It seems fitting that my first post is brewing a beer on a bet that I lost! I am a huge Falcons fan and my brew partner, Little Boy Brew, is a life long Patriots fan, so it was only natural that when they played in Super Bowl LI we made a friendly bet – whose ever team won got to choose the next beer to brew (and naming rights).
After the first half I thought I’d be making an Eisbock which is an ice beer after Matty Ice, but that obviously didn’t happen.
Instead of basking in glory, my first post on this site is about brewing a steam beer. Steam Beers are usually associated with California, which is where Tom Brady was born. Most brews I choose to brew do not have such a painful background – I just brew stuff I want to try and drink!
What is a Steam Beer?
According to Beer Advocate,
The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.
I don’t usually order steam beers but every time I open up an anchor steam I like it!
Brewing a Steam Beer Extract Kit
We usually brew in 5 gallon batches, however, since Little Boy Brew and I both need 5 gallons to keg we decided to do two 5 gallon kits of “Brady Beer.” We decided to brew outside as that is the only way we are able to brew the minimum of 5 gallons to make the wort. Usually we alter or tweak recipes just a bit, but I think Little Boy Brew wanted unadulterated Brady goodness.
Brewing Calistoga Spring Steam Beer
Since this was completely his call we opted for Calistoga Spring Steam Beer from Jaspers/BoomChugalug
One mile below the village of Calistoga, California swells a chamber of magma, where the water seeps down through the porous rock and rises up in steamy surges, warming the natural mud baths in the spa where you now relax neck-deep in that soothing ooze. And as the beady perspiration gathers about your brow, you reach for a pint of this remarkably refreshing, reddish-brown brew, which offers an admirable balance between the backdrop of aromatic and bready malts and the amenable expression of hops, with their ticklish bitterness and rustic, minty flavors. So go ahead, sink deeper into that massaging mud and admire the steamy tendrils’ dance, for this volcanic spa sooths your body, and this ambrosial steam beer soothes your soul.
Updates and Reviews of Calistoga Spring Steam
Calistoga Spring Steam was moved to a secondary on March 12. Moved to a keg for a slow carb on April 18, 2017.