Author Topic: Kolsch  (Read 6142 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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Kolsch
« on: May 04, 2012, 03:13:18 PM »
Okay, so I am starting to think about brewing lagers because I finally have real temp control. but I am going to start slow, with a pseudo lager, I ahve been doing some research and it seems like the standard ingredients for this style are pretty basic, which I like.

Pils (or pale)
maybe a little wheat
maybe a little munich
some noble hops at 60
maybe a little noble hops at 30

I assume the wheat is there mostly for head formation/retention am I wrong?
I love munich but I want to keep this to style as much as possible so I am thinking, at least for a first stab;

100% pils
25 IBU of... I am thinking of trying mt hood as I prefer to use more local ingredients when possible. any other nobleish hops grown on the west coast of north america?

So, tell me why I should use some wheat, or munich, or why I really can't brew this without some german hops.
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Jonathan I Fuller

Offline Pinski

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2012, 03:27:07 PM »
Have you considered making a Steam Beer?  Same temps, lager yeast...delicious beer. I'd say a steam with Willamette and Mt. Hood could be mighty tasty. Cheers to fermentation temp. control! :)
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Offline lornemagill

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2012, 03:38:46 PM »
i did my first pilsner recently, and really love it.  my temp controll when step mashing and lagering is not dialed i but it came out great.  will definately be doing more soon.  dont have recipe with me but it was mosly german pils with some vienna, munich and crystal 30?

Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 07:08:26 PM »
My understanding is that most kolsch uses 100% pils malt. A few may use some wheat but it is a very few. I'm not sure how many add Munich or Vienna, but the point of the beer is to make it very straw pale, so why would any of them add it? Don't get me wrong, I like a little wheat and Munich in mine sometimes .... I'm just sayin'.

The real key to this ale is the yeast. Wlp029 and the wyeast2565 are both excellent kolsch strains IMO. The difference being mainly that the wyeast strain seems to do better at cooler temps but the wlp029 is much easier to clear. The wyeast strain can be a b**** to clear. I think I prefer the wlp029 mostly because of that - you can get a crystal clear product with a little fining and no need to filter in a fairly short tme. And it tastes great.
Keith Y.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 07:13:49 PM »
Oh, and BTW, crystal hops are my favorite for this beer. That or all mittelfruh. I really like doing FWH crystal on my kolsch. Aim 25-30 BUs.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2012, 12:46:04 AM »
Thanks Major. I will stick with my first instinct on the grain bill and go with 100% pils. I will look into crystal hops as well. What's your opinion on spalt select? so do you just do a FWH? I like that to. I love a super simple beer. I feel like it's a test of my procedure like no other.

On the steam beer suggestion, I am still getting over a 6 month long period when I was developing, testing and brewing a s**t load of steam beer for some friends wedding, I just don't have the desire right now, but I do have a couple of ideas in that direction for next year.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2012, 06:00:58 AM »
I love spalter for my alt, hallertauer cultivar for my kolsch. Spalt to me is a more "sturdy" hop. You probably want something more delicate for a kolsch. That's why I like the crystal, it's very delicate, especially for an American hop. I do all FWH crystal and a smal aroma addition at WP.
Keith Y.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 06:53:01 AM »
I love spalter for my alt, hallertauer cultivar for my kolsch. Spalt to me is a more "sturdy" hop. You probably want something more delicate for a kolsch. That's why I like the crystal, it's very delicate, especially for an American hop. I do all FWH crystal and a smal aroma addition at WP.
Everyone should realize Spalt is different from Spalt Select. Related but different. Spalt select was bred to be more disease resistant.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2012, 08:36:08 AM »
Yeah, I don't really care for the select much. They have similar characteristics but the Spalter tastes better. I ordered a shipment of spalter from Hop Union last year and they sent me select. I bought a bunch of it and it took 6 months to go through it. As soon as I could I switched back to the spalter and my alt tasted much better to me.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 12:15:30 PM »
Okay, so I am working under the restriction that I want this to be an organic brew. Looking at the available varieties, crystal is out. I could get some german hallertaur mittlefruh or tradition. kinda blows the local out of the water though huh? well If this beer is coming from germany anyway, is it worth an extra 0.30$/lb for german over north american pils malt? I can see how it might be, but again, if I can keep it local and still end up with an outstanding beer...

**EDIT** to ask more questions:

Mash schedule, probably thinking a 2 step infusion, 122 (30 min), 154 (30 min) then mashout 168 (10 min) am I doing more than I need to? do I really want a 30 minute protein rest?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 12:46:35 PM by morticaixavier »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 02:03:33 PM »
If you can get organic mittlefruh use that. Highly doubt you wil be disappointed.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2012, 02:17:01 PM »
If you can get organic mittlefruh use that. Highly doubt you wil be disappointed.

Yeah, I already ordered 6 oz, seems the variety is really susceptible to pests so it's not common. I went with the weyermann pils as well. so much for local.

so the final recipe is

for 19 liters

9 lbs pils (Weyermann)

Infusion mash

30 minutes @ 122
30 minutes @ 154
10 minutes @ 168

RO water with 5 g calcium chloride

41 g (29 IBU) hallertaur mittelfruh FWH
1 tsp irish moss at 15 minutes

90 minute boil

ferment with 1 liter starter of wlp029 at 62
'lager' at 34 or as close as the fridge can manage for a couple weeks
enjoy.

any more suggestions? does the mash schedule look reasonable?

Is it a problem to leave the hops in there for the full 90 minutes? gonna use pellets so there isn't really any way to remove them, I would have to change from a FWH to a 60 minute addition.

I'm vegetarian so gelatin is out but I could try blending up some irish moss or agar in hot water to simulate that if need be.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline hoser

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 08:04:45 PM »
I'm vegetarian so gelatin is out but I could try blending up some irish moss or agar in hot water to simulate that if need be.

Biofine clear is the solution to your problem

Offline majorvices

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2012, 07:06:58 AM »
+1
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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Kolsch
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2012, 11:39:29 AM »
A short protein rest is all you need really. 10-15 minutes.  Then Id say for your sach temps go a bit lower, like 149-150.

Just brewed a Kolsch splitting the batch between the White Labs and Wyeast strains.

Used Weyermann Pils, mittlefrueh hops, and just 8 oz of vienna and 8 oz of wheat for a 10 gallon batch.

They have been lagering almost 2 weeks now. So far my preference is the White Labs strain for the reasons major mentioned.  Both came out great though! Gona give it another couple weeks lagering though.
Jason
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