Objective and detailed experiences with California Ale Yeast

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by emsroth, Apr 26, 2017.

  1. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    I was always a fan of all beers English, Belgian, and different. So in my early days when it came time to brew an American beer, I used one of the alternative ale yeasts, like Stone (WLP090) or Anchor (WLP051) rather than Chico (US-05, Wyeast 1056, WLP001, etc).

    In an attempt to achieve an extremely clean beer to explore the new Medusa (neomexicanus) hops, I chose Imperial Yeast A07 Flagship, their version of the Chico strain(reported to be 1056). For the grain bill it was 100% locally-produced pale 2-row (4 L). Fermented at 62 F for a week, then raised to 70 F to clean up and attenuate.

    The beer is about a week or two old, in the kegerator and fully carbonated, and I find myself really disliking the beer. The yeast really brought out the light toast in the malt making it taste like I used 100% biscuit, the mouthfeel is slimy, and this is one of the cloudiest beers I have ever made. It's definitely not an infection; fermentation was healthy and vigorous. I'm left to believe that I just don't like this yeast. Tonight I will be dosing with Biofine Clear and saturday I will be adding an additional charge of dry hops, so I should probably wait until then to post...

    This brew has turned me off of Chico yeast. I've started to notice the yeast's tendency to negatively accent toasty flavors and create slimy mouthfeel in commercial beers now as well. It's as if a switch went off in my head, and I can no longer enjoy beers made with the yeast.

    Does anyone else have any detailed feelings towards or experiences with this yeast? Is there another yeast that produces a vehement response from you?
     
  2. newmanwell

    newmanwell Active Member

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    It might be a good idea to try an experiment brewing a chico fermented beer vs another beer (same recipe) with another clean strain and see what happens.
     
  3. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    That is, in essence, what I am doing. Searching for a "house" yeast. It's a long process.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    Ive been working on that for years and ive come down to I only like high flocculating brands so that cuts the list down and this year Im going with M44 for now
     
  5. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    I think it's more about the type of material in suspension. I am falling hard for Imperial A20 Citrus (Brux Trois). That is a low-flocking yeast, but the material is suspension is light and airy and does not affect the flavor.

    With the Chico yeast, at kegging, I could tell the yeast in suspension was a detriment to the flavor and couldn't wait for it to clear.

    Anyway, I didn't intend for a Chico bashing party, but I am always curious about detailed experiences and reviews rather than oversimplified superlatives. I'm really thinking I need to create a blog for yeast reviews...
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    So you tried wlp090 emsroth it is a Chico yeast it's been described as wlp001 on steroids. I like these yeasts not that I've even fermented a beer with them yet this year but lovely clean hoppy crystal clear beer is a winner for me. There is a lot of yeast out there emsroth good luck on your yeast discovery. Maybe try some Belgium ale strains??
     
  7. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    That's the Stone brewing yeast here in the states. It has a candy sweetness and apricot ester that overpower other flavors (despite being "clean").

    I'm in the process of trying a few Belgian strains on the cool side of the spectrum 65-68F. Produces interesting tart esters and surprisingly less body than when fermented warm, even with crystal malt in the bill.
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I used to use Cal-01 for most of my beers. I have even used it in a stout and rinsed it (several times) for a pale ale. Has got to be one of my favorite yeasts. A LHBS started up near so I started buying from them and they don't sell White Labs so I went to 1056 and S-05. They are ok but I don't think with my hard water I get the crisp finish that I used to get. Once just to exbeeriment I re-pitched 13 times. The 13th beer was a IIPA at 1.084 and it munched it down to 1.005! Was not much malt or hop stand out left with a finish like that. I had noticed 3 or 4 brews just prior were in the high 80% range for attenuation so assumed a super yeast had showed up. Flavor was ok just nothing left even in a big beer like that. I now have in the frig a new pack of Cal-01 that will be used soon for a creame and a red IPA and red ale. Probably the stout that will follow them also. So in other words yes I have used it extensively and I do prefer it over 1056 and S-05.1056 for me tends to tone down the malt and hops a bit and the S-05 takes too long to clean up its own yeast flavor. I haven't fully tested my brewing water but my RA is in the low 60 range and my PH runs about 7.8 so I use some phosphoric acid to drop mash ph usually and add some gypsum. My exbeerience anyway.
     
  9. emsroth

    emsroth Member

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    Thank you kindly, just the kind of info I am looking for.

    That's fascinating about the successive generations and the change in attenuation. I notice for a number of yeasts that if the first beer is made with simple sugar (cane, honey, etc.) that the fermentation permanently changes the attenuation profile of the yeast. I believe I used WLP565 for an all-malt saison, and had 80% AA. Next beer with added sugar - 90% AA. Next two were all malt and they finished with 90% AA.
     

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