California Common Beer Recipe

Welcome to the world of brewing with our California Common Beer recipe! This American-style amber ale showcases a clean, lager-like finish with delightful woody and minty hop aromas. Crafted with carefully selected ingredients and a touch of German Northern Brewer hops, this recipe delivers a balanced and flavorful experience. Follow our instructions and enjoy the process of creating your very own California Common Beer.

California Common Beer

This is an American-style amber ale with a clean, lager- like finish. The woody, minty hop aromas and flavours come from the German Northern Brewer hops.
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
To Ferment28 days
Course: Beer
Cuisine: Mixed Styles
Keyword: California Common Beer
Servings: 40 Pints
Calories: 150kcal
Author: Dan Smullen


  • 1 Mash tun
  • 1 Brewing kettle or pot
  • 1 Fermentation vessel (e.g., glass carboy or plastic fermenter)
  • 1 Airlock or blow-off tube
  • 1 Brewing thermometer
  • 1 Brewing hydrometer
  • 1 Brewing paddle or spoon
  • 1 Wort chiller
  • 1 Siphon or racking cane
  • 1 Bottling or kegging equipment (bottles, caps, capper, or keg, CO2 system)
  • 1 Sanitization supplies (e.g., sanitizing solution or cleaner)
  • 1 Brewing burner or heat source
  • 1 Brew kettle strainer or hop bag
  • 1 Brewing scale or measuring cups
  • 1 Priming sugar for bottling (if applicable)
  • 1 Fermentation temperature control (e.g., fermentation chamber or temperature controller)


For the Mash – Liquor 13 Litres (23 Pints) – Mash Time 1 hr – Temperature 65°c/149 °F

  • 8.6 lb Pale malt Quantity 3.8kg
  • lb Vienna malt Quantity 1kg
  • 10½ oz Medium crystal malt Quantity 300g
  • oz Chocolate malt Quantity 50g

For the Boil – 27 Litres (47½ Pints) – Boil Time 1 hr – 10 mins

  • oz (Hops) Northern Brewer 8% When to add – At start of boil (IBU 36.3)
  • ½ oz (Hops) Northern Brewer 8% When to add – For last 10 mins of boil (IBU 4.2)
  • oz (Hops) Northern Brewer 8% When to add – At turn off (IBU 0.0)
  • tsp  Protofloc   Other – When to add – For last 15 mins of boil

To Ferment – 18°C (64°F) – Conditioning 5 weeks at 12°C (54°F)

  • 1 Wyeast 2112 California Lager



  • In a large pot or mash tun, heat 13 liters (23 pints) of water to a temperature of 65°C (149°F).
  • Add the following ingredients to the heated water and mix well:
  • 8.6 lb (3.8 kg) Pale malt
  • 2¼ lb (1 kg) Vienna malt
  • 10½ oz (300 g) Medium crystal malt
  • 1¾ oz (50 g) Chocolate malt
  • Maintain the mash temperature at 65°C (149°F) for 1 hour to allow enzymatic conversion.


  • Transfer the mash to a brewing kettle or pot with a capacity of 27 liters (47½ pints).
  • Bring the wort (mash liquid) to a boil and start the timer for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • At the beginning of the boil, add 1½ oz (8% alpha acid) Northern Brewer hops. This will contribute to an IBU of 36.3.
  • After boiling for 1 hour, add ½ oz (8% alpha acid) Northern Brewer hops and continue boiling for an additional 10 minutes (IBU 4.2).
  • In the last 15 minutes of the boil, add 1 tsp of Protofloc or other clarifying agent.

Cooling and Fermentation:

  • After the boil, cool the wort as quickly as possible to a temperature of 18°C (64°F).
  • Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermentation vessel (e.g., a glass carboy or a plastic fermenter).
  • Pitch the yeast into the fermenter. You can use Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast for this recipe.
  • Seal the fermenter with an airlock or a blow-off tube to allow carbon dioxide to escape while preventing outside contaminants from entering.
  • Ferment the beer at a temperature of 18°C (64°F) for approximately 28 days.
  • After primary fermentation, transfer the beer to a secondary fermentation vessel for conditioning.
  • Condition the beer at a temperature of 12°C (54°F) for 5 weeks. This step will help develop the flavors and clarity of the beer.

