Kolsch Question

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JWS

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Brew a Kolsch (Midwest Supplies Cologne Kolsch Kit), and fermentated with the White labs 029 two weeks ago today.

I have read many post that list that you should secondary Kolsch in a fridge for a few weeks to clear it out. Of course I have read most post that say bottle it. Kind of an ask 50 people and get 50 different answers. But I'm hoping giving an inside can get some help.

I racked it to the secondary looked a little cloady, not bad from my point of veiw, but this is also the first time I have ever done a kolsch. i took the reading of it and it was right on for the FG.

Questions:
1) I have thrown it in the fridge and slowly bringing the temp down. Should I continue with this or turn the temp way down?

2) Is this really that nessassary or should i just bottle and see if it will clear that way?

I would love be able to try this Memorial Day weekend, but I think that is pushing it.
 

waldoar15

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I hit mine with gelatin after putting it in the secondary and it's clear enough to bottle or keg in about two days.
 
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I'm no expert and this will be just one of the ways you hear people do it but, lately I've been fermenting in primary for a month. Then I keg/bottle and put it in the kegerator in the low 40s for a month to "lager". Then I drink it. Some people may say to lager it for months but I've noticed with mine that it really tastes best after just a month of lagering.

Edit, I too usually use gelatin when I keg it. But I never do a secondary on my kolsch.
 

donjr721

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i'm thinking about doing a kolsch, i was also concerned about cooling to clear it up. i think that the main thing is to cool it down as quickly as possible after the boil to initiate a good cold break, getting it to your fermentation temp. 62 degrees is what i have read is ideal for a kolsch, but i would imagine if you could cool it to 62, pitch your yeast, then ferment at room temp. it would clear up as well.
 
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JWS

JWS

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I hit mine with gelatin after putting it in the secondary and it's clear enough to bottle or keg in about two days.
I didn't add gelatin before putting it in the secondary, should I have? How much?

I have only used gelatin once before, and don't remember exactly how much it was.
 

waldoar15

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I didn't add gelatin before putting it in the secondary, should I have? How much?

I have only used gelatin once before, and don't remember exactly how much it was.
One packet of Knox unflavored dissolved in a cup or so of hot water. The only reason I don't do it in the primary is because I reuse the yeast.
 

ArcaneXor

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You can cool it down pretty aggressively - no need to go slow. Three weeks is a good starting point for lagering and should get the yeast to settle out, but Koelsch yeast is extremely easily roused, so using a fining like gelatin is a good idea if you are going to be moving your keg/bottles around a lot. Depending on how clean your fermentation was, more lagering time may be required to bring that nice, dry, crisp & clean character to the beer.
 

brewd00d

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im a big fan of chilling the beer to clear it out. makes a noticeable difference in clarity, at beers i brewed.
 

JohnTheBrewist

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Are you bottling or kegging? If you're bottling and want to drink it on memorial day, then I'd bottle now and not worry about clearing it. It will be clear enough after bottle conditioning, and a little potential haze wont affect the flavor.

If kegging, then I'd use gelatin and chilling, and then force carb when ready so you have it to drink when you want it.
 
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JWS

JWS

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It will be clear enough after bottle conditioning, and a little potential haze wont affect the flavor.
That brings up a question. Does Lagering to clear help the flavor at all or is the flavor pretty much set where it is right now it just helps to get the beer clearer?
 

KevinW

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Lagering does help with Kölsch beers, the clearing is usually the most obvious purpose but the flavors seem to mellow a bit after a month or more in the cooler. Kölsch, like most Lager beers is a very light flavor beer and any "green" taste will show up in dramatic fashion so the lagering of Kölsch beers is always a good idea.
 

peabody304

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I have a related question. I brewed Ed Wort's kolsch on 3/13. It was in the primary for at least two weeks. I then cold crashed it for a few days with gelatin and then kegged it. (I don't have the exact dates as I'm in Romania for a couple of weeks and don't have all my notes.) It's been at room temperature (mid 70s mostly) for at least 5 weeks.

I'm no real hurry for it (I've full embraced the pipeline concept) so would it benefit from bringing it down to lagering temperatures for another few weeks?

Peabody304
 

JohnTheBrewist

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I have a related question. I brewed Ed Wort's kolsch on 3/13. It was in the primary for at least two weeks. I then cold crashed it for a few days with gelatin and then kegged it. (I don't have the exact dates as I'm in Romania for a couple of weeks and don't have all my notes.) It's been at room temperature (mid 70s mostly) for at least 5 weeks.

I'm no real hurry for it (I've full embraced the pipeline concept) so would it benefit from bringing it down to lagering temperatures for another few weeks?

Peabody304
From my personal experience, I don't think you'll see enough change in flavor to make it worth lagering for that much longer. At best it might be a little smoother.
 
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