Kolsch question

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MaliciousMushrm

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Ok, I just picked up an ingredient kit for my second brew. It is a brewers best kolsch. I have never had one, and thought it sounded pretty good. I also got a bottle of kolsch to try out. The bottle I got was a gaffel. After trying it... I think it is VERY sweet. The description on the box for the brewers best says a bit sweeter than a pilsner, but this is quite a bit different for me. My question is basic. Are all kolsch's super sweet? I know I probably shoulda checked before I bought it, but I usually have pretty good luck with this sorta thing. I don't wanna brew something that I hate. Thanks guys.
 

daveooph131

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Most kolsch too my taste are not sweet. Think of a blonde ale and the add more bitterness and a dryer finish." - that's a kolsch in a nut shell.
 

hal2814

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I drink Gaffel from time to time but prefer Reissdorf. Are you sure you're not mistaking "sweet" for a vegetal sort of creamed corn flavor? Gaffel does have some noticeable DMS in it. Your Kolsch doesn't have to have DMS in it, but it's ok if it does. Even the Shiner Kolsch had a little in it.
 

pjj2ba

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Imported Kolsch versus the same thing in Cologne are definitely different. Same for Alts. In both cases the imported version is sweeter (and vastly inferior IMHO) I'm not sure if they use a different recipe or if the beer is handled differently (pastuerized?). The Kolsch we had in Cologne weren't sweet at all, and were very pilsner-like. They did have a light fruitiness not present in a pilsner. But I wouldn't call that sweet

Back 25 yrs ago (egad!) when living in Michigan, we did a Candian Canadian beer versus an Imported Canadian beer tasting. We had at least 4 different pairs and we all thought the imported version tasted different than the ones bought in Canada. If I recall properly, the imported version were slightly more bitter. At this same tasting we also decided that the type of glassware made a difference too.
 

ArcaneXor

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Koelsch is a very dry beer style. Any perceived sweetness should come from the yeast-derived esters, which can be subtly fruity. Gaffel is a very good Koelsch, and I have drank my share of it in the Rheinland area. It's actually one of the more hoppy examples of the style. The only thing I can think of is that either it was mishandled, or your palate wasn't calibrated to neutral when you had it.
 
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MaliciousMushrm

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Well thank you for all of the responses. I had been testing different beers all night, so perhaps I was biased by that. I do not have a refined taste for all of the different components that make up the flavors of beer; so I could be mistakingly calling something sweet that someone else would call something else. That isn't to say that I don't like good beer, I just don't know what words I would use to describe the things that I am tasting. With that being said, I don't really know the difference between fruity esters and dms or how to tell if either or both are present. I mean is a fuity ester enough for me to perceive a beer as being sweet? or is it merely an undertone? Sorry for all the ?'s but I am new to homebrew and am loving it... just a bit overwhelmed on the varieties of beers.
 

malkore

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My wife's cousin lives in Germany right now and smuggled a bottle of kolsch back on one visit.
It is not a sweet beer. Like, compared to a typical wit, its noticably drier.
but its still a balanced beer...not real malty, not real hoppy, real clean (for an ale).

its a style i really like.
 
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