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|
|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%|
|1 tsp.||Gypsum||45 minutes|
|1/8 tsp.||Super Irish Moss||15 minutes|
|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|