough to pitch this yeast directly, without a starter. For longer storage, a starter is likely needed.

As per my estimate last month, this data is consistent with a maximum usable lifetime (e.g. ~1% viability) of ~40 months. That is over 3 years.

A Brief Note on Viability Testing

I should also mention that my viability numbers are worst-case scenarios based on the trypan blue method I am using. Trypan blue will lightly stain some viable cells, as well as cells undergoing cell division. This is apparent in the image to the left, where the mother cell is stained with trypan while the daughter cell is not. This staining is unlikely to be due to death of the mother, as the mother and daughter cells still share a cytoplasmic connection – e.g. if one dies, so does the other.

This is a well known limitation of trypan blue staining, but I am scoring all cells with above-average staining as dead. As such, the true viability is likely slightly better than I am measuring – perhaps by as much as 5%.

5 thoughts on “Drying Kveik – 4 Months

  • Pingback: Drying Kveik - The Grand Finale - Sui Generis Brewing

  • July 2, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Any thoughts on how likely force drying it with a dehydrator or oven method would infect the yeast leather? Blowing tons of unfiltered air across a moist surface sounds like a recipe for infection. The low PH would help, and my guess is that the ethanol would evaporate very early in the process.

    While Voss is supposedly bottom cropped, I wonder how the viability would differ if top cropped? Lars mentioned that bottom cropping is more likely to have additional bugs lurking in the background.

  • June 25, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Thanks. I thought that was the case. Going to use trypan blue now.

  • June 25, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Is there the same counting issue with methylene blue as there is for trypan blue?

    • June 25, 2019 at 9:03 pm

      Methylene blue can be even more troublesome. It enters all cells, and living cells must break it down to eliminate the blue colour. Low metabolic activity, cell stress, or even using too much dye can lead live cells to appear dead.


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