California Common California Common- HBT Comp winner 1st place

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
california lager
Yeast Starter
definitely!
Batch Size (Gallons)
5
Original Gravity
1.056
Final Gravity
1.015
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
39
Color
11 SRM
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14 days at 62 degrees
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
14 days at 56 degrees
Additional Fermentation
\"Lagered\" for 4 weeks
Tasting Notes
This is a \"rip off\" of Jamil\'s recipe. It\'s slightly toasty, and slightly hoppy.
This scored a 38 in the HBT BJCP competition, winning first place in hybrids.

8 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US
1 lbs 4.0 oz Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)

0.75 oz Northern Brewer [8.00 %] (60 min) Hops 20.7 IBU
1.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.00 %] (15 min) Hops 18.5 IBU

1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.00 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -

1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs California Lager (Wyeast Labs #2112) Yeast-Lager

This is basically Jamil's recipe, different from my other recipe in that I wanted the "toasty" notes in it that Jamil talked about in his California Common podcast.

Mash at 152 for 60 minutes. Ferment in the low 60s, using a huge yeast starter. You may need a diacetyl rest, so check for diacetyl. Then, "lager" in the 50s for a couple of weeks and then in the keg for two more weeks before serving.

This is a clear amber beer, with toasty notes and a pleasing nose.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
"May" need a diacetyl rest... Curious, did you actually need one?
Not this last time, but the last time I brewed it I did. It wasn't bad, but definitely detectable. I usually do a long primary, so that does help. I think because I do a pretty cool primary, that it needs more time to "clean up".
 

torque2k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
295
Reaction score
7
Location
Lowell, MI
Ooooh, I like that!

Or, even better- Yooper Common.

Wait- Yooper Common sounds like it has steeped squirrels in it. Never mind. Michigan Common it is!
:rockin:

I just brewed an extract modification of your original. You'll laugh at this...

I found I didn't have to work all day Saturday as planned, so I came home a bit tipsy from the bar Friday night and decided to get a starter going for the WLP810, which I'd never brewed with before (I'm an all-ale kinda guy).

Of course, I had to crack open a nice St. Bernardus ABT 12 I had saved for brewday. A little tipsy became a lot tipsy quickly.

I cooled the wort on ice in my sink, and went outside to have a smoke. Opened the slider to my deck, and in flew a WREN which had been hanging out in a small crack above my door casing!

It took me 30 minutes to get that damn bird out of the house, and to clean up the **** it left in the kitchen and living room. I then remembered the wort cooling in the sink, which was now 50ºF, too cold to pitch with! Grrr...

So I set it on the counter to warm up, sat down on the couch to watch a show, and "fell asleep" within two minutes.

Three hours later... :D 4:00AM, and I'm hung over and pitching yeast. What a battle, to make beer fer crissake!!! So, I've named it... wait for it...

"Wren & Steampy California Common"! Of course, now I'll have to change it to Michigan Common. :mug:

Anyway, thanks for this recipe, and the original. This will most likely be one of my first recipes when I go all-grain in the spring.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
LOL! I guess I'll make it again in two weeks, and make my starter while picturing your adventure. I am pretty sure I'll be birdless, but I might be drunk. We will see.
 

Helms

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
65
Reaction score
2
Location
Ontario, Canada
I just cracked my first bottle of this and it's fantastic. I pulled the recipe out of Brewing Classic Styles, and did it as a partial mash. Here's what I ended up with:


1kg Two Row
500g Munich
500g Crystal 60l
250g Caraamber
2.6kg Pale LME
1oz Northern Brewer @ 60
1.5oz. Northern Brewer @ 15
1.5oz Northern Brewer @ 1

OG 1.059
FG 1.014

I can't get Victory malt anywhere around here, but had Caraamber recommended as a substitute. I also ended up using Nottingham fermented in the low 60's instead of California lager yeast. Jamil says that using the right yeast is key to this style, but meh.....I had Notty on hand and the beer is still pretty damned tasty.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Sounds tasty! I use biscuit malt as a sub for victory malt. Or, you could toast some two-row in the oven, and get a very similar result if you can't find victory malt.

I'm going to be making this again this week. I love this beer!
 

kenche

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2007
Messages
307
Reaction score
2
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Yooper,

I am considering making this with a friend for 'teach a friend to homebrew' day as it is his favorite beer.

He really wants the beer to be ready by December 20th. That leaves exactly six weeks, which seems a tad optimistic. However, here is my plan:

Ferment for 2 weeks at 63
Secondary for 2 weeks at mid 50's (dependent on ambient temps)
Cold crash, and carbonate for 2 weeks at 38
Drink

I will likely lend him a CO2 setup to avoid bottle conditioning time.

Do you think we will have a nice drinkable beer with that schedule. Alternatively I am considering just using an ale yeast with the schedule.

Thanks for any advice
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Yooper,

I am considering making this with a friend for 'teach a friend to homebrew' day as it is his favorite beer.

