I brew this recipe nearly every year, with only minor variations–usually in yeast or corn form. The 2022 version is another winner! I rolled it out with Diamond Lager Yeast for something a shade different.
Alta California Lager 2022
- 6.5 lb. Barke pilsner malt (Weyermann)
- 2 lb. flaked corn
- 1.75 lb. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
- 0.25 lb. rice hulls
- 0.5 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
- 1 tsp. BruTanB, 10 minute boil
- 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
- 0.75 oz. Saaz hop pellets (4.0% alpha), 5 minute boil
- 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (WLN1000), 5 minute boil
- 2 pkg. Diamond Lager Yeast (Lallemand)
- 1.046 s.g., 1.010 f.g., 4.8% abv, 19 IBU, 3 SRM
- 8.75 gallons of RO water with 1.7 g CaCl to hit target parameter of 14 ppm Ca and 25 ppm Cl
- 75 minute full volume infusion mash, 149°
- I mashed in with 8.75 gallons of RO water and 1.7 g of CaCl, heated to 160°, to hit a mash temperature of 149°. I added 2.5 mL of 88% lactic acid, to adjust the pH.
- I recirculated for 75 minutes, and then raised the mash temperature to 168° for 10 minutes, before pulling the grains.
- In total, I collected 7.6 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.037, for 76% estimated mash efficiency.
- I boiled the runnings for 30 minutes before adding hops, to bring up the gravity for a bit.
- Once the Magnum hops were added, I boiled for 60 minutes total, adding aroma hops and finings per the recipe.
- I did an initial chill with my coil, and then dropped it the rest of the way in the fermentation chamber to 48°, overnight.
- I pitched the yeast on 24 April 2022, and fermented at 52°.
- Starting gravity was 1.049.
- I raised the temperature to 60°on May 6.
- I cold crashed over a few days starting on May 10, dropping to 50°, 40°, and then 33°.
- I kegged the beer on 15 May 2022. It had a final gravity of 1.010, for 5.1% abv.
- Light gold color, slight haze, creamy and persistent white head. The haze had dropped out, but when I moved the keg between houses, it must have kicked up a bunch of sediment, because even after a week it was still hazier than two weeks prior. Very annoying! The head is gorgeous, so that makes up a little bit for the haze. After another month of settling, the beer was back to its crystal clear original nature.
- Amazing! A sweet and light corn aroma comes through at the front, with a touch of malt behind that. I think I might get a whiff of the Saaz character, but that is highly variable.
- A moderate level of nuanced malty flavor through at first, with the sweet hint of corn sitting next to that. A clean bitterness balances out the malt, with a smooth and unobtrusive character. The malt really shines here, making it a highly drinkable beer that is a bit more flavorful than your typical Corona.
- Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, smooth and a very slight bit of dryness to the finish.
- Would I Brew This Again?
- This is consistently one of my very favorite recipes…or rather recipe families. It is slightly different every time, in terms of the brand of malt, mode of corn, and yeast involved. The Diamond lager yeast worked exceptionally well here, and I will probably keep that going forward (unless I choose a bona fide Mexican lager yeast). I suspect the flaked corn contributed to the persistent haze; my original cereal-mashed version was crystal clear. Or maybe it just needs a little more time to settle. Either way, I love this beer–the slight haze is my only minor gripe, and it did drop out in the end.