Monday, June 23, 2008

Colin's Colsch

So I've been really digging some of the lighter-weight beers recently, such as Milds, Dark Milds, Altbiers, Koelsch, Weizen, and DunkelWeizen especially. Apparently a very Continental taste for styles as well...

So I decided that my next brew needed to be one of these styles. I think I might do Dunkelweizen next, but for next weekend, I decided to start out with the malt bill and brewing style of a Koelsch and work it into my own Summer Ale, for hopefully quick maturation and clean refreshing drinking.

Kolsch is a pale colored and very crisp, clean ale with German origin (Cologne), often made using only pale malts and Noble Hops. It was an answer the Pilsen's... Pilseners if my beer history serves me right, and is made with ale yeast but is actually lagered (cold-conditioned, 32 degrees or so) for a short time.

I really enjoy a Kolsch on a hot day, and I prefer it over a true pale Lager (made with lager yeast) as I often pick up on some sulfur in the pale lagers. But I wanted to mimic a Kolsch pretty closely, at first. So I found what I think is a nice little gem on in the form of an email from a Kolsch Brewmaster at the Brauerei Früh Am Dom describing the basic method (here). It's not an exact breakdown, recipe, mash schedules etc, but in this case I think it's pretty easy to fill in the blanks. After seeing that thread though, decided that I would take as much of the Kolsch process and combine it with some of my fav ingredients, include some honey (I think a Summer Ale with honey sounds good, we'll see!).

So this is how it's going to go:

-Mash for high fermentability, 150F or even a slight bit below for 90 minutes
-I don't have super-soft water like Koln or Pilsen, but I can compensate with some acid to at least get the ph right, but use my normal water, which seems to work well
-Recipe is SIMPLE:
-7lbs Maris Otter Pale Malt
-2oz Glacier Hops, 30 min
-3lbs Honey, added at Flameout
-Safale K-97 (German ale) or my good buddy US-05 (if the k-97 doesn't show up in time)
-Primary for at least 7 days (Honey is supposed to take a longer time to ferment)
-Lager two weeks (secondary at 32F)
-Keg her up and she should be good to go! (Is it a female beer because it's a Blonde Ale?)

So this should hit the keg on July 19, in time for HOT summer days!

And a note to names and spelling... I haven't been consistent through this post, and obvioulsy I've hacked the name of the beer Colin's Colsch. Part of this is that I don't know offhand how to type the Umlaut, so if I want to spell Kölsch that way I have to paste it in... and I've seen it spelled Koelsch, and Kolsch in different places. But the beer name is a play on that, and a tip to the Koln/Cologne name for the city where the only true Kölsch's are brewed.

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