From Northern California. This strain is more fruity than WLP001, and slightly more flocculent. Attenuation is lower, resulting in a fuller bodied beer than with WLP001.
Attenuation: 70-75% Flocculation: Medium to High Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 66-70°F Alcohol Tolerance: Medium-High
Reviews provided by White Labs:
" ... this beer was frequently mistaken for ... " By:Phil G. Date: July 17, 2011 Beers brewed: Pale Ale Comments: This yeast produced a very well received fuller bodied pale ale. There seemed to be remnants of diacetyl, so a rest may be useful. The beer was extremely balanced in terms of hops and malt: a bit sweet in the end, but rich with lighter caramel notes, contrasting a deeper duller bitterness from CTZ hops, with a big citrus finish from Centennial hops. As a side note, this beer was frequently mistaken for Bell's Two Hearted Ale, but I found it to be slightly sweeter and fuller bodied, so I might assume lower attenuated. The yeast character present was slightly fruity for a California style, and very rich. Great yeast. May let this one sit in primary for an extra day or two next time though (primary for 5 days in this case).
"Overall I like the results ... " By:Wes Date: April 19, 2011 Beers brewed: APA, IPA, Stout, Porter Comments: I have used this yeast many times over the past year with only first generation pitches. I have one going now and plan on doing 7 or 8 re-pitches to see how it holds up. With a fermentable wort I get 75-80% attenuation consistently. It ferments very slow compared to most English strains, isn't tart, fairly fruity, and flocculent. There is some distinct sulphur aroma during fermentation only. Any temps over 70 have shown some or lots of fusel alcohols. It's also not going to be a good top cropper. Overall I like the results or I wouldn't use it but I'm searching for a faster fermenting strain in the long run.
" ... not clean ... " By:Wildwest Date: March. 3, 2011 Beers brewed: IPA Comments: Poor choice for an IPA. Under attenuated, too fruity, nasty watermelon after taste. Flocculation is very good. IMO not a clean profile.
" ... lets the Cascade hops sing!" By: Gary Hauser Date: Nov. 8, 2010 Beers brewed: American Pale Ale Comments: Outstanding results with this strain. Used it thru 4 successive all grain 5 gallon brews of slightly varied recipes. Recommend using a starter for best results. The slurry is absolutely voracious and visibly active fermentation occurs in as little as 4 hours after pitching. Produces a round malty brew that lets the Cascade hops sing!
"Long trails of yeast flocking up and down ... " By: Ken T. Date: Oct. 26, 2010 Beers brewed: Pale Ale Comments: I made a 1 quart starter with two vials and pitched it into two- 5 gallon fermenters. Ferm. temp was in the low 60°s, I gave it 3 weeks then racked it. Then transferred into serving kegs cooled down and then carbonated. I love the way this yeast ferments... Long trails of yeast flocking up and down the tank with a very alien looking crown on top. It's alive!
"Don't let it get above 70 degrees ... " By: Nata Lukas Date: Oct. 31, 2009 Beers brewed: Lots, from Pale Ales to Stouts Comments: I love the lacey head this strain gives you. Also the ability to pull off a fermentation at a lower temp makes this yeast ideal for me. Don't let get above 70 degrees though. For best results try to keep it below 68 and you should be good. Cheers!
"That is exactly what I got ... " By: Jeff Fortney Date: June 14, 2009 Beers brewed: Blonde Ale / Fruit Beer Comments: I chose this strain to ferment a light blonde ale that I intended to use as the base for a fruit beer. I wanted the beer to have a soft malty character and subtle sweetness. That is exactly what I got thanks to this yeast.
"I'm pleased with the result" By: Ken Lee - Livonia, MI Date: Feb. 23, 2009 Beers brewed: Pale Ale Comments: Fermented almost immediately (6 hours) due to an active 2L starter and oxygenating it with bottled oxygen. After 5 days it had cleared well and was down from 1.062 to 1.018 and will drop more over the next few days as fermentation is still active, so 75% attenuation is likely. Did not taste "fruity" but I used a lot of hops so that flavor trait may come through later as hops dissipate. I used this strain in place of WLP001 because my LHBS was out of stock. I'm pleased with the result.
"Crosses fingers" By: wtfpwntintheface Date: Jan. 26, 2009 Beers brewed: American IPA Comments: I have experienced similar traits from this yeast, i.e, the egg smell, slow fermentation. After 8 days fermentation stopped and everything settled. Temp was 66-69 F the entire time. I started with a 1.058 and got down to 1.025. I have since roused the containers and raised the temperature. *crosses fingers* I have used Cal 001 in the past using the same recipe and so I did expect some variance in activity regarding temperature.
"The beer fermented well ... " By: Mike Castagno Date: Nov. 7, 2008 Beers brewed: Robust Porter Comments: I picked this yeast up the day before brewing, as the local shop was out of WLP001, which I had planned on using. I made APAs and Ambers with this yeast before, so I thought I'd give it a try. I made a 1L starter on a stir plate and pitched at slightly higher temp than I would have liked, 72F. The beer fermented well (14P --> 3P) and it is overall pretty good, but I would not recommend it for this style. The fruitiness is a bit excessive at serving temps (44F) and competes with the roasty and hop aromas rather than complements them (like and English ale yeast might). Perhaps it works better at lower fermentation temperatures, but that was how hot my basement was ...
"One of my favorite yeasts" By: Doak Procter Date: April 14, 2008 Beers brewed: IPA; American Brown; American Amber Comments: One of my favorite yeasts. While it is fruitier than WLP001, it does not get strongly fruity, even when kept at the upper end of the optimal range. It always starts reliably. I find that it does need some rousing to completely attenuate, but racking and a day or two takes care of that, without additional effort. My beers fermented with WLP051 condition very well, and even the moderately-high gravity beers (1.055-1.065) continue improving over several months or even a year.
" ... the beer consistently tastes great" By: Mark Stitze Date: April 4, 2008 Beers brewed: IPA, Pale, Brown Comments: I've used this strain for several beers and have enjoyed the clean flavors produced. The only issue is the rotten egg smell I get when this yeast ferments my wort. The wife really hates it! But, the beer consistently tastes great. I've harvested it from several primary fermentations and stored it in the fridge for up to 3 months. It still wakes up and takes of within hours of pitching. Good stuff.
" ... I am pleased so far" By: jtrpcic Date: March 25, 2008 Beers brewed: American Wheat Comments: My batch started to bubble at 8 hours and actually stopped at ~ 48 hours. I was a little worried but today at ~ 68 hours I took a reading and it showed 69% attenuation. So I am pleased so far. Will need time before end result can be tasted
FAQ for this yeast
I was wondering if 051 is a slow fermenter or not. I brewed an IPA on the 5th and today is the 13th and it is very slowly fermenting and is currently at 7.5 Plato. I'd like to get it down to 3.5 Plato. The temp is at 69 and has been between 66 and 70 the whole time. I roused the yeast on the 11th and it seemed to work. Any ideas on what I should do?
Thank you for your inquiry. The WLP051 is a bit slower than other strains, which is one reason for its clean profile. It is also more temperature sensitive, so it might have slowed down more due to the temperature. I would rouse again, and raise the temperature to 72, there's no need to keep it low now because it is not fermenting quickly. If you can transfer the beer, do so, as this is the best way to rouse, but that is not always possible.