Diacetyl in California Common?

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Well-Known Member
Nov 19, 2007
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I think I've got a diacetyl issue with my California Common that I just tasted for the first time. I can't tell for sure. My wife doesn't like beer, so when I asked her to smell it to see if she could smell a buttery smell, she told me it smelled like beer.

Basically, I fermented for 8 days at about 61 degrees, racked (it then foamed slightly for another 2 days after racking. Maybe I racked too soon.), and then let it sit in the secondary for 3+ weeks. It was the Wyeast California Lager version, pitched from a starter, and it was at a pretty constant temp the entire time. I then bottled and left it for two more weeks.

Is this something that will clean up, or am I stuck with the slight off flavor? I know I probably racked a little early (Gravity had gone from 1.049 to 1.021, I think) since it foamed again after racking, but it seems like the overall higher fermentation temperature would have cleaned it up, no? Who knows. Maybe I'm just imagining the flavor, since I ate beans and franks before I drank it.


Here's Lookin' Atcha!
HBT Supporter
Sep 19, 2007
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Houston, Texas
If you are concerned, you can leave the beer out at room temperature for a few days or so, and that might clean it up. You can also go for longer times at room temperature.

If you have a diacetyl problem, you are correct that racking early is a large part of that problem. You racked off the yeast just as it was starting to clean up the diacetyl. Next time, leave the beer in the primary to finish fermenting. Then, give it a couple days or so longer to rest. That will help avoid diacetyl. You also can raise the temperature during that rest.