Kveik - Brewers Yeast Ring

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Introduction: Kveik - Brewers Yeast Ring

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to sol…

This is a Kviek yeast ring, it is a medieval design used by brewers for the preservation of yeast between brews of beer or mead.

I was asked by a friend who home brews if I could make him one. I started out with a description provided in this article: here

It looks really complicated but really it's a matter of lots of simple shapes forming something complex and beautiful.

Being under lock-down I was restricted to scraps I had on hand, I found a piece of Brazilian Mahogany I had left over from an old chopping board project, it was rough, it was warped but it might just do!

Some notes:

This instructable uses several very dangerous power tools, please be careful in the shop

This instructable is my interpretation of how this could be done, there are many more ways to do this without the tools I have, think outside the box, I'm sure this could be done in at least 10 different ways.

Step 1: Peg Design

The ring is made up of pegs, these consist of a beaked section to the front, a flat section to the rear and a slot to allow them to interlock.

Ideally you will want a multiple of 3, the article called for 70 pegs but I found in the end I needed 72 to close the ring, if you make more the ring will be bigger and easier to work with but may not fit into your brewing pot.

I started out by modelling the design to wrap my head around the processes.

There is also a single flat peg required, again the article refers to this as the final peg but assembly proved that it should be the first peg in the assembly to allow a pull through to close the ring.

Step 2: Material Prep

As I said, I had a nice scrap of Brazilian mahogany but it was in rough shape.

The first step was to mill the piece flat and smooth on the planer (jointer) and see what I was left with.

I calculated from the piece I had left that I would have enough material plus a little for trial and mistakes or which I made many.

The board was cut into 83mm lengths on the mitre saw, this gave me 5 blocks approx 35mm thick.

I then set the fence on my bandsaw to 10mm to resaw the boards to the max peg thickness, this gave me 3 final boards per master blank.

Step 3: Prepare the Rebate for the Tail

I figured that the easiest and most consistent way to produce the rebate for the tails was to cut them before making the individual pegs.

I first set up my crosscut sled and on the table saw and made some test cuts to get the depth to exactly 5mm.

My blade is a flat tooth ripping blade so the bottom of the cut is flat rather than cut with 2 bevels. There are some good videos on youtube about selecting table saw blades for different cuts.

Once I had it dialled in I cut a 5mm deep cut 30mm from the front of the peg, this is the border of the beak and the tail.

I then cut the tail off by standing it up against the fence and making several passes raising the blade until I was removed the waste, this was a hairy process and I would recommend a router or a dado stack here if you have one.

I then separated the pegs at the mitre saw, in retrospect the bandsaw would have been better as the kerf is narrower and I would have gotten more pegs from the stock but the mitre saw was fast.

Step 4: Adding the Slots

I was a bit worried about this step but I set up a simple jig from some plywood.

This allowed me to place the peg in, drill the top hole, slide the peg down, drill the bottom hole and then drill out all of the waste in between.

Sliding the peg back and forth cleans the slot of any little bits of waste left over.

This was laborious but quite fun to see the stack build.

Step 5: Shaping

Using a sharp chisel I knocked off the back corners to remove some sharp edges

I then pared the beak into a rough rounded shape, I wanted to keep the faceted look to maintain the handmade look.

This part is really important as if you don't pare it enough then the ring won't wrap properly.

You could also whittle this part with a knife.

Step 6: Assembly

The assembly starts with the flat peg, then inset the tail of the next peg through the slot in the first peg.

Add the next peg with the beak tops all in the same direction, don't keep rotating, there are only 3 rotations and all of the pegs should be the same was up.

When you have added all of your pegs you can wrap the end of the ring around, this will cause a twist to enter the shape, this is normal as I can tell. Push the first peg (no beak) through the slot on the last peg and tie a string to allow you to hang the ring or to dip it.

The idea is that the ring may be dismantled to be cleaned, it also makes a fun puzzle if you are bored, I remade this at least 5 times during construction and it never failed to frustrate me!

Step 7: Edit

Since I made the first one and then put this 'ible out, I have had LOTS of queries about this and ended up making a bunch more so I posted it on my website and it seems there's a market.

I you want one (as a kit to the USA & Canada or as a kit/built up) you can order one from here

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18 Comments

0
JMorton3
JMorton3

1 year ago

I saw one of these years ago in a museum and had no clue as to its purpose. Thought that it seriously looked cool, and that was that. Until your picture showed up & I remembered seeing the antique one. I believe it was in a museum in Gettysburg, PA.

0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Reply 1 year ago

That's cool, I really didnt know much about these before I made this. I would love to see an antique one

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Syncubus
Syncubus

1 year ago

Cool build and I like the history behind this 'puzzle'!

Seems like a more conservative way to use materials would be to mill two blocks at once from a longer slab. Dado the wedge face on each side of the blank, then bandsaw them apart between the dados (see attached pic for a thousand words worth of explanation). (For anyone else attempting this.)

#Temp.jpg
0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Reply 1 year ago

Sorry I never added the pic... 😬

20200501_173117.jpg
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Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Reply 1 year ago

Yes I agree and I have tried another technique for a second one (see image) in oak. I would think there are a lot of ways to make this but when you are working with scraps you can be restricted

0
goldenskyhook
goldenskyhook

1 year ago

There is NO indication here that this has anything to do with brewer's yeast. It's a lovely bit of woodworking tho.

0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Best Answer 1 year ago

If you look at the linked article it stems from, they explain the yeast ring is referred to as a kviek. Kviek is a medieval Norse yeast used for brewing beer. I'll have a look again to see if I can find some of the talks I saw on YouTube. I'm not an expert on their use just built this one on request and thought the community would enjoy it

0
obillo
obillo

1 year ago on Step 4

Terrifi ile--but how is this supposed to preserve yeast?

0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Answer 1 year ago

The full details of its use are in the linked article, I'm not a brewer or a Baker and have not attempted to use something like this. It was a request from a brewer friend but I'm glad it has peaked your interest

0
CharlesD82
CharlesD82

Answer 1 year ago

It's soaked in the yeast material (fermentation pot, etc.), and the yeast will bond in the wood and latch on two the crevices. It's then taken out before you finish the brew and dried at room temperature, and the yeast that has bonded to the wood will also dry and go into suspended animation, instead of dying off. I suppose you could also store the ring in the freezer once it dries, and it will protect the culture even further, but in the days before refrigeration, it was a very valuable tool to a baker or a brewer.

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obillo
obillo

Answer 1 year ago

Wow and thanks. I love any example of old-time ingenuity.

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jeanniel1
jeanniel1

1 year ago

LOL! At first I thought this was a MODEL of a brewer's yeast compound! LOVE the challenge and the math of the pattern.

0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Reply 1 year ago

Yes, when I was first asked to make it I panicked a bit as it looks quite complicated but I suppose the power of repeating simple shapes is demonstrated here

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Lina Maria
Lina Maria

1 year ago

wow! amazing!!

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AnandM54
AnandM54

1 year ago

I thought Something new try .🙌🙌

0
seamster
seamster

1 year ago

This is fascinating just as a puzzle, but the story behind it is equally interesting. I had no idea these were a thing, so it was enjoyable to read that article you linked. Thanks!!

0
Left-field Designs
Left-field Designs

Reply 1 year ago

To be honest this took about 2 hours to build, 2 hours and 15 mins before that I'd never heard of them either. My friend is really into home brew and he came across this. I'm so taken with them that I'm going to start making some to sell on my website because I think people would enjoy them as a puzzle or something interesting to look at. Amazing to think they were originally made with traditional hand tools, must have taken an age!