Bottling or Kegging:

  • Once the conditioning period is complete, you can bottle or keg the beer.
  • If bottling, ensure that the bottles are clean and sanitized. Transfer the beer into the bottles using a siphon or a bottling wand. Add priming sugar to carbonate the beer in the bottles.
  • If kegging, clean and sanitize the keg. Transfer the beer to the keg and carbonate using the desired method (force carbonation or natural carbonation).


  • Allow the bottled or kegged beer to carbonate and condition for a couple of weeks at room temperature.
  • After the carbonation period, refrigerate the bottles or keg to chill the beer.
  • Once chilled, your California Common Beer is ready to be enjoyed! Pour it into a glass, savor the flavors, and share it with friends.
Makes 🍻Ready to Drink 🍺Estimated ABVBitterness RatingColor Rating
23 Litres (40 Pints)6 Weeks4.8%40.5 IBU21.8 EBC

Unique Flavor Profile

Experience the distinctive taste of an American-style amber ale with a clean, lager-like finish. The combination of pale malt, Vienna malt, medium crystal malt, and chocolate malt creates a complex and flavorful beer that will tantalize your taste buds.

Aromatic Delights

The German Northern Brewer hops used in this recipe bring delightful woody and minty aromas to the brew. These enticing hop characteristics add depth and complexity to the beer, making it a truly enjoyable drinking experience.

Homebrewing Adventure

Brewing your own beer is a rewarding and creative endeavor. By following this recipe, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the brewing process, experiment with different ingredients, and craft a high-quality beer right in the comfort of your own home.

Impressive Results

With careful attention to detail and following the provided instructions, you can create a batch of California Common Beer that will impress your friends and family. Share your homemade brew and let them experience the fruits of your brewing labor.

Don’t Miss Out

Don’t miss the chance to brew your own California Common Beer using this recipe. Explore the unique flavors, indulge in the aromatic delights, and enjoy the satisfaction of creating a delicious beer from scratch. Start your brewing adventure today!

FAQ on Making this California Common Beer Recipe

How long does the mash process take?

The mash process typically takes 1 hour to allow enzymatic conversion.

What is the role of Vienna malt in this recipe?

Vienna malt adds depth and character to the beer, contributing to its maltiness and color.

How much Protofloc should be added during the boil?

1 tsp of Protofloc or other clarifying agent should be added during the last 15 minutes of the boil.

What is the recommended fermentation temperature for this beer?

The recommended fermentation temperature is 18°C (64°F).

How long should the beer condition at 12°C (54°F) after fermentation?

The beer should condition for 5 weeks at 12°C (54°F) to enhance its flavors and clarity.

At what point in the boil should the Northern Brewer hops be added?

Northern Brewer hops should be added at the start of the boil, for the last 10 minutes of the boil, and at turn off.

What yeast strain is recommended for this beer?

Wyeast 2112 California Lager yeast is recommended for this recipe.

Can other hop varieties be substituted for Northern Brewer hops?

Yes, other hop varieties with similar characteristics can be used as substitutes for Northern Brewer hops.

Are there any recommended adjustments to the fermentation temperature for different flavor profiles?

Different flavor profiles can be achieved by adjusting the fermentation temperature within the recommended range, allowing for experimentation.

What is the expected bitterness rating (IBU) of the final beer?

The expected bitterness rating (IBU) of the final beer is 40.5 IBU.

Are there any recommended water adjustments or treatments for this recipe?

No specific water adjustments or treatments are mentioned in the provided recipe. However, you may consider water quality and pH adjustments based on your local water source.

Can different yeast strains be used to experiment with flavor profiles?

Yes, using different yeast strains can yield varied flavor profiles and allow for experimentation and customization.

What type of equipment is needed to control fermentation temperatures accurately?

Equipment such as a fermentation chamber or temperature controller can be used to control fermentation temperatures accurately.

Can the recipe be scaled up or down for a different batch size?

Yes, the recipe can be scaled up or down proportionally to accommodate different batch sizes.

Are there any recommended food pairings for the California Common Beer?

The California Common Beer pairs well with grilled meats, barbecue dishes, spicy foods, and hearty stews.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating