I'm getting ready to brew a few beers with WLP090 - Super San Diego, so it's time for another session beer. This time around it's nearly the same Scottish ale I brewed here, just 8oz less base malt to hit a lower OG.

Usually brewing on a weeknight is a bit of a pain, but these low gravity ales are pretty quick and easy to brew. Zach from Stainless Brewing dropped by during the brew day for a beer. I'm playing around with one of his Dry Hoppers, but we'll cover that on a more hop-centric beer. Of course no brew day goes 100% smooth, and this one was no exception. Right as I flipped on the switch for the heater element to my HERMS, I heard a loud *POP* and a puff of smoke from my control box; the SSR fried. SSRs usually fail open (as mine did), so I spent the majority of the mash plugging and unplugging the element from the control box to hold my mash at 158*. Thankfully it was smooth sailing after that little fiasco. I boiled for 60 minutes, chilled to 62F, and pitched a single vial of WLP090. Finally, I set the temp controller on my fermenting fridge to 16.7C.

After I got everything cleaned up, I took a look at the SSR and the element. Turns out the element had a short which lead to the SSR frying. I bought a new SSR and element (240v, 1500w) online, so I should have everything back up and running before my next batch.

Brewed: 02-27-13
Kegged: 03-09-13
OG: 1.036
ABV: 3.1%
6 Gallons

5lbs 2-Row
1lb English C60
8oz Munich
8oz Honey Malt
4oz C120
3oz Chocolate Malt
Mash @ 158*
9g Apollo @ 60
WLP090 - Super San Diego Yeast

I've used Super San Diego a couple times now, and I like the results a lot. Exactly as advertised, it ferments quickly, and I find it attenuates as well as WLP001 (although, I've yet to test it in a big beer where a high level of attenuation is needed.) It flocs out quicker than WLP001, and I find the flavor to be rather clean; not quite Chico clean, but still rather clean. By day three, fermentation was slowing down, and by day 4 it was done. I then let the beer sit on the yeast for a few more days before racking to keg. Same story from there, I fined with gelatin and forced carbed.

This beer turned out almost identical to the 70 Shilling I brewed a few months back. The fermentation character is very clean, and the overall beer is, unsurprisingly, very similar. I don't miss the extra gravity, and this certainly doesn't taste like a 3% ABV beer. Big clean malty aroma. The flavor is smooth and crisp with a big toasted caramel quality. The bitterness is just barely balancing, as this beer definitely leans to the malt side. The mouthfeel is nice, despite the low gravity. I'm sure that's mostly to thank from the high mash temp, and high % of specialty malts.

Overall, it's a fantastic session beer that's very easy to drink by the liter. It's not the most exciting beer I've got in the pipeline, but Kristen and I are enjoying having it on tap.


  1. I made the 70/- schilling over a year ago and remember it being really tasty. I am thinking about trying my hand at one of these new-fangled "session" IPAs. What are your thoughts for using this 60/- recipe and then ipa style hopping for 10 min and/or 0 min and then dry hop additions?

    1. When I put my typical 'IPA Hat' on, i would say it's way too much crystal. When I put my 'Session Beer' hat on, I think it would taste fantastic. You'd have something that would be more of a micro-American Amber, rather than a micro-IPA though.

      Session beer recipe formulation is something I'm still pretty new at. My instincts would tell me that this Scottish has wayyyy too much flipping specialty malts (32%), but it totally works. So, if you're looking for a hoppy amber ale, ya it would be great.

      I'm going to do a micro-APA here soon. 3.0-3.2%, and super hoppy. I'll be honest, these low gravity beers are much harder to get 'right'.

  2. I'd love to see what you do for a micro-APA style. I'd love to be able to enjoy 3-4 per night without having to worry about dragging badly the next morning. Keep up the great work on the blog. I love seeing every new article come up!

    1. Thanks. The Micro-APA is on deck. I've got to knock out a batch for a gym-event, and then I'm brewing that.

  3. Love the site! Thanks for all the tips and insight. How do you store the yeast you harvest from brew to brew?

    1. I leave the primary alone until I brew the next batch, then I keg (or rack to secondary) the first batch on the day I brew the second.

      I brew a batch every week or two, so it usually works out well.

  4. Brilliant! I was thinking of brewing one of these and how I just don't have an excuse not to!
    Love the site too.

    1. They're fantastic little beers. Not the most exciting recipe on earth, but I'm hooked on them.

      I like my Scottish's blood red, so if you want to stick more to style, cut the chocolate malt back to 1oz.

  5. I'm a big fan of wlp090 but it is very temperamental in regards to temperature. I've pitched it low (62)and found that although I reached proper attenuation, the ph was high in my finished beers(4.6). I've now been pitching at 65 then raising to 68 when ferment slows. My beers are finishing at a slightly lower (and more acceptable for an ale) ph of 4.2-4.3 and are much cleaner and bright tasting. Thought I'd share, Cheers

    1. That's really interesting, thanks for the info. I definitely don't know this yeast inside and out like I know 001. I'll give that a try on my couple batches with it.

  6. If I wanted to boost the gravity of this up just a bit, would I just add more of the base grain or scale up the other grains as well?


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