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Old 07-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default need bottling advice for "kolsch" with high alcohol

expert advice would be appreciated. i brewed my first all grain kolsch using wlp 029, fermented at 64F. but here's the woopsie part. i used some elderflower syrup at the end of the boil and i miscalculated the amount of sugar this would add to the recipe. thus i had starting gravity of 1.080. Two weeks later gravity is at 1.004. the plan: rack to secondary, cold crash at 38 at least a week or until clear.

so much for making a light kolsch, but the beer tastes good and will be drinkable. it is bit sweet and my hop schedule would account for that.

my concern is bottling: both temperature and yeast. will this yeast be able to bottle carb after the cold crash and at such high alcohol? should i add some dry yeast to the bottling bucket? I will be storing this beer in a cellar and temps are average 74. should i bottle at the storage temperature?

i appreciate any advice.

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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I'd err on the side of caution and add some yeast during bottling. Best will be to let the beer warm up to room/bottling temperature so that the yeast can start working. I can't make any recommendations as to what yeast to use though. I kept some from the primary of my last 2 batches for that purpose but you might want to look at something that's, as you stated, more tolerant to high alcohol.
I brewed my Kölsch yesterday with the same yeast but fermented at 65F since that's the minimum temperature for WLP029. Apparently I can go lower based on your results?

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Old 07-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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I'm showing you right around 10% abv. The kolsch yeast should be able to handle it, but if you're concerned, you can add a packet of champagne yeast to your bottling bucket. Even if you cold crash the beer, the yeast will just be sitting dormant on the surface layer of the trub. The usual accidental swipe of trub caused by a settling racking cane should provide you with more than enough yeast for carbonation, much less whatever yeast is still suspended in solution.

At 10% abv, you're pushing towards the upper alcohol limits of the strain. Packets of champagne yeast are cheap ($1.99 at my lhbs) and you can just hydrate and pitch the packet of yeast into your bottling bucket along with your priming sugar right before you rack your beer into it. It's been bred to produce a very neutral flavor while it carbonates and floc out at room temperature conditioning. I'd also condition the bottles at room temperature for a full three weeks to a month before putting a few in the fridge to try out.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funnycreature View Post
I brewed my Kölsch yesterday with the same yeast but fermented at 65F since that's the minimum temperature for WLP029. Apparently I can go lower based on your results?
sorry, i edited my post. i fermented at 64. i have heard people fermenting as low as 58F but i was advised not to do so only because it woud take a really long time. the first few days the fridge stunk of sulfur and that has gone away.

when im ready to bottle i will let it warm up to storage temp of 74.
thanks!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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At 10% abv, you're pushing towards the upper alcohol limits of the strain. Packets of champagne yeast are cheap ($1.99 at my lhbs) and you can just hydrate and pitch the packet of yeast into your bottling bucket along with your priming sugar right before you rack your beer into it. It's been bred to produce a very neutral flavor while it carbonates and floc out at room temperature conditioning. I'd also condition the bottles at room temperature for a full three weeks to a month before putting a few in the fridge to try out.
thank you! I was thinking the same thing about the champagne yeast. now, i wonder, how to calculate the priming sugar for style. i hear 2.4-2.7 volumes of CO2 is recommend for the style. with this much alcohol and low bitterness i'm thinking 2.5 or 2.6 just to be safe. my concern is if i pitch a champagne yeast, and the kolsch yeast didn't finish, i may end up with over carbonation or bombs. any thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Thats correct. I would skip the champagne yeast and pick up a packet safale us05 yeast. even at 10% it will carb up fine and be clean. You only need about 1/4-1/3 of a packet to carb up your beer. You don't want to add the whole thing and have huge slugs of yeast in the bottom of your bottles.

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