I have been wanting to brew a true lager for a while now...and I'll have to keep on waiting for that day to come! This is the first in my "Lager" section, but until I can acquire a fermentation fridge...I will be doing my "lager" beers with an American original: Wyeast 2122: California Lager. Everything I have read about this yeast gives the impression that it will give the beers it ferments "lager characteristics" when fermented in the low 60s. I am ready to put that statement to the test, and what better way than to start with a good ol' California Common (which was made popular/mainstream through Anchor Brewing's Steam Beer) for which this yeast was originally created to make. Is this the gateway to Cali-Helles, Cali-Festbier...? We shall see!
Keystone Common - brewed 4/21/2012 * brew supply assistant and part time fermentation manager - Jewels
* Weyermann Pale Ale malt = 4 lbs 8 oz * Weyermann Light Munich malt = 1 pound * Muntons Crystal 60 = 8 oz * Briess Victory = 4 oz
Anticipated @ 72% eff: 1.058 OG - 35 IBU - 5.2% ABV
Had wanted to mash at 152° for an hour, but the by putting the kettle in the oven, it crept up to about 155°. Should not be a deal breaker, but rather a bit more body and mouthfeel...not horrible! 12 Minute mashout at 170°.
Actual: 76% eff - 1.061 OG - IBU 35ish - 5.50 % ABV
ferment through May 9 - 12 somewhere. shooting to maintain 60-62° as the fermentation temperature ~update 4/23: this yeast is working hard! had a nice high krausen within about 10 hours of pitching. been using ice packs in a cooler to kept the fermentation temps in check...and they've been going between 59-63°. Right in the optimal fermentation wheelhouse, but it is swinging a bit more than I'd like it to. Not much I can do without a fermentation fridge though.
will cold crash for a day or two upon the completion of fermentation, and then I am going to keg this beer. KC should be ready for tasting in early June (depending on available tap space that is!)
cold crashed for 2 days, and kegged on May 12th.
sampled on June 11 nose had a faint toasty-grainy-ness. the color is a deep copper leaning towards brown with a sticky white head that lingered and laced down the glass. very nice looking in that regard. the taste is really good I must say! nice and malt-forward, some toasted multi-grain bread notes, smooth caramel, and a hint of an earthy woodiness. I'd actually consider potentially backing up the late hope addition to 5 or 7 minutes to add a touch more of their character. I fully expect this beer to evolve a bit more as time goes on, as it is actually quite young all things considered. however, since it is already INCREDIBLY drinkable...I don't know how long it will actually last! Definitely a prime candidate for a re-brew, and I fully expect BMC-type drinkers to enjoy this very approachable beer
June 30th I think I need to remember to take a better picture of this beer! that deep copper pour is now almost clear as soon as it hits the glass. the various malty notes are becoming more restrained as they meld together with time as the beer ages. they are all still there, but instead of coming in waves, they are twirling across the palate in lovely harmony. along with the touch of woodiness that was detected before, there is an ever so slight mint leaf presence emerging at the very end of the sip. this beer is coming into its own, and it's absolutely wonderful.
July 28th uploaded a new pic...notice how you can see the trees in my yard right through the beautiful crystal clear copper beer? and yes, it still tastes as good as it looks!