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lanz2005

Kolsch

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I have done a lot of reading on brewing a kolsch. I gotta try it this weekend. It is a Ale that thinks its a lager

2.5 gallons

4 lbs Pilsner Malt
2 oz. Munich malt
2 oz. Wheat Malt

Boil 1/2 oz. Spalt whole hops 60 minutes
Boil 1/4 oz. Spalt whole hops 30 minutes

Wyeast 2565 Kolsch Liquid Yeast
irish moss 1/2 teaspoon

Ferment 58F 2 weeks

supposed to lager for 4 weeks at 36 degrees after carbonation

Anybody ever try a Kolsch? How did it turn out. I heard this yeast goes crazy

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I tried a Kolsch at piece brewery in Chicago Ill it was called Golden Arm my first and only, Funny thing was it tasted like Popcorn Butter I have thought about buying more at the liquid store and taste it but I'm scared.

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DesreveR wrote:

Funny thing was it tasted like Popcorn Butter I have thought about buying more at the liquid store and taste it but I'm scared.

They were doing it wrong... That is called Diacetyl, and there should not be any in a Kolsch. They fermented too hot, didn't do a rest, something... whatever it was, it was wrong...

So don't be afraid of a Kolsch based on that. That is not a Kolsch.

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I did a search for buttery off flavors when I was drinking it and found the same thing your saying, lol I'm not really scared to try it again I just haven't yet. Honestly it was a very strong buttery taste but to tell the truth it wasn't half bad I could have had a couple more but I switched to there Dunkleweizen and didn't look back.

to the OP I'd say give it a try and give us some feedback along the way.

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WLP029. Distinctive flavor cultured from an unspecified brewery in Cologne. Good stuff. Very authentic.

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There's a little restaurant here in Falls Church, VA caled Mad Fox Brewery. They do a sampling of 5 of their beers in little 4 oz glasses. 5 beer sampler for like $10-12...something like that. Anyway, the wife and I liked the Kolsch the best of the bunch and bought a growler of it.

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DesreveR wrote:

I tried a Kolsch at piece brewery in Chicago Ill it was called Golden Arm my first and only, Funny thing was it tasted like Popcorn Butter I have thought about buying more at the liquid store and taste it but I'm scared.

What Mash said. That's disacetyl and they were doing it wrong. I'm actually kind of surprised that they served it to you like that.

They probably rushed it. Kolschs ferment low, therefore yeast activity is more sluggish, and they require more time to clean up off-flavors (like diacetyl). Diacetyl is an inevitable product of fermentation, but for most styles of beer, you can't detect it because they condition out relatively quickly (Assuming proper fermentation temps).

Lagers (The cousin of Kolsch) will often/always include a "diacetyl rest" where we will raise the temperature of the beer after primary fermentation is completed with the sole purpose of increasing yeast activity to clean up the off-flavors.

I'm betting they rushed it for whatever reason. Kolschs are ales, but they have an exceptionally clean flavor profile. "Buttery Popcorn" is just unacceptable for a professional brewery.

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Christ872 wrote:

There's a little restaurant here in Falls Church, VA caled Mad Fox Brewery. They do a sampling of 5 of their beers in little 4 oz glasses. 5 beer sampler for like $10-12...something like that. Anyway, the wife and I liked the Kolsch the best of the bunch and bought a growler of it.

If you like Kolschs, Vintage 50 is a brewpub in Leesburg that has one year round (Catoctin Kolsch) that's very good.

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Hey Lanz,

Kolsch is a great beer. One of my favorites. For your recipe I would recommend doing a 90 minute boil if you can. Since you're using mainly pilsner malt, that will help drive off DMS.

Also, definitely do a diacetyl rest. For my Kolsch I ferment around 59-60 for 1 and 1/2 weeks and then raise the temp up to about 68-69 for 3 -4 days before lagering. I didn't do that the first time and had major buttery flavors as a result. Lager it for 1-2 months and it should be fantastic.

Also, not sure if you're doing BIAB, but I would mash your grains on the lower end, maybe 148-150. That will help get a lot of fermentables and help give you a nice dry finish. That gives the Kolsch a lager like crispness and taste. Also, try using very soft water or RO water. It helps give it the crispness too.

Good luck!

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Stoutmeister wrote:

Hey Lanz,

Kolsch is a great beer. One of my favorites. For your recipe I would recommend doing a 90 minute boil if you can. Since you're using mainly pilsner malt, that will help drive off DMS.

Also, definitely do a diacetyl rest. For my Kolsch I ferment around 59-60 for 1 and 1/2 weeks and then raise the temp up to about 68-69 for 3 -4 days before lagering. I didn't do that the first time and had major buttery flavors as a result. Lager it for 1-2 months and it should be fantastic.

Also, not sure if you're doing BIAB, but I would mash your grains on the lower end, maybe 148-150. That will help get a lot of fermentables and help give you a nice dry finish. That gives the Kolsch a lager like crispness and taste. Also, try using very soft water or RO water. It helps give it the crispness too.

Good luck!

great information. thank you

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I've had a commercial Kolsch that I really liked (a local brewery, Uinta, makes a seasonal Kolsch for summer months). I've never brewed one, largely because I pretty much always use dry yeasts and I'm not aware of a dry Kolsch yeast. Also, I think the temperature range is pretty similar to US-05, so I'm not sure I see a lot of difference between using a Kolsch yeast and using something like US-05 at the low end of the range.

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Kolsch is made primarily with a base of Pilsner malt to provide a nice, clean base. In addition, wheat adds a bit of interest and head-retention. Another grain like light Munich or Vienna can be added as well for some interest.
Traditional German hops are, of course, at home in this style - Tettnanger, or Hallertau for example. Some of the US variants like Northern Brewer can also be used.

The key to this style is the yeast - there are specific Kolsch style yeasts that the various companies sell for brewing Kolsch - all are fermented in the low 60's for best results.

is what brew365 says. i read many articles...all say it is the special yeast and cold fermenting that makes a difference.

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I will be brewing my Kolsch on Saturday. I appreciate all the great info you guys gave me.

When I bottle, should I let the bottles sit in the same 60F degrees, that I fermented at for a couple weeks to carbonate, and after 2 weeks put them in fridge to lager for a month? There is no "typical" ale conditioning with a Kolsch. Lager condition only

Thank you for any help

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I brewed my Kolsch finally on Saturday. OG was 1.042, I was expecting 1.044.

I pitched the yeast at 60F and it is fermenting at 60F. It didn't take off right away like most of my liquid yeast have, just some big bubbles at the top for a while, then after 36 hours the yeast is building a beautiful snow covered mountain kraussen top. It is giving off a sulfur like smell, which I read is a good sign, and will condition out quickly. It is a very light colored beer.

1 and 1/2 weeks of fermenting, then a diacetyl rest for 3 days, then bottle, carbonate, then lager at 36F for 4-5 weeks... cant wait

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