Author Topic: Kölsch spam train  (Read 2041 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2008
  • A twerp from Antwerp
    • View Profile
Kölsch spam train
« on: April 14, 2016, 12:44:49 PM »
After having been to Cologne and seeing the light after a sip of Päffgen I have decided to brew a Kölsch. I was able to find a copy of "KÖLSCH History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes" by Eric Warner and am reading the book right now. A number of decisions need to be made and it is my intention to endlessly spam you about them. So here we go with the first questions:
1. Wheat or no wheat. I bought two bottles of Kölsch (yes, bottles so not the true kind), and they both contain wheat.

2. Pils malt. I have access to 3 German malts from Weyermann:
  - extra pale premium pilsner
  - Bohemian
  - floor malted Bohemian.
Any preference?

3. WY or WL?

4. Mash scheme: 117F (47C) - 143F (62C) - 159F (71C) then mash off  or something more simple?

5. Hop scheme: 90m Perle - 50m Perle  - 10m Hersbrucker (22 IBU) or something like 60m Hallertau (24 IBU)?

6. I guess ferment @60F (16C)?

7. Then this (from Warner): "The fermentation should take four to five days before end attenuation is reached. If carbonating using priming sugar or forced carbonation, allow to end ferment. Otherwise, transfer to a pressurized aging vessel with 15% residual fermentable sugar. If possible, cool from 59 to 32 °F (15 to 0 °C) over five to seven days. Allow pressure to build in aging vessel and hold temperature at 32 °F (0 °C) for 21 days. Carbonate to 2.3 volumes for keg Kölsch and 2.5 to 2.65 volumes for bottled Kölsch. Clarify as desired, transfer to bottle or keg, and serve at 46 to 50 °F (8 to 10 °C)." Has anyone tried the latter method? Does it make a difference?
Frank P.

Staggering on the shoulders of giant dwarfs.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 01:14:36 PM »
I'll just tell you what I do. First, I don't use wheat. Of the options for pils malt, I'd go with the Bohemian, it'll work fine. I really think you'll get the yeast character you're looking for by going with WY2565 - it has the subtle white grape character that I think of in good kolsch. Other strains are more bland IMO. Personally, I don't step mash kolsch. A mash @ 150F for 75-90 mins works just fine IMO. I shoot for right around 23 IBU, added as FWH. I use Mittelfrueh or Hersbrucker. Sometimes I might or might not add a small amount (1 oz) of same near the end of boil. I cool to 60F, hold 62F for 3 days, then ramp a couple degrees/day to the upper 60s. 2 or 3 weeks of cold lagering is beneficial, as 2565 is slow to clear. I usually gelatin fine as well.
  There you go. I'm sure other brewers might do it differently, but this makes a great beer.
Jon H.

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3484
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 01:27:25 PM »
I'll just tell you what I do. First, I don't use wheat. Of the options for pils malt, I'd go with the Bohemian, it'll work fine. I really think you'll get the yeast character you're looking for by going with WY2565 - it has the subtle white grape character that I think of in good kolsch. Other strains are more bland IMO. Personally, I don't step mash kolsch. A mash @ 150F for 75-90 mins works just fine IMO. I shoot for right around 23 IBU, added as FWH. I use Mittelfrueh or Hersbrucker. Sometimes I might or might not add a small amount (1 oz) of same near the end of boil. I cool to 60F, hold 62F for 3 days, then ramp a couple degrees/day to the upper 60s. 2 or 3 weeks of cold lagering is beneficial, as 2565 is slow to clear. I usually gelatin fine as well.
  There you go. I'm sure other brewers might do it differently, but this makes a great beer.
I have a Kolsch in the keg right now that REFUSES to clear. I've dosed it twice with gelatin. I used 2565. Is this normal in your experience? It's ridiculous.

But yeah, I did a step mash on mine, same as I do with my lagers - 145F for 60 minutes, 160F for 60 minutes, 60 minute boil. I totally get the subtle white grape character with that yeast. It's good, but very annoyed it won't clear. It's been a couple weeks now.
And, I hope this wasn't a mistake, but I targeted 5.4 pH and added 3mL lactic acid to the kettle to bring the pH down. It doesn't take sour or anything in the keg, so... I probably should've just targeted 5.3 in the mash and left it alone after that.

