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Old 05-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Proper Kolsch?

Ok, so I'm going to try to make a nice light beer again. I'm planning on Kolsch. The problem is, I always seem to make it with too much mouthfeel. I'm wanting a light dry beer this time and need some advice to get it done.

I've checked calibration on thermometers and everything seems ok, but I consistently feel as though as though I'm mashing too high or not getting the yeast to finish properly.

Any tips on making a good one would be appreciated (unless they are smart ass comments, then they will be appreciated based on their humour level...)


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Old 05-13-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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I would aim for about 148 on the mash and build a starter for the yeast. As long as the grain bill is mostly base malt you should be fine.


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Old 05-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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I haven't tried a great variety of Kolsch beer so take this with a grain of salt, but every single one I did try were medium-light to medium on the mouth feel.

Are you maybe expecting it to be lighter than it really is? Or have you actually tried one that was light enough for you but you can't seem to get yours to come out as light?
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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i'm down to my last few bottles of my kolsch. while it's the lightest beer i've ever made, it's still not a pilsner. it has more mouthfeel than that.

but if you want lighter, you could bastardize the recipe an add a little sugar to thin it out.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #5
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I made one that wasn't truly a Kolsch, but turned out good on the whole. SMaSH brew with Michigan Malt Co. 2-row and Willamette, brewed up with some Bell's yeast I harvested from their Amber. Mashed around 149 and it turned out VERY light colored and relatively dry. A little bit yeasty but not bad once I let it get past a couple days in a bottle. I aimed a little higher on the carbonation... thinking 2.3 vols CO2? I was pleasantly surprised how good it was overall. Might fit the bill for what you have in mind...
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mendesm View Post
I haven't tried a great variety of Kolsch beer so take this with a grain of salt, but every single one I did try were medium-light to medium on the mouth feel.

Are you maybe expecting it to be lighter than it really is? Or have you actually tried one that was light enough for you but you can't seem to get yours to come out as light?
I've had a few and I don't think I'm expect pilsner. Just my lighter beers are always too full tasting. Thickness in the mouthfeel.

Maybe I'm just mashing too high. I think the last one I tried was just base malt with a touch of flavor grain like vienna or munich. I don't have my beersmith recipe list at work right now to look it up.

I have some willamette I can use. Is this what is considered one of the more common hops for a kolsch? I thought willamette was like an English hop. Fuggles like.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
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Maybe the problem is not getting enough CO2 into solution. I should crank up the gas a bit and see if that helps this time. I feel my process is generally suitable, so I am not sure what else it could be. I've got kolsch yeast from Bells store I can build up for a nice big pitch. Also got to remember to see if I can find some O2 soon. An O2 kit is on my short list for birthday presents.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forstmeister View Post
I would aim for about 148 on the mash and build a starter for the yeast. As long as the grain bill is mostly base malt you should be fine.
I agree with this fellow... 148 is a good start...

If not what you are shooting for go lower.

My Kolsch ferments at the low end of the yeasts range for a couple weeks.
A couple days at room temp for the D-Rest.
Laget in the low 40s for a couple more weeks (longer if I don't need it right away.

I last one I did not follow thie recipe because I was on vacation so it fermented at 68 for three weeks, was kegged and rested at 68 for a month... was a bit to hoppy for me...

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Old 05-13-2013, 07:28 PM   #9
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Do you have a decent amount of Chloride in your water? If so, perhaps you could dilute your water with RO.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:33 PM   #10
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I've always used RO and added a little bit back into that. My water is highly alkaline and is great for stouts, but for wits, blondes, kolsch, even pale ales, I have to dilute with RO at LEAST by 50%, but usually I just use 100% purified for anything that's not at least amber.


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