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Old 09-03-2012, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Kolsch Help

Hi,

making a Kolsch. Some new variables to my brewing and looking for some guidance.

Some details:
so far brewed 10 Gallons with 18# Pilsner & 2# White Wheat Malt, ended up with ~ 10 Gallons of Wort @ 1.054 in the fermentor.
My fermentor is first use Stainless Conical. I have it set at 57 degrees then ended up upping to 59 degrees after two weeks. Ended up taking 37 days to complete primary fermentation down to 1.007 (Today). (Pitched 4 "activator" smack packs - though only 1 of the 4 really seemed to activate well and swell to its fullest. Tastes pretty good best I can tell as I have no reference beer to compare to.

So what next?
I was thinking of doing a diacetyl rest for a day, then dropping gradually over 3 days to 35 degrees then resting for 4 weeks.

So before I being the 4 week rest, once temp is at 35, should I dump the yeast/trub, or should I dump when I begin to lower the temp over a series of 3-4 days? I've been instructed previously that gentle tapping with a rubber mallet will help get the yeast sediment from clinging to sides.

I've never used the conical before so I am not sure what to look for when opening the valve to know when the trub is all out, or how much to open valve for instance. I assume removing the airlock first is a good first step!

Thanks for any advice on finishing up my first kolsch!

TD

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:38 PM   #2
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Are you using Lager yeast? Kolsch is an ale and 57 degrees seems a bit too cold. I usually ferment mine mid to high 60's, with white labs 029. I brewed a Kolsch today. My OG was 1.048. I'll leave it in my primary for about a month. Then I'll rack it to a keg and cold crash at lager temps ( 32 degrees). Always comes out great.

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulls Beers View Post
Are you using Lager yeast? Kolsch is an ale and 57 degrees seems a bit too cold. I usually ferment mine mid to high 60's, with white labs 029. I brewed a Kolsch today. My OG was 1.048. I'll leave it in my primary for about a month. Then I'll rack it to a keg and cold crash at lager temps ( 32 degrees). Always comes out great.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/rw_yeaststrain_detail.cfm?ID=144

From the Wyeast website:

"This yeast may also be used to produce quick-conditioning pseudo-lager beers and ferments well at cold 55-60°F (13-16°C) range."

To the OP: I would cold crash if possible to drop a lot of the yeast out of suspension. If you keg, you can do this as you carbonate.
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips!


I used wyeast Kolsch liquid packs x4 no starter. Next time definitely doing a starter.

I started primary at 57 after reading the Kolsch style book. That was the lowest temp. I wanted a clean beer with fewest esters and figured since book gave range for temps that 57 was (and is) in the zone. For future attempts, I might raise the temp to see how it affects final product. For starters, and since I was brewing with a non-brewer beer snob friend, I wanted to impress. I'm sure he hasn't tasted many authentic Kolsch examples but was sure he'd be first to point out a flaw.

Thanks again. I do plan to cold crash over a few days and dump the settled junk, tamping the conical with a rubber mallet each day.

TD

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #5
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I just brewed this, enjoying a glass as I write this. I followed the same steps you outlined, but I didn't do the rest. Just dropped the temp and racked to keg. It really turns out good the cold (for ale) fermentation is the key.

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Old 09-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
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I'm curious how yours turns out. I'm kicking myself for not doing a starter too. I brewed my first Kolsch on Saturday and way underpitched because I way overshot my OG. I ended up adding over two gallons of RO water to cut down the gravity to 1.048 but I have 7 gallons now instead of 5 and only pitched one smack pack. Worst part was I had plenty of time to do a starter and I totally forgot. So, I have it at 59C and time will tell. It's got a nice Krausen after 24hrs. I just hate this guilty feeling while waiting for the report card. On the plus side, I probably over hopped the style so the extra water won't hurt me.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:32 AM   #7
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It amazes me that someone would make a 10 gallon batch of a beer, spend all the money to get it just right, but have no beer for reference. Most of my prep work involves drinking several instances that beer style, a lot, which I enjoy very much to do.

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:47 AM   #8
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Dude,
That's the reason I brew! I've asked the local retailers to sell what I want to drink but it didn't work!

TD

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Old 09-04-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Dude,
That's the reason I brew! I've asked the local retailers to sell what I want to drink but it didn't work!

TD
That's awesome. Actually I can say the same about UK beer.

But you know... at the level you are at, I could see a few six packs in the mail or driving to a nearby city.

Here we get more Kolsch than non-stout/porter UK beer styles. Because Kolsch is delicious.
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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A friend who begged me to brew this with him wrangled up some bottles of Gaffel Kolsch and he (who has more spare time than me) also had some draft Kolsch at world of beer.
Compared side by side. The homebrew turned out great. Spot on. Next time a touch less hops, but still balanced

Cleared pretty well too.

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