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Old 03-20-2012, 03:11 PM   #1
Flatspin
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This past weekend I brewed a kolsch and it is currently fermenting nicely with some US-05 that I had harvested from a yeast cake a few weeks back, because I was looking for a clean profile and because I had some ready to go. Right now it is sitting at about 62 degrees, and in a day or two I will let it warm up to room temperature to finish fermentation.

Everything I've read says that a month of pseudo-lagering is required for a kolsch. I am wondering if the US-05 will be able to do much at around 50 degrees, or would I get the best results by leaving this one at room temperature for a month?

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
mewithstewpid
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id say leave it at room temp and call it a blonde. a kolsch needs kolsch yeast. you could also let it ferment out for a week or two and then cool condition it for a month in the primary. that would make it nice and smooth.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
thegerm
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you used a neutral american ale yeast, so you'll probably get optimum results by treating it like an american pale ale.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #4
DrinkNoH2O
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Agreed, if you didn't use Kölsch yeast it's not a Kölsch. No point in trying to lager with an ale yeast.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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I'm kind of surprised by these responses. Kolsh yeast is an ale yeast. I was reading "Designing Great Beers", and it looked like most NHC second round kolsch recipes didn't actually use kolsch yeast.

Does anyone know if there are special properties that lend kolsh yeast to lagering?

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatspin View Post
I'm kind of surprised by these responses. Kolsh yeast is an ale yeast. I was reading "Designing Great Beers", and it looked like most NHC second round kolsch recipes didn't actually use kolsch yeast.

Does anyone know if there are special properties that lend kolsh yeast to lagering?
I have also been reading Designing Great Beers, you must remember this book is like 15 years old - there are a lot more easily accessible yeast strains now adays. That is probably why that yeast was used!

From my experience Kolsch yeast can throw some sulfur, much like a lager, and cold aging can mellow that out. Cold storing of any beer can help in my opinion - at the very least it helps clarity!

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Kolsh yeast is a top cropping strain and fements on the low side of ale temps. It contributes lager characteristics to the beer so that you end up with what tastes more like a lager than an ale. It is completely different than other ale yeasts such as the US-05 that you used. Lagering won't help you any other than the normal benefits of cold crashing. And it's not going to taste anything like a kolsh, so don't get your hopes up. That doesn't mean that it won't be a good, drinkable beer though.
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:14 PM   #8
thegerm
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http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp029.html

sulphur

I've used 029 to make a faux lager by fermenting a munich dunkel with this strain at around 60f. I found the result to be clean like a lager, but it also had a distinct minerally character that I don't get from a real lager strain like wlp833 nor from any english or american ale strain I've used.

 
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBL_Brewer View Post
Kolsh yeast is a top cropping strain and fements on the low side of ale temps. It contributes lager characteristics to the beer so that you end up with what tastes more like a lager than an ale. It is completely different than other ale yeasts such as the US-05 that you used. Lagering won't help you any other than the normal benefits of cold crashing. And it's not going to taste anything like a kolsh, so don't get your hopes up. That doesn't mean that it won't be a good, drinkable beer though.
I looked up the stats on Northern Brewer, and Wyeast's Kolsch Yeast (2565) does say that optimum fermentation goes all the way down to 56, but the White Labs strain warns against fermenting below 62. I realize these are fermentation temperatures, but the White Labs Kolsch Yeast (WLP 029) has a fermentation range similar to US-05, and it also says that the apparent attenuation is only 65-69%, which seems pretty low for a kolsch. If the US-05 can ferment lower than WLP 029, would it be able to clean up the beer lager-style with a month at about 50 degrees?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brettwasbtd View Post
I have also been reading Designing Great Beers, you must remember this book is like 15 years old - there are a lot more easily accessible yeast strains now adays. That is probably why that yeast was used!

From my experience Kolsch yeast can throw some sulfur, much like a lager, and cold aging can mellow that out. Cold storing of any beer can help in my opinion - at the very least it helps clarity!
Right after posting, I realized how old the book was! Although, there was one person in his list who used Kolsch yeast, so unless the guy somehow got a strain from a brewery in Cologne it must have been available to brewers in some form. I guess my real goal with this beer is a light crisp German-style beer, so if it doesn't have the true Kolsch flavor I won't be too disappointed. I'll probably still cool store the beer for a while - not lagering because I am just using a swamp cooler with ice and a towel.

 
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
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Let me put this simply. Using US-05 to make Kolsh is like using oranges to make apple juice. The flavor is different. US-05 won't make the beer taste like a kolsh yeast would. You can't look at what temperature the yeast ferments at becasue that doesn't tell you anything about the predominant flavor charcteristics for that strain. You can achieve different flavors from yeast by fermenting at different temperatures, but not so much that you can brew a whole different style just by fermenting at a given temperature.
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