Author Topic: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting  (Read 13564 times)

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2012, 07:05:23 AM »
I've said it many times fore, that strain will stall if you don't warm it up over 62 degrees near the end.

But, realistically, I don't think you could notice much difference between 1.013 and, say, 1.011. It will taste less sweet when it is carbonated. Carb it up and drink it!
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1163
    • View Profile
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2012, 11:24:45 AM »
I had problems with Wyeast's Kolsch yeast (2565) the first time I used it. Underattenuated with a bit of acetylaldehyde.

I make a starter for this yeast and pitch closer to lager temps. I'll start around 62F, but I do a diacetyl rest up to 65F to make sure it finishes completely and cleans up all the fermentation intermediates.

To be safe, I'll do this for any beer that doesn't have much to hide behind (kolsch, cream ale, lagers, even low-alpha pales).

@southhousebrew

Indianapolis, IN

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments:
http://southhousepilotbrewery.blogspot.com/

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2012, 12:15:28 PM »
You could do a forced fermentation test to see if it's done or not.  Take a sample, put it on a stir plate, warm it up, give it some fresh well-attenuating yeast (dry is ok), and see if the gravity changes after a day or two.  If you watched the Brew Masters TV show, they basically showed their lab tech doing it when a batch stalled.

Might be worth figuring this out before trying to "fix" a beer that might not be broken.  If the beer is at its limit of fermentability, about all you can do to lower the FG is to add water or add something that can eat what's left in your beer (e.g., Brett -- but that would make a pretty crappy Kolsch).

I normally step-mash my Kolsches; that might give you some additional fermentability in future batches.  You did add some wheat; that might need some help being fully reduced to fermentable sugars.

It could taste sweet to you because of low IBUs or low carbonation.  Malt, unbalanced by hops, tastes malty but many pick it up as sweet.  More carbonation lightens the impression of body and can add a bit of a carbonic bite that can help offset perceived heaviness or sweetness.  You can fix that post-boil.  You could also add a splash of a dry, bitter Pilsner (got any Jever lying around?) and see if that reduces the impression of sweetness.  If so, you know you need to bump up the IBUs next time.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline gsandel

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
  • www.onbeer.blogspot.com
    • View Profile
    • On Beer
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2012, 12:54:05 PM »
My experience (this week) with Wyeast's Kolsch yeast on an American Wheat was this:

Pitched two smack packs in 12 gallons of 1.048 wort at 65 degrees.  Yeast was dated a week or so before, so fresh.  My ambient fermentation temp is 65 degrees, but this yeast went gangbusters, rose to about 80 degrees for 1 day, dropped to 72 on 2nd day, and back into mid 60's by 3rd (and done).  Finished at 1.011.  I let it go another 4 days at 65 to clean up and now lagering in the upper 30's.

I never had that yeast spike in temp like that, but it finished where I thought it should (based on my experience with this recipe and yeast in my brewery).

I just worry about the high fermentation-caused temp having the yeast throw some off flavors.
You wouldn't believe the things I've seen...

Offline beersabound

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 08:36:48 PM »
Cool. I am adding a Thermapen and stir plate to my brewing list.

I have never done a forced fermentation test. Good to know about.

I've got it sitting at room temp now and will check the gravity in a few days and then lager it.

Thanks again!

Online Pinski

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1552
  • Portland, Oregon
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 09:49:03 PM »
Cool. I am adding a Thermapen and stir plate to my brewing list.
You won't regret this decision.
Thank you BEER!

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2012, 09:53:58 AM »
Cool. I am adding a Thermapen and stir plate to my brewing list.
You won't regret this decision.

+1  And, as a bonus, you can use it for, you know, cooking...
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline beersabound

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2012, 10:17:46 PM »
For anyone who cares, after setting it at room temp for a week the gravity is 1.010. So it dropped three points. And that rocks.

So, I racked it into kegs and they are chilling at 40F.  :D

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6300
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2012, 05:17:57 AM »
I recommend cold conditioning it at 38 degree or colder for at least 2 weeks. A little fining like Biofine clear or even gelatin will help drop the yeast.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8678
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2012, 06:07:29 AM »
I recommend cold conditioning it at 38 degree or colder for at least 2 weeks. A little fining like Biofine clear or even gelatin will help drop the yeast.

+1

Cold conditioning really makes a difference with this beer.  I like 4 weeks in the lagering chamber. The amount of time is a personal choice as long as the beer can condition at lagering temp for at least a couple weeks.
Ron Price

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2012, 07:16:35 AM »
I agree with both comments about doing what you can to clarify it, and to lager it sufficiently.  I normally go 4 weeks at 38-40F, and use some kind of finings (what I use varies, just about anything works if it drops yeast).  Kolsch is normally filtered, and clarity is an important part of the style.  That yeast is very powdery, so it almost never will floc on its own, at least not in the time before the beer starts to go off.  Drink it young, but don't rush the cold conditioning.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2012, 07:21:39 AM »
I usually "lager" in the bottle since I only have one fermentation freezer. After it hits terminal gravity I'll drop the temp in the freezer to around 36* for a week or so, then bottle it, let it carb, and then put it in the fridge for a few weeks before I start drinking it.

Would it be better to lager in bulk?
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2012, 07:25:42 AM »
If you're bottle conditioning, it's basically the same as lagering in bulk.  However, I doubt you'd get it clear enough by just bottle conditioning.  If that's OK with you, then it probably doesn't matter much.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline nateo

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2162
  • Aachen, DE
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2012, 07:39:01 AM »
If you're bottle conditioning, it's basically the same as lagering in bulk.  However, I doubt you'd get it clear enough by just bottle conditioning.  If that's OK with you, then it probably doesn't matter much.

I use gelatin finings while it's cold crashing in primary, then I'll bottle it with a more flocculant yeast (like a Prise de Mousse). I don't personally care about clarity all that much, but I like knowing the "proper" way to do things, so I know what advice I'm ignoring.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline scott

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: Help my Kolsch finish fermenting
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2012, 07:59:13 AM »
I'm also making my first Kolsch.  I've been lagering it for about 2 weeks at 35 F.  I plan to lager for another 2 weeks.  When I bottle do I need to add more yeast, or will there be enough suspended to ferment the priming sugar?  I am not planning on adding any fining agents.

I fermented this batch at around 56-58 F then slowly raised the temp to 65 F, where it stayed for 3 days, then I cooled it to 35.
Scott