Author Topic: Just had my first kolsh...  (Read 2857 times)

Offline ccfoo242

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Just had my first kolsh...
« on: February 23, 2012, 08:01:00 PM »
...and I'm wondering why I've NEVER had this kind of beer before? It's awesome! And I love big, hoppy, bitter beers...so it surprises me that I would like this.

So, can anyone suggest a good homebrew recipe for a kolsh?

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Online corkybstewart

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 08:17:36 PM »
Kolsch is a hard style to homebrew, I've tried for 3 years and haven't gotten it right yet.  But I'm not giving up, I'll try again soon.
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline gmac

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2012, 08:29:03 PM »
I call this 5K kolsch because I brewed it in honour of my wife and her friends completing their first 5K run (notice that they ran, I brewed...).  This won a gold at the CABA All About Ales competition.  Only downside is that it takes a long, long time to clear.

10 gals
20lbs Weyerman Pils Malt
1 lb Dark Munich
2 oz Cascade Pellets at 60
1 oz Hallertau at 30
phosphoric acid to adjust pH to 5.3
1 tsp Irish Moss
Wyeast 2565 Kolsch Yeast
I use 1/2 distilled water and 1/2 tap water with 1/4 Campden tablet because my water is pretty hard.

I mashed at 150F for 75 mins.  I've got a batch on right now.
I'll be doing a bigger batch when this one's done to have a good supply for summer.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 08:30:38 PM by gmac »

Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2012, 08:48:46 PM »
I call this 5K kolsch because I brewed it in honour of my wife and her friends completing their first 5K run (notice that they ran, I brewed...).  This won a gold at the CABA All About Ales competition.  Only downside is that it takes a long, long time to clear.
Thanks!

Kolsch is a hard style to homebrew, I've tried for 3 years and haven't gotten it right yet.  But I'm not giving up, I'll try again soon.
So would it not be a good choice for someone who has, say, only done 1 AG batch?  ???

Intra cervisiam est deus.

Offline gmac

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2012, 08:57:57 PM »
Why?  I'd go for it.  It may not be perfect but you have to start somewhere.  With only 1 AG done, nothing you do will likely be "perfect" cause you're likely still getting your process down but it can be damn good.
Look for a thread entitled "Tell me about Kolsch" that I started a while ago.  I probably only had 10 AG under my belt when I first started playing with it.  The keys from what I was told were noble hops and kolsch yeast.  Make it and then let it lager cold for a month or so. 
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 09:00:17 PM by gmac »

Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2012, 09:14:28 PM »
Make it and then let it lager cold for a month or so.

I guess I'll have to wait until I improve the cold side of things in my gear. Right now the best I can do is about 68 F with a wet t-shirt over the carboy. But I do plan to build some kind of temperature controlled box in the next few months.

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Offline gmac

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2012, 09:28:21 PM »
Just to be clear, lager as in store, not ferment as a lager.  If you have a fridge, you can "lager".  It just needs time to clear after it's done fermenting.  And you can put your carboy in a bucket with that shirt over it and add frozen pop bottles a couple times a day if you need to ferment colder. 

Online corkybstewart

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2012, 10:30:30 PM »
I call this 5K kolsch because I brewed it in honour of my wife and her friends completing their first 5K run (notice that they ran, I brewed...).  This won a gold at the CABA All About Ales competition.  Only downside is that it takes a long, long time to clear.
Thanks!

Kolsch is a hard style to homebrew, I've tried for 3 years and haven't gotten it right yet.  But I'm not giving up, I'll try again soon.
I thought I had a good Kolsch until I went to Germany and drank the real stuff.  For years my Kolsch-like beer was my house standard.  It's hard to nail perfectly but even near misses made a great beer so go for it.  The secret is fresh ingredients, a big starter so you can ferment it cool, and then as gmac says a long lagering period.  BTW my Kolsch like beer was my first AG recipe.
So would it not be a good choice for someone who has, say, only done 1 AG batch?  ???
I'd really just rather be brewing in sunny Carlsbad New Mexico

Offline majorvices

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 08:31:10 AM »
I used to brew a lot of kolsch, especially for my wife. She loves it. Get your water and pH right, use the right yeast (you need to use a kolsch specific yeast) and you can nail the style pretty easily. The two yeasts that are the easiest to find are WLP029 and WY2565. The WY2565 ferments a little better at cooler temps but is a b**** to get to clear. The WLP029 can be a bit more temperamental  during fermentation as it tends to stall under 62 degrees near the end, but it is much easier to get to clear. Both make excellent kolsches.