I'd go with Bohemian pilsner malt, skip the wheat (don't know where this came from and why). Kolsch is a cousin to Munich Helles, slightly higher in IBU and with an ale yeast. No reason for the wheat. But who am I to argue with the Germans on that... I just don't see it as necessary.

I'd go with Hallertau at 60, or FWH with a bit and add a bit more at 60 minutes. Don't need to get too complex on the hop additions for this.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline homoeccentricus

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2008
  • A twerp from Antwerp
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 01:27:49 PM »
All you guys seem to americanize by definition, so not sure whether you can be trusted ;)
Frank P.

Staggering on the shoulders of giant dwarfs.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 01:31:14 PM »
I'll just tell you what I do. First, I don't use wheat. Of the options for pils malt, I'd go with the Bohemian, it'll work fine. I really think you'll get the yeast character you're looking for by going with WY2565 - it has the subtle white grape character that I think of in good kolsch. Other strains are more bland IMO. Personally, I don't step mash kolsch. A mash @ 150F for 75-90 mins works just fine IMO. I shoot for right around 23 IBU, added as FWH. I use Mittelfrueh or Hersbrucker. Sometimes I might or might not add a small amount (1 oz) of same near the end of boil. I cool to 60F, hold 62F for 3 days, then ramp a couple degrees/day to the upper 60s. 2 or 3 weeks of cold lagering is beneficial, as 2565 is slow to clear. I usually gelatin fine as well.
  There you go. I'm sure other brewers might do it differently, but this makes a great beer.
I have a Kolsch in the keg right now that REFUSES to clear. I've dosed it twice with gelatin. I used 2565. Is this normal in your experience? It's ridiculous.

But yeah, I did a step mash on mine, same as I do with my lagers - 145F for 60 minutes, 160F for 60 minutes, 60 minute boil. I totally get the subtle white grape character with that yeast. It's good, but very annoyed it won't clear. It's been a couple weeks now.
And, I hope this wasn't a mistake, but I targeted 5.4 pH and added 3mL lactic acid to the kettle to bring the pH down. It doesn't take sour or anything in the keg, so... I probably should've just targeted 5.3 in the mash and left it alone after that.

I'd go with Bohemian pilsner malt, skip the wheat (don't know where this came from and why). Kolsch is a cousin to Munich Helles, slightly higher in IBU and with an ale yeast. No reason for the wheat. But who am I to argue with the Germans on that... I just don't see it as necessary.

I'd go with Hallertau at 60, or FWH with a bit and add a bit more at 60 minutes. Don't need to get too complex on the hop additions for this.


Yeah, 2565 is stubborn sometimes. Crashing @ 30-32F for a  week or two really helps. I always use gelatin with 2565, too. To me it's totally worth it when it clears, though.
Jon H.

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1854
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 02:19:36 PM »
#7 is beyond what most homebrewers can do.  Stainless steel fermenters are pretty rare for homebrewers.  This probably has something to do with Rheinheitsgebot than with better beer.

Offline homoeccentricus

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2008
  • A twerp from Antwerp
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 02:22:17 PM »
#7 is beyond what most homebrewers can do.  Stainless steel fermenters are pretty rare for homebrewers.  This probably has something to do with Rheinheitsgebot than with better beer.

Yes, I understand it's Rheinheitsgebot. But in principle it can be done when fermenting in kegs, as I do?
Frank P.

Staggering on the shoulders of giant dwarfs.

Offline Pinski

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1944
  • Portland, Oregon
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2016, 02:41:03 PM »
After having been to Cologne and seeing the light after a sip of Päffgen I have decided to brew a Kölsch.

I found our visit to Päffgen inspirational as well, staff was very friendly and gave me a private impromptu tour of the small but beautiful brewery. 
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3250
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2016, 03:06:51 PM »
I have made successful medal winning kolsch's  both with and without wheat malt. When I have used wheat malt, it was only a 1/2 # in a 5 gallon batch.  Hardly noticeable after a decent lagering period. Both versions have a small portion of vienna malt as well for some extra bready/toastiness.

I think next time I will brew one with some kolsch malt instead of the vienna just to see what it brings to the table as I really enjoyed it in my latest helles.

Online The Beerery

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1556
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2016, 03:24:17 PM »
All you guys seem to americanize by definition, so not sure whether you can be trusted ;)

True words my friend.

