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Old 02-12-2013, 04:52 AM   #1
Matchak
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Default Have I screwed up my koelsch.?

I made a partial mash koelsch (first attempt at this style)and after I pitched the yeast I had to leave town for a couple of days so I couldn't control the temperature. So it basically fermented at 72 degrees for 3 days before I got back today. Will a month in my basement at 50 degrees help produce something still true to style or will I have to accept that I have a super floral light colored ale (the bubbles coming out of the the primary smell like ripe bananas) and maybe throw some orange peel and coriander in the secondary and go Belgian instead.

3.5 lbs Vienna malt
.5 lbs oats
5 lbs dry malt extract
Sapphire hops

Og 1064
American ale yeast (store ran out of koelsch yeast)

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Old 02-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #2
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Well, IMHO, since you're already a bit out of style with the yeast you used, just go ahead as planned and see how it goes. And as for the smells coming out of the airlock, don't worry too much. Sometimes stressed yeast make some nasty smells.

I recently had a Belgian dark strong that smelled like burning plastic while fermenting at 64 degrees. And I mean gut wrenching strong smell. But the beer turned out clean true to style, but I was certainly worried.

Let it play out as planned and enjoy. And learn from any mistakes you may have made. I'm sure it will be just fine.

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Old 02-12-2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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It is certainly true that a long, cold primary ferment will help clean up flavors, and so will a long secondary. But 50F is a bit too cold for American ale yeast--at that point, the yeast will be mostly dormant and won't eat through a lot of the weird stuff. If you could do a month at 60F, you would probably get a long, slow *fermentation* instead of a month of secondary (i.e. conditioning).

The other option is just to accept that 72F is a bit high, and see how the style goes. You could consider dry hopping it with more Sapphire to get something truly unique--an American-style pale/amber, but with a German ingredient bill and flavor profile!

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #4
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well, like someone said on some other thread: "its only a really Kolsch if its brewed in Colongne"... so when I'm brewing a kolsch, I'm happy with something that's tasty to drink and at best, kolsch-y...

72 really isn't all that hight compared to what some brewers admit to fermenting at, so i wouldn't be too worried about off flavors.

that OG seems like it could be a tad high, but I bet you're gonna come out with some really great beer

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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What exactly is it that makes that a Kolsch?

Im actually brewing one tonight and have done a lot of research and a kolsch is typically mainly pilsen malt with MAYBE a little munich, or in the US a little wheat as well. Apparently the yeast is the most important factor.

Now with that being said, who knows what will happen to your beer. I never actively ferment at 72, and have personally not used that yeast. It is said that American yeasts are generally more tolerant of the high temperature ferm with respect to ester production.


In a beer that mildly flavored I would expect to have a decent amount of esters poking through even if you have a nice long primary and let the yeast eat their mistakes, and then mock "lager" for some period. The long and short of it is that you cant undo what has happened, roll with the punches, do the best to take care of it moving forward, and if it turns out good just act like you planned it all along. Since you brewed so far off style no one will be able to call you a liar.

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Old 02-13-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
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Yeah 72 is really not that bad. Was that the ambient temp or the temp in the fermenter? If it was ambient then your actual ferment temp could have been near or above 80, which is sort of bad, but not irrepairable.

Although the ferment is probably well on its way (or done), try to get the temps back down in the 60s as soon as possible. Leave it there in primary for 3-4 weeks and see what happens. Do not drop the temp during that time to 50 as that would slow down the yeast cleaning up after themselves. At this point time on the yeast at a fairly moderate to warm temperature will only help!

After the primary you can cold crash it and/or lager to try to drop any remaining sediment/yeast to give a clear beer before bottling/kegging.

I bet you will have drinkable beer, although like others I wouldn’t call it a Koelsch. You might even want to think about dry hopping, that can sometimes cover up slight off flavors. Chalk it up to a lesson learned.

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Old 02-13-2013, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir View Post
What exactly is it that makes that a Kolsch?

Im actually brewing one tonight and have done a lot of research and a kolsch is typically mainly pilsen malt with MAYBE a little munich, or in the US a little wheat as well. Apparently the yeast is the most important factor.

Only one answer really: the yeast. If you don't use Kolsch yeast then it really isn't a Kolsch.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input everyone! I'm going to 'fake lager it' and see what happens. I read somewhere that the fermentation temperature more than the yeast strain determines the koelschyness, but as I screwed up both I won't find out if that's the case this time. I took a sample and the gravity is down to 1016, so it is a bit stronger than any koelsch I've ever had, and it currently tastes more like dunkeles weissbier than anything else, but it looks like it will be a drinkable beer.
Cheers again for all the advice!

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchak View Post
Thanks for the input everyone! I'm going to 'fake lager it' and see what happens. I read somewhere that the fermentation temperature more than the yeast strain determines the koelschyness, but as I screwed up both I won't find out if that's the case this time. I took a sample and the gravity is down to 1016, so it is a bit stronger than any koelsch I've ever had, and it currently tastes more like dunkeles weissbier than anything else, but it looks like it will be a drinkable beer.
Cheers again for all the advice!
Dont forget to leave it on the yeast for a few more weeks before 'fake lagering' it!
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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Yeah, you will want some additional time on the yeast at cool temperatures; the yeast will do some work to clean up the flavors. Then lager.

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