He really wants the beer to be ready by December 20th. That leaves exactly six weeks, which seems a tad optimistic. However, here is my plan:

Ferment for 2 weeks at 63
Secondary for 2 weeks at mid 50's (dependent on ambient temps)
Cold crash, and carbonate for 2 weeks at 38
Drink

I will likely lend him a CO2 setup to avoid bottle conditioning time.

Do you think we will have a nice drinkable beer with that schedule. Alternatively I am considering just using an ale yeast with the schedule.

Thanks for any advice

That sounds like it would work. I wouldn't use an ale yeast- the flavor really comes from the specific lager yeast, but fermented at ale temperatures- for the true "steam beer". The northern brewer hops, and the yeast are the defining characteristics of this beer style.
 

chumprock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
1,029
Reaction score
38
Location
Rochester, NY
I brewed this same recipe for the HBT competition which netted me a tie for 3rd in the category. The overall complaint from the judges was a "mustiness" which was not present in the keg so I have to assume its got something to do with my bottling process...

Thanks for this recipe, Yooper!
 

samc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
77
Location
Portland OR
Couple of questions on this recipe Yooper?

What size starter did you make?

Have you or has anyone brewed this or similar using a Euro lager yeast @ true lager temps and if so how did it change the beer? Really hate messing with starters but will if it becomes a completely different beer.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Couple of questions on this recipe Yooper?

What size starter did you make?

Have you or has anyone brewed this or similar using a Euro lager yeast @ true lager temps and if so how did it change the beer? Really hate messing with starters but will if it becomes a completely different beer.
It was a small-ish starter, since I was pressed for time. Probably 1L or so.

If it was made as a true lager, I'd use a lager yeast and make a 4L starter. It would definitely change the beer, though, and probably not in a way I'd want. One of the defining hallmarks of this style is the slightly fruity flavor from fermenting the lager yeast at ale temperatures.
 

midfielder5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
1,431
Reaction score
74
Location
San Francisco
This recipe has WY 2112 (Cal. Lager) and your other Cal. Common recipe listed WLP 810 (SF Lager).
Any reason why you switched this up? Do you have a preference (and why?)

thanks in advance!
Wendy
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
This recipe has WY 2112 (Cal. Lager) and your other Cal. Common recipe listed WLP 810 (SF Lager).
Any reason why you switched this up? Do you have a preference (and why?)

thanks in advance!
Wendy
I only switched because the online homebrew store I bought from had Wyeast, and not White Labs! And I kept using it, because I washed it and used it a couple of times. I really don't have a preference either way- and I'm not sure I could tell the difference in the beers even side-by-side to be honest. It's probable that the strains differ, but I don't think it'd be a meaningful difference.
 
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
7
Location
edgewater
do you recommend any dry lager yeast, or just go with the liquid and starter? if so, would one packet re-hydrated work or do you need to go with two?

maybe i'll just go with us-05...i've had some fairly lagerlike ales before with it if i can keep it cool enough.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
do you recommend any dry lager yeast, or just go with the liquid and starter? if so, would one packet re-hydrated work or do you need to go with two?

maybe i'll just go with us-05...i've had some fairly lagerlike ales before with it if i can keep it cool enough.
I've never used dry lager yeast, so I couldn't tell you! One of the defining characteristics of a steam beer is a lager yeast fermented at ale temperatures, so I'm not sure if the S05 would give you want you're looking for.
 

craigd

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
315
Reaction score
2
Location
Central Florida
Does steam beer usually have a lager phase? I had assumed the style was fermented at ale temps traditionally because they couldn't reach lager temps... I have been considering doing one but mid 60s is about as low as I can keep my fermenters and I'm not sure how that will turn out.
 

torque2k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
295
Reaction score
7
Location
Lowell, MI
Does steam beer usually have a lager phase? I had assumed the style was fermented at ale temps traditionally because they couldn't reach lager temps... I have been considering doing one but mid 60s is about as low as I can keep my fermenters and I'm not sure how that will turn out.
From everything I've read on "steam" ales, you're correct. The lager yeast suggested for this brew is either WLP810 or Wyeast 2112. The yeasts are used because they produce lager characteristics at higher-than-normal fermentation temps, in the Ale range. 2112 is rated a tad bit lower than WLP810, but both are fine in the mid 60s.

I recently made my first batch of common as an extract recipe derived from YooperBrew's other version. I started at 64ºF for a week, warmed it up to 67ºF for three weeks (in a plastic bucket, on the cake for the entire month, no agitation) and it finished out quite low, but not too dry. I used WLP810 with a 1.5qt starter in a gallon jug, occasionally shaken over an 18 hour period. Tastes wonderful, and has been a real hit with everyone who's tried it!
 

Buffman

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
430
Reaction score
3
Location
Aurora
I really want to brew this, but I can't "lager" in the 50s. The coolest I can get is ~64. Do you think that that will have any negative effects?
 

torque2k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
295
Reaction score
7
Location
Lowell, MI
It won't be super clear? Honestly, I'm loving this beer, and I never had it below 64ºF. Went straight to bottles, and they are great.
 

