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Kolsch brew

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by bobbiedigital, 11/1/18.

 

  1. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 11/1/18
    Hi,

    I am going to brew a Kolsch over the next few days. The extract recipe is pretty simple with a some light extract and a couple of small amounts of specialty grains ( 0.1kg of vienna, munich and wheat) to add some flavour.

    What I would like to know is would it be a good idea to use an ale and lager yeast? I have two packs of saflager s-23 and w34/70. I want to use one of those packets and the packet from a coopers ale. I now have a kegerator so I can keep the temp constant at 12-13 degrees. What I am hoping for is a lager with a slight ale taste, which to me is koslch. Would it be a waste putting the ale yeast into the fermenter or would it, like I hope, add a small amount of ale like flavours?

    Thanks!
    Bobbie
     
  2. hobospy

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    Posted 11/1/18
    I thought kolsch flavour was all about the yeast used? I'm no expert, just like the style, but I've done a couple now and both times I've used a stepped up WLP029 (White Labs liquid Kolsch German Ale/Kolsch yeast) starter.
     
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  3. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 11/1/18

    I know technically you can't make a koslch without a kolsch yeast, but technically I don't live in Cologne either! :p

    http://www.cellardweller.net/images/stories/pdf/Yeast_Substitutions.pdf

    This link shows a comparison/alternatives
    Dry Yeast Wyeast Liquid White Labs Liquid
    Saflager S-23 2565 WLP-003
    Saflager 34/70 2124 WLP-830

    It recommends the S-23 as an alternative and luckily enough I have a packet on hand.

    Wyeast 2565 Kölsch True top cropping yeast similar to Alt strains. Produces slightly more fruity/winey characteristics. Fruitiness increases with temperature increase. Low or no detectable diacetyl production. Also ferments well at cold 55° - 60° F range (13-16°C). Used to produce quick-conditioning pseudo-lager beers. Requires filtration or additional settling time to produce bright beers.

    At the moment the fridge is sitting at 12 but I can bump it up a couple of degrees to see get a bit more of the fruity characteristics.
     
  4. cliffo

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    Posted 11/1/18
    As above, it's the yeast that makes it a Kölsch.

    My AG Kölsch is a simple affair - all pilsner malt and Wyeast 2565. Two hop additions (usually Northern Brewer and Tettnang) to get to 27 IBU.

    I wouldn't bother with spec grains but use your light extract and a Kölsch yeast.

    Oh! and be prepared to either filter it or wait some time for the yeast to clear.
     
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  5. warra48

    I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried.

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    Posted 12/1/18
    You can brew with whatever you like, but it won't be a Kölsch unless you use the specific yeast.
    As cliffo said, it's a very simple affair, just all Pils malt, and hopped like he suggested or similar.
    The yeast is what gives it the subtle flowery fruity character.
     
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  6. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 12/1/18
    cheers,

    Yep, I know it won't be the same and I know it won't be a "Kolsch" without Kolsch yeast and anyway, you can't technically call it a Kolsch unless it's made in and around Cologne, Germany. But surely there is another yeast that can give subtle, flowery, fruity character? The coopers recipe calls it Helga's Cool Kolsch and they use safale US-05. That being said, I was hoping that someone has had some experience mixing lager and ale yeasts together and what the results were.

    Cheers for the help.
     
  7. earle

    Choc wheat fiend

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    Posted 12/1/18
    Regardless of what you call it, it won't taste like a kolsch unless you use kolsch yeast and you started your OP by stating you were brewing a kolsch, and no I don't beleive you'll get the same flavour from a different yeast. That's why we use different yeasts - to get different flavours and characteristics. Kolsch flavour is very delicate and subtle and definitely from the specific yeast strain.

    If you mix lager and ale yeasts you don't necessarily get a combination of the two flavours. In most cases your fermentation temps etc will favour one of the yeasts which will do the majority of the work.

    If you want a lager with a slight ale taste as stated in your OP I would go with the ale yeast but run it cool, maybe 16. It sounds like the taste you want is that of a faux lager which is what you should get doing this. Also, if you want, search the term Faux Lager, and you'll get some more info.
     
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  8. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 12/1/18
    Ok, cheers.

    So when coopers calls their recipe Helga's cool Kolsch and use Safale us-05 it won't taste anything like a Kolsch? Then why do they call it a Kolsch? Obviously naming is important, I'm not trying to win any competitions here, I just want a reasonable kolsch like clone to drink over summer.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond, it's much appreciated :)
     
  9. earle

    Choc wheat fiend

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    Posted 12/1/18
    Some of their recipes are inspired by a style, and as close as they can get to style using commonly available kits, extracts etc. Could call it more of interpretation than representation?

    There's not a dry true kolsch yeast available so they sub something more widely available in that gets part but not all the way there.
     
  10. Bridges

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    Posted 12/1/18
    Yep all marketing. Us-05 will still make a nice and very drinkable ale with all the kolsch ingredients. Won't taste like a kolsch though. I use wlp029 in mine and really enjoy it. Don't stress. Use what you have, it'll be a nice ale.
     
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  11. thumbsucker

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    Posted 12/1/18
    You are trying to mix oil with water.

