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New kegger and Honey Kolsch

Just did my first kegging. I have some questions/concerns I hope someone can clear up for me.

Background:
Honey Kolsch extract kit from NB
Brewed 2/27/13
Secondary 3/22/13
Kegged 3/28/13

I have done a few batches using bottles. I have been very impressed with the outcome. I have noticed with all of those bottled batches that the longer it sits in the bottle at room temps, the better the beer actually gets. My experience has been right at the end of the 2nd week starting the 3rd, is the best time I tend to like the taste.

How will this work for kegging? I basically followed advice from a friend who has been kegging for a long time. I kegged the beer the past Friday evening. A taste in the morning reveals the carbonation to be kicking in just fine, but the taste was not very good.

BTW, I set it around 16 PSI through the first night. Then in the morning shook it around for about 60 seconds then set the PSI around 8.

I tasted the beer this morning. Again, the carbonation seems to be working just fine. But the taste is blah.

Using my experience with a raspberry wheat that I bottled, it took at least a couple weeks in the bottle at room temps to get better. How does this occur in a keg that is in a fridge?

I see people’s posts saying they force carb to drink it sooner…what am I missing? Are they doing something different to allow the aging?

So far, the only thing I see advantageous with kegging is mass serving easier due to no clean-up of the bottles. So far, it would appear the beer still needs to age for the same period of time. Right?

Once done fermenting, do you people put it in a keg and allow it to age at room temps…or do something similar as above?

Some beers taste better young. Others need a little age.

Conventional wisdom is that beer ages faster in warmer conditions. The best beer is usually the last one of the batch. :shock:

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Some beers taste better young. Others need a little age.

Conventional wisdom is that beer ages faster in warmer conditions. The best beer is usually the last one of the batch. :shock: [/quote]

Yeah, and that makes sense to me. I guess that is why I was wondering how most do this.

Do they carb it up with CO2 and leave it sit out of the fridge?

Or, do they carb it up and leave it in the fridge, which I would assume will take much longer for it to age?

I guess a 3rd option is to keg it, leave it at room temperature as long as you would the bottles, then carb it up, taking another week or so before drinking it.

You have it covered. Find what works for you. 8)

I brew kolsch a lot since my wife is from koln. If you used kolsch yeast, let it sit for another 5 weeks. For me 9 weeks from flameout is that magical time frame.

[quote=“JPR”][quote=“Nighthawk”]Some beers taste better young. Others need a little age.

Conventional wisdom is that beer ages faster in warmer conditions. The best beer is usually the last one of the batch. :shock: [/quote]

Yeah, and that makes sense to me. I guess that is why I was wondering how most do this.

Do they carb it up with CO2 and leave it sit out of the fridge?

Or, do they carb it up and leave it in the fridge, which I would assume will take much longer for it to age?

I guess a 3rd option is to keg it, leave it at room temperature as long as you would the bottles, then carb it up, taking another week or so before drinking it.[/quote]

If you can run a gas line to it outside the fridge, you can carbonate it will it ages. But, you will need to have it at a higher pressure because of the warmer temp. If you don’t have a way to have it at a separate PSI from the other beers inside, it will still get closer to where you want it. Thus limiting the time it take to fully carbonate.

http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php

As mentioned, some beers taste good young, but the one honey Kolch that I made was not one of them. I brewed an all grain batch on January 12th and have been drinking a bit here and there. After being away for a couple weeks, I tried some and it was fantastic. I think you need to give yours some time.

Also helps to have several kegs so you can be drinking some while others are aging.

I try to age in bulk in the fermenter. I will keg the beer when I’m ready to drink since I can quick force carb a keg and drink it within hours. The trick is having enough beer fermenting, aging, and kegging to never need to move beer before it’s ready. For me, 6 fermenters and 4 kegs do the trick.

Kolsch (and I’m sure honey Kolsch is the same way) benefits from a bit of lagering time. Not sure what kind of set up your running but if you have room and can keep it at 35* for a month it should be better. Alternatively just aging it at room temp or as cold as you can. Either way, you might need another keg if you don’t have one (let the spending commence)

Update:

It’s been sitting in the keg, inside the fridge, with CO2 hooked up to it since my last post. It is most definitely carbed pretty nicely. The taste, the taste isn’t too bad. But once at the end of the drink it tends to give a sort of “whiskeyish” taste. I don’t know how else to explain it, but certainly didn’t expect it. I guess you could also describe it as a ting or zing all of a sudden.

It isn’t bad, but I expected better. I’ll keep tasting it every few days or so and hope it gets better. I was really hoping for this to be one of my summer beers we can drink.

A little looking took me to: http://www.kegworks.com/blog/2010/07/19/top-5-kolsch/

Where they gone on to explain, “The aroma of Kolsch is a clean, pleasant, slightly fruity one, with a low hop aroma and possibly some pils malt floating around. There may also be a small whiff of some yeasty, sulfury notes as well. They can appear very pale gold, to light gold, and many of the authentic versions are filtered to achieve a brilliant clarity. The head may or may not persist, but if it does it will be slightly sticky and be as white as white gets. When it comes to flavor, delicacy is the #1 hallmark of Kolsch. Its palate is a soft, well-rounded balance of malt and a barely noticeable fruity sweetness with a slight bitterness and a dry, slight pucker in the finish. Again, look for that little zing in the swallow, but it shouldn’t be harsh or sharp.”

I think more time it will lessen the zing…and be just right.

Kolsch beers have there own flavor profile for sure. I have an all grain kolsch on tap right now. This is the 12th week since brew day and its dramatically different since the first few weeks.

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