Kolsch feedback

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Kolsch feedback

Postby lexuschris on Sun Dec 29, 2013 6:54 pm

Hey all,

I'm going to try my first Kolsch brew on the 1st, and have been taking guidance from Brad's recipe, and reading up on a few others online. Here is what I was aiming for, but I had a few questions..

Recipe: Condign Kolsh
Brewer: LexusChris
Style: Kölsch
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 13.90 gal
Post Boil Volume: 12.48 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 10.98 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 3.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 76.4 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash H2O) Water Agent 3 -
4.00 ml Lactic Acid (Mash H2O) Water Agent 4 -
6.40 g Calcium Chloride (Lauter H2O) Water Agent 1 -
6.40 ml Lactic Acid (Lauter H2O) Water Agent 2 -
18.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 94.7 %
1.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 6 5.3 %
2.50 oz Mt.Hood [5.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 20.6 IBUs
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 8 -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 9 -
1.0 pkg German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [ Yeast 10 -


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 19.00 lb
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 6.44 gal of water at 160.5 F 150.0 F 75 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 10.25gal) of 168.0 F water


I'm using Best Malz Pilsner malt, but am out of Vienna. However, I happen to have some Warminster Floor-Malted Maris Otter on-hand. Anyone think that is a bad idea for a substitute? I know that Vienna and Maris Otter are not the same, but I'm wondering if it's worth a trip to the LHBS on Monday to find some Vienna?

Also, I've seem some recipes use a late hop addition, but I understand that Kolsch is a malty german ale, with some hop character... but not 'hoppy' in the West Coast sense. I have some extra Mt. Hood, and was thinking of putting maybe 1/2 oz at 30-min of the boil left.. Bad idea?

The water chemistry additions that I have up there are from using the various spreadsheets. This is a very light beer and I know my water pH is like 8.1 .. so I do need to acidify my mash water and especially my sparge water.

Any thoughts & suggestions are appreciated!
--LexusChris
"A woman drove me to drink, and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her." – W.C. Fields
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby DrDually on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:31 am

Chris
Are you using a program or spreadsheet to calculate water chemistry additions?
If not, I can email one that works very well

Chris
Chris aka Dr Dually
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Life is tough. It is even tougher when you are stupid. John Wayne

Bottled and enjoying: Nada, zip
Kegged: English Brown, American Amber, Double Barrel Ale
Next up: Kolsch
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby brahn on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:51 am

I wouldn't consider Maris Otter a Vienna substitute, but it won't hurt the beer to use it. IMO Munich would get you closer than MO, but Vienna is pretty distinctive. I've got plenty of Vienna, I could certainly spare a pound and I'm a lot closer than the LHBS.

In my Kolsch recipe, I get all my hop flavor from the 60 minute addition. I just use a lower alpha hop so I have to add a reasonably large amount. I think a 30 minute addition would be fine too. My favorite beer that I brewed this year was actually my Kolsch recipe, but with a bunch of late hops (saaz & sterling). It doesn't hit the style guidelines, but hops work great with the base recipe.
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby lexuschris on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:26 pm

Thanks for the feedback!

Chris, I have your spreadsheet from the last time we spoke about water additions. I'd have to look at which spreadsheet I used for this calculation.. it might have been one of Palmer's... I have 4 or 5 of them bouncing around my harddrive. :)

Brent, thanks for the offer of the Vienna! Turns out, I was able to extend one of my errands today and stopped by LHBS and picked up some Vienna & Munich. I'm now covered for Wednesday, as well as a few future brews with small additions.

I have enough Mt.Hood to just keep the addition at 2.5 oz at 60-mins, which should put me in the 21 IBU range. I think I'll keep it this way for my first Kolsch. However, I'm sure I'll try one later one with some late additions.. :)

Looking forward to getting my big rig out for the 1st time since March, and reminding myself of all the stuff I've forgotten in the interim! :crazy:

Have a Happy New Year's everyone!
:cheers:
--LexusChris
"A woman drove me to drink, and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her." – W.C. Fields
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby brahn on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:56 pm

Cool! Good luck!
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby BrewMasterBrad on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:11 pm

Hey Chris, how did the brew day go? I am looking forward to trying your Kolsch. Maybe I will steal some WLP029 from you when it's done fermenting.
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby brahn on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:14 pm

Good call, that's a great yeast.
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby lexuschris on Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:53 pm

Overall, the brew day went well. It took me a lot longer than I had planned to find all the stuff that has been buried in the garage, and haul it into the backyard. I wasn't able to setup the night before because of New Year's Eve. I didn't dough-in until 12:20pm Wednesday.

