Un­com­mon Cal­i­for­nia Com­mon

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Recipes In This Issue - Chad & Coleen Kuehl, Wan­der Brew­ing

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% OG: 1.052 FG: 1.010 IBUS: 36 ABV: 5.5%


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 tem­per­a­ture­con­trolled 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!

Above » Wan­der’s 20bbl cool­ship chills and spon­ta­neously in­noc­u­lates a batch of “wild” beer.

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