Here's one of my recipes

Kolsch

12 Gallons
OG 1.050-1.052
IBU 23

20.5 lbs German Pils
2lbs German Munich

.75oz Magnum (14.9) 60 min
1oz Mittlefruh (3) 30 min
.5oz Mittlefruh (3) 10 min

WLP029 or WY2565 Starter or slurry (I make a 2.5 liter stirred starter or slurry from a previous batch. be sure to pitch enough yeast)

Boil 90 minutes to alleviate concerns about DMS

Aerate and pitch at 56 degrees. Ferment 58-60 for 3 days and then let rise to 62-64 until finished.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline nateo

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 08:47:46 AM »
Just thought I'd chime in with my version. Probably the best beer I've ever brewed. It's in metric because I really don't understand how pounds and ounces / quarts and gallons work.

38L batch
OG: 1.050
FG: 1.010
44% US 2-row - 3.5kg
44% Rahr Pils - 3.5kg
12% Red wheat malt - 1kg

Single infusion at 149*F
Mashout at 160*

@ -60min - 60g US Vanguard 5.2%AA ~ 20 IBU
@ -10min - 15g of the same ~ 2 IBU
@ -0min - 35g of the same ~ 0 IBU

ferment with WY2565 at 58* for 8 days
Raise to 68* for another 8 days
40* for 3 weeks, then bottle.

Bottle at 2.5vol
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 09:08:38 AM »
I'm actually planning on doing a Kölsch for my first AG batch (Mini-BIAB). I know that it's going to be tough to nail, especially as my first AG, and seeing as I don't really have fridge space to cold-condition it properly. But I want to do something that's close to a Pils in style and flavor without having a setup for lagering yet.

I figure it will be a good learning experience and I'll always have something to improve on for next time. Plus, I doubt I could ever hit that beautiful light-gold color using extract. If it's a total miss on the Kolsch style I'll just call it a "Summer Ale" and leave it like that.

One thing I was wondering with doing a Kolsch using BIAB was whether you have a harder time getting it to clear since you don't vorlauf with BIAB. It's going to be tough enough to clear it without being to do a proper cold-crash. Plus, I want to serve it to my vegan friends, so gelatin and isinglass are out. Anyone have any experience with this?

Here's a recipe for a half-batch that I was planning on using. (Based on this recipe) I'm waffling between Mt Hood/Tettnang or maybe using something more Saaz-like to go for that spicy Pils note.

Brew Method: BIAB - Brew In A Bag
Style Name: Kölsch
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 2.5 gallons
Boil Size: 3.5 gallons
Efficiency: 70%

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.047
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 4.59%
IBU (rager): 29.06
SRM (morey): 3.12

FERMENTABLES:
4 lb - Pilsner (91.43%)
0.25 lb - White Wheat  (5.71%)
0.125 lb - CaraFoam (2.86%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Mount Hood (AA 4.8 ) for 60 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.25 oz - Hersbrucker (AA 4) for 20 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.25 oz - Mount Hood (AA 4.8 ) for 20 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil

MASH STEPS:
1) Temp: 149 F, Time: 90 min

YEAST:
White Labs - German Ale/ Kölsch Yeast WLP029
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline nateo

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2012, 09:23:49 AM »
IBU (rager): 29.06

Have you seen this chart? http://cigarsinreviewtony.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/image99.gif?w=690

I can't find the article I originally saw that chart on, but it basically talked about how the Rager formula looks pretty weird, and not much like any other organic chemical curve. Garetz and Tinseth look much more like natural curves. That's not a good explanation but the article was pretty convincing.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2012, 10:32:35 AM »
erockrph:  can you lager this in a keg or some other vessel with CO2 over the top of it?
If it's going to be lagered in a 3g fermenter I'd increase the batch size until I had a completely full secondary fermenter.

good luck.  I made my first attempt at a Kolsch last fall, loved it, won a couple medals with it, and will be tweaking/brewing it again in the next few weeks.

cheers--
--Michael

Offline erockrph

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2012, 10:51:34 AM »
erockrph:  can you lager this in a keg or some other vessel with CO2 over the top of it?
If it's going to be lagered in a 3g fermenter I'd increase the batch size until I had a completely full secondary fermenter.

No, that's the thing. I only have one fridge and it's full of garbage like milk, juice, eggs, meat, etc. The beer crisper is pretty full at the moment too.

Right now I'm just looking at a primary followed by bottle conditioning. Is it worth my while to do the swamp-cooler thing for a week or two after the primary is finished (I doubt I'd be able to get much lower than 50F ish), or should I just bottle right after primary has finished up, let it carb for 2 weeks at room temp, then cellar-condition for a month or two?
Eric B.

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Offline euge

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Re: Just had my first kolsh...
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2012, 11:17:32 AM »
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.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman