Category Archives: Uncategorized

Best Bitter 3V 2

Another beer for the second half of the Southeastern Homebrewers Association competitions and again trying to improve my NHC beers.  I kept this recipe the same but I am messing with the process to make sure it finish out with a low enough gravity and also cleans up all the diacetyl which was an issue the last time I brewed this beer.  The fixes I’m going to try is dropping the mash temp from 154 to 152F and as fermentation starts to slow I’m going to swirl up the carboy to get the yeast back in suspension.  The issue with WLP002 is that it flocculates out like a rock (really big nasty cottage cheese) and so day 4 or 5 it has all sunk to the bottom and the beer finishes a bit sweet and since the yeast has all dropped out it doesn’t clean up the SMM/Diacetyl properly.  My other issue with this beer is I think it is a bit too caramelly so if this version is still too caramelly even with properly drying out and no diacetyl I’ll try cutting the crystal malt from 8 to 5% and maybe using midnight wheat to adjust the color if thats out of range.

Recipe Info

Recipe: best bitter 3v 2
Style: Best Bitter 11B BJCP 2015
Date: 07-23-2017

Recipe

Guideline Min

Guideline Max

OG

1.048

1.040

1.048

FG

1.010

1.008

1.012

Color

8.6

8.0

16.0

ABV

4.9

3.8

4.6

IBU

39.0

25.0

40.0

Brewery Info

Efficiency: 71 %
Attenuation: 78 %

Mash Info

Weight: 12.5 Lbs
Thickness: 1.25 Qt per Lb
Deadspace: 2.0 G
Strikewater: 5.91 G
Volume: 6.91 G
Temp: 152.0 F

Boil Info

Kettle Gravity: 1.039
Predicted Mash Run-off: 4.78 G
Target Starting Boil Volume: 8.5 G
Boil Duration: 60 min
Evaporation Rate: 1.5 G per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 7.0 G

Fermentables

Weight

% by Weight

Name

Yield

SRM

11.000 Lb

88.0 %

Maris Otter (Crisp)

82.0

3.0

1.000 Lb

8.0 %

Crystal, Medium (Simpsons)

76.0

55.0

0.500 Lb

4.0 %

Torrified Wheat

79.0

1.7

Hops

Weight

Name

AAU

Time

Use

IBUs

0.75 Oz

Northern Brewer (DE)

4.9

60 mins

Boil

11.0

1.0 Oz

Challenger

6.7

15 mins

Boil

10.0

1.0 Oz

Willamette

5.1

15 mins

Boil

8.0

1.0 Oz

Challenger

6.7

20 mins

Aroma

6.0

1.0 Oz

Willamette

5.1

20 mins

Aroma

5.0

Yeast

Amount

Name

1.000 unit

English Ale White Labs WLP002

Misc

Amount

Name

Time

Use

1.000 tablet

Whirlfloc Tablet

15 mins

Boil

0.500 tsp

Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast)

10 mins

Boil

Water

Predicted Mash Ph: 5.48

Ca

Mg

Na

Cl

So

Bicarbonate

Water

7

3

21

30

24

30

Mash

99

3

21

30

245

30

Sparge

96

3

21

30

238

30

Final

161

5

34

49

397

49

Target

75

0

0

0

200

0

Mash Water

Total Water Treated: 6.000 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 6.000 G

Mash Water Adjustments

Gypsum: 9.0 g

Sparge Water

Leftover Mash Water Used: Yes
Total Water Treated: 5.500 G
Percent RO / Distlled: 0 %
Water Used: 5.500 G

Sparge Water Adjustments

Gypsum: 8.0 g

Notes

Mash 152f 60 mins
168f 10 mins

cool to 200F and put in whirlpool hops and let sit for 20 mins

Ferment 68f for 2 weeks

8/20/17 0.5L starter 50g DME WLP002
8/22/17 1/2″ kreusen and steady bubbling
8/25/17 kreusen dropped and slow steady bubbling already dropping clear so heavily swirled up the carboy to get yeast back up into suspension
8/27/17 ~4 sec between bubbles
8/29/17 no bubbling
9/6/17 racked beer to keg FG 1.014
tastes really good.  not getting diacetyl this time but still a bit high on caramel.  very good but i would like to tune that back.  promising.  moved to lagering fridge.
9/24/17 added gelatin since still a little haze.
9/26/17 moved to keezer and put in 30 psi over night.  then moved down to serving pressure.

British Golden Ale EBIAB 1_2

Fortunately I was one of the earlier judging centers for NHC so this allowed me to rebrew my two beers.  I also kept 4 bottles of all my entries so I could compare with my rebrews and decide which ones to send.  This is particularly important this year b/c I fried the element on my old system (see last hefeweizen brew) so I made these beers on my brand new eBIAB system from Colorado Brewing.  Not only is the kettle/bag setup new but I also moved to a therminator plate chiller which means i have to use a hop spider so I don’t clog it.  Not a fan of moving to the new system for these beers but it’s a lot of work to replace the element on the old system and time is in short supply.  I used the same recipe as last time except I added dry hops to try and up the aroma a bit.

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: british golden ale ebiab 1
Style: British Golden Ale

 

Style

Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.011
Color: 4
Alcohol: 5 %
Bitterness: 39 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 75
Attenuation: 77

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 10.5 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 2.3 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 8.04 Gallons
Mash Volume: 8.88 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 160 F
Mash Temp: 152 F

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.041
Predicted Mash Run-off Volume: 7.0925
Target Starting Boil Volume: 7.25
Boil Duration: 60 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 6

Fermentables

WEIGHT (LBS) % BY WEIGHT NAME YIELD SRM
5 47.6 Crisp Maris Otter 82.0 3.0
5 47.6 Rahr Pale Malt; American (Rahr) 81.3 1.8
.5 4.8 Briess Carapils 74.0 1.3

Hops

WEIGHT (OZS) NAME AAU TIME (MINS) USE IBUS / ADDITION
.25 Magnum Pellets 15.2 60 Boil 13.1
1 Cascade Pellets 6.2 10 Boil 7.7
1 Willamette Pellets 5.1 10 Boil 6.4
1 Cascade Pellets 6.2 20 Whirlpool 6.5
1 Willamette Pellets 5.1 20 Whirlpool 5.3
1 Cascade Pellets 6.2 3 days Dry Hop 0
1 Willamette Pellets 5.1 3 days Dry Hop 0

Yeast and Friends

AMOUNT (MILLITERS) NAME
1 pouch White Labs WLP002 London Ale

Misc

AMOUNT NAME TIME
1 Whirlfloc Tablet 15
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

Liquid Yeast Pitch – Stirplate StarterFirst Starter
131 billion cells
Quantity of Yeast: 1 vials / pouches (100B cells per)
Quantity of DME: 29 grams
Starter Size: 0.3 litersSalt and Acid adjustments:Mash Salts:
Gypsum: 8.0 gramMash Acid:
Lactic Acid: 3.0 ml @ 88 %Sparge/Boil Salts:Predicted Mash pH of: 5.44

Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 68.5 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 171.3

Boil Ions (ppm):
Ca: 68.5 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 171.3

Mash 150F for 60 min
168F for 10 min

Ferment 68F for 2 weeks

4/2/16 made 0.5L starter w/ 50g DME and 1 pouch WL002

normal brew day but w/ new colorado brewing systems BIAB setup and therminator

4/4/16 pitched @ noon.  fermenting by bedtime.
4/6/16 kreusen dropped and bubbling slowly
4/7/16 done bubbling
4/11/16 dropped pretty clear
4/14/16 dry hopped with 1 oz willamette and 1 oz cascade in primary
4/18/16 racked to lagering keg.  hops a pain but transfer was fine.  pulled a sample to taste but full of dry hops.  seemed clean and good but hard to tell as I pick hops out of my teeth.
4/29/16 added gelatin (1/2 tsp + 1/4 cup filtered water microwaved to 180F)

Hefeweizen Temperature 1

The first Hefeweizen experiment was a really great learning experience and it seemed to be well received so why not do another?  After doing pitch rate variations, it seems the natural next step is temperature.  So, I ran the experiment the same way as the first – make a 3+ gallon batch of hefeweizen wort and split it across three different one gallon jugs –  but this time I placed the three fermenters in three different but identical chest freezers with identical temperature controllers but set at 3 different temperatures (62F, 66F and 70F) to see if all other things are equal what is the impact of fermentation temperature.  Here is the recipe that I used (same as last time but Munton’s Wheat DME and Hallertau hops rather than Briess Wheat DME and Spalt hops).

