Author Topic: Pitching rate for a California Common  (Read 2059 times)

Offline jivetyrant

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Pitching rate for a California Common
« on: October 26, 2011, 06:32:23 AM »
The subject says it all.  Should I pitch at ale or lager rates?  I'm using Wyeast California Lager, OG is 1.049.  The beersmith pitching rate calculator is calling for 380 billion cells, recommending a 4L starter with 2 slap packs of yeast at 82% viability.  MrMalty is estimating a lower viability of 76%, calling for a 4.7L starter.  That seems like overkill to me, but I've never tried this style before.  When using MrMalty, should I be using the ale, lager or hybrid fermentation type?  I know that you need much higher pitching rates for lagers, but does this count as one since it'll be fermented ~60F?

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 06:36:29 AM »
I would go with the hybrid.  You will not hurt anything at the lager count, but I would not use the ale count.
Dave Zach

Offline bo

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2011, 07:00:54 AM »
That avatar is very disturbing.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2011, 07:09:35 AM »
I would go with the hybrid.  You will not hurt anything at the lager count, but I would not use the ale count.

+1 - go hybrid or lager.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 07:49:12 AM »
Yeah, if you have time and equipment i would go big. My last batch of cali common was pitched on the yeast cake from a prior batch and it was good. got a nice cleam malty profile and it finished quickly.

Offline jivetyrant

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 04:53:26 AM »
I have some empty 3 gallon carboys laying around.  I suppose I could do a small starter batch first!  Now I just need to get my foolish fermentation chamber replaced and I'll be good to go!  I am trying to find a chest freezer small enough for 1 carboy, I can't imagine it would be that hard....

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 07:48:19 AM »
I have some empty 3 gallon carboys laying around.  I suppose I could do a small starter batch first!  Now I just need to get my foolish fermentation chamber replaced and I'll be good to go!  I am trying to find a chest freezer small enough for 1 carboy, I can't imagine it would be that hard....

Don't try to find a small enough freezer, try to find one that's as large as your space will allow. you will be amazed at how fast that space fills up! you will at some point want to brew a 10 gallon batch so you need room for at least 2 fermenters. And if you want to make big beers at some point then you will need space for a fermenter to sit for a few weeks while still leaving space for your smaller beer fermenters!

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 11:40:46 AM »
Jamil recommends using 3 liquid yeast packages or a 5L starter with 1 package for a beer with an OG around 1.050. Im actually brewing a cal common this weekend using the 1 package with a 5L starter and have done this in the past and the beer turned out great.

btw I ferment at 62 for 10 days or so then transfer to a keg and lower the temp slowly to 34 and lager for about 6-12 weeks.
Jason
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 11:44:44 AM »
Jamil recommends using 3 liquid yeast packages or a 5L starter with 1 package for a beer with an OG around 1.050. Im actually brewing a cal common this weekend using the 1 package with a 5L starter and have done this in the past and the beer turned out great.

btw I ferment at 62 for 10 days or so then transfer to a keg and lower the temp slowly to 34 and lager for about 6-12 weeks.

I like 62 for 10 days don't like lager for 6-12 weeks. This beer is meant to be consumed fresh and not cold conditioned. The style arose in the 1800 in north central california where it rarely gets much below 50 during the day and refrideration was not available for the most part. just my opinion though.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 11:51:17 AM »
+1.  Steam Beer is meant to be consumed fresh.  But lagering it will not hurt anything.  I typically ferment mine at 68F.  The novelty about the Steam Beer is fermenting a lager yeast at ale temperatures.  Try it at 68 and see what you think.  It's becomes even more like an ale with lager qualities.

Zacher
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 02:06:39 PM »
That avatar is very disturbing.

Nah, it's hilarious!
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Offline Kit B

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 02:17:08 PM »
I have brewed a LOT of CA Commons & typically use 2 smack packs @ 63*.

I have also had good luck using 2 smack packs of Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager @ 63*.

To date, I have never made a starter & have always had great luck pitching 2 smack packs.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Pitching rate for a California Common
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 07:33:40 AM »
I've always used the hybrid pitching rate on Mr. Malty with great success. And just my opinion, but I think the beer really shines after 3-4 weeks of lagering.
Mark Gres