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Old 04-09-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default First AG Batch - Kolsh

I'm finishing up my new all grain setup and have compiled my first recipe to brew at the end of this week. Everything is hand calculated with no software. As I haven't used this kit before I'm estimating efficiency fairly low (70%). 15gallon batch.


14.5 lbs 2row Pale
7.75 lbs Belgian Pilsner
2.5 lbs Malted White Wheat
60min mash at 152 - HERMS
1.75 oz centenial AA 9.5% - 60 min (19.2 IBU)
1 oz perle AA 8.0% - 15 min (4.6 IBU)
1 oz Saaz AA 4.5% - 1 min (at whirlpool)

wyeast kolsh @ 72deg

I'm fermenting at the upper range of the recommended temps for this yeast to try to get as much fruit esters as I can.

Estimated OG: 1.050 @ 70% 15gal post boil vol.

I'm toying with the idea of adding some lilac in the hopback, as they're beginning to pop in our early spring.

Anybody spot anything totally off about this?

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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I can't see anything totally off, but I can give you a few tweaks that I think could help.
When I plug your numbers into BeerSmith I get an OG of 1.042, which is a little lower then the 1.050 you're targeting, that's using a 70% efficiency and 0 trub loss volume in your boil kettle. IBU's in BeerSmith come out to 26.4 IBU's tinseth which is pretty much what you calculated. With the pilsner malt, its generally recommended to do a 90 min boil to boil off the extra DMS in the pilsner malt, but that's your call. I know its early for you to start thinking about pH levels in the mash, but with a kolsch grain bill, you're going to want to add some acid to bring the mash pH down, I'd recommend 0.5 lbs of Acid Malt which is 2% of your current grain bill, it's not exact but the pH of the mash should be a lot closer to where it should be with that grain bill. And definetly use a blow off for that yeast at that temp unless you got plenty of headspace.

Lastly you can download BeerSmith for free for 30 days, then you can tweak these numbers on your own, and know exactly what your preboil OG should be.

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Old 04-09-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buna_Bere View Post
I can't see anything totally off, but I can give you a few tweaks that I think could help.
When I plug your numbers into BeerSmith I get an OG of 1.042, which is a little lower then the 1.050 you're targeting, that's using a 70% efficiency and 0 trub loss volume in your boil kettle.
Thanks, I'll add a little extra pale malt. I was thinking about adding a little bit of Carapils for head retention. Downsides?
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Originally Posted by Buna_Bere View Post
IBU's in BeerSmith come out to 26.4 IBU's tinseth which is pretty much what you calculated. With the pilsner malt, its generally recommended to do a 90 min boil to boil off the extra DMS in the pilsner malt, but that's your call.
Planning on 75min boil if it's not a super active boil after the first 15, I'll push it to 90, but I don't want too much carmelization as I'm trying to keep the color pretty light.
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Originally Posted by Buna_Bere View Post
I know its early for you to start thinking about pH levels in the mash, but with a kolsch grain bill, you're going to want to add some acid to bring the mash pH down, I'd recommend 0.5 lbs of Acid Malt which is 2% of your current grain bill, it's not exact but the pH of the mash should be a lot closer to where it should be with that grain bill.
After looking at my water analysis, I should ok for this bill, but was planning adding a bit of gypsum (I calc'd it but didn't have it written down on the recipe so will have to track that down) Is there a benifit to acid malt as opposed to water salts?

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Originally Posted by Buna_Bere View Post
And definetly use a blow off for that yeast at that temp unless you got plenty of headspace.

Lastly you can download BeerSmith for free for 30 days, then you can tweak these numbers on your own, and know exactly what your preboil OG should be.
Thanks. I'll move to software once I'm comfortable doing the calcs by hand and understand where all the numbers come from, and go to.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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I don't see any downside with a little bit of Carapils. If you've ever had a Uinta Wyld pale ale, they use 13% Carapils in that recipe, and that beer is delicious.

As for the water chemistry adjustments, that can get pretty complex. The brewing water chemistry primer in the brew science forum is a great place to start. I know I've read not to use Gypsum with noble hops, and I see you got some Saaz in there. With the salts you can only adjust the mash pH so much, if you go overboard trying to lower the mash pH with all salts you end up with an alka seltzer tasting beer. The acid malt is just some malt sprayed with lactic acid, so it makes it an easy way to control the amount of acid your adding. Keep in mind you can still make great beer without adjusting your water at all.

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Old 04-10-2012, 03:57 AM   #5
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I don't see any downside with a little bit of Carapils. If you've ever had a Uinta Wyld pale ale, they use 13% Carapils in that recipe, and that beer is delicious.

As for the water chemistry adjustments, that can get pretty complex. The brewing water chemistry primer in the brew science forum is a great place to start. I know I've read not to use Gypsum with noble hops, and I see you got some Saaz in there. With the salts you can only adjust the mash pH so much, if you go overboard trying to lower the mash pH with all salts you end up with an alka seltzer tasting beer. The acid malt is just some malt sprayed with lactic acid, so it makes it an easy way to control the amount of acid your adding. Keep in mind you can still make great beer without adjusting your water at all.
My sulfates are really low as well, so I figured gypsum would give the extra Ca+ for the pH and I can get away with some added SO4- that will add a little dry bitterness. Also, I'll only be doing gypsum addition to the mash, and with the Saaz being used for aroma, I'm hoping the sulfate won't be a problem with the noble hop.

This is all theory from all my reading and research at this far, and trying to keep all the little things in my head. The real answer will be given in about 4 weeks

Edit: Here's the water data

pH - 7.9
Magnesium mg/L - 2.1
Calcium mg/L - 16.4
Alkalinity as CaCO3 mg/L - 36.6
Sulfate mg/L - 12.6

Am I wrong about the Gypsum?
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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You're right the gypsum will add some calcium that would be benificial to the mash pH, and it's also good for the yeast health. Calcium at 50ppm(mg/l same thing) is considered a good level to get these benefits. Personally I prefer to add the calcium to my water with calcium chloride, I think the added chloride makes the beer more drinkable too, and I don't like any of the harsh bitterness from the hops sulfates can add.
Here's a quote from the water guru we got here on homebrewtalk AJ Delange,
"High sulfate (from gypsum) is traditional in some British beers but not all. The more sulfate you add the more assertive the hops become. Conversely chloride softens, rounds and sweetens the beer. It is really a matter of hitting the combination that gives you the result you like best which is not likely to be the same for all beers. In a German style you would use no sulfate"

If anybody knows water it's this guy, so I always take his advice.

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Old 04-11-2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buna_Bere View Post
You're right the gypsum will add some calcium that would be benificial to the mash pH, and it's also good for the yeast health. Calcium at 50ppm(mg/l same thing) is considered a good level to get these benefits. Personally I prefer to add the calcium to my water with calcium chloride, I think the added chloride makes the beer more drinkable too, and I don't like any of the harsh bitterness from the hops sulfates can add.
Here's a quote from the water guru we got here on homebrewtalk AJ Delange,
"High sulfate (from gypsum) is traditional in some British beers but not all. The more sulfate you add the more assertive the hops become. Conversely chloride softens, rounds and sweetens the beer. It is really a matter of hitting the combination that gives you the result you like best which is not likely to be the same for all beers. In a German style you would use no sulfate"

If anybody knows water it's this guy, so I always take his advice.
Awesome, thanks! I like crisp hops in most my beers, but I think for the Kolsh style I should enhance the malt flavors instead of the hops.
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