Brewed a California Common AG last night.
OG - 1.048, IBUs ~ 32, All Northern brewer hops, similar recipe to the Northern Brewer version.
One vial of white labs yeast, 24 hr 2-liter starter on a stir plate.
Pitched yeast a little warmer then intended (78F) and went to look at the yeast container to verify optimum temps and decide where to leave it overnight. Realized I had a WLP840 American Lager yeast instead of WLP 810 California Lager yeast.
Covered with wet towel and left outside overnight. 12 hrs later fairly active fermentation, carboy temp was 66F.
This morning I am in the process of cobbling together a cold temp space with controller run off a small window air conditioner.
Any thoughts on temp? 50-55F is optimal for WLP840. I could go with that and figure it will be some sort of darker lager, or go the pioneer method and ferment 58-65F. My current thoughts are to hold it around 55-58 and split the difference.
I think the plan to get around mid fifty is sound. You acted immediately which was key as most detrimental esters and fusel will be formed in the first three days so you are still slightly high at 65> so time is of the essence(think swamp cooler if needed) if you finally cobble this thing together in 4-7 days you might as well just skip it now… There is no published data on this strain so it hard to tell but if it truly is a low sulfur and diacetyl producer then you lucked out in this case as some lager strains create excessive amounts of both and high temps would not help the situation any. So do try to maintain 55(ish) for 2-3 weeks depending if going to secondary and let raise to 65(ish) to reduce diacetyl if it is created in any amount for a few days before lagering is conducted.
Or in simple terms, leave in primary for 2-3 weeks at 55f/ let raise to 65f for 2-3 days and then conduct a secondary if you wish for clarity or simply bottle and leave at room temp for 1 week to accelerate carbing time and then lager/ put the batch of bottles in the fridge to cold condition and further carb. I have never used 840 but I have used the other American breweries such as Coors/Schells strains and all needed a bit of cold conditioning to trim of the rough edges.
Thanks for the quick response, validation, and suggestions. In retrospect I am glad we mistakenly shut off the IC a bit early, it prompted me to look at my yeast suppository. Probably would never had known why the beer went bad.
Yup, I put a fan on it this morning, should get it in the AC box in an hour or so.
I was a little concerned about the diacetyls, I will do a rest for that. Hopefully I’ll have picked up a chest freezer in a couple weeks and can do a proper lager on it. Otherwise I’ll be drinking all my beers a bit cold since I keg everything and have them in a 6 keg reefer.
Now I have to think what style to call this beer.
Mucho better situation with the kegs. You’ll be drinking quicker than bottling for sure.
Here is what I do with my lagers. 2-3 weeks primary at 50f, 1-4 days at 65f(both of these timelines depend largely on lager strain used.)If I want more clarity I will use a secondary to cold crash one more week for more yeast to drop out before kegging or simply keg after D-rest then I typically age a Pils style for at least a month before I attach the gas to carb. You can and others do start to carb a day or two after the keg is cold but I prefer to wait until it lagers before the bulk of charging happens I am typically in no rush when talking lagers.
Okay, thought I had it once, then realized I had to bypass thermostat in AC unit. Now I have 2 carboys in an insulated box and I’m starting to lower the temp down from 62 F. Walking the line between crashing it down and slowly lowering it.
Got a quick response from John Carroll at White Labs also. Suggested same, lower it slowly to the 50’s and chances are it will still be a tasty California Common. Thanks John.
Wondering if there is any reason to get it to the lower 50’s or just get it to 55 and go drink some of the current Calif Common I have on tap.
Thanks again “ITsPossible”
Also thought I’d post my second response from John at White Labs, nice to get the quick reply from him.
It probably doesn't matter too much where you end up, so long as it's
between 50 and 55F. That’s the optimal range for that yeast (as with most
lager strains) so it should be OK. Expect fermentation to slow down, but
that’s what you want, long and slow. Then once fermentation is nearly
finished, let it warm up to room temp for a diacetyl rest, although this
strain doesn’t produce a lot of diacetyl so that shouldn’t be too much of a
Once primary is finished, you may want to lager it for longer than
normal just in case any fusels are produced, they tend to break down with
time. Give it a taste test when you rack it and see if you get any “hot”
characters, that will let you know where you stand.
Good luck and happy brewing!"
You could go to 50f but 55f is close enough without running extra energy at this point. Personal choice really. ALSO this is a bonafide lager my friend no cali common action here!