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Old 02-01-2012, 07:27 PM   #1
Mongoose40
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Default California Commons

Has anyone tried this style? I guess you can ferment your beer at ale temperatures while using lager yeast. The result is kind of a hybrid beer, that takes characteristics from both ales and lagers.

I'm thinking about trying it out on kind of a hoppy, almost Boston Lager type brew. Is it worth it?

P.S. This is my first post, but I have used this forum pretty extensively for advice in the past. It has been very helpful.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:03 PM   #2
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There are specific yeast strains that for that style. You could use any lager yeast at ale temps, but I think you would get too many esters and off flavors. Try White Labs WLP810 or Wyeast 2112. I've used WLP810 in a CC and liked the results. Try to stay in the cooler end of the yeast's range for less off flavors. A swamp cooler works fine, as you usually don't need much of a temperature drop from room temp. Around 60-degrees or so should be good.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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Pretty easy to make and very forgiving with the fermentation temperature. As mentioned, there is a specific yeast for California Common beers. Use that yeast and you are good to go. I would not let the fermentation get to 70˚F or higher.

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:52 PM   #4
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Try Anchor Steam for a commercial example. Use Wyeast California Lager, or White Labs San Francisco Lager. AS uses Northern Brewer hops, and, yes, it's good and worth brewing. If possible, keep ferm. temps in the lower 60s F.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:11 PM   #5
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I Yooper has a California Common in the HBT Database. I brewed it and it was excellent. I did keep the fermentation temps down in the low 60's and had no off flavors. Very good recipe.

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Old 02-01-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help! I am definitely going to try one of these out for my next brew. The lady friend is a huge fan of some of the more bitter lagers, so I think I'll try to show her a different take on them with this style using plenty of hops.

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Old 02-02-2012, 02:01 AM   #7
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My experience has shown me that the Cal Common style (a la Anchor Steam) is more a product of the Northern Brewer hops they use and not the yeast or temp. I make an Anchor clone using all US Northern Brewer hops fermented with US05 @ 65-69 that tastes very close to Anchor Steam and is quite a departure from other West Coast pales and IPAs that use the citrusy hops.

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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I just kegged Jamil's Cali recipe. Very very nice. You really should try to ferment at a bit lower temp, mid 60s if possible.

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