Two years ago, in Grand Rapids, a fellow Albany Brew Crafter spoke about S. Eubayanus, the alleged parent species to S. Cerevisiae and S. Carlsbergensis. It was discovered on large gum-balls growing on trees in Chile. Happily, Bret brought along some slants of the yeast itself, and I snagged one.
It sat in my fridge for almost two years, so I wasn’t sure it was still viable. This was a good opportunity to learn a thing or two about yeast ranching, which I’ll write about in another post. In the end, I had several viable cultures from the slant, and some interesting characteristics in the starters:
- sweet (commercial evaluation has found an apparent attenuation around 35%!)
- some smokiness, although perhaps more on the cigar end of things than wood-smoke
- no other surprises - one could be convinced this was a “traditional” yeast
In his talk, Bret suggested that pairing S. Eubayanus with a Brettanomyces variety would work well to finish off the attenuation. I decided to make a nice, simple IPA with these yeasts and with the grains and hops I had on hand. The recipe was simple – mostly pale with a bit of crystal 40, and mostly Simcoe, including 1.5oz dry hopping.
I grew the S. Eubayanus up from the slant in a fresh starter, pitched it, and gave it a week. I also put two gallons in smaller fermenters with just Safale US-05 as a point of comparison. I pitched a B. Lambicus culture, also propagated in a starter (I was worried about its viability), and that’s currently working its slow magic. The aroma from the big fermenter at secondary was a bit phenolic, but I’m hoping that will burn off during the longer Brettanomyces fermentation. The flavor was similar to the starters: definitely some yeast characteristics there, but well within the “drinkable” range – about all I really expect from this experiment!