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2015 Big Brew Recipe #3: Killer Kölsch

National Homebrew Day was announced before Congress on May 7, 1988. The American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created AHA Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. AHA Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May.

The 2015 AHA Big Brew recipes come from three time AHA Ninkasi Award winner and current BJCP President, Gordon Strong! This year’s beers are all medal-winning recipes from Gordon’s upcoming book, Modern Homebrew Recipes, to be released in May 2015.

If you are looking for a way to put a twist on this Kolsch recipe, take a tip from AHA Director, Gary Glass: “I recently got together with some fellow Brewers Association staff members to brew a Kolsch. Inspired by a local brewery, we decided to make a coffee variation of the Kolsch by making a concentrated batch of cold-steeped coffee that we then put in a condiment dispenser. By adding variable doses of the coffee concentrate to a glass of Kolsch, we could customize our coffee Kolsch to our own tastes.”

From Modern Homebrew Recipes: “I fell in love with this style after a visit to Cologne in 2006. I had enjoyed it before, but it didn’t seem like anything special. Trying it fresh made all the difference… The style allows for subtle changes in balance in several components (malt, hop flavor, bitterness, fruitiness), but all were hovering around moderate intensity. I won a number of NHC first round medals with this recipe, which is in the style of a Früh or Reissdorf.”

Anyone, even homebrew shops, can host and register a Big Brew event, so invite your friends and family, gather around the brew kettle and join in the global celebration of the greatest hobby there is—homebrewing!

Register an Event or Find an Event


View the Homebrew Recipes archive for past recipes posted to HomebrewersAssociation.org, as well as the Homebrewopedia for a wide selection of recipes, including past National Homebrew Competition winners.

2015 Big Brew Recipe #3: Killer Kölsch | Kölsch

Ingredients

  • For 5 gallons (18.93 L)
    • 8.5 lbs (3.9 kg) Pilsner malt
    • 3.1 oz (88 g) Vienna malt
    • 3.1 oz (88 g) Caravienne® malt
    • 0.3 oz (9 g) Liberty whole hops, 4.5% a.a. (first wort hop)
    • 1.0 oz (28 g) German Hallertauer whole hops, 4.3% a.a. (30 min)
    • 0.3 oz (9 g) Crystal whole hops, 3.5% a.a. (5 min)
    • White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch or Wyeast 2565 German Kölsch
    • Reverse osmosis water treated with 1/4 tsp 10% phosphoric acid per 5 gallons
    • 1 tsp CaCl2 in the mash

    Specifications

    • Original Gravity: 1.046
    • Final Gravity: 1.011
    • ABV: 4.6%
    • IBU: 16
    • SRM: 3

    Directions

    Mash rest steps:

    • 131°F (55°C) 10 minutes.
    • 145°F (63°C) 45 minutes.
    • 158°F (70°C) 20 minutes.
    • 168°F (76°C) 10 minutes mashout.

    Mash out at 168°F (76°C), with pre-boil wort volume of 6.5 gallons (25 L). Bring to a rolling boil for 90 minutes, add hops at specified intervals from end of boil. Chill wort to 58°F (14°C) and pitch yeast.

    Allow temp to rise to 68°F (20°C) after 4days. Lager for 2 months at 40°F (4°C).


    Extract Option

    Ingredients for 5 Gallons (18.93 L):

    • 6.5 lbs (3.0 kg) Liquid pilsen malt extract
    • 2.3 oz (65 g) Vienna malt
    • 2.3 oz (65 g) Caravienne® malt
    • 0.3 oz (9 g) Liberty whole hops, 4.5% a.a. (first wort hop)
    • 0.8 oz (23 g) German Hallertauer whole hops, 4.3% a.a. (30 min)
    • 0.3 oz (9 g) Crystal whole hops, 3.5% a.a. (5 min)
    • White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch or Wyeast 2565 German Kölsch
    • Reverse osmosis water treated with 1/4 tsp 10% phosphoric acid per 5 gallons

    Directions:

    Put 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water in the boil pot and heat to 160°F (71°C). While the water is heating, put the specialty grains (Caravienne malt and Vienna malt) into a grain bag and tie off the ends so the grains can't escape. Once the water has reached 150-170°F (65.6-76.7°C), immerse the grain bag in the water for 30 minutes. For more information on steeping speciality grains, visit the Intermediate section of Let's Brew on the AHA website.

    After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag and let it drip until it stops. Add malt extract to teh water and stir until totally dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil for 90 mintues, add hops at specified intervals from end of boil. Strain wort into sanitized fermentation vessel with 2-3 gallons (7.6-11.4 L) of pre-boiled and chilled water for a total volume of 5 gallons (18.93 L). Pitch yeast when wort temperature reaches 58°F (14°C), allowing to rise to 68°F (20°C) after 43 days to finish. Lager 2 months at 40°F (4°C).

     
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