Monday, December 10, 2012

“Californee Way" Common Lager

Brew date: December 2, 2012
#12 - 3.5 gal

'Tis the season... for lager! With the average temperature of my basement now hovering around 57 'F, I am finally able to get down to business and brew my first lager -- albeit one that ferments at a relatively high temp. Hence the California Common. I based the recipe off of the one found in John Palmer's How to Brew, while scaling the final batch size down to 3.5 gal and making a few other allowances for the lower efficiency that comes with a no-sparge BIAB.

The end result? A higher than expected efficieny -- thanks to the multi-rest mash schedule. In fact, I was counting on an efficiency of around 62-65%, but was probably nearer 69%. Maybe I over did it? Meh. In the end, I added about a quarter gallon of water to the fermentor as I was a little low on my target batch size, while my gravity was substantially higher than the recipe called for.

Since then, it's been crusing "Califonee way." I expect to rack to a secondary around two weeks after pitching, and then bottle sometime after Christmas.

  • 7 lb 2-Row Pale malt (Briess)
  • 0.7 lb Caramel 40L malt
  • 0.6 lb 2-Row Carapils malt (dextrine)
  • 0.5 oz Northern Brewer (60 min)
  • 0.25 oz Northern Brewer (15 min)
  • 0.25 oz Northern Brewer (1 min)
  • ⅛ tsp Irish moss (15 min)
  • Wyeast 2112 California Lager*
*Yeast starter made on 11/29. Bring 1200 mL water to boil. Add 1 c DME and ⅛ tsp Wyeast nutrient. Boil 10 min. Chill and pitch yeast. Keep at ~60-64 'F.


Add 4.5 gal water to kettle. Heat to 130 'F. Add malt. Stabilize temp at 122 'F. Rest for 30 min. Raise temp to 140 'F and rest for 30 min. Raise temp to 158 'F and rest for 30 min. Mash out at 170 'F for 10 min. No sparge. Lauter. Bring wort to boil. Add N. Brewer bittering hops and boil for 60 min. Add N. Brewer and Irish moss 15 min before end of boil. Add N. Brewer hops 1 min before end of boil. Cut heat and let sit for 10 min. Chill wort to ~59-60 'F. Top off fermenter to 3.5 gal. Pitch yeast starter. Ferment at 55-61 'F.


Pre-boil gravity: ~1.060
OG: 1.057 (?) (added ¼ gal water to fermenter, 1.061)
Color: Tangerine, orangish-yellow, golden rod, good clarity
Taste: Biscuit, sweet, moderate hop bitterness


The wife wanted to name this beer based on a misheard lyric from "California Love" by Tupac and Dr. Dre. I didn't. You're welcome.

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