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Kolsch: Ale or Lager???

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BrianTheBrewer

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Was wondering how most of you brew your Kolsch???

I know its not a full lager or a full ale...do you brew it as a lager or ale???

We are going to brew a Kolsch Ale...what is the right temp to ferment it at?
 
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Some brew it with a lager yeast at ale temps, some with an ale yeast lower than the rated temp range.

There is also a kolsch strain available from white labs and wyeast.

If you get BYO magazine, they have an article on kolsch beers in the latest issue.
 

brewt00l

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NoClueBrew said:
We are going to brew a Kolsch Ale...what is the right temp to ferment it at?
Depends on the yeast you use and what amount of esters you want in the flavor..
 

cubbies

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I just brewed a Kolsch last Saturday. I decided against the Kolsch yeast as I like to have a little versatility and I went with Wyeast German Ale 1007. I plan on making an Alt next and racking on top of the cake. My basement sits right around 57-58 degrees so I didn't want to go with Lager yeast, but I needed an Ale that would ferment cold. The German Ale so far has worked wonders, it is bubbling away majestically.

My plan for this beer is to Primary 7-10 days, Secondary 7 days, and then cold condition for two weeks. Then transfer to keg.
 

FatMonsters

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I think, and I may be wrong, traditionally its done with an ale yeast strain fermented at normal ale temperatures for primary fermentation and then it is cold conditioned at a lower temperature the ale yeast can handle.
 

Kaiser

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Mulcahey's Brewing said:
I think, and I may be wrong, traditionally its done with an ale yeast strain fermented at normal ale temperatures for primary fermentation and then it is cold conditioned at a lower temperature the ale yeast can handle.
No, you are correct. Koelsch is an Ale that is cold conditioned like a lager.

Kai
 

FatMonsters

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Kaiser said:
No, you are correct. Koelsch is an Ale that is cold conditioned like a lager.
Kai
Thanks. I wanted to do one too, but haven't got a means to cold condition yet. My garage temperature fluctuates too much and my basement stays around 64F in the winter and 68F to 70F in summer. I could probably do a temperature bath in my basement and add ice as necessary to keep the colder temp.
 

ArcaneXor

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Koelsch is an ale. If you brew it with lager yeast, it's no longer a Koelsch.
 

ArcaneXor

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Denny's Evil Concoctions said:
That may be technically true but have you read the latest BYO?
I just started my subscription to that and hope to get it soon.

But in any case, the use of ale yeasts is a defining characteristic of the style:
Die Bezeichnung Kölsch ist seit alters her eine qualifizierte geographische Herkunftsbezeichnung für nach dem Reinheitsgebot hergestelltes helles, hochvergorenes, hopfenbetontes, blankes obergäriges Vollbier,

i.e. a light-colored, highly fermented, hop-heavy, clear, standard-gravity ale.
 

weetodd

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I brewed one last year with WY 1007, fermented in the low 60s. I didn't have a way to crash it but tried to keep it cool as possible for the secondary. Still turned out to be a very good beer. I think if you could ferment cold and also had a way to crash it would come out more crisp.
 

Matt Foley

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NoClueBrew said:
So your saying brew it like an ale, but ferment it cold like a lager?
No I think they are saying brew it like an ale, ferment it like an ale (mayble on the low temp end) then condition it like a lager, assuming you are using a Kolsch yeast. I have a Kolsh in the primary now and a wheat with Kolsch yeast cold coditioning. It is my understanding that it takes a lot of cold to get the Kolsch yeast to fall out.
 
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BrianTheBrewer

BrianTheBrewer

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So we are brewing the Kolsch tonight...im thinking maybe a 62 temp to ferment at, that sound ok? Maybe higher at 65???
 

brewt00l

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Matt Foley said:
It is my understanding that it takes a lot of cold to get the Kolsch yeast to fall out.
I dunno...after a couple days in the fridge, mine look pretty clear. 'Course they stay in a bit longer for the lagering anyhow.

NoClueBrew said:
im thinking maybe a 62 temp to ferment at, that sound ok? Maybe higher at 65???
What yeast are you using?
 
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BrianTheBrewer

BrianTheBrewer

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Its a 5/0 yeast, dont know if its a Kolsch yeast. Dont have the product in front of me.
 

brewt00l

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NoClueBrew said:
I believe thats it...may be wrong :tank:
Not really what I would use for a Kolsch, but you'll be fine fermenting that in the mid to upper 60s for a fairly neutral profile. You can still cold crash it but you don't really have to deal with lagering since that yeast doesn't have much of any lager characteristics IMHO, YMMV BBQ.
 
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BrianTheBrewer

BrianTheBrewer

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brewt00l said:
Not really what I would use for a Kolsch, but you'll be fine fermenting that in the mid to upper 60s for a fairly neutral profile. You can still cold crash it but you don't really have to deal with lagering since that yeast doesn't have much of any lager characteristics IMHO, YMMV BBQ.

Well we will see when its ready :)
 

EFresh

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WL and WY Kolsch strains are designed so that the average homebrewer can get a clean taste using just basement temps (65-72) and believe me they work. Many (especially those using US-05), prefer to ferment below that and also use lager temps later in the process.

I'm wondering if cold conditioning is more beneficial directly after racking to secondary or after the secondary period (7-14 days) ... Any thoughts?
 

jbsg02

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I think I'm going to try a kolsch using one of the kolsch yeasts from WL or wyeast for my next brew
 

paraordnance

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Yeast is what makes real Kolsch beer. You can only brew true Kolsch if you ferment with Wyeast 2565 or WLP029. You can get away with Wyeast 1007 as well. Everything also doesnt even come close in taste and flavor department. With US-05 and cold conditioning you will be making nice blonde ale definatelly not Kolsch.
Using identical grain bill, hops and fermented warm (65-70F) with Wyeast 2565 and NOT cold conditioned it still will be much closer to original than one fermented cold (60-63F) then lagered for weeks with US-05. Kolsch yeast produces unique chardonnay-like charachter which you not going to get from any other yeast no mater how hard you try.

I find simplicity and patiance is a key to brew really good Kolsch. 100% pilsner malt (forget about wheat if you want it to be crystal clear and crisp), only 60 min hop additions to around 20 IBUs with Saaz, Tattnang or Hallertauer, ferment around 60-63F actual wort temperature, and then lager it for month below 40F. You will be rewarded with results.
 

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