    I one asked a pro brewer about mixing two yeast strains together to get a hybrid flavour. His answer was that it can be done HOWEVER it's not easy. Because one strain will in all likelihood out perform the other dominating the flavour profile. I would suspect that you would end up with mostly Ale traits if you tried to blend a strong performer like US05 with any lager strain.

    A good lager has this unique lager flavour that nothing replicates.

    Also larger yeast work well below ale temps if you made the temp good for ale 16ºc - 22ºc then the lager would throw out fusel alcohol's if you ferment cold 6ºc to 12ºc the ale yeast will just go dormant and do nothing.

    What I have heard of people pitching an ale say US05 then lets the fermentation start, say 1 -2 days. Then drop the temp down to say 8ºc and pitching a lager strain. This would give you what you were asking. It would allow the ale to start the fruit flavours, but then put the ale to sleep and allowing the cleaner lager strains to finish the ferment. However it would be the wrong fruit flavour and would still not be a kolsch.

    Also it is common in German brewing industry to do the primary ferment Kolsch, Wiesbier and the like with ale yeast then cold lager with a lager strain. The Germans say it help to clean up the flavour and helps with flocculation (The Germans like to lager everything). However the lager strain contributes nothing to the flavour its just a janitor.

    If you have packets of lager yeast then just use the lager yeast. But it will never be a Kolsch. Have you thought of a Munich Helles, light easy drinking lager. But you need skill since their is nowhere to hide your brewing faults.

    If you are after a dry yeast that supposedly bring Kolsch flavour to the table SafAle™ K-97. German ale yeast. I have two packets and I plan to give it a spin - to decide for myself. However I can confirm that WLP 029 makes a great Kolsch.

    As for your malt bill, go 100% pilsner no need for polluting the purity of flavour.

    As for what its called, you can call a Kolsch style beer a Kolsch, you just cannot sell it in the EU as a Kolsch if it was not brewed within the city limits of Cologne, Germany.
     
    Last edited: 12/1/18
  12. bobbiedigital

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    Posted 15/1/18

    Thanks Thumbsucker! If you can let us know how the safale German Ale yeast turns out that would be grand!
     
  13. mtb

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    Posted 15/1/18
  14. thumbsucker

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    Posted 16/1/18
    mbt - True bought a Kolsch from 3 Pub Circus Kolsch Bottle, talk about bad industrial mega swill lager piss water. Then I recently tried Sünner Kölsch from Cologne, Germany, an interesting brew but again not what I was expecting very dark yellow, very malt forward and to much lager notes in its flavour for my tastes.

    I think many breweries just make a lager, then rebrand it as a kolsch so they can charge a premium price.

    I was watching this youtube vid about Hefeweizen and the brew store owner said that the best Hefeweizen and Ales come from small German breweries that only do Ales, because the bigger breweries who do both ales and lagers in Germany have a preference and set up to use lager strains over ales.
     
  15. earle

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    Posted 16/1/18
    Yep, more marketing bullshit from fake craft "breweries" (read brands) started by the big guys. Give the brand a folksie name and use actual beer type but fill the bottles with the same old watery bland crap.
     
  16. thumbsucker

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    Posted 20/6/18
    I made a Kolsch using K-97 German Ale Yeast I fermented at 12cº malt bill was mostly pilsner with 20% Vienna. This is the second beer I have made with K-97. The beer has a pleasant, subtle fruit aroma from fermentation (canned pear juice). A low noble hop aroma. A slight winy character. A delicate white head that is persistent. Soft, rounded palate comprising of a delicate flavor balance between soft yet attenuated malt, an almost imperceptible fruity sweetness from fermentation.

    I would highly recommend others give k-97 a try if they wish to make a Kolsch.

    IMG_0251.png
     
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  17. Black n Tan

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    Posted 20/6/18
    Tha description sounds familiar, almost text book BJCP. Anyways your comments come at a good time as I was think of using K-97 in a kolsch next week. Normally I use Wyeast 2565 or Gigayeast 021. A dry yeast alternative will be great. 12C seems pretty low though, I am go 15C.
     
  18. Black Devil Dog

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    Posted 20/6/18
    Looks good, I've made quite a few Kolsch's and only once have I used K-97.

    I happened to have one made with WY2565 on tap at the same time, so I was able to do a side by side and to my taste the one with WY2565 was much nicer.
    Similarly, comparing to Whitelabs Kolsch yeast WLP029, again WY2565 was my preferred.

    I've still got a sachet of K-97 in my fridge, so I might have to give it another go.
     
  19. Ben Davies

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    Posted 20/6/18
    I third K-97 made two kolsch brews with this yeast it like to chug along nice and slow down cold but gets the job done. I used spalt as my go to hop choice and pilsner-german carapils for grist good luck:).
     
  20. thumbsucker

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    Posted 21/6/18
    It sounds like BJCP because I compared my tasting to what the BJCP describes. I have used WLP029 - K-97 is not the same it is more fresh fruity and sweeter in the finish much more what the BJCP describes then the WLP029.

    I will have my friend taste the beer on the weekend and see what he thinks.
     

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