As a homebrewer, there are few things more discouraging than opening your beer and not getting the snap of carbonation leaving the bottle.

Here’s the story: I was trying for something that was a lager (light, easy to drink) without having to go through the trials of making a lager (refrigeration, which I don’t have; time, which I don’t care to spend) so when I came across the idea of using a California Common yeast as a substitute for lager yeast, I thought: awesome!

What I read suggested giving the beer a bit longer to drop out so that I really got the clarity of a lager. Unfortunately, I think I let the beer go for too long. The yeast pooped out and didn’t come back to readily carbonate the beer. As a result, the finish is a little too sweet, there’s no crispness on the tongue and while I can’t sense any really off flavors in this beer, I can’t call it a success by any means.

Knowing that I may have let it go too long means that perhaps I can shorten up my process a bit and make a better beer. Next time. Recipe follows:

Brew Date: 3.15.14

Steeping Grains
1 lb Vienna
1 lb C30
1.5 lb 2 Row

7lb Extralight malt

.5 oz Sterling (dry)
.5 oz Millenium (pellets)@ 60
.5 oz Millennium @15
.5 oz Sterling @15

Yeast: White Labs California Common WLP001
Made starter 24hrs prior

OG: 1.064

FG: 1.012

Put into secondary on 4.3
Bottled 4.12

AVB: 7.04%

5 thoughts on “Fauxlager”

  1. White labs also has a yeast called San Francisco Lager that ferments at the same temps and seems clearly aimed for California Commons. Curious why you didn’t use that.

    I’m going to brew this recipe using that yeast this weekend. Sub C20 for C30 and Nugget for Millennium hops, but otherwise the same.

    1. Truthfully, I didn’t know that yeast was out there! I figured that using the California Commons yeast would do the trick. I’ll be interested in seeing how your beer turns out.

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