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California Common / Steam Beer

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California Common / Steam Beer

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Beer Style: California Common 
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 5 gallons


Adapted from 'Anchor Steam Clone' from the American Homebrewers Association website. The California Common or 'Steam Beer' is famous for using local ingredients and lager yeast without the use of true refrigeration. The hot wort was pumped into shallow tanks on the roofs of the breweries in the San Francisco area where the wort was cooled by the cold air blowing from the Pacific Ocean. This process created steam coming from the roof tops of the breweries and gave the beer it's unique name. The original clone recipe uses Pilsner, Crystal and Special Roast malts. The Pilsner malt is being substituted with Pale malt. Special Roast malt is a biscuit style malt, making the obvious choice Biscuit Rice Malt. However, reading the Special Roast malt profile further, it also describes a noticeable bran flake and sourdough / tangy flavor. The soon to be released Goldfinch Millet Malt which is described as having strong maple and bran flavors might have an opportunity with this beer. Yeast options include SafLager S-23, or Mangrove Jack's M54 which is a California Lager yeast, although we have not yet used it ourselves. The grain bill was increased 25% to achieve the same OG of the original recipe.


  • 11.25 LBS Pale Millet Malt; or 15.75 Pale Rice Malt (hulled and/or naked varieties); or any combination of the two
  • 1.25 LBS Crystal Millet Malt or 1.75 LBS Crystal Rice Malt
  • 0.625 LB Biscuit Rice Malt
  • 2.75 OZ Northern Brewer Hops
  • 1 TSP Irish Moss
  • S-23 or M54 Lager Yeast

Additional Instructions

Primary Ferment: 7-10 days
Secondary Ferment: 2-6 weeks

Beer Profile

Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.012
Alcohol by Vol: 4.9%
Color SRM: 5.0
Bitterness IBU: 35.0
Recipe Type: all-grain
Yield: 5.0 Gallons
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Perform a Single Infusion Mash at 163.4 F for 90 to 120 minutes; or Step Mash at 155-165F for 90 to 120 minutes followed by 140-150F for 90 to 120 minutes with SEBAmyl BAL 100 or Termamyl, and SEBAmyl L enzymes. Use the appropriate amount of rice hulls to ensure circulation and filtration.

Allow to achieve hot break and maintain rolling boil.

1 OZ Northern Brewer Hops @ 60 min
1 OZ Northern Brewer Hops @ 20 min
1 TSP Irish Moss @ 20 min
1 OZ Northern Brewer Hops @ flameout

S-23 or M54 Lager Yeast

Ferment at 60F for 7-10 days before transferring to secondary. Bottle or keg when fully attenuated and then condition.

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