Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Brew Day: California Common

Besides from drinking the occasional pint of Anchor Steam on tap at my local, I really can't say I've had much experience drinking or brewing steam beers. I've never tried brewing one before and I have yet to come across another example of the style, both homebrewed or commercial. Really, the only thing I know about this type of beer is that it is typically brewed with Northern Brewer hops and fermented at low ale temperatures with a hybrid lager yeast. I've always enjoyed the minty-woodsy flavor that Northern Brewer hops impart to a beer and I have had success with the Cali Lager strain, yet I never had any intention of brewing a steam beer. That is until I bought a pound of NB hops and needed something to use them in. From the information I could gather online, it seems like most Cali Common recipes are pretty simple, typically a clone of Anchor Steam, being pale malt with around 10% medium crystal and a liberal application of NB hops and (some) cascade at flameout. I did just this, but added some Munich malt to boost the malt character and went with a few more hop additions. Also, since I could not find any of the Cali lager yeasts at my LHBS, I decided to go with WLP060 American Ale blend, which according to their website makes very clean and lager-like beers. Should make for another tasty session beer.

Hoppy Pale Ale
Session Steam : California Common                                                                                              
Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 4.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 8.75
Anticipated OG: 1.045
Anticipated FG: 1.010
Anticipated SRM: 10
Anticipated IBU: 30
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

80.0% - 7.00 lbs. Pale Malt
11.4% - 1.00 lbs. Munich Malt
8.6%   - 0.75 lbs. Crystal 60L

0.50 oz. Northern Brewer @ 60 min for 19 IBU
0.50 oz. Northern Brewer @ 15 min for 8 IBU
0.50 oz. Northern Brewer @ 5 min for 3 IBU
1.00 oz. Northern Brewer @ flameout
1.00 oz. Cascade @ flameout

Yeast: WhiteLabs 060 American Ale Blend
Mash 152F for 75 min.
Brewed 19 June 


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