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: hefeweizen test ebiab 2
Style: Weizen/Weissbier
Author: dennis pike
Date: 7/27/15

Style

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.013
Color: 7
Alcohol: 4.9 %
Bitterness: 10.3 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 100
Attenuation: 75

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 4.15 Pounds
Strike Water Qty: 4.08 Gallons
Mash Volume: 4.41 Gallons

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.042
Starting Boil Volume: 4.125
Boil Duration: 30 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 3.5

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
4.15 100.0 Muntons Wheat DME 91.3 8.0

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
.85 German Hallertau Pellets 2.7 30 Boil 10.3

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 vial White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale

Misc

Amount Name Time
.5 Whirlfloc Tablet 15
.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

hefeweizen test 2 is to see effect of fermentation temperature. 0.5L starter with 50g of DME and 1 vial of WLP300.
WLP300 was lot 1015489 with good test results on 3.23.2015. 4 months old? not sure if test date correlates to ship date.

this starter should contain ~ 150 billion cells

pitch rate is 50% of standard rate or .375 million cells / mL / degree Plato

so 1.050 is 12.5 Plato and 1 Gallon is 3785 mL so that is 375,000 x 3785 x 12.5 ~= 17,700,000,000 = 17.7 billion cells

so to get 17.7 billion cells I would need ~ 59 mL (rounded to 60) of the starter into each 1 gallon fermenter

I am doing 3 x 1 gallon test beers all from the same wort (1.050 wheat dme with 10 IBUs)

pitch rate is 0.5
beer 1 temp is 62F
beer 2 temp is 66F
beer 3 temp is 70F

will take remainder and test cell count to see how close i was

Bottle Carbonation
Temperature at Bottling: 72 F
Volumes of CO2: 3
Amount of Beer: 1 Gallons
Amount of tableSugar to add: 33.1 grams or 1.2 ounces

[End of Recipe]

Some items of note from the experiment:

1> I don’t have a good way to do thermowells in the 1 gallon jugs so I taped temp controllers (Johnson A419s) probes to the side of the jug and then covered the probes with foam insulation.  So, it is likely that the internal temperature of the beer was higher than the set point during the peak of fermentation.

2> the wort was cooled to 70F and then the 3 jugs were filled and placed in their fridges.  Once all three were stable at their fermentation temps, I pitched (~4 hours later).  So, the 62F beer was pitched at 62F, the 66F was pitched at 66F and the 70F beer was pitched at 70F.

3> I mispoke on BBR – I didn’t use pure oxygen for these, they were just shaken vigorously for 30 seconds.

4> all three had fermentation activity within 24 hours but the 70F had a huge kreusen at 20 hours and the 62 and 66F beers didn’t get that active for 36 hours.

5> they were all left in their ferments for 21 days, they all finished at 1.013 (also mispoke on BBR) and they were all bottled at the same time with the same amount of bottling sugar (32g of table sugar per gallon) targeting 3.0 volumes.

My wife and I did a tasting and took our notes, I sent of bottles to James @ Basic Brewering Radio and I took bottles to my homebrew club where 16 member filled out a questionnaire that asked for overall score, hefeweizen qualities score, general impressions and flaws.  the main thing with the scores was to keep them relative so the score is important but most important is that the beers are scored in the correct order so I know which was most and least favorite for each club member.

I consolidated all the questionnaires and you can see the results here:

62F

66F

70F

And the totals on preferred beer is (1 = 62F, 2 = 66F, 3 = 70F):

Beer 1 9 56.25%
Beer 2 5 31.25%
Beer 3 2 12.50%

In general, I found it very difficult to tell the 62F and 66F beers apart but the 70F stood out to me because it did have some minor, what I would call “chemically”, off flavors.  You can see in the overall impression comments that, counter to what I would have thought, the 62F had the most pronounced banana esters, 66F was more balanced and 70F was all over the map.  62F and 66F got no real flaws mentioned other than being out of balance (too much banana) but 70F had all kinds of flaws listed.  I will say that, to me, I also got these flaws but they were background.  Noticeable but you had to kind of search for them.  None of these were “bad” beers but 70F was the only one where I was picking up “flaws”.

