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Old 10-16-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
Sep 2010
upstate of SC
Posts: 299
Liked 20 Times on 17 Posts

Taking a stab at my first clone beer. Our local brewer makes a Kolsch that people like but a little on expensive side. Thought I would brew a couple of 2.5 gallon batches to find a good clone for summer.

Here is the description from Coast website

Our take on a kolsch style ale that is soft on the palate with a delicate malt flavor. Balanced with a touch of wheat and honey notes .Dry and wine like with a flowery hop finish.
(4.8% abv) Brewed Year Round.

Ingredients: Pilsner*, Vienna*, Wheat*, Carahelle* and Carapils malts, Tradition and Halletaur hops.

*Certified Organic Malt

Looking at Ray Daniels book the Vienna and Carahelle are throwing me off. They are used in Alts not a Kolsch.

If I take the average of grain for a starting point it comes out to:

Pilsner 75%
Wheat 14%
Carapils 7%
Carahelle ?
Vienna ?

The percentage only leaves me 4% to split on Carahelle and Vienna. Should I take from Pilsner malt? What do you guys suggest for percentage on grain bill.

I thinking of bittering hops to hit mid level for style with some at flame out for aroma.

Thanks for the help

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:03 AM   #2
Feb 2010
San Diego, CA
Posts: 15
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Short answer: take from the wheat and carapils.

"Normal" Koelsch grain bills usually have Vienna and/or Wheat and/or Munich as the main supporting grain--usually around 10-15% total. None are "necessary" to the style. Honey malt is also common as a supplemental element, but is not listed in the ingredients you cite. The Carahell is basically German light cystal (~10L), so maybe some of the sweet honey notes come from that. Carapils shouldn't be needed for head retention, due to the wheat. Maybe just for extra body--though it should be a pretty light beer. 7% seems like a lot.

My last Koelsch was 81% Pilsner, 11% Vienna, 5% wheat, and 3% acidulated malt to help the mash pH. I sorta averaged a few recipes from this site. Turned out great. So with that in mind, I might go for something like

Pilsner 75%
Vienna 8%
Wheat Malt 10%
Carahell 4%
Carapils 3% (or none?)

Carahell and Vienna both contribute sweetness, so I reduced the Vienna for that reason. You don't want it to be too sweet. You can also adjust the balance between wheat and Pilsner, if you like. People go up to 30% wheat.

It will turn out great, no matter what you do, as long as your process is good. I love Koelsch!

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