California Common Beer – Extract


General Info

This is the second attempt at a California Common for me. Based upon the success of the previous batch, I thought that this would be the perfect summer sipper. Malty with a nice hop flavor and just the right amount of bitterness.

This time, I increased the hop amounts to boost the bitterness up to within style. The last time, the beer was a bit on the sweet side, although it was very good. To fit into this style, the bitterness needed to be between 30 and 45 IBUs. It stands at 36.

To complement the added hops, I increased the specialty grains a tad and added some German Light Munich to lend some body with nod towards European amber ales.

White Labs’ San Francisco Lager yeast was used this time instead of the California Ale. According to White Labs, this strain "is used to produce the ’California Common’ style beer. A unique lager strain which has the ability to ferment up to 65 degrees while retaining lager characteristics."


Racked to secondary and strained out trub (July 16, 2006). Racked to keg and began lagering process (July 22, 2006).

Force carbonated and drew a sample pint. Nice, creamy head. Appearance was still a bit cloudy, but it should clarify in the next week or two. The hops are present in the nose, blending in nicely with the malt aroma. The body is creamier than the previous incarnation, most likely due to the Munich malt. Some "astringency" is present as well - probably the extract (the next recipe will be all grain, which, I hope, will alleviate the problem). All in all, a very enjoyable, balanced beer (August 9, 2006).

I guess a bunch of thirsty people snuck into my garage and had a few pints. This one ran out in record time (August 19, 2006).


Amount Extract % of Grist
6.00 pounds LME - Light 70.6%
6.00 pounds Total Extract Weight 70.6% of grist

Malts and Grains

Amount Malt/Grain %
1.00 pounds German Light Munich Malt 11.8%
1.00 pounds British Carastan Malt 11.8%
0.50 pounds Crystal Malt 40L 5.9%
2.50 pounds Total Grain Weight 29.4%


Amount Non-Fermentable Time
1 tsp. Gypsum 45 minutes
1/8 tsp. Super Irish Moss 15 minutes


Amount Hop Time AA
1.00 ounces Northern Brewer 60 min 8.2%
0.75 ounces Northern Brewer 15 min 8.2%
0.25 ounces Northern Brewer 3 min 8.2%
2.00 ounces Total Hop Weight



  • Steep grains in 1.5 gallons of 160 degree water for 30 minutes
  • Sparge with .5 gallon of 168 degree water
  • Bring to boil
  • Add extract
  • Add first round of Northern Brewer hops immediately (bittering)
  • Add the second round of Northern Brewer hops at 45 minutes (flavor)
  • Add the third round of Northern Brewer hops at 57 minutes (aroma)
  • Cool wort to 70 degrees
  • Pitch yeast

Fermentation and Aging

7 days @ 60° F
7 days @ 60° F
14 days @ 45° F

Common Californication

Date Brewed:  

Brew Day Data

  Target Actual Notes
Boil Time: 60    
OG: 1.051 / 12.6° P    
Mash PH:      
Boil PH:      

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