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Old 04-28-2006, 02:12 AM   #1
S.T. Out
Sep 2005
Oregon, USA
Posts: 27

Hello everyone,

I have been trying more and more Lagers, Kolschs and Wheat Beers, etc. and am finding that I enjoy them a lot more than I have in the past.

Heavy dark beers were the only thing I thought I should spend my time and money on. But recently I tried some excellent Lagers and Kolschs that had a lot of flavor but were not overpowering in anyway. I really like a beer to have a lot of complex flavor, be it from the hops or malt, but to also be crisp and refreshing and to make you come back for more. I use to be the guy who always read the Alc% first and if it wasnt up to snuff I didnt buy it. Now I am much more into the refined delicate flavorful light beers. But dont get me wrong, a good Barley Wine, Imperial Stout, IPA or Belgian are still my first lovers.

I dont know where I saw it but I read somewhere that a light beer is a lot harder to make well than a dark beer because you are dealing with more delicate flavors.

So anyhow, after all that, my real question is:

How much more is involved in making a Kolsch or a Lager? What are the basic differences from regular Ales? I know Lagers use a different yeast but what about Kolschs?

And if someone could provide a good Kolsch or Lager recipe (that has a lot of flavor but is also crisp and refreshing) that they have tried I would be most grateful (AG or Mash-Extract). Thanks!

~S.T. Out
Grandpa Joe: The man was a genius. Did you know he invented a new way of making chocolate stout so that it stays cold for hours without a refrigerator. You can even leave it sitting in the sun on a hot day and it wont go warm.

Charlie: But thats impossible.

Grandpa Joe: Willy Wonka did it.

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Old 04-28-2006, 04:30 AM   #2
Kaiser's Avatar
Nov 2005
Pepperell, MA
Posts: 3,895
Liked 132 Times on 76 Posts

Well S.T., the fermentation part will be key of your brewing. Don't invest in fancy brewhouse equipment untill you have the fermentation side under control. This starts with sufficient aeration (CO2 system or aquarium pump), knowledge and means for propagating yeast (stir plate is a big plus here but one can easily do without) and a fridge for controlled fermentation temperatures. Koelschs are pretty much lagers fermented with Ale yeast. Meaning that they need to be treated like lagers. Only the primary fermentation temperature is a little bit higher.

If you haven't done a Lager yet, don't be to intimitated about what I wrote above and start brewing one. But you will have to give the fermentation more attention than you would do with ales. A good book on this is "New Brewing Lager Beer" by Greg Noonan and the Classic Beer styles books are great too. I read the ones about Koelsch, Bavarian Helles and German Wheats and liked them a lot.

As for recipes I recommend AG or partial mash. When doing partial mash, a great deal of the extract should come from the mash since these beers take so much flavor from the grains rather than the hops or yeast. If you get one of the Classic Beer styles books, which I highly recommend if you want to improve on a particular style, it will feature great recipes. Don't be fooled by their simplicity. As you said the flavors in these beers are subtle and don't come from a lot of specialty malts. Try to use authentic malts/extract as much as you can.


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