I’ve been brewing some pretty dark beers lately, not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I decided to try out a brew on the pale side. As I was searching around, looking at the various pale ale styles, I decided that I wanted to do something with a bit more malty flavor that most pale ales call for. California Common ales are just what I was looking for: a pale ale favoring the malty flavor but with a definite hop presence. California Commons utilize Northern Brewer hops, a relatively high alpha acid variety, cultivated in America, which have a "woody, rustic, minty" quality.
I wasn’t trying to replicate Anchor Steam here, although it is a very good beer. I was more interested in trying to get a great tasting beer that fits into this very narrow style. To help me along with this, I used beertools.com’s Recipe Generator and Recipe Calculator. Excellent to help you get started with brewing to style. My California Common is just a bit "under-hopped" due to personal taste.
The beer is fermenting along nicely although it almost blew the lid off the carboy - some errant hops had bubbled to the top and plugged the hole to the gas release (April 25, 2006).
Measured F.G., racked to secondary, and removed any trub. (April 30, 2006).
Racked to keg and began aging process (May 7, 2006).
Aged three weeks in Keg and then force carbonated. I brought a half-gallon to my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday. Everyone who tasted the beer thought it to be excellent - which kind of surprised me. This is my first stab at this kind of beer and I have been floored by the response from people who "don’t normally drink beer." It’s a keeper to say the least (May 27, 2006).
|Amount||Extract||% of Grist|
|6.50 pounds||LME - Light||83.9%|
|6.50 pounds||Total Extract Weight||83.9% of grist|
|0.75 pounds||Crystal Malt 40L||9.7%|
|0.50 pounds||British Carastan Malt||6.5%|
|1.25 pounds||Total Grain Weight||16.1%|
|0.75 ounces||Northern Brewer||60 min||8.2%|
|0.75 ounces||Northern Brewer||15 min||8.2%|
|0.50 ounces||Northern Brewer||3 min||8.2%|
|2.00 ounces||Total Hop Weight|
|California Ale||White Labs||Liquid||35 ml|