I have been working with different yeast strains over the past several months. I originally fell in love with White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale yeast. What drew me to this yeast was the rocket speed with which it ferments and flocks out. With it I can get away with many American styles and British styles as well. I spent some time with the old stand by of WLP001 American Ale yeast and it's dry counterpart, US-05 from Fermentis. After being spoiled by the fast finishing 007, the 001 seemed like a snails pace for me. The problem was, I want a clean fermenting yeast like 001, but with the speed and flocculation ability (how fast the beer drops clear) of 007.
Originally I planned on carrying two lagers in Cranker's, a Helles and a Marzen. For production reasons I later decided to handle these beers as ales. I felt as if I was being dishonest as calling my helles a helles if it was done with ale yeast. Therefore our light beer is called Torchlight Munich Blonde. The beer is brewed will german pilsner malt and german hops, and the flavor is so close that, in competition I will still enter this beer as a helles.
After using WLP090 San Diego Super yeast, I believe I may have found my happy medium yeast-wise. It ferments very clean and at low temperatures (60*F). It is a vigorous fermenter, about twice as fast as 001 in comparison. Now back to the marzen.
I have decided to drop the marzen from the lineup in favor of a California Common. The benefits for our beer menu is another hop featured beer that gives diversity in hop profiles between our citrusy IPA and our woody and minty Cal Common. It will take the name from the marzen and be The Local - Cal Common.
Drink good beer with good people!