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Any Advice on Brewing a Kolsch?

I"m going to brew a kolsch soon and I was wondering if anyone had any advice on brewing this style of beer.

I’d ferment it around 58-60 degrees. When it’s finished, rack it to a secondary and lager it in the mid 30°s for 3 weeks or so. It’s a very light, delicate beer so any off flavors will really come through, fermenting at the low end of temperatures and minding your sanitation is key.

+1 to Glugmaster. I’ve brewed kolsch seasonally for the last two years, and it’s a fantastic beer to take you through the summer. WY2565 is nice. Keep it simple, give it plenty of time to cold condition (kegs are great) and enjoy!

Just wondering, what final gravity have you achieved? Its been three weeks at 69 degrees and my FG is at 1.0145. Last week when i checked it, it was at 1018. My expectation is that it would go down to 1.012. How off am I on this one?

I’m thinking of instead of racking it to the secondary, just racking it to the keg. But this will be based off of how much this beer clarifies. Currently, it is still fairly cloudy looking.

I just lagered mine yesterday and it finished at 1.013 with us-05 yeast.

Oh, i just noticed that you didn’t use the Kolsch yeast. Was there a reason why you didn’t?

Me loves some Kolsch. Check out this recent thread:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=108273

The NB recipe for Kolsch uses a Kolsch yeast; the honey kolsch uses the American Wheat yeast. Anybody know why? Anybody brewed both and compared them?

Would the kolsch yeast work with the honey version?

oh crap! Does kolsch have a yeasty taste like wheat beers??!! Please tell me it doesn’t!

I’ve never brewed one but I believe they say it has a distinct winey character from the yeast.
After long cold conditioning the esters mellow and it gets lager crisp.

My advice…brew it often. BMC drinkers love it and it goes fast.

If you don’t use a kolsch yeast it’s not a kolsch, the yeast makes is what makes it a kolsch. If you use and american ale yeast it is a cream ale…

If you are brewing AG do a 90 minute boil and ferment at the low end for the yeast (55 - 60)

[quote=“Monster Mash”]If you don’t use a kolsch yeast it’s not a kolsch, the yeast makes is what makes it a kolsch. If you use and american ale yeast it is a cream ale…

If you are brewing AG do a 90 minute boil and ferment at the low end for the yeast (55 - 60)[/quote]
If you’re not brewing it in Köln, it’s not a kölsch. :blah:
When I got the honey kölsch extract kit, it came with US-05.

[quote=“mppatriots”]Just wondering, what final gravity have you achieved? Its been three weeks at 69 degrees and my FG is at 1.0145. Last week when i checked it, it was at 1018. My expectation is that it would go down to 1.012. How off am I on this one?

I’m thinking of instead of racking it to the secondary, just racking it to the keg. But this will be based off of how much this beer clarifies. Currently, it is still fairly cloudy looking.[/quote]I made 44 gallons and here are the stats on mine (using WY2565 Kolsch yeast):

OG: 1.050
FG (1st batch): 1.009 (slightly cloudy)
FG (2nd batch): 1.006 (brilliantly clear)
IBU: 27
SRM: 3

I fermented 22 gallons at 62F for 2 weeks then brewed 22 more and pitched on the yeast cakes. Then I moved the first to kegs at 35-40F to brighten up for 4 weeks and then transferred to serving kegs after that. Last Saturday, we had the first keg at a Euchre party and the beer was a great hit. OF course we drank from Kolsch glasses (Stange).

The simplicity of the grain bill and hops has me intrigued but… I cannot easily ferment at 60-65. The best I can do in my fermenting arrangement is about 75. Is this totally NOT okay?

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]The simplicity of the grain bill and hops has me intrigued but… I cannot easily ferment at 60-65. The best I can do in my fermenting arrangement is about 75. Is this totally NOT okay?[/quote]I would say definitely not OK. If you are doing 5 gallons, you could make a swamp cooler. It is basically a large tub filled with cold water and you rotate ice bottles 2-3 times per day.

Thanks MB, I’ve read about a lot of guys doing that. But it seems quite the task for XX weeks. It’s too bad there’s no such thing as an electric ‘cooling’ blanket. Or better yet, having your set up :slight_smile:

That was why I didn’t make Kolsch or lagers for so many years. It can be a real PITA.

I have been lucky to try Kolsch and like its simplicity as well. Could anyone suggest a near comparison that could handle higher ferm temps?
Thanks, Mike

Just realized that i said that i fermented at 69 degrees, that was wrong i actually fermented at 59. 69 would be way too high based on what others have said.

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