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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > How Do I Achieve a Lower Final Gravity with California Common Yeast?
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:29 AM   #1
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Default How Do I Achieve a Lower Final Gravity with California Common Yeast?

I'm putting together my first California Common recipe. This will be an all-grain batch. I'm a little stumped how to achieve the final gravity the style calls for as the yeasts used for this style have a much lower attenuation. My grain bill is as follows:

9 lbs American - Pale 2-Row
1 lb American Caramel / Crystal 80L
0.5 lbs American- Victory

I was planning at mashing around 150F @ 1.5 qts per pound for 60 minutes. At 75% efficiency (which I've hit consistently with other batches), the O.G. will be 1.052. I'm going to use White Labs San Francisco Lager (WLP810) yeast, but the average attenuation is only 67.5%. This leaves me with a F.G. of 1.017 while the max to stay within spec for this style is 1.014. What am I missing? A large yeast starter? Lower mash temp? Looser mash? Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:34 AM   #2
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Aerate aerate aerate. Yeast nutrients helps too. Get to shaking or buy a cheap drill and mix in

Helps yeast rage on sugar.

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:41 AM   #3
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Once the kräusen starts to fall off pretty good raise the temp to 68-70 for the remainder of the fermentation. The higher temp will help the yeast finish off as much sugar as possible and help with diacetyl if there is any (not real familiar with the yeast).

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Old 12-28-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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You could drop the mash temp to 149. Also, minimizing the specialty grains will help lower the FG. A pound of crystal leaves a fair amount of unfermentables. Also, once the initial fermentation activity has slowed down, I like to rouse the yeast some by just rocking the fermentor and raising the temp.

This yeast will attenuate more than 67.5%. I just fermented a pils at about 56 degrees with this yeast.

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Old 12-28-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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Oxygen and pitching rates are key, but I've never gotten attenuation that poor with Cali Common yeast. You really need to find out for yourself how it performs in your brewery- published numbers are never all that useful to me.

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Old 12-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csboehm View Post
I'm putting together my first California Common recipe. This will be an all-grain batch. I'm a little stumped how to achieve the final gravity the style calls for as the yeasts used for this style have a much lower attenuation. My grain bill is as follows:

9 lbs American - Pale 2-Row
1 lb American Caramel / Crystal 80L
0.5 lbs American- Victory

I was planning at mashing around 150F @ 1.5 qts per pound for 60 minutes. At 75% efficiency (which I've hit consistently with other batches), the O.G. will be 1.052. I'm going to use White Labs San Francisco Lager (WLP810) yeast, but the average attenuation is only 67.5%. This leaves me with a F.G. of 1.017 while the max to stay within spec for this style is 1.014. What am I missing? A large yeast starter? Lower mash temp? Looser mash? Any help would be great appreciated. Thanks!
How do you know you'll only get 67.5% attenuation? Those ratings are a way of comparing one yeast to another and don't necessarily reflect the attenuation you'll actually get. You can change the mash temp or mash for a longer time and get higher attenuation.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the help. This is only the third recipe I've designed on my own, so I'm still getting a feel for this. I think I will drop the mash to 149F, possibly drop a bit of the Crystal malt, oxygenate the crap out of the wort, and bump up the temperature towards the end of fermentation.

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How do you know you'll only get 67.5% attenuation? Those ratings are a way of comparing one yeast to another and don't necessarily reflect the attenuation you'll actually get. You can change the mash temp or mash for a longer time and get higher attenuation.
I really don't know for certain this is what I will get. I was taking the average which is what was calculated by the recipe builder I was using. According to White Labs, 70% is the max attenuation I will get which still leaves me a little high. If I understand what you are saying, this is more of a baseline rather than a true maximum attenuation. Is that correct?
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Oxygen and pitching rates are key, but I've never gotten attenuation that poor with Cali Common yeast. You really need to find out for yourself how it performs in your brewery- published numbers are never all that useful to me.
I just read through your Kickstarter proposal and watched your video. It sounds like a great idea and you guys are both passionate about it. Congrats on having the guts to go out on your own. Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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The last California Common I did, mash temp was 150, OG was 1.063 and it got down to 1.015 in 3 weeks @62, which I then kegged and drank. It was rather good.
Starting from 1.050-something you should be fine. Oxygenate well, pitch proper yeast amount.

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Old 12-29-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Crystal donsn't increase the final gravity as much as you may think. The biggest key is mash temperature. a 90 minute 145 should do the trick. Also, the addition of simple sugars might be warranted.

Fermentability of crystal:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...stal-malt.html

And how to calculate Final Gravity based on recipe including mash temp:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...rmulation.html

Mash temperature theory and it's effect on final gravity coming on January 5th, and real data and practical application coming on January 7th.

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