Author Topic: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question  (Read 471 times)

Offline banjo-guy

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Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« on: October 31, 2014, 09:24:01 AM »
I have been fermenting a Kolsch for 7 days at 60 degrees and 12 days at 61.5. My last gravity reading was still not steady and I am letting it ferment out.
I am using the recipe from Brewing Classic Styles. I made a starter using the Wyeast Kolsch yeast and am brewing 3 gallons.
I racked to a secondary after I week and raised the fermenting temp slightly to 61.5 degrees.

When fermentation is complete I plan on cold crashing/ conditioning for 2-3 weeks. I have a couple of questions about the next phase of this Kolsch.
1. Do I need to keep the beer at 35-40 degrees for 3 weeks to clear the beer or can I get away with less time.
2. Will I have enough yeast to bottle carb this beer after the yeast drops or should I add yeast?
3. If I add yeast should it be something clean fermenting such as US-05 or should I use the Wyeast Kolsch yeast?

Thanks everyone. I have very few posts on this board but read it almost every day.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2014, 09:41:14 AM »
1.  A week or two at or near 32F will be fine.

2.  Yes, there'll be plenty of yeast left to do the job nicely. Just be sure to bottle condition @ room temp obviously.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2014, 09:42:27 AM »
When I ferment beer that needs lagering time (currently my Altbier), I will bottle the beer first, allow it to carbonate, and then lager it for the recommended time.

So in your situation, I would wait until you have a fully fermented beer (no diacetyl) and then bottle. After giving it 2-3 weeks at 70 to carbonate, toss it in the fridge and wait a week or two, and then start sampling.

As a bit of advice, I would recommend not transferring beer that is still actively fermenting to secondary. It can cause the slow ferment that you are describing, because you removed most of the yeast while they were still eating.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2014, 10:05:35 AM »
If I bottle right after fermentation and put it in the fridge for two to three weeks is that lagering in the bottle? Is there a downside to doing it that way instead of lagering and then bottling?
I am wondering if the downside would be more trub in the bottle.


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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2014, 11:41:41 AM »
Several things:

Wyeast 2565 is a very slow fermenting yeast, and very slow to clear.  In my experience it will take a minimum of 5 weeks to finish and clear, and most likely closer to 6 or 7 weeks... and that's at about 60 F.  I wouldn't cold crash it to the 30s until then.  Give it a good 5 or 6 weeks before even thinking about chilling it.

You'll have plenty of yeast left to carbonate, even after 6 or 7 weeks.  Don't add any more yeast.

I agree that it would have been best not to rack to secondary.  This is a beer that will benefit from staying in the primary for a full 5 to 7 weeks.  Don't worry about autolysis... autolysis doesn't kick in for at least 8 or 9 weeks... and even then, it might take closer to 12 weeks.  It's not a complete myth, but the timeframe of when it happens is a lot longer than many people think, and this is proven true by hundreds of brewers.

The quicker you bottle, the more trub you will get.

Bottom line: Be patient.  Especially when using 2565, you need to be patient.

P.S.  If the yeast won't clear even after about 6 weeks, you can add gelatin to knock it out.  Gelatin is extremely effective and will take almost all the yeast out in 24-48 hours.
Dave

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Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2014, 01:17:00 PM »
Wow. I had no idea that this yeast would  take 5-6 weeks to finish fermentation. It looks like my fermentation fridge will be tied up for a few more weeks.

The gravity ( according to my refractometer is) 1.005. That's down from an OG of 1.047.
I should use a hydrometer to check that number but that's below the expected FG of 1.009.
If I get two or three of the same refractometer readings over a few days can I assume that its done fermenting and proceed to cold crash?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2014, 08:16:29 AM by banjo-guy »

Offline Gugs44

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2014, 04:28:33 PM »
I made a lager recently and after 80% fermented out I did my D rest for 4 days at room temp, then bottled and conditioned at room temperature for 8 days and lagered it then in the bottle for 6 weeks, came out perfectly clear and great carbonation


Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2014, 05:43:31 PM »
If I get two or three of the same refractometer readings over a few days can I assume that its done fermenting and proceed to cold crash?

Yeah, I could be wrong, it might not take 5 weeks.  If the gravity keeps steady for 3 days or so then it should be safe to cold crash.  If it changes by one single point then wait longer.
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2014, 07:03:34 PM »
Thanks for your help. I've been following the recipe and instructions from Brewing Classic Styles. He suggests moving to a secondary after three or four days. I see now that that's not always the best thing to do.



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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 06:51:57 AM »

The gravity ( according to my refractometer is) 1.005. That's down from an OG of 1.047.
I should use a hygrometer to check that number but that's below the expected FG of 1.009.
If I get two or three of the same refractometer readings over a few days can I assume that its done fermenting and proceed to cold crash?

As far as I know, the refractometer is much better for reading OG than FG. But you can use it to determine the stability of the FG, just don't pay too much attention to the value. Get that from your hydrometer.

Offline banjo-guy

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Re: Kolsch and Bottle Carb. Question
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2014, 08:13:47 AM »
I just use the Refractometer to determine if fermentation is done by comparing readings over  multiple days (as you said ).  For an accurate FG I'll use the hydrometer.