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California Common

Just brewed a CC yesterday, and it turned out better than I expected:

7# Rahr 2-row
4# Rahr Pale
1# Great Western Crystal (40L)
90-minute mash @ 150F
10-minute mashout @ 170F
OG: 1.050 (BJCP 48-54) … a hair over 6 gallons, since I underestimated my efficiency and got an initial OG close to 65

.75oz Northern Brewer (8.6%a) @ 60 min
.75oz NB @ 30 min
.75oz Cascade (6.9%a) @ 10 min
90-minute boil
IBU: 37 (BJCP 30-45)
.75oz Cascade DH (will put in secondary)

Wyeast 2112 (California Lager)

The only thing I’m concerned about is the color - estimated SRM from TastyBrew is 8… a little light (BJCP 10-14). Even seeing the real thing makes me think it’s a little light.

I was very pleased with the nice NB “piney” punch in the aftertaste. I’m sure it will mellow slightly, but it tastes great in its infancy.

I also found a great CC fermenting spot - a basement storage room is a constant 58F (score!).

I’m thinking about brewing this one, and like the idea of using NB hops early in the boil but with cascades late. JZ and others emphasize the need for NB hops in this style, but I found the flavor of my first Cali Common to be a bit harsh and have since read that late NB hops can create a harsh bitterness.

Just one Q - why the 90 minute boil? I’m always curious to see that. In JZ’s BCS book, he sometimes says, “boil for 90 minutes to reduce DMS”. I get that DMS is bad, but why is the 90 minute boil needed with some beers and not with others, and why with this one? Also, why the 90 minute mash?

thanks - looking forward to this one

I have my California Common sitting in the secondary ready to go whenever there is room in the kegs. I did mine with NB at 60 and then cascade later in the boil. Most people say you need the NB hops because that is what Anchor Steam uses and they are the only real common Common beer you will find. One of the guys at Northern Brewer recommended the White Labs San Francisco Lager yeast over the Wyeast California because he thought it was cleaner and faster so I went with that also and got a higher than expected attenuation. I think it tastes great and can’t wait to get it on tap!

As for the longer boil, I’ve heard it’s important more so when using Pilsner Malt to drive of DMS but don’t really know much about that.

I recently brews JZs Cali Common and couldn’t agree more. I loved the beer but felt the hop profile was too woodsy for me. Next time I am going to finish with Casacade instead of Northern Brewer.

As for DSM and boil langth. My understanding is that pilsner malt is kilned at a low temp which leaves more DMS precursor in the malt. Other malts such as regular two row, pale malt, etc are kilned at a high temp therefore the DSM precursor is driven off during the kilnning process. So with pilsner the longer boil time is to compensate.

Kinda off topic, but have any of you used these yeast strains for making Pale Ales or IPAs? With summer approaching, my house is getting to warm for my normal ale yeasts, so I was thinking of fermenting in my basement that sits in the mid 50s during the summer.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

I have some rinsed yeast from my Common laying around right now and I’m thinking about what to so with it. I’ll end up using it for something but am not sure what yet.

I`m planning on doing a common sometime soon. Maybe I should move it up the brew list. Thanks for posting this recipe.

[quote=“colombo117”]Kinda off topic, but have any of you used these yeast strains for making Pale Ales or IPAs? With summer approaching, my house is getting to warm for my normal ale yeasts, so I was thinking of fermenting in my basement that sits in the mid 50s during the summer.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.[/quote]

Ca. ale yeast will work down in the mid 50s. Also Wyeast 1007.

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