WLP051 California Ale V Yeast

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.

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Style Performance Listing

A listing of how this style ranks amongst different brew styles, on a scale from 0 to 4.

Style Rating Style Rating
American Style Cream Ale2American Style Wheat Ale4
Fruit Beer2Herbs & Spice Beer4
Specialty Beers2Specialty Honey Ales4
Smoke Flavored Beer2Golden Ale Canadian Style Ale4
German Style Kolsch2Classic English Style Pale Ale2
English Style India Pale Ale2American Style Pale Ale4
American Style India Pale Ale4American Style Amber4
English Style Bitter2English Style ESB2
Scottish Style Ale2Irish Style Red Ale2
English Style Brown Ale2American Style Brown Ale4
German Style Brown and Dusseldorf Altbier2Robust Porter2
Brown Porter2Classic Irish Style Dry Stout2
Foreign Style Stout4Sweet Stout2
Oatmeal Stout2English Old Ale English & American Strong Ale4
Barley Wine Strong Ale2Strong Scotch Ale2
Imperial Stout2Imperial IPA2


Feedback and experiences from previous customers. Want to leave a review of your own?

Different But Good

By: THale04 | Date: Jan., 17th 2016 | Beer(s) Brewed: Session IPA

Slow to ferment, produces sulfur compounds but creates a great beer with slight fruity esters with bit more body than 001. Overall a nice alternative to 001 when you still want an American Ale yeast but not quite as clean as 001 and not as malty as East Coast. Doesn't flocculate very well but nothing a bit of gelatin and cold conditioning cant fix. Plan on leaving in primary a bit longer than usual and doing some fining but you'll be happy with the result.

Be prepared for sulfer aroma.

By: David | Date: Aug., 12th 2014 | Beer(s) Brewed: American brown ale

I'm currently driving my wife crazy with the sulfer aroma coming off of this strain.

Somewhat frustrating

By: 816beers | Date: Apr., 18th 2013 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA

I wanted something with a touch more character than 001/1056. I thought this might work. Instead, it's a rather finicky thing. The yeast produces a full bodied, slightly sweet beer that clears nice. It has a low to moderate fruitiness. It's not as fruity as an English strain, but much less neutral than the typical American strains.

While I like the flavor, it is a rather tempermental yeast. Many of the stains White Labs sells work well outside their temperature range. This is not one of them. It basically ceases to ferment if the temp drops much below 64F. Above 72F it gets a bit estery.

The attenuation for me was around 71% in a 1.060 beer.

I think you can find a less tempermental yeast in 001. I don't know that the flavor is different enough to make it worthwhile.

...very "Victory" taste, which I love

By: Aaron | Date: Nov., 23rd 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: American IPA

I was surprised to see very little fermentation occurring after 5 days in primary, as I was on the warm side (hard to get below 76F here in FL) and I had an OG of 1.060. However, after moving it into secondary along with 6oz of whole cone Cascade, these little guys took off and I had the advertised attenuation within ~8 more days. Now after some keg conditioning it is super crisp with no off flavors. Cascade DH may have masked the "undesired"! ; fruity tones of yeast. Has a very "Victory" taste, which I love!

Fermentation took off within 8hours

By: Paul Lyons | Date: Nov., 23rd 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Amber Ale

I brewed an Amber Ale with this yeast finished with Amarillo Hops, the beer was very fruity & the hops came through lovely on the beer. I kegged my beer in a cornelius keg as bottling requires adding priming sugar which for me distorts the flavour of my beers I noted some sulphur smell during fermentation. Fermentation took off within 8hours & the end product was one of the nicest i've had. I will definitely be using this strain again i! t has become one of my favourites along with American Ale Yeast Blend!

... the beer consistently tastes great

By: Mark Stitze | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA, Pale, Brown

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.

One of my favorite yeasts

By: Doak Procter | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: IPA; American Brown; American Amber

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 fermented well ...

By: Mike Castagno | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: American IPA

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 ...

I'm pleased with the result

By: Ken Lee - Livonia, MI | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pale Ale

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.

That is exactly what I got ...

By: Jeff Fortney | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Blonde Ale / Fruit Beer

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.

Don't let it get above 70 degrees ...

By: Nata Lukas | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Lots, from Pale Ales to Stouts

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!

Long trails of yeast flocking up and down ...

By: Ken T. | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pale Ale

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!

... lets the Cascade hops sing!

By: Gary Hauser | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: American Pale Ale

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!

Overall I like the results ...

By: Wes | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: APA, IPA, Stout, Porter

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.

... this beer was frequently mistaken for ...

By: Phil G. | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pale Ale

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).

I'm going to use this in my ...

By: Drew | Date: Nov., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Pale Ale

Attenuation was on point and yielded a nicely rounded, slightly fruity finish which I love in my Pale Ales. I'm going to use this in my Imperial Red to give the same finish... can't wait! Great quality yeast, as always!

I used this yeast to brew the recently released White House pale ale recipe

By: MBV | Date: Oct., 3rd 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Honey pale ale

I used this yeast to brew the recently released White House pale ale recipe, which calls for 1 lb. honey at the end of the boil. WLP051 was recommended as a substitute for the dry yeast in the recipe because it would allow more of the honey palate to come through. This I can confirm. The yeast plays well with honey, leaving enough complex sugar tones at the end of fermentation to make the honey shine. I think I got better results than what I've heard ! from other home brewers who followed this recipe with the conventional English ale yeast that it calls for. I didn't have the issues with getting adequate attenuation that others have reported: I had vigorous early fermentation, and after 8-9 days in the primary, the gravity had dropped from 1.060 to 1.014. Happy yeast, happy brewer.

I've brewed 2 APA's using this yeast

By: EG | Date: Jul., 2nd 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: American Pale Ale

I've brewed 2 APA's using this yeast one with a 800ML starter (36 hours) and the other was slurry   from prior batch. Both batches started @ 1.062OG and both finished around 1.011. Both batches   fermented in a single vessel @ 64F(no secondary) for 14-15 days. I usually use WLP001, but thought   I'd try something different this time around. The WLP051 was a bit more fruity and cleared up a   touch faster than WLP001. I didn't perceive any off smells! (well maybe a bit during active   fermenation -- not after kegging) or flavors and didn't experience any fermentation troubles. The   beer turned out delicious.

This is our choice for...

By: Cassandra | Date: Jun., 20th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Mead

This is our choice for making mead and melomels. The great thing is the mead is ready to drink after the settling out(think 3-4 weeks) and ages well(we have some we made 6 yrs ago). This is also my favorite when doing any fruit ales.

Fantastic yeast!

By: Bob Johnson | Date: Jun., 19th 2012 | Beer(s) Brewed: Summer Bitter, Black IPA

Fantastic yeast! A bit fruitier than the WLP001, which is exactly what I was looking for. Haven't experienced any of the troubles described in earlier posts, even second generation stored in fridge for two weeks. Fermentations start within 6 hours, complete within a week, and attenuate to ~71%-73%. Its become my house strain. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.



FlocculationMedium to High

Optimum Ferment Temp.66-70°F (18-21°C)

Alcohol ToleranceMedium- High

MiniFerment Data ?

As-is DiacetylNA

Total Diacetyl61.88ppb

As-is 2,3-Pentanedione6.98

Total 2,3-Pentanedione21.56ppb



Ethyl Acetate33.13ppm

Isoamyl Acetate0.985ppm


Isoamyl Alcohol145.03ppm


Fermentation temperature: 68° F Attenuation: 77% Hours to get to 50 percent attenuation: 22 hours