From the HBD Archive
From: (Tony Babinec)
Subject: Kolsch
Date: 1992-02-26 15:47:18 GMT

Here are some comments on the Kolsch style, along with a recipe.

My friends who have traveled to Cologne came back raving about the
Kolsch style. If you think about it, its appearance is not much
different than the light American lager, but its flavor is more
interesting, and being an ale, a Kolsch is easily made by homebrewers.

First, let's look at the style. A Kolsch has starting gravity of
1.042 to 1.046, IBUs of 20-30, and SRM of 3.5 to 5. The Zymurgy
description of a Kolsch is: Pale gold. Low hop flavor and aroma.
Medium bitterness. Light to medium body. Slightly dry, winy palate.
Malted wheat okay. Lager or ale yeast or combination of yeasts okay.

Malts can be U.S. or continental, including a fraction of wheat malt
if desired. Hopping should be continental noble hops. The yeast is
the tricky part, as to my knowledge there is no available Kolsch
yeast. The Goose Island Brewery in Chicago brews a Kolsch using a
Kolsch yeast from Germany. The Free State Brewery in Lawrence,
Kansas, brews a Kolsch using Wyeast "European" ale. This yeast is
suggested by Fred Eckhardt. I've used the yeast from time to time and
think it's a great yeast, so use this in preference to any generic ale

Now, for the recipe. I've tried this a few times, never the same
twice, but can say that it makes a good beer, and if your process is
good, will get you a ribbon in competition!

6 pounds U.S. 2-row malt
1 pound Vienna malt
1 pound wheat malt
0.25 pounds light (10L) crystal malt

1 ounce Hallertauer (a=2.9) 60 minutes until end of boil
1 ounce Hallertauer 30 minutes until end of boil
0.25 ounce Tettnang (a=3.8) 15 minutes until end of boil
0.25 ounce Tettnang 2 minutes until end of boil

Wyeast "European" ale yeast

Note that your milage may vary, and I'm assuming 80% extraction
efficiency. The hop schedule broadly follows the "German" method, and
you can substitute Perle or Spalt, and mix and match however you want.

Following Fred Eckhardt's description of Widmer's mash sequence,
mash in at 122 degrees F and hold for 30 to 45 minutes, and then raise
to 158 degrees F for starch conversion. Following conversion, raise
to 170 degrees F for mash out and hold for 10 minutes.

Primary fermentation should be done in the mid-60s. This beer
benefits from cold-conditioning, so rack to secondary and
"lager" at 40 degrees for a couple weeks.

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