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Old 02-19-2013, 01:42 AM   #1
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Default Kolsch fermentation

My Kolsch fermentation has me worried.

I freed up my carboy after bottling today, so I decided to secondary my Kolsch into it. I had been fermenting at 61 for 2 weeks and the air lock was super slow.

The gravity was at 1.020 and I thought that the WYeast 2565 yeast should do better than that by now. There was still a lot of foam in the primary. The beer was cloudier than any beer I have made. I know this style takes time to settle. When I saved the yeast, it foamed out of the mason jar as I opened to wash, it then foamed over the second smaller jar too.

Questions: Hey Kolsch guys, will the beer dry up to the expected gravity in the secondary or should I take additional steps such as warmer location or pitch new yeast ? Did the saved yeast foam up because it came to room temp or due to added oxygen or was it still too active to save?

Maybe I should have stirred the yeast to roust it in the primary instead of putting the beer into be secondary.

All advice is appreciated.


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Old 02-19-2013, 05:02 AM   #2
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I would warm it up and see if you can get a few more points out of it. 1.020 is too high for that style.


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Old 02-19-2013, 05:12 AM   #3
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Is the fermentation stuck at 1.020, or is it still going down? The Kolsch I just bottled used 2565, fermented the first week at 58, then up to 62 for the remainder of primary, so I don't know if temp is a factor, but warming it up might help. I'd give it another couple weeks and see if it goes further. But yeah, mine was REALLY powdery (I expected it), and after 3 or 4 weeks (I'd have to check my notes) when I racked it secondary for lagering, the krausen still hadn't entirely fallen (I'd reached FG by 2 weeks). I just racked out from under it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:15 AM   #4
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A few questions: Recipe? Extract or all grain? How much yeast did you pitch?
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:19 AM   #5
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Was this an extract or AG recipe? I don't secondary and just leave it in primary around 38F for 4 weeks then fine it with Isinglass and keg....always comes out crystal clear. My notes show FG's of .010-.012
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:37 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. Here is an update. It's a partial mash extract brew for those who asked.

Holly crap it's blowing out of the carboy and into the airlock today- not much room for foam in this 5 gal, but clearly it's restarted. New kreusen and the airlock is like week 1. Last night I swirled then warmed it from around 60 or 61 to up to about 62 or 63. I don't want to get too warm per JamilZ's BN podcast. I hope it should finish now closer to 1.014 or better.

Next time I will primary at least 3 weeks and do rousting and warming as it slows.

I plan on crashing and conditioning in 1- 2 weeks. I read that will clear the beer. Are most of you cold crashing then cold conditioning after the Kolsch finishes?

More updates to come.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:44 AM   #7
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Yeah....Kolsch yeast is pretty "dusty" so a long, cold conditioning time will definetly help. I usually go for 4 weeks.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:48 AM   #8
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I "lager" for 4 weeks at 45, and hit with gelatin a few days before the end.
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:45 AM   #9
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Update

After a vigorous restart in the secondary for about 5 days at 63, things are slowing again. I am going to take it back to the basement for a week at 61 then test the gravity. I feel confident that its not stuck at 1.020 now.

After I'm sure it's done fermenting 100%, I will decide whether to cold condition in the beer fridge right in the carboy then bottle.... or bottle, carb, then cold condition in bottles.

Any conditioning advice Kolsch lovers?


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