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Old 01-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #1
Jan 2011
Posts: 177
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

This past weekend I brewed an all grain kolsch kit. After reading how well Kolsch's ferment at around the 55-65 degree range, I decided I would try using a refrigerator that was just given to me for the first time. After waking up the next morning I realized that the kolsch was at around 39-40 degrees, but fermentation had taken off and it smelled pretty fruity. I know that Kolsch's are supposed to be fermented at around 55-65 degrees. Will I get any off flavors for lagering a kolsch from start to finish?

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
Jul 2011
Des Moines, IA
Posts: 90

I don't know about that particular yeast but, if it's fermenting, I think your good to go. As I understanding it, the risk of fermenting too low is causing the yeast to go dormant. Overly-fruity characters are generally associated with too high temps, not too low.

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Old 01-04-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
Jul 2011
Ramsey & Akeley, Mn
Posts: 2,975
Liked 237 Times on 217 Posts

I don't think it will finish at 39-40 degrees, if you are getting any substantial fermentation at all. That's too low even for a true lager yeast, which the Kolsch is not. If you are going to use the fridge, you will need to get a temperature controller. If you're electrically savvy, you can wire in a fairly cheap controller ($30-40). If you want to make it easy, look for the blue pre-wired Johnson digital controlers (A419). I bought mine for $75. Then you can control to within 2-3 degree total range.

My second Kolsch, which was all grain like yours just finished carbonating in the bottles. Very clean with a subtle wine like characteristic which is true to style. It's very tasty and I fermented at 60 on the nose. Brought it up to 68 for the last 3 days to let it finish up and clean up any diacetyl. Then lagered at 37 for 4 weeks. Yum!
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