Wander Brewing’s Uncommon California Common is a nod to a truly American style. It’s also a nod to the beer that converted brewery Founders Chad and Colleen Kuehl into craft-beer lovers.
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 90%
This is a truly American style, so we use American 2-row for the base of the beer along with a bit of light crystal and specialty Abbey or Biscuit malt. The finished beer will have a noticeable toasty malt character.
7.5 lb (3.4 kg) American 2-row
1.5 lb (680 g) light crystal malt (40L)
1 lb (454 g) Abbey or Biscuit malt
The style is fairly bitter with moderate flavor and aroma contributions from the Northern Brewer hops. Historically, California Common is produced using only American Northern Brewer hops. Domestic Northern Brewer is getting more difficult to source these days; substitute German Northern Brewer if needed.
1 oz (28 g) Northern Brewer [7.3% AA] at 60 minutes
0.5 oz (14 g) Northern Brewer [7.3% AA] at 20 minutes
1 oz (28 g) Northern Brewer [7.3% AA] at flame-out
Most think of California Common as a hybrid style, but at its core, it is an amber lager with light fruity ale-like character. Use one packet of Wyeast 2112 California Lager or White Labs WLP810 San Francisco Lager yeast. If neither is available, select a German lager strain.
Mash saccharification rest at 151°F (66°C) for 60 minutes. Boil for 60 minutes, following the hops schedule.
Fermentation can be tricky if you don’t have a temperature-controlled chamber. If possible, start fermentation a few degrees cool and let it free-rise to a set point of 59°F (15°C). If temperature control is not available, find a cool room or basement and cover your carboy with a damp towel. Terminal gravity will be reached quicker than most lager strains but slower than most ale strains. Allow for a diacetyl rest at the end of fermentation by letting the temperature free rise to at least 65°F (18°C) for 3 days.
Bottle with 6 g/l dextrose to achieve 2.7 volumes of CO2 and enjoy!