Steam Beer Recipe

Steam Beer

Steam Beer (23 Litres)

“Steam Beer“, or California Common Beer (BJCP Style 7.B.), is a style that originates in the USA. It’s loosely known as a “warm ferment lager”, with a balance of hop and malt aromatics, full malt flavours and firm bitterness. The Steam Beer style is well within the grasp of home brewers, able to control ferment temp’ in the high teens to low 20’s. Secondary fermentation in the bottle also suits the style. The recipe recommends using two sachets of S-23 lager yeast, which will produce a beer true to the “Steam Beer” style. For those more adventurous brewers, a liquid yeast such as Wyeast 2112 or White Labs WLP810, may be used.



  • Colour: Gold
  • Body: Medium
  • Bitterness: Medium/High
  • Approx. Alcohol Level: 4.6%
  • Naturally Carbonated: Natural


Step 1: The Day Before

Place the Crystal Malt Grain in a plastic zip-lock sandwich bag and crack it using a rolling pin. Line a pot (at least 4 litres) with a mesh cleaning cloth (pulled straight from the wrapper), then add the cracked grain and 2 litres of cold water. Fit the lid and sit in the fridge for 24hrs.

STEP 2: Brew

Remove from the fridge then gather up the corners of the mesh cloth and lift, allowing the liquid to drain from the grains back into the pot. Place the strained liquid onto the stovetop with about 250g of Light Dry Malt and bring to the boil - be sure to keep close watch to avoid boilover! Once boiling, add 25g of Northern Brewer Hops and boil for 10mins. Remove from the heat and cool by placing the pot in a sink of cold water for about 15mins. Add the remaining Light Dry Malt to a drained sanitised fermenting vessel and add 2 litres of hot water. Immediately pick the fermenting vessel up and swirl the contents until dissolved (approx 15 secs) - this method minimises clumping. Strain the grain/hop mixture into the fermenting vessel and mix in the Real Ale brew can. Fill to 18 litres with cold water, stir well and check the brew temperature. Top up to the 23 litre mark with warm or cold water (refrigerated if necessary) to get as close to 18C as possible. Sprinkle the dry yeast over the surface (or stir in the wet yeast), fit the lid and try to ferment at 18C.

STEP 3: Bottle

Bottle once the SG readings are stable over a couple of days – it should finish around the 1008 to 1012 mark. We recommend the use of PET bottles or reusable glass bottles designed for storing beer. Bottles need to be primed so that secondary fermentation (producing the gas in the bottle) can take place. Prime at the normal rate (8g/l) or slightly lower, in accordance with the style.

STEP 4: Enjoy!

Allow to condition at or above 18C for at least 2 weeks before tasting. The final alcohol content should be approximately 4.6% ABV.

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