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Old 01-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #1
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Default Lagering kolsch

Anyone lager there kolsch? i made one 2 weeks ago the guy at the home brew store said i should let it ferment normal for a week or 2 then let it lager for a couple weeks im using wlp029 this just does not seem right to me...

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Old 01-07-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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Ya that seems strange to me. It is ale yeast and not lager yeast, literally 2 different animals. I just made a kolsh and I did not lager it...

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Old 01-07-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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They could be saying that once your primary fermentatin has been reached and you have given the beer ample time to clean up after itself you can either transfer the beer to a carboy to secondary and place this at lagering temperatures of you can just place you primary fermentor at lagering temps. This can go on for 3-5 weeks depending on how much an affect you are after. The longer the beer stays at these lagering temps then more yeast will drop out. Thus, you may have to add a small amount of yeast to your bottling bucket when you bottle the beer.

I know a guy that does the transfer to the carboy and then washes the yeast in the primary. He takes a very small amount of the washed yeast and adds it to his priming solution at bottling time.

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:09 PM   #4
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There was an article in brew your own not long ago about kolsch and fermentation temp. The article mentioned that some breweries in cologne ferment at 70 and lager for a week. I recently split a 10 gallon batch and fermented one at 68 and the other at 64 (but didn't lager either one). The 64 degree one came out a tad drier, finishing up at 1.008and had a nice malty backbone. A touch of a pear ester, with a slightly peppery finish.

The 68 degree batch finished at 1.010 and did not have the peppery finish at all and the pear ester was much more pronounced. Kolsch is a fun style to brew. Check out that article. I based my little experiment on the one in the magazine

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Default yes

Kolsch is traditionally cold conditioned. Kolsch yeast has a much lower temp. range than other ales. Same deal with Altbier (my favorite beer). They need a colder primary and are both usually cold conditioned for an extended time. I have a Kolsch in the works - I guess I'm going to give it 3-4 weeks in the primary, then, pending fridge space, a few more at ~35 degrees. I'd love to hear more from an experienced Kolsch brewer myself.

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewMU View Post
Kolsch is traditionally cold conditioned. Kolsch yeast has a much lower temp. range than other ales. Same deal with Altbier (my favorite beer). They need a colder primary and are both usually cold conditioned for an extended time. I have a Kolsch in the works - I guess I'm going to give it 3-4 weeks in the primary, then, pending fridge space, a few more at ~35 degrees. I'd love to hear more from an experienced Kolsch brewer myself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
White Labs
From a small brewpub in Cologne, Germany, this yeast works great in Kölsch and Alt style beers. Good for light beers like blond and honey. Accentuates hop flavors, similar to WLP001. The slight sulfur produced during fermentation will disappear with age and leave a super clean, lager like ale.
Attenuation: 72-78%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-69°F
(18-21°C)

Does not ferment well less than 62°F(17°C), unless during active fermentation.
Alcohol Tolerance: Medium
and
Quote:
Originally Posted by White Labs
White Labs - WLP029 Optimum Fermentation Temperature: 65-69°F
Does not ferment well less than 62°F, unless during active fermentation.
seem to indicate differently but they do have notes on the page from the 2nd quote that would seem that they have taken it down to 55F. I really do not think that can be lagered in the traditional way. FWIW I am not an expert on the subject nor have I tried it.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamial View Post
and


seem to indicate differently but they do have notes on the page from the 2nd quote that would seem that they have taken it down to 55F. I really do not think that can be lagered in the traditional way. FWIW I am not an expert on the subject nor have I tried it.
I used Wyeast Kolsch - they claim a lower limit of 55 F. They have an Alt specific yeast as well, which they give the same range. I notice it says "unless during active fermentation". Wonder what the bleep that means?
I was thumbing through the NB catalog recently and I noticed that White labs stated temp ranges are consistently higher for what you would think of as the same or equivalent strains. I don't know the explanation.
I know for certain that Alt is traditionally fermented relatively cold and 'lagered', or cold conditioned, whatever. If the temp range given is accurate, it actually isn't suitable for fermenting legitimate Altbier. I've got my Kolsch at ~ 62 now and I'm planning on 'lagering' it, but maybe the whitelab yeast isn't suitable for that. I'm sure it will be good anyway.
Beats me.
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Old 01-08-2012, 01:15 AM   #8
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I let the yeast ferment for 2 weeks at 58°F, then cold crash and pseudo-lager for 3 weeks at 35°F. Have always had fantastic results, even won a gold medal for my saphir kolsch at the Schooner Homebrew Championship this year. Oh yeah, I don't use a secondary, I just leave it in primary the whole time. I dunno about the other Kolsch yeasts, but German Ale yeast ferments great down to 55°F

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:36 AM   #9
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You guys are confusing things. Koelsch is an ale, i.e. a top-fermented beer that undergoes fermentation is the low 60s. AFTER fermentation, it is usually lagered, meaning stored & conditioned cold for a couple of weeks. Lagering does NOT require a lager yeast, nor is lagering exclusive to lager beers.

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Old 01-08-2012, 06:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
You guys are confusing things. Koelsch is an ale, i.e. a top-fermented beer that undergoes fermentation is the low 60s. AFTER fermentation, it is usually lagered, meaning stored & conditioned cold for a couple of weeks. Lagering does NOT require a lager yeast, nor is lagering exclusive to lager beers.
This.

I did a kolsch last fall, brewed in early September. Did 10 days primary, then cold-crashed to 43* for 7 days, then bottled. After exactly 4 weeks in the bottle, it was very good, but VERY green. I took it to a brewfest and it was very popular (even with other brewers), but if it'd had another week or 2 in primary, another 2 weeks cold-crashed and another month in the bottles, it would've been awesome. I still have some and the longer they go in the fridge the better they get.

I just got through brewing a kolsch tonight for an expo/competition in April. It should be at its peak around then.

Sir-Brews-A-Lot has it right...

Basically, what you want is to ferment at ~55-60*. When it finishes in primary (BY HYDROMETER), cold-crash it down to ~35-40* for a week or so. This will help clear the beer. If you choose to do a secondary, this would be a good time to rack over. Rack it to secondary, then cold-crash it. Then you can let the temp creep up to 50-55* and let it condition as long as you want before you bottle/keg.

Note that a secondary is not required, and I've never done it on a kolsch. I'm going to on tonight's batch, simply because I have an adjunct to add at that point. But if it weren't for that, I'd leave it on the yeast for at least 6 weeks before bottling.
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