Come enter the BrewHardware Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Of Kolsch difficulties and successes ...
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-12-2011, 03:14 PM   #1
Misplaced_Canuck
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Misplaced_Canuck's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NE Columbia SC - Formerly, Montreal Canada
Posts: 2,784
Liked 139 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 44

Default Of Kolsch difficulties and successes ...

I've been making Kolsch beer ever since I started brewing again (in the fall of 2010). So far I've made 2, and both have turned out excellent (the first one took 2nd place in a competition).

However, I've been having difficulties getting this thing to clarify/condition and to be drinkable in a moderate amount of time.

Basic recipe: 70% Pilsner 2-row, 23% Kolsch malt, 5% wheat malt and under 2% of sour malt (for pH adjustement). Mash at 147F 90 minutes, boil 60, 20 IBU's of Hallertauer, a small amount of aroma hops.

Basic fermentation procedure: Ferment with Wyeast 2565, primary about 1 month at 64F, secondary 1 month at 64F.

This is where it gets a bit annoying:

After the secondary, I will put the beer in the serving fridge, with the CO2 attached to carbonate to about 2.8 volumes. Usually this takes a week, no issues there.

This last time, after 2 weeks under CO2 (I didn't have a free tap), I swapped a kicked keg to the Kolsch, (and I cleaned the lines thoroughly before putting it online).

I intentionally scrapped the first pint of Kolsch or so, which had some sediment. No big surprise there. The first drinking pint was quite sour, so much so that I thought I might have used too much sour malt (I used 1.73%), and I was pretty PO'ed. I actually considered giving it or scrapping it!

Fast forward 1 week, and I decide to give a growler to a friend (hey, that's what friends are for: unloading beer that's not all that great!). He gets back to me the next day and says: "This is darn good!". So I re-taste it, and I can still taste a slight taste of sourness, some heaviness in the body. I decide to let it age out some more.

Fast forward to this past Sunday (one week later), friend is over, we have a drink of it: It's mellowed out even more, but not quite great yet, still has a heavy mouthfeel/slight sour undertone. I let it sit some more.

Finally, last night, I decide to try it again. WOW! Finally, no sour notes, just a perfectly crisp Kolsch, just like I wanted/expected it! Mouthfeel is crisp and fluid without being watery.

So from the end of secondary to awesome tasting:

2 weeks under CO2, first taste is sour, heavy mouthfeel
1 week later, Still some sourness, heavy mouthfeel
1 more week, slight sourness, heavy mouthfeel
1 more week, it's perfect, great mouthfeel.

5 weeks of cold conditioning is what it took. That's a bit long for my tastes.

Any ideas how I can reduce this time without losing the Kolsch's delicate flavor? I bought some unflavored gelatin last night, and I may try that, but I'm a little concerned that that it may take away some of the flavor from the Kolsch.

Thoughts?

M_C

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck
Carbonic bite? Is that like the bubonic plague?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebstauffer
Needless to say after more than a few drams my mental efficiency matched my mashing efficiency.
Misplaced_Canuck is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-12-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
PseudoChef
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
PseudoChef's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,424
Liked 102 Times on 75 Posts
Likes Given: 39

Default

When I hear of a beer taking too long to condition, I think of the process first. For a Kolsch style beer, that's basically going to be lagered anyway, I would think that 2 months at 64 might be a little unnecessary. I would treat it just like a lager - when fermentation is slowing down to done (5-7 days), check for diacetyl, and if there are no perceptible amounts allow for fermentation to finish, and then start cold crashing. That additional time at 64 isn't really doing much of anything that the beer isn't going to do during a month lagering anyway.

Obviously, if there is diacetyl, ramp up the temp to 68 for a day or two, and then crash down.

I use gelatine in my Kolschs (almost every beer except those that are supposed to be hazy, for that matter) and, if anything, notice the flavor getting cleaner.

Another just brainstormed thought is that 64 might still be too high. I have been using 2565 around 60 at the start. But this last part is all subjective - trust in your palate and not some dude on the internet

__________________
PseudoChef is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-12-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
Misplaced_Canuck
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Misplaced_Canuck's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NE Columbia SC - Formerly, Montreal Canada
Posts: 2,784
Liked 139 Times on 113 Posts
Likes Given: 44

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
When I hear of a beer taking too long to condition, I think of the process first. For a Kolsch style beer, that's basically going to be lagered anyway, I would think that 2 months at 64 might be a little unnecessary. I would treat it just like a lager - when fermentation is slowing down to done (5-7 days), check for diacetyl, and if there are no perceptible amounts allow for fermentation to finish, and then start cold crashing. That additional time at 64 isn't really doing much of anything that the beer isn't going to do during a month lagering anyway.

Obviously, if there is diacetyl, ramp up the temp to 68 for a day or two, and then crash down.

I use gelatine in my Kolschs (almost every beer except those that are supposed to be hazy, for that matter) and, if anything, notice the flavor getting cleaner.

Another just brainstormed thought is that 64 might still be too high. I have been using 2565 around 60 at the start. But this last part is all subjective - trust in your palate and not some dude on the internet
I see your point. To be honest, my temp controller was set at 64F, but my test/calibration thermometer in a mason jar of water showed closer to 60F.

I've had great difficulty in getting #2565 to flocculate and to drop out of suspension. I don't really have a lagering fridge other than my serving fridge. Still, 5 weeks of cold conditioning is quite long.

As a point of reference, this is what my carboy looks like when transfering from primary to secondary:



M_C
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck
Carbonic bite? Is that like the bubonic plague?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebstauffer
Needless to say after more than a few drams my mental efficiency matched my mashing efficiency.
Misplaced_Canuck is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-12-2011, 03:43 PM   #4
kjung
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 3,741
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts
Likes Given: 10

Default

Looking at your times, I've got to think that you might want to try less time in the primary and secondary, and cold crash longer.
My Kolsch usually spends about a week in the primary, a week or two in the secondary, and 40 days cold crashing.

Just my 2c.

__________________

Be careful what you wish for, friend, 'cause I've been to Hell, and now I'm back again- Steve Earle

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.-
Albert Einstein

"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"- Einstein, again

kjung is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-12-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
markg388
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: seattle
Posts: 380
Liked 14 Times on 10 Posts

Default

I think you can shave off a few weeks by getting it into conditioning a bit earlier. I primary my kolsch for about 3 weeks then rack to a keg and start the conditioning process immediately, treating the corny as both the bright tank and serving vessel. It still takes like 5 or more weeks to get it real nice, clear and crisp, it is awfully similar to waiting for a lager to condition imo. i'm pretty sure it's just the nature of the beast (or yeast in this case ), but i'm gunna stay tuned to this thread and cross my fingers. Gelatain hasn't made much of a difference in kolsch for me, the conditioning takes weeks anyway.

__________________
markg388 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First Kolsch RandalG Fermentation & Yeast 3 06-04-2010 11:51 AM
Different yeast for Kolsch? SevenFields Fermentation & Yeast 6 03-13-2010 04:50 PM
Kolsch questions PiMaxC Fermentation & Yeast 10 02-25-2010 08:32 PM
Kolsch Ooops! BillAdams Fermentation & Yeast 10 12-09-2009 03:42 AM
Undercarbonated Kolsch permo Fermentation & Yeast 5 10-20-2009 07:00 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS