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Kölsch All Grain

Does anyone happen to have a tried and true all grain Kölsch recipe that they can recommend to me? I would like to try my hand at one this summer before it passes me by.

Thanks,
Joe

90% pilsner malt
10% wheat malt
30 IBUs of something noble
mash at 150
WLP029 fermented in the low 60s.

I’d suggest something similar but with less wheat and hops.

95-100% German pils malt
0-5% German wheat malt

IBUs to 24 with German noble like Hallertau, Spalt, etc, you can sneak in a small middle addition for a hint of hop flavor.

Tried and true and my Kolsch wife feels it is the real deal.
90% pils
10% wheat
1.047OG
20 ibus (kolsch aren’t bitter, rather very soft and easy drinking)
Mash low so it’s very dry, around 148F for 90 min

Use a koksch yeast only at 62-64f, any colder and the kolsch character, that is majority yeast derived, won’t come through IMHO.

Then lager for at least 7 weeks and serve in a proper Kolsch stange.

Enjoy!!!

Thank you all for the great advice. I have seen some recipes that go for 100% pilsner malt but noticed that each of you recommend wheat as well. Out of curiosity have any of you tried a 100% pilsner version and if so, what did the wheat bring to the table that you preferred?

Thanks,
Joe

[quote=“westcoastbrewer”]Thank you all for the great advice. I have seen some recipes that go for 100% pilsner malt but noticed that each of you recommend wheat as well. Out of curiosity have any of you tried a 100% pilsner version and if so, what did the wheat bring to the table that you preferred?

Thanks,
Joe[/quote]

For me a very very subtle tart finish.

[quote=“westcoastbrewer”]Thank you all for the great advice. I have seen some recipes that go for 100% pilsner malt but noticed that each of you recommend wheat as well. Out of curiosity have any of you tried a 100% pilsner version and if so, what did the wheat bring to the table that you preferred?

Thanks,
Joe[/quote]

Wheat is optional. Most modern German Kolsch brews do not use wheat although way back when the wheat portion was significant. My basic recipe recipe above gives a range of 0-5%. Personally I like some and use about 5% when I brew the style. It isn’t enough to taste but the wheat does seem to help with a nice bright white color to the beer’s head.

[quote=“BryanH”][quote=“westcoastbrewer”]Thank you all for the great advice. I have seen some recipes that go for 100% pilsner malt but noticed that each of you recommend wheat as well. Out of curiosity have any of you tried a 100% pilsner version and if so, what did the wheat bring to the table that you preferred?

Thanks,
Joe[/quote]

Wheat is optional. Most modern German Kolsch brews do not use wheat although way back when the wheat portion was significant. My basic recipe recipe above gives a range of 0-5%. Personally I like some and use about 5% when I brew the style. It isn’t enough to taste but the wheat does seem to help with a nice bright white color to the beer’s head.[/quote]

Does the wheat have an impact on clarity or is that mainly a process / yeast issue? I love a good Kolsch.

[quote=“scottNU”]

Does the wheat have an impact on clarity or is that mainly a process / yeast issue? I love a good Kolsch.[/quote]

I’d have to say no. My Kolsch is crystal clear.

[quote=“brewingdan”][quote=“westcoastbrewer”]Thank you all for the great advice. I have seen some recipes that go for 100% pilsner malt but noticed that each of you recommend wheat as well. Out of curiosity have any of you tried a 100% pilsner version and if so, what did the wheat bring to the table that you preferred?

Thanks,
Joe[/quote]

For me a very very subtle tart finish.[/quote]

Wait aren’t you the guy whose wife is from Koln?

Yeah. Go ahead and listen to him if so.

Thanks I will give the wheat a shot!

Joe

I have heard that some of the larger kolsch brewers do not use wheat, but I know for sure many of the smaller ones do. Two of my favorite are Paffgan and Mueller kolsch and I’ve seen sacks of weizen malt at their brewery. And unless the brewer is playing around for self consumption, kolsch brewers do not brew weizens, or any other style for that matter.

My wife’s sister still leaves there, so when she would fly over, I would brew many variations and ask them to be very honest. The spot on match was the above recipe.

I have never brewed that style but I would be interested to hear what you are doing with your water Mr. Brewingdan. My guess is that the water chemistry makes a big difference as the style provides little to hide flaws behind. I’m a friend of the guy that won the stein at the Bluebonnet in the light hybrid category this year and I know for a fact he is using RO water then building up the mineral profile (and the beer he won with was great by the way). I also know that the water around the home of Kolsch is what I guess I would call medium hard so I would guess that filtered Richardson Texas water would get the job done but I would like to hear from the experts. By the way, did you by any chance enter any Kolsch in the Limbo Challenge this year? If so, I may be judging some of your efforts this coming weekend.

I wonder how much water varies from brewer to brewer within a traditional style geography. Do all the brewers in Koln have access to the same water aquifer and get the same water profile? Do have the Czech Pils folks have the same traditional pilsener water? It would seem to me that they don’t as my neighbors across the river from my home have very different municipal water. Maybe the Old World is more uniform in things like water supply.

I have never entered a competition even though I am a member of The Cap & Hare homebrew Club, the largest club in North Texas. 90% of the beers I brew are German based and since we fly over to the motherland so much, I simply critique my beers based on first hand tasting.
You are very right about water. I brew a lot of southern German lagers and until I found the right mix of ca/so4/cl, they never really shined. I can think Ken L quite a bit for this.

For Kolsch water, I’ve always gone with:
Ca: between 40-60ppm
SO4: between 60-70ppm
Cl: between 60-70ppm
RA: between 0-40 (for pale beers)
For me this produces a balanced beer.

But all this can be overshadowed by a bad fermentation or using a non-Kolsch yeast which is KEY.

Hey Brewingdan, aren’t you boys/girls holding a German style contest coming up pretty soon? You should throw your Kolsch into the ring just to see what kind of wild comments you get back on the judging sheets. If nothing else you might get a big laugh out of the whole thing. My experience with homebrewed Kolsch (and some commercial examples also like St Arnolds offering for instance) is that they are fermented too warm and there are may too much in the way of fruity esters which frankly I really don’t care for. I may send two or three entries into that contest depending on the feedback I get from the Limbo. Right now I have a very fresh Heffe, a Vienna lager and a Dortmunder Export I could enter; we’ll see. :cheers:

Yup, O’zapft is actually taking entries either this week or next.

I’m getting very very close to entering competition, but probably not this year. Though it would be pretty cool to have some hardware up on the brewery walls.

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