That being said, it was a nice even paced brewday! With only the single hop addition, and the 90 minute boil, I had plenty of time to clean-up while brewing, and save me a little time at the end of the day. Even so, it was dark by the time I had everything scrubbed clean for next time!

This is by far the LIGHTEST colored beer I have ever done!

Kolsch_sample_s.jpg
Kolsch hydrometer sample
Kolsch_sample_s.jpg (45.59 KiB) Viewed 1186 times


OG = 1.045 just 1 point shy of target

Also, as the wort started to come to a boil, it was much easier to keep calm. Not sure if it was because of the pilsner malt, or just lucky this time, but didn't have to reduce heat at break to avoid the boil-over... I just kept moving the foam with a spoon, and it dissipated without incident. :)

It was also real nice having cold ground water for a change! Gravity fed the wort through the plate-chiller into the fermenter, and it was 70-F, ready to pitch! :happybeer:

Looking forward to tasting this one, and certainly I can share some yeast when it's done. I don't usually save yeast, but was thinking of collecting some from this batch too... I have a feeling I'll be wanting to do another one soon!
--LexusChris
"A woman drove me to drink, and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her." – W.C. Fields
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby lexuschris on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:37 am

California weather is so funny at times.

Rarely does this happen, but the cool evenings have made my garage freezer/fermentation chamber, more useful in its ability to keep the beer from being too cold due to the outside temps!

I pitched a 1700ml starter at 70-F, and the 1st nite the fermenter dropped down to 60-F, then rose to 63-F that nite, and 64 the next day. Its been at 65-F for a few days now, bubbling madly. The yeast seem to be happy, and I am getting no sulphur at all.

I suppose I should invest in a heating pad or something for these odd winter batches where I need to heat up the fermenter, instead of cooling it. Last time, I just wrapped an electric blanket around the Sanke and bumped it a few degrees.

Fermentation bubbling has slowed today... I may need to find that blanket to get it up to 67-F to help clean-up the yeast byproducts.

Hope everyone's ferments are going well!
--LexusChris
"A woman drove me to drink, and I hadn't even the courtesy to thank her." – W.C. Fields
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby brahn on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:42 am

With WLP029 I would typically pitch between 60-62F and ferment at 64F, so I think you'll be fine. I don't see any reason to try to bump the temp up. If you decide you want to increase the temp, a light bulb works well.
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby dhempy on Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:46 am

brahn wrote:With WLP029 I would typically pitch between 60-62F and ferment at 64F, so I think you'll be fine. I don't see any reason to try to bump the temp up. If you decide you want to increase the temp, a light bulb works well.


If you plan to use light bulbs better stock up ... incandescents are effectively banned and as soon as they sell out you're SOL.

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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby maltbarley on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:36 am

I think that's just 40 and 60 watt bulbs for the time being.
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby lexuschris on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:13 pm

I think I got it covered...

Image
Image

:)
--LexusChris
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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby dhempy on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:55 am

maltbarley wrote:I think that's just 40 and 60 watt bulbs for the time being.


I think that effectively removes all bulbs that have warming capacity as 75 and 100 are already gone ...

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Re: Kolsch feedback

Postby bwarbiany on Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:14 am

dhempy wrote:
maltbarley wrote:I think that's just 40 and 60 watt bulbs for the time being.


I think that effectively removes all bulbs that have warming capacity as 75 and 100 are already gone ...

Dan


I've honestly taken to using 13W and 23W CFL bulbs in there for warming. Because I only have a single-stage temp controller (turning the fridge on), I find the larger incandescents cause the fridge to battle too hard to keep it cool when I use a larger incandescent.

I'm guessing a little 25W incandescent will be MORE than enough to maintain temps, at least if it's in a fridge or chest freezer that is already well-insulated.
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