Recipe

Uncommon Common – California Common

Uncommon Common

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.054 (13.3 °P)  FG = 1.016 (4.1 °P)
IBU = 41  SRM = 11  ABV = 5%

Anchor Brewing Company has always been very generous to homebrewers. This recipe makes a beer similar in flavor to Anchor Steam, but a bit bigger in mouthfeel, hops and malt flavors. If you want a beer a bit drier and more like Anchor Steam, eliminate the Munich, Victory and pale chocolate malts.

Ingredients
9 lb. (4.1 kg) Great Western domestic two-row malt (or similar)
17.6 oz. (500 g) Durst Munich malt (or similar)
14.1 oz. (400 g) Great Western crystal malt (40 °L) (or similar)
7 oz. (200 g) Briess Victory® malt (28 °L) (or similar)
1.75 oz. (50 g) Crisp pale chocolate malt (200 °L) (or similar)
5 AAU Northern Brewer hops (60 min.) (0.77 oz./22 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
8 AAU Northern Brewer hops (15 min.) (1.23 oz./35 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
8 AAU Northern Brewer hops (1 min.) (1.23 oz./35 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
White Labs WLP810 (San Francisco Lager) or Wyeast 2112 (California Lager) or Mangrove Jack’s M54 (California Lager) yeast

Step by Step
Mill the grains and dough-in targeting a mash of around 1.5 quarts of water to 1 pound of grain (a liquor-to-grist ratio of about 3:1 by weight) and a temperature of 150 °F (66 °C). Hold the mash at 150 °F (66 °C) until enzymatic conversion is complete. Infuse the mash with near boiling water while stirring or with a recirculating mash system raise the temperature to mash out at 168 °F (76 °C). Sparge slowly with 170 °F (77 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is around 5.9 gallons (22.3 L) and the gravity is 1.046 (11.4 °P).

The total wort boil time is 60 minutes. Add the bittering hops as soon as the wort starts boiling. Add the second hop addition and Irish moss or other finings with 15 minutes left. The last hop addition goes in 1 minute before the end of the boil. Chill the wort rapidly to 62 °F (17 °C), let the break material settle, rack to the fermenter, pitch the yeast and aerate thoroughly. The proper pitch rate is 2.5 packages of liquid yeast or 1 package of liquid yeast in a 3-liter starter.

Ferment at 62 °F (17 °C) until the beer attenuates fully. With healthy yeast, fermentation should be complete within a week, but do not rush it. Rack to a keg and force carbonate or rack to a bottling bucket, add priming sugar, and bottle. Target a carbonation level of 2.5 to 3 volumes.

Uncommon Common

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.054 (13.3 °P) FG = 1.016 (4.1 °P)
IBU = 41  SRM = 11  ABV = 5%

Ingredients
5.5 lb. (2.5 kg) light liquid malt extract
1 lb. (440 g) Munich liquid malt extract
14.1 oz. (400 g) Great Western crystal malt 40 °L (or similar)
7 oz. (200 g) Briess Victory malt 28 °L (or similar)
1.75 oz. (50 g) Crisp pale chocolate malt 200 °L (or similar)
5 AAU Northern Brewer hops (60 min.) (0.77 oz./22 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
8 AAU Northern Brewer hops (15 min.) (1.23 oz./35 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
8 AAU Northern Brewer hops (1 min.) (1.23 oz./35 g of 6.5% alpha acids)
White Labs WLP810 (San Francisco Lager) or Wyeast 2112 (California Lager) yeast

Step by Step
Most Munich liquid malt extract (LME) is sold as a blend of Munich and Pilsner or two-row malts in different percentages. I specify 100% Munich LME in my recipe so you will know how much of your blend to use for your brew. When using a blend, replace the Munich extract in the recipe and enough of the two-row extract to match the percentage of the blend. If you want to use 100% Munich extract, the only current supplier I am aware of is Weyermann. If you cannot get fresh liquid malt extract, it is better to use an appropriate amount of dried malt extract (DME) instead.

Mill or coarsely crack the specialty malt and place loosely in a grain bag. Avoid packing the grains too tightly in the bag, using more bags if needed. Steep the bag in about 1 gallon (~4 liters) of water at roughly 170 °F (77 °C) for about 30 minutes. Lift the grain bag out of the steeping liquid and rinse with warm water. Allow the bags to drip into the kettle for 15 minutes while you add the malt extract. Do not squeeze the bags. Add enough water to the steeping liquor and malt extract to make a pre-boil volume of 5.9 gallons (22.3 L) and a gravity of 1.046 (11.4 °P). Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil.

The total wort boil time is 60 minutes. Add the bittering hops as soon as the wort starts boiling. Add the second hop addition and Irish moss or other finings with 15 minutes left. The last hop addition goes in 1 minute before the end of the boil. Chill the wort rapidly to 62 °F (17 °C), let the break material settle, rack to the fermenter, pitch the yeast and aerate thoroughly. The proper pitch rate is 2.5 packages of liquid yeast or 1 package of liquid yeast in a 3-liter starter.

Ferment at 62 °F (17 °C) until the beer attenuates fully. With healthy yeast, fermentation should be complete within a week, but do not rush it. Rack to a keg and force carbonate or rack to a bottling bucket, add priming sugar, and bottle. Target a carbonation level of 2.5 to 3 volumes.

Anchor Brewing Company has always been very generous to homebrewers. This recipe by Jamil Zainasheff makes a beer similar in flavor to Anchor Steam, but a bit bigger in mouthfeel, hops and malt flavors. If you want a beer a bit drier and more like Anchor Steam, eliminate the Munich, Victory and pale chocolate malts.