Dream of Californication

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Dream of Californication

I decided my next brew should be a California Common. This is what I call Californication:

Pale Malt- 2 row US 10.3 lbs
Crystal Malt - 40L 1.5lbs

.5oz Northern Brewer- 60min
.75oz Centennial - 30min
.5oz Norther Brewer 10min

1/2 tbs Irish Moss

Wyeast California Larger

OG- 1.050
FG- 1.010

**Racked it 6 days after I brewed it

I just brewed this today so here are a few things to take note of on this brew:

-I did a yeast starter for this one, though there is some discussion on weather or not a starter is needed with Wyeast and a brew under 1.065, but I still did it. I used my wine bottle with about 2 1/2 cups of water and about 3/4 cup of extra light DME and boiled it for 15-20 min (this was done at about 9pm night before brew day). It started to bubble by the morning and it continued to bubble until I pitched it.

-Over headed Mash water to about 170ish, I added ice and let it sit with the lid open on my mash tub until it got down to 158f. Once at 158f I let the mash go for an hour.

-I went by the 1.5 qts water for every lb of grain giving me a mash water of 4.5 gallons. I may want to cut that back to 1.25qts/lb or even 1 qt/lb next time because I did not use all of my sparge water (input welcomed on this point)

-Fly sparged this batch fully successfully. I used 5.75 gallons for the sparge, but wound up dumping out about 1 gallon or so.

-My last gravity reading was 1.046 and I was shooting for 1.050 so I let it go on a rolling boil for about 15-20 min before adding the 60 min hops. Before I pitched the yeast it was at 1.050 so I was on the nose for that!

I couldn't be happier with the way today's brew session went. I am about 1/2 dozen (maybe 1/2 a bakers dozen, but who is counting) brews into all-grain brewing and I finally have a really good handle on whats going on. This took me about 5 1/2 hrs from start to finish so I am even doing it in pretty good time as well.

I am going to bottle 3 or 4 of these and enter it into a contest. I figure since I am hitting my targets on my brews now I am ready to get some feedback. Either way, it's nice to know the investment in time to come up with some methods that allow me to make the recipes I am trying for has paid off.



Ted Danyluk said...


Looks like it will be a really good and simple ale. Please post the results. I like these kinds of beers, cause you can taste all the simple subtleties.

It sure feels good brewing a batch from scratch and hitting targets along the way. And in the very end, the beer tastes really great. An involved "process" with so many variables and time, its amazing we can come up with such pleasing results.

I'm brewing a pale ale next, and I want to hit a gravity of about 1.048. Don't plan on making a starter, cause the smackpacks do their job with gravities like this. Anyhoo...

Travis said...

Thanks Ted, I am pretty pumped about this one. I don't have any refrigeration for fermentation so I have to brew seasonal. This is a lager that fits the bill for me.

I just racked this and it came in at 1.010 which is pretty close to style standards for this. All is well so far, we will see how it turns out...

Thanks for stopping!