Tasting the Eubayanus Blond

  • Brewery: Sly Cat Homebrewery
  • Country: Finland
  • Style: Blonde Ale?
  • ABV: 4.5 %
  • Size: 500 ml
  • Bought from: –
  • Not on Beer Advocate
  • Not on RateBeer

The beer I brewed with Saccharomyces eubaynus has now been in the keg and bottles (I managed to squeeze out three 500 ml bottles that didn’t fit in the keg) for 13 days, so I thought I’d pop one of the bottles for a quick taste. As far as I’m concerned, this is the first time the yeast has been used for (home)brewing beer (outside of research purposes), so it will be very interesting to see what kind of beer it produces. The attenuation was quite low (66%), so hopefully the beer isn’t grossly overcarbonated, as a result of further fermentation in the bottle. The beer appears to have dropped crystal clear, which is surprising, since the yeast showed really poor flocculation properties in the starter and fermentation vessel. Perhaps, similarly to Brettanomyces sp., the yeast flocculates as soon as it is subjected to pressure. Not really sure how to classify this beer (since S. eubayanus is neither an ale or lager yeast), but I guess this is something similar to an American Pale Ale, but without a large amount of late hops. Let’s see how it tastes! PS. Keep in mind that the beer has only been two weeks in the bottle, so the flavor profile will most likely change a bit in the upcoming weeks.

[easyreview title=”Eubayanus Blond” cat1title=”Appearance” cat1detail=”A reaffirming pop is heard as I open the cap of the bottle, and the beer pours into the glass with a slightly hazy golden-amber color. The yeast layer at the bottom of the bottle is very loose, and the amount of yeast in suspension rises quickly (quicker than usual) as the pour gets towards the latter half of the bottle. A minimal off-white head is formed, which collapses quite slowly. I’m suspecting that the carbonation level might be quite low. The beer leaves some traces of lacing along the glass as the surface level drops in the glass. Overall, not a bad appearance, but could use a bit larger and more retentive head and a slightly clearer look for my taste.” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Smell” cat2detail=”The first thing that comes to my mind when smelling the beer is a hoppy pilsner, and the aroma is quite ‘lager-like’ (I know, a poor description, but that was honestly what I first thought of as I took the first smell). The aroma is surprisingly clean (no hints of fruity esters, phenolics or funkiness), so the low fermentation temperature probably did its thing. The aroma features some sweet tones of caramel, biscuits and grainy maltiness, coupled with a grassy, citrusy and slightly resiny hoppiness. The overall aroma level is quite low. Not bad at all, and I’m actually looking forward to tasting this one.” cat2rating=”3.5″ cat3title=”Taste” cat3detail=”As the beer enters the mouth, you can directly tell that the attenuation level of the fermentation was quite low, as the flavor begins with a sweet biscuit-like maltiness. Even though the beer is quite sweet, I don’t think it’s too sweet. After the initial hit of maltiness, a citrus-like fruitiness joins in, which I assume is from the Simcoe hops. There is a definite hops presence, but it doesn’t take over the flavor, and lets the other components of the beer shine. The finish is also quite sweet and it features a clean, but firm, bitterness, that backs up the sweetness quite well. Glad I aimed for quite high IBUs, as with lower bitterness, this beer would probably have been cloyingly sweet. The beer has a slick mouthfeel and maybe some slight hints of butterscotch, so there may be some diacetyl present, but the levels are so low that I can barely tell if I’m imagining or if they are really present. The flavor is not bad at all, and in fact I quite enjoyed it, being an experimental beer. The sweetness was perhaps slightly too high, but not much to be done against that considering the yeast. It might also have been interesting to use some noble hops for this beer, as they might have worked better than Simcoe.” cat3rating=”3.5″ cat4title=”Mouthfeel” cat4detail=”The mouthfeel is quite slick (feels slightly oily somehow, even though the hop levels are low), and the body is medium-full. The carbonation level is a bit too low, but that is something that either a couple more weeks in the bottle will help against or drinking from the keg.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised about how this one tasted. I had expected a funky and undrinkable mess, as this is basically a ‘wild yeast’, not adapted to brewing environments and purposes, but in fact, the beer tasted and smelled surprisingly clean. The malt and hoppiness really shined through, even though it wasn’t the purpose. The yeast performed well at low temperatures (fermentation fridge set at 12C), so the yeast most likely contributes the cold tolerance and performance to lager yeast. The residual extract level of the beer was quite high, even though I mashed at a very low mash temperatures in order to make the wort as fermentable as possible. The attenuation level of the yeast was only around 66%, so it left quite a bit of sugars left. Looking forward to using this yeast again, perhaps in a low alcohol beer (because of the poor attenuation). Will be interesting to see how this one develops with time.”]

4 thoughts on “Tasting the Eubayanus Blond

  1. Brewitt


    I am intrigued by you eubayanus brew. I saw your post about it on HBT (Brewitt). I am a yeast geneticist and home brewer in San Diego, CA. I read the eubayanus paper from Mark Johnston and the South American group and found it to be pretty amazing. It’s even more fascinating that the eubayanus itself makes a reasonable beer. I’ve I would have thought that the main character derived from that species was going to be the cold tolerance. Now that I have a reasonable temperature regulated fermentation chamber I will probably start making some lagers, something I haven’t done in the just over two years I have been brewing. I may also try to get some eubayanus and do a direct comparison. Based upon your about me description we seem to have pretty similar beer tastes as well as a pretty broad sense of experimentation. I just made two beautiful IPAs. The started as a single 10 gallon wort and were split so that one could be fermented with a Belgian golden ale yeast and one with WLP001. The former was dry hopped with a fruity new hop called Belma and Cenntennial and the other was done with classic west coast IPA hops and grapefruit zest. It would be fun to try the same thing with a german lager yeast and eubayanus keeping everything else the same. Anyway, just thought I’d say hi to another yeast researcher playing with beer. Keep up the good work.


  2. suregork Post author

    Hi Curt!
    Thanks for the comment and interest! I assume there is a lot of research being performed on S. eubayanus right now, so it will be really interesting to read upcoming papers on its properties. Hopefully it will help explain the properties of lager yeast as well, and perhaps help produce new brewing yeast hybrids. Good luck with your brewing! The split-yeast IPA sounds really interesting! It’s a shame we live on opposite sides of the globe, as it would be really nice to try it 🙂


  3. Mirko

    Hello! it is really intersting, I just want to know werer did you get the strain, Im biologist and homebrewer from Argentina. I didn´t know that somebody has the strain outside the group which had isolated and Im very excited to test the putative patagonian yeast with patagonian hops and barley…
    nice work!

  4. suregork Post author

    Thanks! The Saccharomyces eubayanus type strain is available from various culture collections around the globe.

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