Originally Posted by vicratlhead51
Isn't lager ale feementing at ambient temps considered California common? Anchor head steam beer is one of my current faves. But that whole style came about because of the exact situation Chris is in.
Yes. Steam beer is a hybrid beer- an fermented at low ale temperatures using a lager yeast.
I love California common, and have one on tap often. But (and it's a big but), it doesn't taste anything like a "real" lager. It also uses a special strain of lager yeast.
Using lager yeast at ale temperatures usually doesn't taste very good, in my opinion. I think you'd be better off to use an ale yeast, and ferment it at the coolest temperature that ale yeast can ferment. I've done pseudo lagers before with nottingham yeast at 59 degrees, for example. That gives a "cleaner" taste. Lager yeast strains can be sulfury or estery and not pleasant tasting at higher temperatures. To me, the defining characteristic of a lager is the "clean" crisp taste that you won't get from fermenting lager yeast at warm temperatures.