Anybody out there enjoy WLP051/California V?

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flyfishorbrew

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I'm asking because I'm pretty sure I don't, but I'm curious as to others' thoughts on it. For me, it has a really distinct character that I can't put into words - something I also feel about Anchor beers in general - that I don't really care for. But on a whim I used it in a pale ale recipe and haven't been particularly impressed. I think I fermented at 66 and ramped up a few degrees after 4 or 5 days. Sulphur was very evident at that point as expected. After a week conditioned in the keg, the slightest bit of sulphur is still present, but not much else. I think for sure it would have benefited from a bigger charge of fruitier hops than I used (I used cascade, centennial, and chinook, which clearly did not complement it at all). Also, though White Labs says it's more flocculent than WLP001, I haven't found that true at all. Two weeks in the keg and it's still pretty hazy, with some...chunks? Not sure what to call those. Anyway, I bet it would have benefited from some more time in primary - but if that's the case, I'll just as soon stick with a number of other yeasts that clean up faster and don't blot out the hops and malt the way this one has. Any big fans of it out there who can stand up for it?
 
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flyfishorbrew

flyfishorbrew

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So, I do a few brews with WLP007, and I can really get behind that strain. That being said, I definitely don't have a ton of experience with British yeasts. So do you think of 051 as an American yeast with British characteristics? The sulphur is what throws me off.

And yeah, thanks - I can't stand Anchor Steam. Or Liberty, for that matter, but I know it has its supporters.
 

Tobor_8thMan

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Go 97 miles and take a right...

"It is a big ester producer, showcasing notes of cherry and apple which compliment pale ales, blonde and brown ales."

I wrote British as British yeast are also known for esters.
 
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ba-brewer

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I dont recall getting esters from WLP051 but I do recall the rotten egg smell during fermentation. i dont recall it lasting into the finished beer.

I believe the latest update of the yeast family tree has WLP051 in the lager branch. Maybe a colder ferment would give a cleaner beer and less smelly ferment.

Brewing yeast family tree (Oct 2019 update) | Suregork Loves Beer
 
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dmtaylor

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WLP051 is actually genetically a pastorianus lager yeast, related to WLP840 American Pilsner lager yeast. That's why it gives sulfur. This was just discovered a couple years ago when a ton of commercial yeasts were finally genetically tested.

Follow this for more yeast hacks.

 

sykesey

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I used it once, that was enough for me. I was looking for something different and didn't really get on with the sulfur and fruit salad from a buffet kinda vibe. I thought it might be similar to BRY-97 but didn't seem that way. BRY-97 throws some of the same kind of esters and diacetyl during ferment but ends up a fairly different beer.
 

jdauria

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I used it in a hoppy Amber Ale a few years ago, definitely got some sulfur during fermentation, but that beer got me a trip to GABF and my beer brewed professional and sold in cans, as it won a local brewery's inaugural homebrew comp, Though the brewery used US 05 for the commercial version. Have not used it since though, just because I can never find it at my LHBS.
 
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flyfishorbrew

flyfishorbrew

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I used it once, that was enough for me. I was looking for something different and didn't really get on with the sulfur and fruit salad from a buffet kinda vibe.
That's exactly the descriptor I was looking for. It has definitely gotten better with age, but still not something I'm likely to brew with again.
 

Northern_Brewer

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though White Labs says it's more flocculent than WLP001, I haven't found that true at all. Two weeks in the keg and it's still pretty hazy
What calcium levels do you have? You need calcium for good flocculation.

As others have said, knowing that it's really a lager yeast will help treat it right - don't take it too warm.
 

BrewZer

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I've got a batch of light all-grain wort with WLP051 out in the garage right now -- 1 oz of Citra at 33 minutes and an ounce of Hersbrucker at 5 minutes, and all I'm getting in the vented gas is hoppiness right now (just over a day in the fermenter).

I pitched it at 78 F, but being in the garage has taken the brew down to 62.5 F; 051 is churning happily away at the 1.078 OG wort.
 

VTX1300

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I recently tried WLP051 in my house ale. A Mosaic / Citra IPA that I usually use WLP001 or WLP007 for but wanted to try it to bring out the fruitiness of these hops. Fermentation temps set at 67degrees F. OG 1.065. Same water profile that I usually use. Slower start to fermentation than I normally have with WLP001 and it stalled at day 4 at 1.040 with a lot of sulfur smell. tried rousing the yeast and ramped up the temps a few degrees but with no luck. I had to pitch some WLP001 to get it to finish. I am not impressed with this yeast for an IPA and probably wont use it again, mostly because of it stalling on me. 65 brews doing everything from DIPA to pilsners and never had one stall on me before.

Has anyone else have WLP051 stall for them?
 

CascadesBrewer

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I tend to harvest and reuse yeast, so that leads toward using the same yeast on multiple batches. After a string of using WLP001 for a year or so, I gave WLP051 a try for a dozen batches or so. Overall I found that it made a rather nice beer.

I got around to doing a split side by side vs a batch with US-05 (an IPA I think). In a triangle test I could not pick out the odd beer out, but triangle tests are hard! When drinking a full pint, I felt that the US-05 batch had a bit more mouthfeel and character. Maybe it is just my mental bias knowing that WLP051 is a lager strain, but I felt that it would be a better fit for a more crisp IPA/Pale.

That White Labs description did not really match up with my experience. I likely fermented most of my batches at 64F and ramped them up to around 70F after a few days. At the rite time the sulfur notes were strong, but I found WLP051 to be a nice clean and neutral yeast.
 

BrewZer

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Just a quick update -- I moved the fermenter back inside to avoid cold in the garage and as the temps came up, I started getting some sulfur notes through the airlock.
 

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