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Author Topic: Kolsch Grain Choices  (Read 1702 times)

Offline HopDen

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Kolsch Grain Choices
« on: September 28, 2023, 04:32:35 pm »
Is it acceptable to the style to brew a Kolsch Style beer using floor malted pilsner grain instead of German pilsner malt? Reading the traditional ingredients for this style on BJCP website it claims/states German pilsner, pale or Vienna malt and a "small" amount of wheat. Is a Kolsch beer traditionally brewed using a single malt? Or is it brewed with a combination of said grains?

I realize that it is my choice how to brew  but wanted some input as to what the norm is. I like drifting out of the lane on tradition (after learning the style) but since I don't brew this style pretty much at all I wanted some opinions from the crowd.



Offline Richard

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2023, 07:16:51 pm »
I don't know what the norm is, but I my opinion is that floor-malted pilsner is fine. My first Kolsch recipe was developed with the help of a Kolsch fanatic who works at my LHBS and had Weyermann floor-malted Bohemian pilsner and 1 lb wheat. It was fantastic, and when it tastes that good I don't care if it is traditional or true to style.
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Offline denny

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2023, 08:04:26 am »
Is it acceptable to the style to brew a Kolsch Style beer using floor malted pilsner grain instead of German pilsner malt? Reading the traditional ingredients for this style on BJCP website it claims/states German pilsner, pale or Vienna malt and a "small" amount of wheat. Is a Kolsch beer traditionally brewed using a single malt? Or is it brewed with a combination of said grains?

I realize that it is my choice how to brew  but wanted some input as to what the norm is. I like drifting out of the lane on tradition (after learning the style) but since I don't brew this style pretty much at all I wanted some opinions from the crowd.

Of course it is! I'd even say you could use some of the American pils malts.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2023, 08:39:42 am »
The flavor's not going to be 100% the same (just like a malt substitution between 2 different maltsters), but you can use floor-malted pilsner in any recipe that calls for pilsner malt without an issue.

Side note - I don't brew a lot of Kölsch, but I never considered using Vienna malt until I read this post. That sounds delicious, I might have to try it soon.
Eric B.

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Offline HopDen

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2023, 04:03:13 pm »
The flavor's not going to be 100% the same (just like a malt substitution between 2 different maltsters), but you can use floor-malted pilsner in any recipe that calls for pilsner malt without an issue.

Side note - I don't brew a lot of Kölsch, but I never considered using Vienna malt until I read this post. That sounds delicious, I might have to try it soon.

Agree. I am leaning towards the floor malted and some vienna but not sure on the percentages. I might go over 50% on the vienna but I'm early in my recipe design. Like Denny said above, in using american pils, I just might use vienna malt that is local. Hell I might go all local malts!

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2023, 05:54:40 pm »
The great thing about kölsch in homebrew is that you have some latitude in how you want to brew it. After some iterations, I found that 95% pilsner malt and 5% light Munich malt hit the flavor spots I crave. Your tastes may vary...an experiment with Vienna would probably be neat! Personally, I don't want too much character on the malt side, because kölsch should be a "delicate" style (in my opinion). Too much Vienna might throw things out of balance for me. But, likely worth a try if you are curious.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2023, 10:11:04 am by Andy Farke »
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Offline denny

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2023, 08:24:13 am »
People often seem to think/imply that floor malted  is better. Is it? Why? Is it just the romanticism of the name?
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2023, 08:47:03 am »
It costs more so it must be better, right?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2023, 08:49:29 am »
People often seem to think/imply that floor malted  is better. Is it? Why? Is it just the romanticism of the name?
Yeah, it's great marketing.

"They make a plain Pilsner, and a Floor Malted Pilsner. The Floor Pilsner must be the premium stuff, so I want that."
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Offline Richard

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2023, 08:55:40 am »
People often seem to think/imply that floor malted  is better. Is it? Why? Is it just the romanticism of the name?

I don't know that it is necessarily better in all cases, but I definitely love the Weyermann one. I have heard that each malting facility breeds its own microbe population on the floor that gives their malt a unique flavor, for better or worse.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2023, 04:02:07 pm »
Definitely don't know but am anxiously awaiting!!  :) So let me know!!

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2023, 09:42:08 am »
People often seem to think/imply that floor malted  is better. Is it? Why? Is it just the romanticism of the name?

IME floor malted= inconsistent compared to the "normal" stuff

Offline erockrph

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2023, 10:15:24 am »
People often seem to think/imply that floor malted  is better. Is it? Why? Is it just the romanticism of the name?

IME floor malted= inconsistent compared to the "normal" stuff

It would be interesting to compare the spec sheets from a few lots of Weyermann Floor-Malted Pilsner vs their Pilsner to see if the lot-to-lot variation on the various parameters is wider on the Floor-Malted. I feel like there is more variation on a kernel-to-kernel basis, but I'm not sold that these differences don't average out over a whole lot number.
Eric B.

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Offline Richard

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2023, 02:19:00 pm »
My local maltster, Admiral Maltings in Alameda, CA (https://admiralmaltings.com/) has a brand-new floor-malting facility. They started with one and now have expanded and put in another floor. They buried pipes for hot water in the floor so they can control the temperature. They say their process is a mixture of modern technology and traditional practices. They are definitely doing something right because their business is booming. Sierra Nevada hired them to malt some grain grown on SN land, so the malt is exclusively for SN - they call it their estate malt. I have been meaning to go by and take one of the malt house tours but haven't gotten to it. I have used their malt and it is wonderful.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Kolsch Grain Choices
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2023, 04:34:56 pm »
My local maltster, Admiral Maltings in Alameda, CA (https://admiralmaltings.com/) has a brand-new floor-malting facility. They started with one and now have expanded and put in another floor. They buried pipes for hot water in the floor so they can control the temperature. They say their process is a mixture of modern technology and traditional practices. They are definitely doing something right because their business is booming. Sierra Nevada hired them to malt some grain grown on SN land, so the malt is exclusively for SN - they call it their estate malt. I have been meaning to go by and take one of the malt house tours but haven't gotten to it. I have used their malt and it is wonderful.

SN used to ship thier malt to Briess for malting and have it shipped back. Briess would do a small batch for them, thier main suppliers didn't want to try that small of a quantity.

Admiral will do it, and less petrol will be burned, which matches SN's sensibilities on the environment.
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