Kentucky common

Any one heard of this… It appears there are a few offerings out there… This is a pre-prohibiton era brew… Sneezles61

I’ve heard of and read about it but have never brewed one.

I do remember that many thought that a sour mash was used but this has been debunked.

I’m not sure I’d be up to brewing something I couldn’t taste, per say… But, there are a couple offerings that may inspire an interest… It sure seems to be a parallel to California common… only darker… Perhaps I read too much… :smirk: Sneezles61

I too have never brewed one, but I sampled one that a member of my homebrew club made, and it was quite tasty. We had to look up the BJCP specs to see what it was supposed to taste like, and he nailed it!

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I have a recipe that I try to take from mash to glass in 8 days:

For 11 gallons post boil and 75% efficiency:

Mash @ 154°F

6-row - 15 lbs
flaked maize - 6 lbs
Cara-pils - 1 lb
Dehusked carafa II - 0.5 lbs
C-60 - 0.5 lbs

Hops (34.8 IBU’s)
Cluster - 2 oz. (7% alpha) 60 mins
Cluster - 2 oz. - 15 mins.

I over pitch with Wyeast 1335 for the quick ferment.

EDIT: This recipe is a little out of the box according to the style guidelines, but it’s still a tasty beer!


I’ve been threatening to brew one for a few years now. Maybe I’ll try this recipe in April and shoot for drinking it on Derby Day.

Have you always bittered it so aggressively @voltron ? A few I’ve had were on the sweet side so I could see going your route with bitterness. Lots of my beers are technically “out of style” re: IBU.

I’ll update the above post with the IBU’s, but BeerSmith calculates it to 34.8 IBU’s. With the slightly elevated mash temp, and dash of Carapils, it seemed to balance out nicely. I also teetered between balanced and malty with the water profile. Both IBU’s and ABV are “out of style” according to the BJCP guidelines, but I still really enjoyed it, and it’s a quick turn!

I get about 5.5% plus for ABV… That didn’t seem too out of specs… Not used carafa II… It would be interesting to have a quick one to knock out like that… Wheels are spinning now… Sneezles61

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I have tasted several different offerings from commercial brewers as well as homebrewers… and they all taste totally different. This gives me the impression that no one really has a very good grasp on the keys to the style. I’ll bet the offerings of today taste NOTHING like the historical versions. But of course, I don’t have a time machine so we’ll never know what it truly tasted like.

I’ve brewed my own version, many years ago when sour mashing was the thing (now some people insist that sour mashing is totally wrong – whatever). Even so, my homebrew did NOT taste sour in any way shape or form. The one I made tasted like an English brown ale, but had used a high proportion of corn if memory serves. The English wouldn’t have a problem using adjuncts either. So based on that, I think it’s supposed to taste like an English ale, kind of, maybe. But I’ll freely admit, I’m probably wrong. I’ll also freely point out that any version you can find out there is probably wrong too. The BJCP guidelines are guidelines, but I really don’t know if they’re right either, but they probably have the best info we can get. The sour mashing thing is what irks me. I think it makes sense, and should make for a more unique beer. BJCP disagrees. I disagree with their disagreement. But whatever.

Wish I had a time machine.

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I’m sure the originals were as unique as the guys who brewed 'em. Probably no two were brewed or tasted the same. You can bet there was some sour mash involved whether intentionally or because they used left over sour corn liquor mash mixed with some barley in a partigyle kinda fashion. I grew up in central KY and a buddy’s dad used to make both corn liquor and beer. The beer was way more than my young taste buds could handle. It was dank, sour and strong as best I recall.

I would think, after reading an article about Kentucky common, there are thoughts of it being a bit of a sour brew… I think due to the use of hops at the rate of 1/2 pound per barrel, it did limit most of the sour growth… The other piece that peaks my interest… Its packaged before fermentation was done… I didn’t read anything about bottles… Only kegs… Color was brown too… This would be a good one to tinker with when the temps warm up… I’ll keep my a small, quick one… Dave, get your time machine together… Lets go see! :relaxed: Sneezles61

I forgot to mention that my Kentucky Common recipe is essentially the same thing as my pre-pro lager recipe, but with carafa II and C-60 added for color. Everything else is the same. The pre-pro lager has won several awards now (for what its worth).

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I like that! Thank you! Sneezles61
What was you ABV?

Actually, for the pre-pro lager, it looks like I scaled back the base malt, corn, and hops to hit 5% ABV and 30 IBU’s, as opposed to 5.5% ABV and 35 IBU’s for the Kentucky common.

I think both options would make a yummy beer.