EO74

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
351
Reaction score
11
Location
rockland mass
Ive got this on tap now and it taste AWSOME!!! But for some reason its really cloudy????Ive never had this problem before.It taste kind of chocolety or biscuty or no a combination of both i love it.Im gonna do it again for a pig roast in july my only fear is if its cloudy some people might not drink it,yopper has this happened to u with this recipe before or did i just screw somthing up??????
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Ive got this on tap now and it taste AWSOME!!! But for some reason its really cloudy????Ive never had this problem before.It taste kind of chocolety or biscuty or no a combination of both i love it.Im gonna do it again for a pig roast in july my only fear is if its cloudy some people might not drink it,yopper has this happened to u with this recipe before or did i just screw somthing up??????
If you get a good cold break, and a good hot break, it should be clear eventually! Try using whirlfloc with 10 minutes left in the boil. That seems to really help.
 

torque2k

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
295
Reaction score
7
Location
Lowell, MI
Has anyone had an over-carbonation problem with this beer? I bottled, with 4oz corn sugar to the five gallons. I'm finding that the longer it sits, the more over-the-top it gets. I poured a bottle yesterday and had to scoop out three inches of frothy foam from my pint glass! Taste is great, though, and no bottle bombs in any of the 12, 16 or 22oz bottles I used...
 

EO74

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
351
Reaction score
11
Location
rockland mass
I always use whirlfloc,my only thought would be that it was below 30 F so maybe it was a questionable boil ? Ohhh well it still tase great im gonna def do this on again thanks for the recipe LOVE it.
 

bsteab0yz

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
louisville
I made this recipe but I guess I got a little impatient and left it in the primary around 63 degrees for about 2 weeks then brought it up to about 70 degrees for a few days then racked it into a keg and put it back in the basement for a few more days and now it's in my kegerator in some CO2. I pulled a pint today just to see what it was like and it's very very 'sulfury'... my question is, will this go away while in the kegerator or since I have taken it away from the yeast, will it hold this flavor forever and probably need to be dumped? My kegerator is set pretty low, so the beer is probably getting around 40 degrees. Should I just let it sit in there for a few weeks before I try it again to let the sulfur taste chill out?

Thanks in advance.
 

John000smith

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Location
Tennessee
I recently brew Jamil California Common recipe. Here is my time line. I brewed about 2 weeks ago. Prior to brewing i made a yeast starter with White Labs WLP 810. OG 1.050

I have a chest freezer I use as my fermentation chamber. Fermented at 61 degrees for 11 days. I waited until I was getting about 3 bubbles every minute. I then moved the temperature up to 68 degrees for diacetyl rest for 24hrs.

Day 12 transferred to secondary and took some yeast with me from the primary. Checked gravity currently @ 1.011

Currently in the secondary at 56 degrees.

My question is where to go from here. Since Jamil did not provide any instruction on fermentation schedule I have been following Yooper’s schedule from this original post. So do I need to let my beer finish out at 56 degrees in the secondary and then lager, or just skip lager and bottle?

What temp should I lager at? Can I lager this in the secondary or do I need to bottle then lager?

Any thought or recommendation to ensure this beer comes out great would be appreciated.
 

marx3006

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Messages
13
Reaction score
1
Location
Brewster, MA
Getting ready to try this, anyone done this as a 10 gal batch? If so did you simply double everything?
 

KingBrianI

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 23, 2008
Messages
3,512
Reaction score
150
Location
Wake Forest, NC
Hey Yoop, I'm really wanting to brew up a steam beer this weekend but I'm having a hard time deciding between a recipe like this or your other more simple steam beer. I'd really like to just do 2-row and crystal 60, but I'm worried about not getting the complexity the other grains in this version might lend. Which recipe do you prefer?
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Hey Yoop, I'm really wanting to brew up a steam beer this weekend but I'm having a hard time deciding between a recipe like this or your other more simple steam beer. I'd really like to just do 2-row and crystal 60, but I'm worried about not getting the complexity the other grains in this version might lend. Which recipe do you prefer?
I'm not sure. I just did the Jamil's steam again, and I think it needs more bittering hops with the "toasty" that recipe provides. I think the plainer one is actually the better beer since you don't have to balance the "toasty", "malty", "bitter" "hoppy" etc. It's a tough thing to balance well, in a lager-ish beer in my opinion.
 

midlifecrisis

Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
Location
Chapel Hill, NC
This is my favorite recipe on HBT. I've used this exact recipe twice now and both have been outstanding beers. I did increase the Victory malt to 1 lb (I like the biscuit flavor) and my last batch I included a dry hop step with 1 oz of Northern Brewer. This gives a very nice (and subtle) extra aroma to the beer. I think I might just have to brew this again soon as I don't know how long the current batch will last.
 
OP
Yooper

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,726
Reaction score
12,417
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
This is my favorite recipe on HBT. I've used this exact recipe twice now and both have been outstanding beers. I did increase the Victory malt to 1 lb (I like the biscuit flavor) and my last batch I included a dry hop step with 1 oz of Northern Brewer. This gives a very nice (and subtle) extra aroma to the beer. I think I might just have to brew this again soon as I don't know how long the current batch will last.
That sounds great- I'll have to try it with more victory malt. I like the toasty/biscuit flavor, too.
 
Top