California Common Extract Kit w/ Specialty Grains

SKU: U1300

A hybrid style – a highly hopped, pale lager fermented at ale temperatures, exhibiting earthy hop bitterness and aroma, caramel malt, and a pale copper color with a clean, crisp profile.

We strongly recommend ordering dry yeast in the summer months. We do include complimentary ice packs with all liquid yeasts. It is difficult to guarantee that the ice packs will survive the trip given transit times and particularly hot temperatures.

Availability: In stock

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California Common Extract Kit   +$30.51

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California Common was an accidental discovery: residents of Gold Rush-era San Francisco wanted to drink Pilsner but local brewers had to make do with primitive refrigeration techniques. The result was a hybrid style – a highly hopped, pale lager fermented at ale temperatures, and possibly America's first original contribution to the beer world. Our version exhibits earthy hop bitterness and aroma, caramel malt, and a pale copper color with a clean, crisp profile.

Additional Information

Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons
Recipe and Instructions Click Here!
Regional Style USA
Beer Style Hybrid Beers
Color Light
Original Gravity 1047
Total Time to Make 2 months

Customer Reviews

A Great Session Beer Review by Tim
I have brewed this extract kit a few times now and have never been disapointed. Always a good croud pleaser! (Posted on 11/22/13)
Triple witching weekend Review by Tom
I bought this kit, as well as a SMASH kit and the goods to make an IPA, including the new Super Structure extract. Brewing thrice over the long Labor Day weekend. As usual, the order was packaged well and package(s) arrived sooner than expected. I have the SMASH and the IPA in the fermenter now. Cal Common to come. I'll update after imbibing. (Posted on 9/2/13)
True to Style Review by Alexander
I am an all grain brewer and just brewed the California Common EXTRACT kit. Don't hate. Anyway, this is hands down the best beer I have brewed all year, 2013. I would not be surprised if this were to medal in competition. I consider it very true to style. Having said that, I do not plan to share this with anyone, except my closest friends and family. It is so good that I do not want to give up three bottles for a stupid competition.

Great job guys. (Posted on 5/20/13)
Love it Review by Richard
This was my first Lager. Wasn't sure what to expect, but for me this was a great beer. Absolutely loved it! My favorite up to this point was the Irish Stout, however I now have 2 favorites. (Posted on 9/23/12)
Always a winner.... Review by Rick
This was the first beer I ever brewed many years ago. Brewed it again recently with the dry lager yeast, cool 50F temps and the end result was fantastic. A great beer to have around during the summer months! (Posted on 4/26/12)
not bad Review by andy
There is nothing wrong with this beer. It appeals to many people who like regular store bought beer. I like alot of hops and this did not have that. The name Common says it all. Nothing exciting about it but will probably buy again since it its the only beer i have made that some friends will drink. (Posted on 4/14/12)
Sweetness Review by SuperDave
One of the best beers I've brewed and the first I've used a secondary fermentor for. Coincidence? Anyways this is one of the most balanced beers i've done as far as malt to hops goes. The hops came out a lot more aromatic than I expected, as well. (Posted on 4/12/12)
Strange results, hoping for better Review by Bruce
I don't give up easily. My sons and I have brewed over a dozen ales since we seriously got into brewing last May with a great string of successes. We always choose the wyeast because it seems like it would have more flavor and since it costs a little more, it must be better.
This ale, however, kicked my ass.
We bought two kits of the California and wyeast. The yeast did not inflate in the first hours so we put the brewing on hold. NB sent me replacement right away--which also did not inflate promptly while the first finally inflated after a week. We concluded (probably improperly) that it was just a slow yeast--we actually did call NB and wyeast, but the telephone support didn't actually know anything in particular about this yeast. We figured that room temperature lager yeast must be inherently slow (we were recently told at the local brew club that the opposite is the case).
So we prepared yeast starters with each batch of the wyeast figuring that it was just a slow yeast. Meanwhile we built a controlled temperature facility, actually an indoor closet with a spot cooler installed, that does a good job of keeping the temp at 68 degrees, difficult here in south Florida.
We boiled both worts together, chilled and poured into the two carboys adding yeast starter 1 to one, yeast starter two to the other.
Despite the yeast starters, fermentation was very slow but, after 3 weeks, we thieved samples from each carboy and tested. One was at 1 3/4% alcohol and the other at 2%, the former with an aldehyde taste and the latter nominal. each had about 1 1/2 inches of trube.
We gave it another 2 weeks of primary, no change to the metrics, moved to secondary, and gave it about 6 weeks. Same metrics. We bottled--Co2 pressure after a week is poor, but there is a little bubble anyway.
So after a lot of effort, we have basically made two batches of near beer, one tasting of aldehyde. Fortunately our pals don't know the difference so we are feeding it to them in great quantities and enjoying the praise (with a bit of a smirk, I might add). It's not bad, anyway, if mixed half and half with any commercial beer.
After lots of reading and consulting with our local brew club, our best guess is that all the wyeast we received was bad and we probably brewed with God knows what that finally reproduced in the packets, one of which was strongly aldehyde forming.