Online The Beerery

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1556
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2016, 03:24:59 PM »
#7 is beyond what most homebrewers can do.  Stainless steel fermenters are pretty rare for homebrewers.  This probably has something to do with Rheinheitsgebot than with better beer.

Not true at all. I do it on every batch.

Any fermenter can be used, then a transfer made when the proper remaining extract is left to a keg is all that it means.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 03:55:53 PM by The Beerery »

Online The Beerery

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1556
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2016, 03:25:54 PM »
#7 is beyond what most homebrewers can do.  Stainless steel fermenters are pretty rare for homebrewers.  This probably has something to do with Rheinheitsgebot than with better beer.

Yes, I understand it's Rheinheitsgebot. But in principle it can be done when fermenting in kegs, as I do?

Absolutly, however 1% extract remaining, spund and start cooling. That will net you 2.5ish vols.

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1833
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2016, 04:26:52 PM »
7. Then this (from Warner): "The fermentation should take four to five days before end attenuation is reached. If carbonating using priming sugar or forced carbonation, allow to end ferment. Otherwise, transfer to a pressurized aging vessel with 15% residual fermentable sugar. If possible, cool from 59 to 32 °F (15 to 0 °C) over five to seven days. Allow pressure to build in aging vessel and hold temperature at 32 °F (0 °C) for 21 days. Carbonate to 2.3 volumes for keg Kölsch and 2.5 to 2.65 volumes for bottled Kölsch. Clarify as desired, transfer to bottle or keg, and serve at 46 to 50 °F (8 to 10 °C)." Has anyone tried the latter method? Does it make a difference?

It's not about Kolsch specifically, but you might find this interesting:

https://edelstoffquest.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/brewing-a-bavarian-helles-part-6-4-classic-secondary-fermentation/
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1854
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2016, 04:54:24 PM »
#7 is beyond what most homebrewers can do.  Stainless steel fermenters are pretty rare for homebrewers.  This probably has something to do with Rheinheitsgebot than with better beer.

Yes, I understand it's Rheinheitsgebot. But in principle it can be done when fermenting in kegs, as I do?
Sure.

Sent from my XT1095 using Tapatalk


Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: Kölsch spam train
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2016, 07:00:04 PM »
After having been to Cologne and seeing the light after a sip of Päffgen I have decided to brew a Kölsch. I was able to find a copy of "KÖLSCH History, Brewing Techniques, Recipes" by Eric Warner and am reading the book right now. A number of decisions need to be made and it is my intention to endlessly spam you about them. So here we go with the first questions:
1. Wheat or no wheat. I bought two bottles of Kölsch (yes, bottles so not the true kind), and they both contain wheat.

2. Pils malt. I have access to 3 German malts from Weyermann:
  - extra pale premium pilsner
  - Bohemian
  - floor malted Bohemian.
Any preference?

3. WY or WL?

4. Mash scheme: 117F (47C) - 143F (62C) - 159F (71C) then mash off  or something more simple?

5. Hop scheme: 90m Perle - 50m Perle  - 10m Hersbrucker (22 IBU) or something like 60m Hallertau (24 IBU)?

6. I guess ferment @60F (16C)?

7. Then this (from Warner): "The fermentation should take four to five days before end attenuation is reached. If carbonating using priming sugar or forced carbonation, allow to end ferment. Otherwise, transfer to a pressurized aging vessel with 15% residual fermentable sugar. If possible, cool from 59 to 32 °F (15 to 0 °C) over five to seven days. Allow pressure to build in aging vessel and hold temperature at 32 °F (0 °C) for 21 days. Carbonate to 2.3 volumes for keg Kölsch and 2.5 to 2.65 volumes for bottled Kölsch. Clarify as desired, transfer to bottle or keg, and serve at 46 to 50 °F (8 to 10 °C)." Has anyone tried the latter method? Does it make a difference?

I'm no expert but here's what I do:

1. No - keep it simple.
2. I've tried 1&2, both fine. Definitely use a pilsner malt.
3. Personal preference for WL flavour. Clears better too.
4. Single infusion 66C.
5. Any noble hops.
6. 15-18C. WL can go to 13C but watch out for stalling prematurely. I do a diacetyl rest.
7. I bottle with priming sugar and condition at least one month to attenuate to maximum dryness.