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California Common

Does anyone have a tried and true Cali Common recipe they would be willing to share? I brewed JZ’s from Brewing Classic Styles and while it came out pretty good, wasn’t very happy with hop profile (Northern Brewer). I want to play around with it but be a great help to see what others have done.


I have never brewed one, but if I did I might use a blend of Liberty and Cascade at 60, 15, 5, and 0.

I see that Northern Brewer is pretty common with the style. You could use Northern Brewer and blend it 50/50 with cascade, or another hop to diminish the Northern Brewer Hop a bit. I think cascade, being an older west coast hop would fit in well.

I want to try this beer, I think I would use one of the two hop blends: Liberty/Cascade or N.B./Cascade.

C_C, I just brewed one and just posted the recipe: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=108274. It’s not tried and true, but well-researched.

Northern Brewer is the style standard for hopping on steam beers. There is no rule that you have to obey the rules though. Not sure I would go piney/resiny/earthy… I’d stick to citrusy hops. Sorachi, Centennial, Glacier, Pac Jade, and Summit (only on late additions) would all be delicious.

I have a recipe on my site called Barrelhouse West Coast Lager which I have made numerous times and I like it very much. I won’t say that it’s Anchor Steam but it does make a nice common/steam/west coast lager. Northern Brewer is always associated with this style as is 2112 or 810. But I would say that the character really comes from the 2112 fermented a little low (I get mine down into the high 50s during primary) and not necessarily from the Northern Brewer. These are just a spicy German hop with higher AA% levels than Nobles but there really isn’t anything special about them, IMO. I could easily see a recipe with the grain bill, something along the lines of Vanguard, Mt. Hood, Crystal or Liberty and then the 2112. I also read something in BYO about this style where they mentioned that the beer should be made hoppy but not bitter. If I translate that, it suggests less hops up front but more added later which I completely get. I have been using Liberty a lot lately and they are fantastic late in the boil. You could make a great WCL w/o the Northern Brewer, methinks. Good luck.

Great info. Thanks Ken!

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