#16 Eureka

Eureka, today the story how I came up with the name Eureka in the first place. It all started with a beer. I really like Anchor’s Steam beer and looked for a clone recipe. I found one and went for it. The special thing in this recipe is the yeast. Wyeast’s 2112 California Lager yeast can ferment at top fermenting temperatures but what you get is a flavor profile of a Lager yeast. Some call them hybrid yeasts. This is pretty comfortable for me since I had no opportunity back then to ferment at lower temperatures during the summer for Lager brewing. Now I have a refrigerator for such purposes but never used it as a fermentation chamber. I use it as a kegerator… And I haven’t done a real bottom fermenting beer ever because I am not that in to this kind of beers anyway. I have to mention that I brewed a Pilsner beer before, but the fermentation temperature was way to high for that. But I planned my first bottom fermenting brew for 2012. I will brew a batch of Munich Lager beer and let it ferment with Wyeast’s PC-2487 Hella Bock. Lets get back to the recipe.

After the beer was done came the search for a name. I did a lot of thinking and searching and finally stumbled upon California’s motto: “Eureka”. And thats how the name Eureka came into my existence. The reason why I chose this word for my homebrewery is a different one. Some might know the legend that is connected to Archimedes. And since I am becoming a scientist, the word Eureka is something every scientist is looking forward to. I guess I should run through my city naked as soon as I have made an important discovery…

Recipe: Eureka
Numbers: Volume [L] 20 (5.3 gal)
Original gravity 12.8°P
Terminal gravity 4.5°P
Color Around 44 EBC
ABV 4.5%
Grains: Pale Malt (6.5 EBC) 4.2 kg
Crystal (120 EBC) 0.4 kg
Hops: Northern Brewer (10% AA) 20 g and boil for 90 min
Northern Brewer (10% AA) 11.2 g and boil for 15 min
Northern Brewer (10% AA) 11.2 g and boil for 0 min
Yeast: #2112 California Lager
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 23 L (6.1 gal), sparge: 14 L (3.7 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 60 min @ 72°C (162°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 12 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket
Secondary N/A
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) Added 2 L of wort to beer for carbonation
Maturation time 3 weeks

08/14/2010: Brew day. I brewed this batch together with a bunch of friends and had no time taking any pictures and the notes I did are very limited as well. But we basically followed the recipe and pitched the yeast after the brewing was done. 2 liters of wort were bottled before pitching the yeast for the later carbonation process. The beer was bottled after 12 days of fermentation with the 2 L of wort. The bottles went into the refrigerator after three weeks of maturation and conditioning.

10/10/2010: Time for a tasting.

Aroma: Sweet and malty aroma. Some honey and hoppy notes.

Appearance: Clear, 1 finger white head, some carbonation visible, nice orange-brown-amber color.

Flavor: Malty, some bitterness detectable, light sweetness, caramel notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation, medium lasting malty and sweet aftertaste. Just a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall Impression: This beer is like an easy drinkable Munich Lager beer. There is a malty richness in the beer that makes it very easy enjoyable. I really like this California Lager yeast. This yeast gives the beer no additional character and you just get the aromas and flavors you expect from the malts and hops. Give this yeast a try if you can.

I did a Anchor Steam vs. Eureka tasting in December of 2010 with two friends. Lets find how it went.

Aroma: The aroma of both beers was quite similar. The taste of the Eureka was a bit fresher and more intense compared to the Anchor beer.

Appearance: Eureka was a bit darker than the Anchor Steam.

Flavor: Anchor Steam was well balanced, the Eureka had a more sweetness pronounced character.

Mouthfeel: More of less the same. There was some bitterness detectable in the Anchor Steam’s aftertaste.

Overall Impression: The two beer were quite similar. The Steam beer was better balanced but had a bitter aftertaste. My favorite of the two is the Eureka because it is somewhat more malty and less bitter than the Anchor’s Steam beer. I kind of expected this to happen because I tweaked the recipe a bit to improve the malt character. To get a beer that is even more similar to the Anchor’s Steam beer would be to decrease the maltyness of the recipe by lowering the amount of Crystal malt. By the way, my tasting companions preferred the Eureka as well.

Well, that was a fun batch. And all in all a really excellent brew. I already planned to brew a second batch in 2012. The recipe will be exactly the same, no changes necessary in my opinion.