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Crash 01-23-2009 09:35 PM

Honey Kolsch experiment-- Need advice
 
I brewed a Northern Brewer honey kolsh kit a couple of weeks ago for an up coming Marti Gras party thinking it would make a good chick beer. As always I added some fermentables to boost the ABV in this case an extra 2#s of honey and expermented by adding some orange zest (I imagined a nice light beer with an orangy finish) -- the wort tasted great! 2 weeks later, I racked it yeaterday it's at 8% ABV, very cloudy and has a pretty nasty bitter/sour taste. I still have 4 weeks to the party; do you think it will improve with age or does anyone have any suggestions on salvaging this batch if it doesn't improve?:mug:
Thanks
Crash

Kilgore_Trout 01-23-2009 09:47 PM

Kolsch yeast is slow, so it might take a bit longer to clean up. 8% is pretty big as well, and big beers tend to take a while to mellow. Honey also takes a long time to ferment out.

IMO you bumped the ABV a bit too far. The recipe already has a pound in it, you're running about 1/3 of your fermentables as honey. Not bad, but definitely going to change the profile of the beer.

I'd give it time. It's hard to say what you've created, and only time is going to potentially improve it. The last thing I would do is bastardize this recipe any more.

HoppySatan 02-11-2009 11:51 PM

I have the same NB honey kolsch. I didn't add and more honey though. Been in primary for 2 weeks and it looks cloudy as hell. I was suprised with this kit because the liquid yeast was a wyeast american wheat. I did their 'regular' kolsch kit before with the kolsch yeast and it was done and clear in 2 weeks and tasted great. So I'm not really thrilled with what I seeing in my fermentor but I ain't dumping it. Hopefully they'll turn out fine.

RGH 02-12-2009 01:14 AM

I am brewing my second kolsch by "brewers best" right now. The first one was awesome, I added blueberries and I will do the same again. Not to discredit Kilgore, but I have to say that the yeast that came with the kit that I used went nuts within 12 hours and for about 3 days. I am positive it is a different yeast though. I have used 3#'s of honey in a stout, which is getting better with each pull from the keg, it does have the sour taste to it and not really anything like honey at all. It mellows out with each pull. in fact when I smelled it before I put it into the secondary it had a rum smell almost. Honey is one of those crazy things, it doesnt spoil, so it takes a long time to ferment and will get better with age (from what my LHBS guy tells me). I dont know if you used Irish moss in the last 15 mins of the boil, I did on my Kolsch and it clears up things alot. In fact I use it in every batch I make. Also, on some batched I use a base (powdered chalk from my LHBS) that I add right after I pitch the yeast and before I seal it up. That usually will even things out as far as the sourness goes. Four weeks should mellow it out considerably. A honey Kolsch sounds awesome and 8% ABV will be a nice buzz. If the chicks dont dig it, I wouldn't mind taking it off of your hands :cross:, or you might just be forced to pay beer penance and drink it even if its bad :mug:

Crash 02-13-2009 01:41 AM

Update -- it's been about 3 weeks since i racked it and it has cleared quite a bit and doesn't look so spooky any more. I took a sample about a week ago and it had improved quite a bit. The party is a week from this saturday; I am wondering if I should go ahead and keg it or give it all the time possible in the secondary. Any thoughts?

RGH 02-13-2009 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crash (Post 1130518)
Update -- it's been about 3 weeks since i racked it and it has cleared quite a bit and doesn't look so spooky any more. I took a sample about a week ago and it had improved quite a bit. The party is a week from this saturday; I am wondering if I should go ahead and keg it or give it all the time possible in the secondary. Any thoughts?

I would Keg it to give you some time to force carb it. as you know the first half-liter to liter will be kinda funky, as you are getting all the settled yeast/trub. I would make sure that you save some, it is going to be awesome in a month or two :rockin:.


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