Anchor Steam Beer In Fritz Maytags HandHere's an Anchor Steam clone recipe for both all-grain and extract brewing. This is a fun one to make and will please the palates of most beer drinkers. First brewed in 1896, San Francisco’s Anchor Steam defined the style known as California Common. It’s an interesting cross between a pale ale and an amber lager, offering the best of both worlds: toasty malt flavor with a touch of caramel malt, balanced by firm hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Probably the most unique characteristic of Anchor Steam: it’s fermented at ale temperatures using a lager yeast. Because “steam” beer is trademarked by Anchor Brewing, everyone else calls the style California Common. However, you will still hear the style referred to as “steam beer”. Why steam beer?

“Anchor Steam Beer derives its unusual name from the 19th century when “steam” was a nickname for beer brewed on the West Coast of America under primitive conditions and without ice. While the origin of the name remains shrouded in mystery, it likely relates to the original practice of fermenting the beer on San Francisco’s rooftops in a cool climate. In lieu of ice, the foggy night air naturally cooled the fermenting beer, creating steam off the warm open pans.”

So, Anchor Steam is actually open fermented. I wouldn’t recommend trying open fermentation at home, but if you’re feeling adventurous, go for it! You might need to build your own open fermenter. Shop FerMonster For the rest of us, our regular carboys and fermenters will work just fine. One last characteristic to keep in mind for an Anchor Steam clone recipe: this beer uses only Northern Brewer hops. Ready to brew? Let’s do it! Check out the all-grain and extract recipes below. Anchor Steam Clone Recipe (All-Grain) (5 Gallon Batch) Specs OG: 1.050 FG: 1.012 IBUs: 33-36 ABV: 4.9% SRM: 10-11 Ingredients 7.75 lbs. Briess 2 Row Brewer's Malt 1 lb. Caramel 40L Malt 1 lb. Victory Malt .4 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :60 (3.1 AAUs) 1 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :15 (7.8 AAUs) .4 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :0 (3.1 AAUs) 1 tsp. Irish Moss at :15 Wyeast 2112: California Lager Yeast 5 oz. corn sugar for priming Shop Homebrew Starter KitDirections: Prepare a 4L yeast starter. Single infusion mash at 150F, using 1.5 qts water per pound of grain. Sparge to collect 7 gallons of wort. 60-minute boil. Chill wort, pitch yeast starter, and ferment at 60-65F for one week, then transfer to secondary for two weeks. Bottle with priming sugar and condition for two weeks. Anchor Steam Clone Recipe (Extract) (5 Gallon Batch) Specs OG: 1.050 FG: 1.012 IBUs: 33-36 ABV: 4.9% SRM: 10-11 Ingredients 4 lbs. Light Dried Malt Extract 1.5 lb. Briess 2-Row Brewer’s Malt 1 lb. Victory Malt 1 lb. Caramel 40L Malt Shop Steam Freak Kits.5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :60 (4.7 AAUs) 1.25 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :15 (10.1 AAUs) .5 oz. Northern Brewer hops at :0 (4.7 AAUs) 1 tsp. Irish Moss at :15 Wyeast 2112: California Lager Yeast 5 oz. corn sugar for priming Directions: Prepare a 4L yeast starter. Mash the crushed grains in 5 quarts water. Hold temperature at 150F for one hour. Strain wort into brew kettle and sparge grains with one gallon of water at 170F. Add malt extract and bring boil volume to 3.5 gallons. 60-minute boil. Add hops according to schedule. Chill wort, pitch yeast starter, and ferment at 60-65F for one week, then transfer to secondary for two weeks. Bottle with priming sugar and condition for two weeks. Have you ever brewed an Anchor Steam clone recipe? Did you use all-grain or extract? How did it go? Share in the comments below! ----- David Ackley is a beer writer, brewer, and self-described "craft beer crusader." He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder and editor of the Local Beer Blog.
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