Steam Beer

Crow’s Nest Common

Since the weather has taken a turn for the cold, I’m officially in lager and hybrid season. And to kick off the cold season I decided to brew a California Common as Anchor Steam is a beer I really enjoy (when fresh). This is my first time using an actual lager yeast, although I’m planning on fermenting this beer at around 62 and then lagering for several weeks. I wanted to make this beer more malty and toasty than anchor steam but keeping a similar hop presence, using all Norther Brewer. I really think that the malty/toasty backbone will mesh well with the woodsy, rustic quality of the Norther Brewer hops. Here’s the recipe:

OG: 1.051
FG: 1.011
ABV: 5.2%
Mash: 150 (60 min.)
Added 4g CaCl & 2g Gypsum to mash
Boil: 60 min.

66.7% NW Pale Ale Malt
14.6% Munich Malt
8.3% C40
6.2% Victory
4.2% Wheat malt

0.65 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 60 min.
1.0 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 15 min.
1.25 oz Northern Brewer (10.1%) 0 min.

Wyeast 2112 San Francisco Lager Yeast
2l starter on stir plate for 30 hours


I lucked out today as I had a nice and sunny brew day in the low 40’s to end the year on. Initially, I was slightly skeptical about the lager strain, but it fermented the starter fully and active fermentation occurred within 3 hours. After fermentation was active I brought down the temperature to 62 via an ice bath and is currently fermenting actively in the basement.20121230-203257.jpg

I’ll update with tasting notes after this gets kegged and carbonated. I’m thinking this beer will leap frog my last brew, the Cherry Chocolate Stout and be put on as soon as Ollie’s Drool gets kicked.


Tasting Notes – 3/14/13

Appearance:  Brilliantly clear copper with a thick and foamy white head.  A very tantalizing looking pint.

Aroma:  Bready malts with a hint of earthy hops, but the malt is definitely more prominent.

Taste:  Malt and hops are really well balanced.  Toasted malt flavors mingles with a firm bitterness and gives away to a lingering earthy hop presence.  Very little hop bitterness remains on the tongue. Slight minty flavor is noticeable in the finish.

Mouthfeel:  Medium mouthfeel and drinks pretty dry and crisp, very lager-like.

Overall:  Overall I really like this beer.  The maltiness and the hop bitterness really balance each other out quite nicely.  It drinks really fresh and crisp and at the modest alcohol level is easy to drink a few pints without any regret.  This is my first all Northern Brewer hopped beer, and it really does have a woodsy, minty quality to it.  The common does really drink a little cleaner than any true ale I’ve brewed so far and I really enjoy that aspect of it.  While not the most exciting beer style I’ve ever brewed I really enjoy how easy to drink this pint is.  Cheers!


Update:  4.5.13

This beer has really grown on me.  It’s so clean and easy to drink it’s been my go to beer as of late and will miss this being on tap.  People seem to really like this one and its something I’ll definitely have to brew again.  I have to remember that it does need a little cold conditioning time, but after that its a very solid beer.


3 thoughts on “Steam Beer

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