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Steamacularly Common

Brewed: 08/06/2023   Kegged: 08/19/2023

Steamacularly.jpgIn the summer of 2023, after 127 years of brewing beer, Anchor Brewing Company decided to shut down.

This was, of course, sad for craft beer fans.

Not living in California, I never drank a lot of Anchor beer, but after visiting San Francisco, I brewed Bridge Fog California Common in honor of Anchor's most iconic beer "Anchor Steam".

I thought I would brew another "Steam" beer in honor of this brewery.

The American Homebrewers Association published an Anchor Steam Clone that I used as a starting point for my recipe.

Of course, my recipe ended up different based on ingredients I have more available to me.

One huge difference is that rather than using traditional "California Common" yeast, I used harvested Altbier yeast from my recently brewed Gypsy Magic Bière de Garde.

I honestly don't think this yeast choice makes a noticeable difference, but who knows, really?

The name "Steamacularly Common" was originally Spectacularly Common, but I wanted the word "Steam" in there somewhere. Maybe sort of dumb, but if you brew a beer like this, you can name it whatever you want.

It is sad that the brewery is closing, but at least I have this recipe to help remember Anchor Steam.

On untappd: Steamacularly Common 

For more information on this beer, see Sheppy's Blog: Steamacularly

Steamacularly Common --- Batch 1 (341)

Style California Common Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.60 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.050 SG Estimated FG 1.013 SG
Recipe Bitterness 33.5 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 4.8 %
BU : GU   0.676        
Recipe Color 12.0 SRM
Measured OG:   1.050    Measured FG:   1.010 
ADF:   79    Measured ABV:   5.3 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.91 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
6.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
5.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
3.00 g Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
1.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 5 - -
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 89.9 % 0.78 gal
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 7 6.7 % 0.06 gal
6.0 oz Pale Chocolate Malt (200.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.4 % 0.03 gal
1.000 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 40.0 min Hop 9 26.5 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 - -
1.000 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 7.0 IBUs -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 12 - -
1.000 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs -
1.0 pkg Dusseldorf Alt Yeast (White Labs #WLP036) [35.49 ml] Yeast 14 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 1.0 days) Fining 15 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 31.66 qt of water at 156.3 F 150.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 156.0 F over 10 min 156.0 F 20 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

Recipe Notes
Brewed in honor of Anchor Steam upon news that Anchor is closing down.
Started with AHA Clone recipe ...
Make small yeast starter a day or two before brew day.
Water salts bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Acid to bring water pH to around 5.3
Mash as directed.
Boil as directed.
Cool wort to as close to 60F as possible.
Ferment in low 60's for a day or two then let the fermentation rise to ambient temp.
Keg after one to two weeks in fermentor.
Add gelatin to keg after the beer has chilled one or two days.
Force carbonate to taste.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.045 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.60 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
07/26/2023 esheppy
Was by the Brew Hut today and decided to get ingredients for this recipe there. Need to change the recipe to reflect not using Proximity malts.
08/06/2023 esheppy
Brew day today. Everything went well. Got started a little before 6am. Took a break for church, letting the mash drain while away. Still had some liquid out when I squeezed the bag. Pre-boil gravity and volume was pretty much right on target. OG right on as well. Got the yeast pitched a little before 11am at 57ish degrees. Will hold at 60 for a day and let raise to 64ish after that.
08/07/2023 esheppy
When I got up, there was bubbling and the Tilt had dropped a couple of points to 1.047. Temperature right around 60F. Will be bumping that up a few degrees over the day to hopefully settle at about 65 degrees.
08/08/2023 esheppy
Still bubbling strong. Tilt says 1.019 at 65 degrees. Set the temp control to 68. I will probably unplug the pump by the end of the day.
08/09/2023 esheppy
Bubbling really slowed down overnight. Tilt says 1.011 at 68. If this is accurate, this means the fermentation should be about done. Unplugged the cooling pump this morning.
08/14/2023 esheppy
Tilt says 1.009 at 68 degrees. Will probably keg this weekend, but I don't know when I'll have room in the fridge or kegerator.
08/17/2023 esheppy
Tilt says 1.008 at 68. Kegging soon. Am really looking forward to comparing this beer to Gypsy Magic Bière de Garde. Same yeast. Similar malt bill (although much lower ABV). Should be significantly hoppier. But we'll see.
08/19/2023 esheppy
Kegged today. At the end, Tilt read 1.008 at 67 degrees. Hydrometer said 1.010. This makes the beer 5.3% ABV. Not nearly as much crud as the Gypsy Magic, but the beer was not that clear either. Flavor about what I would expect from the recipe, although not quite as hoppy as I was expecting. I will have to "lager" at room temp for awhile ... no room in the beer fridge or kegerator. Did get about half a gallon extra into a growler.
08/31/2023 esheppy
Gypsy Magic finally kicked, so this moves right into that spot in the kegerator. Chilling now.
09/01/2023 esheppy
Good temperature. I think the carbonation is about right. I just need some of this to settle. Not sure if / when I'll add gelatin.
09/02/2023 esheppy
I'm pretty good with the clarity. Don't think I'll add gelatin to this batch.
09/08/2023 esheppy
Really clean malt flavor. Perfect balance. Just a touch of Northern Brewer hops. Wonderful beer.
09/21/2023 esheppy
Beautiful crystal clear beer, which is amazing considering I skipped the gelatin. Red in color. Malty with a touch of minty / woody hop flavor. Nice clean finish. Great head. Spectacular beer.
09/28/2023 esheppy
Checked into untappd. So yummy. Think it is even more brilliantly clear now. Love the gorgeous red color.
10/28/2023 esheppy
Just a nice solid yummy beer. Not sure how much is left.
11/03/2023 esheppy
76 days since this beer was kegged. 2 and a half months. Not sure how much is left, but surely there cannot be a whole lot. Nice and clear. Beautiful red color. Thick creamy head. Nice malt flavor. A little of that NB hop flavor. Nice.
11/19/2023 esheppy
Crystal clear. Nice and malty with a little minty flavor in the hop finish. 3 months since kegged. Still a delicious beer.
11/23/2023 esheppy
Killed the keg last night. Yummy amber lager for over 3 months. Great beer.
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