My take aways from the first two experiments:

1> pitching rate has a pronounced effect.  it seems that around half the standard pitch rate is a good place to start (0.375 million cells/ mL / degree plato).  If you want more esters go with a bit lower pitch rate, less esters go with a higher pitch rate.  0.375 pitch rate works out to about a vial/smack pack in 5.5 Gallons of wort but it is important to note I grew up a starter and then pitched the amount I wanted from the starter.

2> temperature also has an impact but it would seem that lower give you more banana and higher gives you more of other esters (apple, wine, floral) that detract from the banana and as you go even higher likely is generating hot alcohols and unpleasant acetate esters.  from my sampling it seems in the low 60s (62-66) is a good starting point > lower (i know….weird!) for more pronounced banana and higher for more balance.

other parameters to consider (possible future experiments!)

  • ferulic acid rest : at 111F (44C) , wheat and barley malt will generate ferulic acid which hefeweizen yeast will then convert to the clove phenol (4VG) during fermentation.
  • oxygenation: the theory goes that less oxygen with generate more esters and more oxygen will generate less.
  • bottle conditioning vs forced carbonation: bottle conditioning is supposed to generate higher esters and phenols.

A great presentation from the MBAA on the science of Hefeweizens is here:

http://www.mbaa.com/districts/MidSouth/Events/Documents/2010-03-13Wheat_Beer_Yeast__Fermentation2.pdf

 

 

 

Hefeweizen Pitch Rate 1

Basic Brewing Radio Interview:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/basicbrewing/bbr08-20-15hefeexp.mp3

I bought a microscope and hemocytometer and had a microbiology buddy of mine come by and show me how to use them (Thanks Adam!).  So, what to do with this new found knowledge?  A pitching rate experiment of course!  I’ve read over and over again that underpitching will boost esters/phenols and overpitching has the opposite effect.  Take that and combine it with my wife’s love of Hefeweizens and testing this theory with German Wheat Spicy Bananafantasticness is a no brainer.

The basic test is this.  Brew 3+ gallons of 1.050 Wheat DME based wort, split that across 3 different 1 gallon fermenters and pitch those from the same yeast starter but with different amounts of starter to vary the pitch rate.  So, same beer, same yeast just varying amounts of yeast.  Here is the recipe with notes:

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: hefeweizen test ebiab 1
Style: Weizen/Weissbier
Date: 4/28/15

Style

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.013
Color: 7
Alcohol: 4.9 %
Bitterness: 10 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 100
Attenuation: 75

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.042
Starting Boil Volume: 4.125
Boil Duration: 30 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 3.5

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
4.15 100.0 Briess DME Bavarian Wheat 91.3 8.0

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
.7 Spalt Pellets 3.2 30 Boil 10.0

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 vial White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale

Misc

Amount Name Time
.5 Whirlfloc Tablet 15
.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

hefeweizen test 1 is to see effect of pitch rate. 1.5L starter with 150g of DME and 1 vial of WLP300 lot#1014572 w/ best by date of 7/19/15.

starter made on 4/28/15 so viability should be high (assuming ~80%)

this starter should generate 290 billion cells in 1.5L

I am doing 3 x 1 gallon test beers all from the same wort (1.050 wheat dme with 10 IBUs of spalt)
cooled to ~63F and fermented at 65F

beer 1 pitch rate of .375 (half of standard ale rate) which is 17.5 billion cells in 1 gallon which for above starter would be 90 mL
beer 2 pitch rate of .75 (standard ale rate) which is 35 billion cells in 1 gallon which for the above starter would be 180 mL
beer 3 pitch rate of 1.5 (double the standard ale rate) which is 70 billion cells in 1 gallon which for the above starter would be 360 mL

will take remainder and test cell count to see how close i was

Bottle Carbonation
Temperature at Bottling: 72 F
Volumes of CO2: 3
Amount of Beer: 1 Gallons
Amount of tableSugar to add: 33.1 grams or 1.2 ounces