Not giving up easily, I ordered another California today with the other yeast to try once more. Third time may be the charm. We have also decided to henceforth avoid liquid yeast where practical, refrigerated yeast is just a lot more susceptible to shipping (temperature) damage.

(Posted on 11/20/11)
Killer steam beer Review by Tim
This was an excellent kit this year. Mine came out with a lot of the lager yeast characteristics which I think are great and really true to the style. Great color and hop bitterness.

I followed the instructions, and fermented for a couple of weeks in the primary and then racked to secondary for 2-4 weeks. (Posted on 11/11/11)
Good beer, not a clone Review by B-Man
This was a great beer. For me, It was not a clone of the beer it is imitating, but it was very good. This version came out a lot hoppier than the Steam I remember, When I try this again I may push back my hop additions. This was my first beer which I made with a full wort boil and a yeast starter and it very much improved this beer. Big crowd pleaser at the 4th of July party. (Posted on 7/5/11)
Quality beer close to the original Review by A&G Bros Brewing
Extract with Wyeast. 8 in primary and 18 in secondary. Finished up at 5.1%. Good beer and very close to the "Steam" style it represents. This one took a while to carb and after 2 months in the bottle is ready to be served. Will try to brew this one again in the future. For the price and results you can not go wrong. (Posted on 6/19/11)
Excellent! Crisp, with hints of lager breadiness. Review by Potomac Brewer
A very nice, simple summer brew. Will certainly brew this again. (Posted on 6/3/11)
My favorite! Review by Terry C
I have brewed this beer twice now and it is my favorite! My only problem is I can't keep my Girlfriend (who normally doesn't drink beer) from drinking all of it. (Posted on 5/3/11)
Deliciously Balanced Review by Frankenbrew
Though not as bitter as Anchor Steam, my beer turned out delicious. Actually I thought it to be more balanced than the commercial beer. It has enough bitterness to fit the style, yet a pound and a half of caramel and six pounds of base malt make it sweet enough to stand up to the bitterness. I used the S-23 dry yeast and it finished out at 1.014, which gives it a substantial body, and probably adds to the sweet maltiness. I'd make this one again! (Posted on 2/13/11)
Lagered style Review by Cheapsk8
Ya Iagered this one. Well it was kind of cold here in new Mexico and decided to ferment my beer in the garage. Now I know that it is not a typical Cali common but this beer is so smooth and hoppy that it makes me feel like I did something right. I used the dry yeast and it fermented at 46 degrees. Smooth and hoppy. Problem is it's only getting colder in my garage and I'm guessing that this might be a one off in my house. Cheers (Posted on 11/24/10)
Fantastic! Review by Rudy
Steam beer is one of my favorite styles and I really enjoyed this. I found mine came out a bit more bitter than the commercial name brand and that was OK by me. (Posted on 9/23/10)
A San Francisco Treat Review by David
This was my first kit from NB, but not my last. Having the ingredients all measured out made brew day a snap. I'm in my second decade of brewing, and I usually make up my own recipes, but this kit looked like just the ticket, and surpassed my expectations. As for the finished product, I love it and my friends love it. I'll order it again. (Posted on 9/2/10)
Nice Lower Temperature Kit Review by Laughing Waters Brew Club
We only ferment at room temparature in the basement (no lagering) so this kit was very nice to do in the cold months of Feb-March. It was fermented about 58-60 degrees and turned out very nicely. I actually liked the Anchor Steam I had on tap fresh in San Francisco better, but this was a great alternative. Seems like Anchor Steam was a little more malty than this kit, but again, just opinions...very nice beer. (Posted on 5/11/10)
Perfect summer session beer Review by Nikki
A little light but still lots of good flavor. Hoppy but not overly so. This is our favorite crowd pleaser to brew! (Posted on 4/22/10)

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