As spring continues to roll on by, JenEric brewing decided the time was right to brew a California Common or what is more widely known as a Steam Beer.
Growing up near the San Francisco Bay Area there is always plenty of Anchor Steam to drink when you want a break from all the super hoppy West coast style beers, so I’ve always had a soft spot for this style.
What makes a Steam Beer unique is the use of a lager yeast strain at the cool end of normal ale fermentation temperatures. That makes this type of beer an Amber Hybrid. Since we are still working on building our fermentation refrigerator, we thought we better brew this now before the weather starts getting any warmer. It can be quite a challenge to keep beer around 60ºF using a water bath when you live on the East side of San Diego.
Saturday March 24th had great brewing weather with a little overcast to keep us cool; it was like the Bay Area came down to us to brew this San Francisco original.
The grist was mostly pale malt with some crystal malts for both color and a hint of caramel. For a special touch we added 20% rye malt to add a grainy tartness and a little bit of black patent for ruby red color. As a Steam Beer should, we used Northern Brewer hops to achieve approximately 40 IBUs with a little bit of Cascade added at the end of the boil.
We hit our OG right on the mark at 1.053 and plan to ferment this beer between 60-64ºF with White Labs San Francisco lager yeast (WLP810). Can’t wait to try some!!!
Check out the recipe here.