4/28/15 Made 1.5L starter w/ 150grams of light pilsner dme and 1 vial of WLP300

4/29/15 starter had significant blow off so likely lost a good amount of yeast

4/30/15 Brewday

pretty standard extract brewday.  no issues.
1.048 SG
5.89 pH

5/1/15
beer 1> no kreusen
2> a little kreusen
3> full blown kreusen and chugging along

hefe1

5/3/15 all still have big kreusens but bubbling is beginning to slow.

5/4/15 fermentation appears to be done and yeast is beginning to drop

did cell count of leftover starter.

53,43,41,49,48 = 46.8 avg

46.8 x 25 (total cells in field)
x 10 (I did a 10:1 dilution)
x 10,000 (hemocytometers field size)
= 117 million cells / ml

in 1.5L starter this is 175.5 billion cells which is 60% of what I expected.  this is easily explained by significant blow off starter.

so, actually pitch rates are:

1> 10.5 billion cells (30% of 0.75 million cells/ml/degree Plato)
2> 21 billion cells (60%)
3> 42 billion cells (120%)

5/14/15 bottled.  each was just under a gallon in the bottling bucket so to get 3.0 volumes I did 32 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup of filtered water which I brought to a boil, cooled and added to the bottling bucket and stirred in very thoroughly.  produced 6 bottles of each beer.

6/2/15 took beers to homebrew club meeting and had 13 tasters.  pretty good agreement that 30% pitch rate had the most banana character and the overpitch 120% was more muted and 60% was in between with more balance of banana and clove.  almost no agreement on which was preferred.  i tested earlier with my wife and we both preferred the 60%.  no real flaws detected so all turned out well.

hefe_experiment_1

Cal Common eBIAB 1

Second brew on the new eBIAB single vessel system and I made a few tweaks including mashing a lot thinner and using a sparge arm to make the recirculation a bit more gentle both of which seemed to really help my efficiency (this batch was 74%) and wort clarity.

I wanted to do another slightly hoppier beer for my wife and I had never brewed a Cal Common so seemed like a good one to try.  I looked at Jamil’s recipe in BCS as well as the one old NHC winner I could find and a few Anchor Steam clone recipes.  Nothing really peaked my interest so I decided to keep it simple.  I just did 90% pale/MO style base  and 10% mid-caramel/crystal.  My local homebrew shop carries Thomas Fawcett Golden Promise which I’ve always wanted to try and this beer seemed like a good one based on the BJCP style description.  I’m not a huge fan of american caramel malts so I figured I’d branch out and try a british crystal that I haven’t tried before.  I did some digging around on the web and people seem to LOVE Simpson’s Crystal so I ordered some Medium Crystal from them.  Jamil’s Northern Brewer hop schedule looked pretty hoptastique so I used that as a rule of thumb.  Here is the recipe:

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: cal common 1
Style: California Common Beer
Author: hommel homebrew
Date: 3-13-15

Style

Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.012
Color: 10.6
Alcohol: 5.3 %
Bitterness: 44.1 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 70
Attenuation: 77

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 11.125 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 1.5 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 6.17 Gallons
Mash Volume: 7.06 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 159.7 F
Mash Temp: 150 F

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.043
Starting Boil Volume: 6.75
Boil Duration: 60 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 5.5

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
10 89.9 thomas fawcett golden promise 80.5 2.7
1 9.0 simpsons medium crystal 76.0 67.0
.125 1.1 Weyermann Acidulated Malt 78.7 2.3

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) IBUs / Addition
1.33 Northern Brewer Pellets (UK) 6.0 60 29.5
1.33 Northern Brewer Pellets (UK) 6.0 15 14.6
1.33 Northern Brewer Pellets (UK) 6.0 0 0.0

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 pouch California Lager – WY2112

Misc

Amount Name Time
1 Whirlfloc Tablet 15
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

mash salts:
4.1g Gypsum
2.0 calcium chloride

boil salts:
none

should give mash pH of 5.4

pitch @ 60 and ramp to 62 over 1 day then hold till done (~14 days). rack to keg lager for 2 weeks. rack to clean keg and force carb to ~2.5 volumes.

