Beer Style: steam beer, California common, Anchor

The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.

Anchor Brewing Co. trademarked the term “Steam Beer” and as such all other beers must be legally referred to as “California Common.”

Recipe Type: all-grain
The beer, appearances-wise, is a dead ringer for Anchor Steam; my SO could not tell the two apart on the basis of appearance. As I mentioned, the hop flavor isn’t as strong as it should be. In any case,darn nice beer.

8 pounds, Klages malt
1 pound, light munich malt
1/2 pound, 10L Crystal malt
1/4 pound, 40L Crystal
1/4 pound, 80L Crystal
2 ounces, Northern Brewer Hops (Whole) (7.5% a)
1 tablespoon, Irish Moss
Wyeast #2112 California Lager yeast in 1/2 gallon starter

OG: 1.054 FG: 1.010 (16 days)
Mash in at 130F.

Protein rest at 122. (30 minutes)

Starch conversion at 150. (1 hour)

Mash-out at 166 F. (30 minutes)

Sparge at 170.

Add 1/2 ounce of Northern Brewer for boil, another 3/4 ounce and Irish moss after 30 minutes. In last 5 minutes of boil, add 3/4 ounce of Northern Brewer. Chill and pitch yeast.