Kolsch Advice?

I read all of the threads related to Kolsch before attempting to brew my extract Kolsch kit so I knew it was going to take time to get the best results. I made a starter from Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast. It has been in primary for a little over a month. The first three weeks plus at 57*-60* ambient, then three or four days at 68* and now back to 57*-60* for about a week.

My plan is to leave it, as is, for another four weeks or so, then cold crash it for two or three days at 36* (that’s the coldest temp that I can maintain), then bottle. I would like it if anyone with more experience could confirm or correct my plan. Also I’m wondering if, after all these cold temps, there will be enough suspended yeast to carbonate after bottling.

Nothing wrong with that much aging; sounds like it will be good. Just to confirm though, do you have it in a bucket? You may want to lager it in a carboy, keg or similar where you can keep it from getting too much O2.

I regularly bulk age lagers for 4-6 weeks and find no need to add more yeast. You will be going longer. If you aren’t sure, it won’t hurt to add half a teaspoon of dried yeast before bottling.

I would cold crash it now and keep it 35* for at least 4 weeks.

Thanks for the advise. I’m going to take a look. If it’s still cloudy I may add a little gelatin and give it a week or so more at 59* then move it and let it lager at 35* for at least a month before bottling,

The gelatine won’t help it if it unless you cold crash it first, then keep it cold for the gelatine. I’ve generally found that simply cold crashing is enough to make my beers crystal clear.

Kolsch yeast is a resilient bastard. Cold crash and add gelatin or isenglass for a great clear beer. Honestly you’ll get a lot of varying opinions on lagering, cold crashing and what not so just pick on and try it out to see what works for you. I’ve made great extract kolsch kits without cold crashing or lagering years ago and great ones all grain with clarifiers and bulk aging in the freezer. Whatever you do, if you hit fermentation temps and had enough yeast (which it seems you did) you’ll really enjoy this amazingly drinkable beer.

I did add Whirlfloc to the boil for the last 15 minutes. That may be enough to clear the Kolsch well.

Thanks again. I am finding more and more that there are lots of variations of methods all of which seem to produce good beer.

I took a look this afternoon and the Kolsch looked great. It was almost perfectly clear. Moved it to secondary and put it away for lagering. Checked the gravity and had a taste. Very tasty and very blond. I have never saved the yeast cake before but I couldn’t resist saving this one. I’ll have to come up with something worthy to brew. I have an American Rye next on my list but it would seem like a waste to use the Kolsch yeast for that. Maybe a cream ale. Any other suggestions?

Cream ale would work well. You could also do something light and with honey (even a honey kolsch).

I’ve even heard people using it in a pale ale and ferming a little warmer for some esters.