Poll

What is the best yeast for a Kölsch?

WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch
10 (71.4%)
Wyeast 2565 Kölsch
4 (28.6%)

Total Members Voted: 13

Author Topic: Which Yeast for Kolsch?  (Read 3190 times)

Offline skyler

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Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« on: March 24, 2011, 09:56:34 PM »
I understand these are not the same strain. How different are we talking? Is one significantly better than the other? Which do you prefer? And what is your preferred fermentation temperature with that strain?

Offline jwaldner

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2011, 07:06:41 AM »
I use WLP029 with very good results and have won several medals for my Kolsch.

I ferment at 67F until complete, transfer to a secondary and leave it at 67F for 4-5 days then drop the temp down to about 34F for 6-weeks.  It comes out real clean and crisp.

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Offline ibru

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 07:53:07 AM »
I am also planning a Kolsch soon. This will be my first attempt at this style.

 I have the yeast (WLP029). I'm planning on using pils malt with a little wheat and Munich, Maybe Tetts for hops.

Do you mind sharing your grain and hops bill?

Thanks

Bruce

Offline denny

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 08:21:52 AM »
IMO, 2565 is by far the best choice.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 08:26:12 AM »
For me it's WLP029.

I've tried both and prefer WLP029. ymmv
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Offline euge

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2011, 11:41:02 AM »
I used 0029 for my first Kolsch which will be kegged or bottled today. Then I will get a taste.

The other beer I made with it was one of my best recently.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline skyler

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2011, 01:15:05 PM »
So 67F? That's warmer than I ferment any non-Belgian beer. I would have assumed that a Kölsch would be fermented in the mid-high 50's. I am brewing this for a wedding, not a competition, so I am using minimal foreign ingredients (I am also considering making it all or mostly organic, too).

I was planning on doing something like:

97.5% Pilsner Malt (Gambrinus)
2.5% Melanoidin Malt

~24 IBUs Magnum @ 60 min
~2 IBUs noble-type domestic hop @ 10 min

Mash @ 149 for 90 min

75-90 min boil
~1.047 - ~1.009

Fermented cool and then lagered at 30F for a couple months, hit with fining agents for 4-5 days, then kegged and served at a wedding in June.

As I understand it, most American homebrewers put wheat malt in their Kölsch, but I wasn't planning on doing that. My favorites in Cologne were Reissdorf and Päffgen (Gaffel was good, too). I haven't done a Kölsch before, so some pointers would be appreciated.

Offline Tristan

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2011, 01:56:17 PM »
WLP029 tastes more lager like to me with less pear flavors at 58-60 degrees.  I like both strains and IMHO you can't go wrong with either one.  It's also great for Cream Ale and Gratzer.
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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2011, 05:43:36 AM »
Both make excellent kolsches, I have brewed them side by side more times than I can count. I usually go with WLP029 though, mostly because it is easier to get the beer to clear.

I recommend making a large starter (approximate closer to a lager starter than an ale) crash cool, decant spent starter beer and pitch the slurry cold at around 58 degrees. Ferment at around 62-64 and then raise up to 66-68 when krausen starts to fall. Lager for abiout 2-3 weeks at 32 degrees and tap the keg. A little gelatin fining will help clear.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 07:33:42 AM »
Both make excellent kolsches, I have brewed them side by side more times than I can count. I usually go with WLP029 though, mostly because it is easier to get the beer to clear.

I recommend making a large starter (approximate closer to a lager starter than an ale) crash cool, decant spent starter beer and pitch the slurry cold at around 58 degrees. Ferment at around 62-64 and then raise up to 66-68 when krausen starts to fall. Lager for abiout 2-3 weeks at 32 degrees and tap the keg. A little gelatin fining will help clear.

+1

This is my main reasoning as well and both are fantastic tasting strains.
Ron Price

Offline skyler

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 10:36:37 PM »
Sounds good. White Labs is more convenient for me, anyway, so I am looking forward to using WLP029. I am pretty serious about getting this one super-clear, so I will definitely fine it in secondary (and maybe also the keg if that doesn't do it).

So with WLP029, I can get away with under a month of lagering? And how's a 2L stir-plate starter crashed, decanted, and pitched into a 5L stir-plate starter? Should be as much as the 6L mrmalty says I need (11 gallons).

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 05:57:50 AM »
I have no idea why you would secondary and keg. Doesn't make sense to me. The keg basically is a secondary, only better because you can purge the head space and store the beer under Co2. I used to sometimes us a keg with a shortened dip tube as a bright tanks, and rack the beer off that into a serving keg. But even then, usually just a slightly shortened dip tube would allow me to draw off clear beer. no secondary needed.

I rarely lager any beer that is lower than 1.060 for longer than a month. Especially not a kolch. Just no need for it IMO. I usually get wlp029 very clear in the keg (or BT) in about 2 weeks with a little gelatin finings. Of course, you have to have your water and pH dialed in perfectly for uber clear beer as well.

I think your yeast plan is sound.
Keith Y.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 06:57:51 AM »
I'll second what major said about conditioning. A secondary isn't needed as the keg acts as the secondary. I ferment this beer for about two weeks in the primary or until terminal gravity then cold crash in the primary for a couple days to a week. I then rack into a purged keg and fine with gelatin. Start the force carbonation right away in the keg. I like to lager this beer for a few weeks up to a month but it's really ready to drink right after force carbonation.
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Offline euge

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 11:08:21 AM »
Sounds good. White Labs is more convenient for me, anyway, so I am looking forward to using WLP029. I am pretty serious about getting this one super-clear, so I will definitely fine it in secondary (and maybe also the keg if that doesn't do it).

So with WLP029, I can get away with under a month of lagering? And how's a 2L stir-plate starter crashed, decanted, and pitched into a 5L stir-plate starter? Should be as much as the 6L mrmalty says I need (11 gallons).

I just kegged my first Kolsch brewed with 0029. At room temp it was crystal clear. Taste is good. Used a "stocking" to catch the yeast chunks that made their way out of the fermenter. Did a bit of force-carbing and into the kegerator; I might start drinking it tonight...
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Offline skyler

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Re: Which Yeast for Kolsch?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 11:21:55 AM »
My method of using a secondary for fining agents has been pretty good for me with beers that get trekked to events. Normally I would agree that it is easier to just fine and clear the beer in the keg, except that I need crystal clear beer to go into the keg because I will be driving the keg to a wedding site the day of the wedding and serving it there (it will get shaken up a little). Additionally I want to harvest the yeast. Since I want to have crystal clear beer go into the keg, I need to fine in the fermenter, but if I want to harvest the yeast, I don't want to have a fining agent mixed in with the yeast and trub. I understand using a keg with a shorter diptube, but that seems like essentially the same thing, but in steel instead of glass.

I don't really brew lagers or Kölsches, though I brew Altbiers from time to time. With my altbiers, I tend to rack them to secondary and lager them until I plan on serving it (then I keg and shake). Often this will take a long time, since I will have to drink down my other beers before I get to the altbier (my kegerator is a puny 2-tap system). My concern would be that, if I am fermenting fairly cool and it takes 2 weeks to finish, then it spends an additional 4-6 weeks lagering in primary, I might be pushing the limits of time beer ought to spend on its yeast.