This beer has been by far one of my absolute favorites… Some people know this style as a California Common Beer and others know it as simply Steam Beer…

Regardless, It’s essentially a pale ale brewed with lager yeast at ale temperatures… This beer went through what I call ‘Intuitive Brewing’, the concept of making changes on the spot by truly understanding what you are doing during the brewing process… so the recipe in the video started out one way, but ended up with a slight modification, which produced an excellent beer…

Here’s the final Recipe…

Steam Beer (California Common) Recipe
3 lbs Extra Light DME
3 lbs Extra Light DME (Late addition)
8 oz Caramel 60°L
4 oz Victory Malt
4 oz CaraPils
1/4 oz Northern Brewer Hops 8.5% AA (First Wort Hop)
1/2 oz Simcoe 1.3% AA (60 min)
1/2 oz Simcoe 1.3% AA (Flameout)
Wyeast 2112 – California Lager

How To Brew Step By Step Instructions

Start out by bringing 1 gallon of water to a temperature of 160 °F and drop in your grain bags. Temperature should settle at 154 °F, where you will steep for 30 minutes. Once your grains are done steeping, take half a quart of water of water and rinse off the grain bags (one at a time) to finish extracting sugar out of them.

Next you’ll want to add your first set of hops (1/4 oz Northern Brewer hops) before you start topping your pot with water. Start bringing your wort to a boil while you add 3 gallons of water to your pot to have a total of 4 gallons boiling.

In this case I added 1/2 oz of Simcoe hops as soon as the boil started, but before adding the DME. So add the hops and then add 3 lbs of DME. Boil for 45 minutes and then remove pot from the heat to add the other 3 lbs of DME. Place pot back on the heat and boil for the remaining 15 minutes.

Once the wort is done boiling, you’ll want to cool down your wort. However, before you cool your wort down completely you’ll want to add your last set of hops when the temperature is below 180 ° and above 160 °. So if you are using a wort chiller, cool down to 180 add your hops and let them sit for 5 minutes before you continue cooling down your wort.

Once you cool down your wort, aerate, pitch your 2L yeast starter and ferment @ 62 °. I started fermentation at 58 ° and increased it to 62 ° one degree a day once fermentation started.

The beer sat in the primary for a total of 3 weeks before bottling.

To bottle your beer, take 4.5 oz of corn sugar and mix it in with just enough water to cover it (about a cup total). Microwave the solution for 2 minutes to make the syrup and pour the solution into your bottling bucket. Rack your beer into the bottling bucket to mix it in with the priming solution and bottle.

Store the beer for 3 weeks, drink and share with friends…

My Comments…
This beer is very easy to drink and has the great aroma of Simcoe hops hitting you on the nose… Very very refreshing and by far one of my favorite beers I’ve brewed so far.

I carbonated the beer quite highly on this one, so be careful when you serve your home brew.

… and if you want to learn more about ‘intuitive brewing’ then check out my training program ‘Better Home Brew Formula’

How To Brew Beer


    2 replies to "How To Brew A Steam Beer (California Common)"

    • chad

      help!!! killer bottles at room temperature

      just quick question if you have time.

      when i crack open my latest batch at room temperature, it fizzes so bad the cap nearly comes off and kills you before you can even open the bottle. BUT!, if pulled out of the fridge cooled down it’s fine. is their any explanation?.
      what i used.

      muntons mexican cervesa 1.5 kg liquid malt.
      DME:gold dry light 500g
      dextrose:500g
      dry hoped 1/4 ounce northern hopes into secondary at day 3.
      primed with 1 cup dextrose for bottling week 3. stirred well before placing in bottles.

      23 liter batch

      • Jorge

        @Chad – 1 cup of dextrose is way too much priming sugar! 4 ot 5 oz is the average amount you’ll use which is about 1/2 cup…

        The way carbonation works is that CO2 is produced when yeast eat sugar… that CO2 ends up in the headspace of the bottle and over time it dissolves back into the beer. Colder temperatures allow more CO2 to dissolve into the beer.

        If you have a lot of foam coming out when you pop the cap, it may be an infection. I need more info… How does the foam look? (big bubbles, soda-like, does it stay or dissolve fast, etc.?)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.