Author Topic: Just had my first kolsh...  (Read 2850 times)

Offline garc_mall

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 794
  • [1892.9, 294.9deg] AR Lynnwood, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2012, 11:20:22 PM »
I don't have any experience on kolsch, so I am not going to comment on any of the recipes. However, I did just brew a Altbier that was on the light side (more Munich next time). Its currently lagering outside on my back patio, covered in a towel, and sitting in big bucket full of water. As far as I have noticed, the beer is down around 45 degrees or so, and I don't have too many temperature swings with the large amount of liquid (close to 15 gals) creating a lot of thermal mass. YMMV, especially if you live in warm areas.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6299
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2012, 07:13:27 AM »
well, although dusseldorf and kohln are neighbors those two styles are vastly different. Regardless, 45 degrees is not technically lagering. You need to get down to 38 degrees at least, and preferably closer to freezing to lager. The problem is most german ale and lager strains are not very flocculant and you really need those cold temps to get the yeasts to crash in any reasonable amount of time. If you can knock the temp down closer to 38 or colder you will probably see better results as far as clarity goes.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline corkybstewart

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1298
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2012, 12:39:40 PM »
I was making a lot of Kolsch last year at this time. You need to have your water and pH under control if you are going to mash. If you use extra light or pilsner extract you can make a nice Kolsch very easily. I use wlp029 in the mid 60's and then lager for a few weeks in the keg.

The style isn't very forgiving to off flavors as there is no place for them to hide. But with healthy yeast, a proper pitch and fermentation temps Kolsch is very attainable for the homebrewer.
Water is probably my biggest issue.  If I started with RO water what would I need to add to make it good?
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2012, 12:51:15 PM »
Water is probably my biggest issue.  If I started with RO water what would I need to add to make it good?

How bad is your water? I made my last batch of Koelsch with 7dH general hardness and 6dH karbonate hardness. That's about 35ppm Ca, 9ppm Mg, and 106ppm alkalinity. My water has very little of anything else.  I usually add 1-2g of CaCl to get the calcium around 50ppm, and then add a bit of acid to knock the alkalinity out.

So if you're just going with RO, I'd probably treat the water the same as mine, only you'd need more CaCl and less acid. Or you could use 3% acidulated malt if that's easier.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2012, 12:53:15 PM »
I was making a lot of Kolsch last year at this time. You need to have your water and pH under control if you are going to mash. If you use extra light or pilsner extract you can make a nice Kolsch very easily. I use wlp029 in the mid 60's and then lager for a few weeks in the keg.

The style isn't very forgiving to off flavors as there is no place for them to hide. But with healthy yeast, a proper pitch and fermentation temps Kolsch is very attainable for the homebrewer.
Water is probably my biggest issue.  If I started with RO water what would I need to add to make it good?

Extract. :)

How about 1 gallon tap and the rest RO if mashing. We have fairly hard water and I'm sure you do as well.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline corkybstewart

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1298
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2012, 02:11:41 PM »
Fairly hard doesn't begin to describe it.  Maybe i should get a water analysis, but about every 6 months our water co-op changes water wells and the water is different, it even tastes different.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2012, 03:17:46 PM »
Fairly hard doesn't begin to describe it.  Maybe i should get a water analysis, but about every 6 months our water co-op changes water wells and the water is different, it even tastes different.

Can you get ozarka? Their spring water makes good beer.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6299
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #22 on: February 25, 2012, 04:30:59 PM »
Water is probably my biggest issue.  If I started with RO water what would I need to add to make it good?

Soft water and bump your calcium up above 50 ppm and you should be good. I cut my tap water with RO water 50/50.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 05:22:01 PM by majorvices »
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2012, 11:50:03 AM »
I'll chime in here. It's the wife's beer and I've made a total of about 40 or gallons of it. Three weeks in the bucket, and then in the keggerator. Starts clearing after two weeks, you can read a newspaper through it after four. I use the Wyeast Kölsch and ferment around 66º-68º It comes out really nice. Here's my very simple recipe:

http://hopville.com/recipe/1033643/klsch-recipes/wooden-shoe-klsch

Batch infusion at 148º, batch sparge around 165º. As far as water, mine is very soft, all I do is treat it for the chlorine/chloramine the city puts in there with a carbon filter and a Campden tablet. If your water is hard, Euge's suggestion of 20% tap with 80% bottled/RO would probably work well.

Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline ccfoo242

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
  • I drank what? - Socrates
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2012, 12:07:01 PM »
I'll chime in here. It's the wife's beer and I've made a total of about 40 or gallons of it. Three weeks in the bucket, and then in the keggerator. Starts clearing after two weeks, you can read a newspaper through it after four. I use the Wyeast Kölsch and ferment around 66º-68º It comes out really nice. Here's my very simple recipe:

http://hopville.com/recipe/1033643/klsch-recipes/wooden-shoe-klsch

Batch infusion at 148º, batch sparge around 165º. As far as water, mine is very soft, all I do is treat it for the chlorine/chloramine the city puts in there with a carbon filter and a Campden tablet. If your water is hard, Euge's suggestion of 20% tap with 80% bottled/RO would probably work well.

Thanks for the info.

I'm currently listening to an old episode of the Jamil Show where he discusses the style.

I ordered a freezer and temp controller this week so I can improve the fermentation side...  ;D

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2012, 09:21:55 PM »
That's a good move there. Wish I had bought mine sooner.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman