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Old 03-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
BlackRock
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Default California Lager Yeast

All I can say is wow! Two weeks ago I brewed up a 5 gallon batch using some Northern Brewer and Amarillo hops in a "steam" beer. I used WYeast 2112, made a 2L starter and fermented at a very consistent 62*. It's still really active. Not much of any bubbling, but the yeast still seems to be going at it.

It's been two weeks and my FG hasn't moved off 1.022 so I racked it anyway. My OG was 80 points and I was only expecting to hit 25 but I got 22 points which will do It was supposed to be around 7.2% or so but I'm already at 7.6%. I guess that yeast starter really helped.

Anyway, I'm still surprised at the yeast activity. I had the time to rack it today from the primary fermenter to a secondary carboy and plan to leave it sit for at least another 2-3 weeks. I'm just wondering what other people have experienced with the same yeast strain. Maybe I should have left it in the primary but it sure seems like a lot of yeast is still in solution.

I'm sure it will settle out over time, but I'm interested in where you guys might go with it. I could stick the carboy in another basement room and just leave it sit for weeks. However long really. I'm not in a rush as I've got an Amber that will be kegged in another week or so, I just really didn't expect to see so much going on. Big ol chunks of yeast still floating to the top and all over the place.

I did start washing the yeast cake so I'll have a few little jars saved up for another batch sometime. It tastes pretty good albeit a bit sharp on the tongue right now. Not sure if the taste is astringent or alcohol like, but it's pretty good already.

Finally got this uploaded. Here is a shot of the beer after two weeks fermenting. Still lots of activity it seems.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
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All I can say is wow! Two weeks ago I brewed up a 5 gallon batch using some Northern Brewer and Amarillo hops in a "steam" beer. I used WYeast 2112, made a 2L starter and fermented at a very consistent 62*.
BlackRock....let me ask a sligthly off-topic question. Do people buy equipment and make 2L trial brewing as a way of experimenting with new beers and yeast...and so on? I am new to this...but really considering the option of brewing just a few liters and find the type of beer I wanna make in the long run.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #3
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Definitely. Check out the book "Beer Craft". The guy makes 1 gallon batches and experiments with a bunch of stuff. The book outlines how he does it, but it also gives a lot of really good info on beer in general and is a good few hour read.

As for me, I'd have to say 5 gallon batches ARE what I'd consider my trial size By the time I get all my brew stuff setup, cleaned and brew a batch I better have at least 5 gallons. I keg it and the brew seems to be gone in a matter of weeks. All it takes is a good batch and a handful of friends and it's gone

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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There is a huge thread called "1 gallon brewers unite!" People make test batches all the time. I usually do 2.5 gallon batches.

That 2112 is a pretty tough strain, it's kind of neat how it needs ale temps. I like it. I accidentally used it in a pilsner last month, grabbed the wrong yeast out of the fridge and made a starter. Wondered why it was fermenting so slowly after 2 weeks at 51 degrees (was only down to 1.026), then caught my mistake. I moved it to a warmer room and fermentation picked up within a couple of hours. It reached FG (1.012) two days after that.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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Definitely. Check out the book "Beer Craft". The guy makes 1 gallon batches and experiments with a bunch of stuff. The book outlines how he does it, but it also gives a lot of really good info on beer in general and is a good few hour read.

As for me, I'd have to say 5 gallon batches ARE what I'd consider my trial size By the time I get all my brew stuff setup, cleaned and brew a batch I better have at least 5 gallons. I keg it and the brew seems to be gone in a matter of weeks. All it takes is a good batch and a handful of friends and it's gone
Haha..nice. Thanks for the info and good luck experimenting and "getting rid" of those batches.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:05 PM   #6
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Haha..nice. Thanks for the info and good luck experimenting and "getting rid" of those batches.
I do 3.5 gallon stove top. If you want to consider the aging time, then you need more than a gallon. Some of the beers that aren't that good to drink are still fine for cooking, especially the ones that didn't attenuate and come out too sweet. They make a great bread liquid.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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Another successful brew day yesterday leaving me with 15 gallons of brew now fermenting and aging in the beer cellar (aka - downstairs bathroom). I used the Cal Lager yeast for an Amarillo sMasH with an eventful starter this time.

I washed the lager yeast after racking the California Common I started for the thread two weeks ago. My 200ml containers had around 60ml of solid washed slurry in them so at 30% volume of the container I estimated 1B cells per ml on the top end and did a 2 liter starter. That turned into a fail. Boil over on the stove, broken half gallon jug, way over foamed it and ended up with more like a liter of wort in the container... So after pitching the slurry I let it go 24hrs, checked my numbers on Brewers Friend yeast starter calculator and did a second step do bump the cell count closer to a pitch rate of what I needed.

Bubbling away and really happy, both me and the yeast. What's really amazing though is that after a full month of sitting, two weeks in primary and two weeks in secondary the first Cali Common beer is still bubbling away consistently. I was looking at it with my flashlight on the beer and it's still got yeast, bubbles and everything going on in there.

I wonder how long I should age the beer? I think I'm officially going to have to start pulling the cap and "testing" my brew out every week or so.

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