BrewDay notes:
I’ve been re-reading “Brewing Engineering” by Steven Deeds.  It’s a fun book since it is him documenting his home experiments.  Some are very basic and a bit silly but some are very interesting.  In particular, he doesn’t buy the MrMalty’s yeast viabilty calculations and so he tests them with his own yeast and finds that the MrMalty numbers assume too high a die off rate.  And I’ve seen this a bunch of times in my brewing where MrMalty will say a yeast is only 30% viable based on age and calls for an enormous multi-stage starter and when I do that I end up with what looks like way too much yeast.  I have recently purchased a microscope and the other tools needed to do cell counts so I plan to test this out on my own as well.  So, my yeast for this beer was 4 months old which meant I would have needed 7 vials or some enormous starter.  But this yeast has been kept nice and cold the whole time so I just don’t buy it.  Maybe 50% viable but I’m doubting 7%.  So instead I used Wyeast’s standard recommendation for a hybrid strain and did a 2L starter (actually 1.4L since this was a smaller batch) and I did end up with a nice pitch of yeast after that ran for 48 hours and when I pitched it the fermentation was going strong by the next morning.

And the more I think about it the more that viability measure bothers me.  You could have 2 week old yeast that shipped in 100F weather and it have poor viability or have 3 month old that was stored cold and have good viability.  If you can’t do a cell count, why even bother with the MrMalty calculator.  In all reality, you have NO idea what your viability is.  So it seems the right path is either do cell counts and pitch the right amount of yeast or just use Wyeast’s starter recommendations.

  • 1 liter starter = about 150 billion cells
  • 2 liter starter = about 200 billion cells
  • 1 liter starter, then pitched into 4 liter starter = 400 billion cells

Or maybe I’ve been thinking about this too much 🙂

3/23/15 made 1.4L starter
3/25/15 pretty standard brew day.  did a step mash of 152 for 60 mins and 168 for 10 mins.

started at 6:45 am and had pitched and had beer in fermentation chamber by 11:30 am.  Under 5 hours.  Not bad.  Another 2 hours for cleanup but that was 80% the cleaner recirculating and me not doing anything.

pitched at 11:30 @ 60F and set controller to raise to 62F over 24 hours and hold it there till its done.

3/26/15 @9am.  Nice 1″ kreusen and steady strong bubbling
3/27/15 still kreusened with nice bubbling although maybe slowed a hair?
3/28/15 kreusen dropped.  bubbling slowed to ~2sec apart
3/29/15 ~10 secs
3/30/15 ~15 sec
4/2/15 no activity – dropped fairly clear
4/9/15 racked to keg ~3.5 gallons
FG – 1.015 pH 4.28
very nice beer but a hint of sulfur.  very low but will lager for 2 months to get rid of it.  also a bit green
4/23/15 forced carbed and put on draft.  big foam issue which seems to be from the liquid out post on all my lotto kegs.  moved to a new keg and problem went away but knocked out all the carb need to recarbonate.  very hazy.
4/28/15 still not quite carb’d but getting better.  still hazy but starting to clear.  a tasty beer.  need to try side by side with anchor steam.

my beer vs anchor steam:
aroma: mine>clean with restrained caramel and generic malty notes.  noticeable herbal/woody hops.  anchorsteam> more caramelly (oxidized?), less hops
flavor: mine> nice caramel character.  hop bitterness and flavor are spot on.  anchorsteam> more caramel flavor.  bitterness is similar but less hop flavor.
appearance: similar color.  my clarity stinks 🙁
mouthfeel: very similar
overall impression: other than clarity I prefer my cal common to anchor all the way around.  anchor sample has way more caramel and less hop aroma and flavor.  this doesn’t match up with the anchor i had on draft in bay area but it’s what I’ve got. seems the anchor steam here is old and oxidized.  sad.

5/5/15 finally dropping clear after ~2 weeks.  ok clarity but not great.  next time would definitely try gelatin or biofine to see how much faster / better it clears.