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California Common (For Intermediate Homebrewers)

[Photograph: Sarah Postma]

This is an all-grain homebrewing recipe which is written for the intermediate level, brew-in-a-bag homebrewer. California Common is a hybrid beer so it's helpful if you have a temperature controlled refrigerator you can use to maintain fermentation and conditioning temperatures, but it's not necessary. If you don't have a refrigerator, try to maintain cooler temperatures using ice packs.

For this brew, you'll use the same equipment setup used for extract batches, but you will also need a kettle that is at least 7.5 gallons as well as an extra-large mesh grain bag. A second stockpot large enough to heat (not boil) 3 gallons of water is also recommended. An accurate brewing thermometer is very important when making an all-grain recipe; it's a good idea to check that yours is in good working condition.

Since the fermentation temperatures of this beer are a little lower than the typical ale fermentation, you should make a 1.5 liter yeast starter the day before you brew. If you don't get the chance to make a starter, use two packages of yeast instead.

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