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Old 05-01-2010, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default First AG--Kolsch: Need Mash Advice

Am picking up my AG equipment tomorrow and a NB Kolsch kit will be my first AG batch. Grain bill is 9 lbs German Pils and 1 lb Weyermann Pale Wheat. I'm using a 10g Rubbermaid cooler to mash.

The NB instructions say the "traditional multi-step" mash schedule (temp/mins) is protein rest (122/20), beta sacch rest (149/30), alpha sacch rest (158/30), and mashout (170/10). The single infusion alternative is sacch rest (151/60) and mashout (170/10).

My first thought was to do the multi-step mash with boiling water additions. The calculator I used said even if I started my mash at a very thick 1qt/lb, by the time I mashout I would be 25 quarts (2.5q/lb). That seems pretty thin and I would be concerned that once I sparge, I would have to boil for the rest of my life to get it down to 5 gallons and change. Although I guess I could expect to have about 1.5 to 2 gallons absorbed. Still, if I sparge at 0.5 gallons per pound, that's 5 gallons of sparge water plus around six gallons in the mash is 11 less two absorbed is still at least 9 which is a bit much to get down to my target boil volume.

The single-infusion mash seems like a good alternative, especially since during my first AG it will probably feel like things are happening at the speed of light. But I am concerned that my beer quality will be compromised if I don't do the proper rests.

Decoction mashing seems like the best way to keep a reasonable volume to boil while hitting all the proper rests.

Advice?

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:46 AM   #2
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I would do a single infusion at 148. Or if you're feeling adventurous a decoction, although I don't think it's necessary.

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Old 05-03-2010, 08:54 PM   #3
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I think I will try the decoction and have boiling water handy in case I miss the temps. That should help me achieve the best possible beer while keeping my mash from getting too thin.

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Old 05-03-2010, 10:43 PM   #4
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my kolsch is a single infusion mash around 150. my wife's cousin lives in germany right now and she's said its not a bad kolsch. i don't use any pils though (really cheap recipe)

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Old 05-04-2010, 01:14 AM   #5
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I hunt quail with a 10ga. and I brew my Koelsch with a triple decoction.

I use a pretty close schedule to Kaiser's triple decoction and use the following recipe:

8lbs Weyermanns Pilsner
.5lbs Carafoam
.5bs Weyermanns Pale Wheat

Hallertau for bittering and Tet. for flavor.

I think the Triple decoction imparts a perceptible flavor into this delicate beer.

m.

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Old 05-04-2010, 02:02 PM   #6
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You can still make a good Kolsch with a single temp mash.

That being said, my preference is a step mash that is identical to the one suggested. As Mateo says, in a delicate style like this, changes in the mash schedule can make a difference in the final product. For beers with a lot of strong flavors going on the difference will be smaller.

For a first AG beer though I might lean towards a single temp, you can always brew it again later with a step mash when you are more comfortable with your set up. Then again, you could just go for it.

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