Saturday, June 13, 2009

California Common, AKA Steam Beer

WOW its been a long time since I've brewed a batch of beer!

Not really sure how that happened...just a combination of events with higher priority that made brewing not optimal. But we are basically settled in the new house, work on the furnace in the basement is done and brewing can commence.

I ordered two kits a LONG time ago and have been sitting on them waiting until I could find time to brew. At the time I thought I would get around to them much sooner. As such I am a tad worried about the yeast for this batch. It has been sitting dormant in the fridge for months and it didnt really come around when I busted the nutrient packet to wake it back up. Usually after a few hours the packet is swollen quite a bit as the yeast eats and expels gas....this time not so much. Not 100% sure the yeast is even viable at this point, but I went for it anyway. Worst case I will have to swing by Fermentation Station in Meredith and get the same strain or something similar and repitch if the fermentation doesnt kick off.

So yeah this batch is a 'California Common' or sometimes more commonly called a Steam Beer. Funny though, steam doesnt and never has had any thing to do with the brewing of this beer. It was concocted by some dudes in old San Fran who wanted lager but had no means of refrigeration, to hit the lower temps needed for fermentation of lager yeast. So they magically figured out a way to get lager yeast to ferment at more ale like temps and viola, Steam Beer (no steam).


Crotchville setup is very similar to the Squamy setup.
If it aint broke...

**UPDATE**: The first batch of Crotchville Beer has been bottled. Feels like it has been ages since I had homebrew bottled almost ready to drink hanging out in my basement. If I felt like it I could look back through the manarea archives and tell you exactly how long but I don't feel like it right now (bonus points for whoever does feel like it).

I may have taken an extended hiatus but I am back with a vengeance. I think this batch is going to get great reviews and will probably be up there with my best. I have been so busy lately that this batch has had plenty of time to figure itself out. And once again I have to sing the praises of my high capacity siphon. Saves me so much time. That and my new kitchen's island adds some much needed gravitational assistance.

Look Ma, No Hands!

Racked to my bottling bucket in around 4 minutes and the entire bottling process including clean up only took me 1hr and 19mins. Down from an average of about 2hrs in the past. Data Nerd? Perhaps. But that's EFFICIENT data nerd to you.

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