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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: ndcube on January 17, 2010, 05:53:47 PM

Title: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 17, 2010, 05:53:47 PM
Starting OG 1.049.  Wyeast Kolsch yeast.

Pitched at 52F and fermented the same for 5 days.
Fermenting at 55F for the last couple of days.
SG is now 1.017 and there is still a quarter inch of Krausen.

I tasted the hydro sample and I couldn't find diacetly but it may be to sweet for me to tell.
Should I let it go in the mid 50's or warm it up into the 60's?

Also, should I let it completely finish before cold conditioning or leave a couple points before dropping the temp?

Thanks,
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: majorvices on January 17, 2010, 06:19:08 PM
You are fermenting that thing way too cold. This is an ale, not a lager. I pitch mine around 56-58 and ferment around 60-62. Go ahead and warm up into the low 60s Definitely don't lager until fermentation is 100% complete.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 17, 2010, 06:30:03 PM
Yeah, I'm switching over to lager yeast during the winter.  I guess I didn't remember how cold my basement gets from last year.

I think I posted about cold fermenting ales before. Other than taking longer and maybe not being as fruity, what are the negative effects?
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 17, 2010, 06:33:22 PM
Also, the low end of the range for that yeast is 56F according to WYeast which isn't too far off from where I was at.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: Beertracker on January 19, 2010, 05:56:27 PM
That's definitely not my favorite yeast for the style, but its real sluggish below 58F. I'd recommend fermenting warmer & lagering vs. forcing a slow, cold ferment. Just my 2-cents!  ;)
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: wilypig on January 19, 2010, 06:01:03 PM
The two biggest drawbacks to cold fermenting ale strains is the reduction of esters and the possibility of arrested or stuck fermentation. If you want less yeast profile then go cold but be careful you don't crash the yeast and end up under attenuated.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 19, 2010, 06:17:17 PM
It's finishing up now in the low 60's.  Should be almost done.

Do you have to use a "Kolsch" yeast for it to be considered a Kolsch or will a lager yeast work?
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: blatz on January 19, 2010, 06:59:24 PM
Do you have to use a "Kolsch" yeast for it to be considered a Kolsch or will a lager yeast work?

yeah, you want those subtle fruity, winey aromatics.  if you use a lager yeast, its basically just a helles with wheat in it...
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 19, 2010, 07:10:14 PM
Do you have to use a "Kolsch" yeast for it to be considered a Kolsch or will a lager yeast work?

yeah, you want those subtle fruity, winey aromatics.  if you use a lager yeast, its basically just a helles with wheat in it...

So, not to nit-pick but what about this in the description: "...A pleasant, subtle fruit aroma from fermentation (apple, cherry or pear) is acceptable, but not always present..."?
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: blatz on January 19, 2010, 08:11:45 PM
[So, not to nit-pick but what about this in the description: "...A pleasant, subtle fruit aroma from fermentation (apple, cherry or pear) is acceptable, but not always present..."?

you are taking that out of context.  if you read through the rest of the description, I'd say you'd be hard pressed to get all of those characteristics with lager yeast.  Also, despite the guidelines saying 'not always present' it is what most judges and drinkers are looking for, right or wrong. 

IMO, this is just one of those styles where yeast strain selection can't be compromised.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 19, 2010, 08:21:52 PM
Ah.  Thanks, blatz.  I'll have to find one of the commercial examples.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 19, 2010, 08:24:18 PM
I recently find one German commercial example with red label (Sorry I forgot the name).
So you can buy them here. 
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: blatz on January 19, 2010, 08:27:13 PM
I recently find one German commercial example with red label (Sorry I forgot the name).
So you can buy them here. 

Reissdorf.

Gaffel is another one (blue label).

Aside from that, its kinda tough, aside from regional microbrewery offerings.

Make sure they're fresh samples though - Kolsch does not travel well, and can be yeck when stale and old.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: ndcube on January 19, 2010, 08:28:43 PM
Yeah, I was going to say that may be easier said than done.

I'm gonna save the yeast and brew it again at warmer temps anyway in a few months.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 19, 2010, 08:32:25 PM
I recently find one German commercial example with red label (Sorry I forgot the name).
So you can buy them here.  

Reissdorf.

Gaffel is another one (blue label).

Aside from that, its kinda tough, aside from regional microbrewery offerings.

Make sure they're fresh samples though - Kolsch does not travel well, and can be yeck when stale and old.

Thank you for help.
Yes it can be tricky to get fresh sample.

Yesterday I had Czech Pilsner "Krusovice" that was brewed in May of last year :(
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: majorvices on January 20, 2010, 01:21:50 AM
That's definitely not my favorite yeast for the style, but its real sluggish below 58F. I'd recommend fermenting warmer & lagering vs. forcing a slow, cold ferment. Just my 2-cents!  ;)

Not your favorite yeast for the style? Then what is? I like WLP029, but I think the Wy strain is great - maybe even more authentic.

+1 to Blatz comments. Kolsch has a distinctive, yet subtle, flavor to it. Kind of wine/chardonnay like finish that I haven't ever tasted on any other beer style. That's the key between it tasting like a kolsch and simply being a blonde ale that is called a kolsch. Too many brewpubs call their blondes "kolsch".
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: bluesman on January 20, 2010, 01:36:11 AM
That's definitely not my favorite yeast for the style, but its real sluggish below 58F. I'd recommend fermenting warmer & lagering vs. forcing a slow, cold ferment. Just my 2-cents!  ;)

+1 to Blatz comments. Kolsch has a distinctive, yet subtle, flavor to it. Kind of wine/chardonnay like finish that I haven't ever tasted on any other beer style. That's the key between it tasting like a kolsch and simply being a blonde ale that is called a kolsch. Too many brewpubs call their blondes "kolsch".

I think you described it well. Kolsch has a very distinctive finish kind of like a chard. Apple and pear but very delicate. A superb summer ale IMHO.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: klosterfocke on January 21, 2010, 01:35:57 AM
IMO 2565 is superior for koelsch. 029 is too "yeasty" for lack of a better word, though a local pro brewer gets great fruit aroma from it at 64 degrees ferm, I can't replicate it at home. I ferment koelsch at 59-60, letting it slow rise to about 66 by the end of fermentation. I get a slight cherry aroma with some peach (from sulfur, I understand) at these temps. Also, one other commercial example that we can get in NC is Sunner, but it's HORRIBLE! Avoid it if possible.....
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 21, 2010, 02:58:15 AM
Could I use WY1007 for Kolsch?
We talk about using it for Alt but would it work for Kolsch?
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: majorvices on January 21, 2010, 01:09:25 PM
It doesn't have that "kolschy" character we are talking about. Makes a nice beer though, more like a pseudo Helles.
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: dean on January 21, 2010, 01:33:42 PM
I've only made one Kolsch (so far) and it turned out quite good using WLP029, it even cleared up better than most of the beers I've made.  While it wasn't my favorite, it was the one beer that almost everyone enjoyed.  Listen to Keith on it, its one of his favorite brews so it would be hard to go wrong.  jmo
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 21, 2010, 04:01:00 PM
It doesn't have that "kolschy" character we are talking about. Makes a nice beer though, more like a pseudo Helles.
Good to know.
Thank you
Title: Re: Help me finish off my Kolsch
Post by: skyler on January 25, 2010, 08:36:43 PM
I remember someone on one of the forums (I think NB) considering doing a Kolsch with a touch of Nelson Sauvin in addition to the standard noble hops. Has anyone done this?