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Recipe: AG: Kolsch

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Postby Biertourist » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:54 pm

Warning: This recipe specifies an efficiency of only 67%; adjust for your system or you'll get a higher OG.

Stats
OG: 1.048
FG: 1.010
IBU: 19.7
ABV: 5.0
Color: 4.1 SRM
Batch Size: 10 Gallons


Ingredients
17.9 kg German Pilsner (2 SRM)
907 grams German Wheat Malt (2 SRM)
680 grams Light German Munich Malt (9 SRM)

1 oz Tettnang -4.8%AA Pellets -60 minute boil
.26 oz Nugget -13%AA Pellets - 60 minute boil
1 oz Tettnang -4.8%AA Pellets - 20 minute boil

Whirlfloc (whole tablet) -10 min boil
1/2 tsp PolyClar -10 min boil

2 pkg Wyeast Kolsch 2575 Yeast (2 liter start made on stir plate for 4 hours; second pack = no starter)


Techniques
[*]Mash low for high fermentabilty (63C)
[*]Recirculation mash for 60 minutes for high fermentability (equivalent of 90 min non-recirculated
[*]Avoid oxygen pickup to avoid increases in color
[*]Batch Sparge to decrease risk of extracting tannins in this delicate low gravity beer
[*]Avoid high mashout temps (cooler than normal sparge water) to give enzymes extra time and to perform a stepped mash with a 2nd step at 68C to super charge enzymes
[*]Acidify soft sparge water with lactic acid as extra insurance against tannin extraction
[*]"Condition" malt with 2% water by weight (2% of grist) prior to crushing to keep husks intact and avoid tannin extraction
[*]Polyclar in kettle fining addition to help with clarity AND pull any tannins out of solution (will result in large beer losses if using with whirlfloc- VERY fluffy trub)
[*]After running off at the end of the 60 minute mash bring the run off up to 68C to super charge enzymes at the same time target a temp of 68C with the first batch spare addition


Mash
[*]Targeted a 63C mash temp (see step info above)
[*]3.0 liters per kilo "loose mash" to leave less liquid for the sparge again to avoid extracting tannins; graininess ruins a kolsch, IMO
[*]Add 1 TBSP Caclcium Chloride to my extremely soft water (for 10 gallons) -add directly to mash

Other
My system is WAY more efficient than the guy who wrote the recipe so my first runnings were 1.073 with a total pre-boil gravity of 1.054 -12 gallons collected.

After boiling I ended up with an OG of 1.058 and for once both my hydrometer and my refractometer agreed on this.

For this beer I did NOT want an OG of 1.058 so I figured I'd try my hand at a pre-fermentation dillution... Here's where I may have messed up a bit.

I was VERY much rushed so I added water straight from my garden hose tap instead of from my filtration system which means I probably introduced a small bit of chlorine. I used the first online dillution calculator that I found and it said that to dillute from 1.058 to 1.048 that I should add 0.73 gallons to 4 gallons of beer. -I'm not sure if this was right or not because when I tested the OG with a pipette and my refractometer after the dillution it read 1.035 which is just infuriatingly frustrating... I've really re-thought about this number and I THINK / HOPE that I was just pulling dilluted wort from the top of the water and the water addition simply hadn't evenly distributed itself throughout the beer. (If not I'm going to have a watery disappointing Kolsch...)

Fermentation
My temp controlled fermentation space is currently occupied by 2 kegs so I simply chilled the beer to 63F and put it in a cold basement (also 63F) and pitched; probably not ideal for a kolsch but about all I could do.

I'll let it ferment for 2 weeks then its going in the keg under pressure to lager as close to -2C as I can get it...
If it doesn't clarify (yeast is a TERRIBLE flocculator); I'll filter it via plate filter but I'm afraid that with the low OG, it will get even waterier if I filter it...


This is a home brew club group "same brew" so there's nothing I could do about the recipe, but next time I'll make my own recipe with less grain and I'll also do a controlled fermentation. Beyond that I don't think I'd change anything.
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Postby Biertourist » Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:40 pm

Boil

Once the beer came to a boil I dropped my 4500 watt low heat density element down to 60% heat output to decrease the heat density further to avoid darkening the wort. For the last 15 minutes of the boil I cranked the heat up to 85% to help drive off any remaining possible DMS or DMS pre-cursors from the Pilsner malt.

My kettle has a 1:1 height to width which means that I have a significant boil off rate and I don't have to do a 90 minute boil to get rid of DMS. (90 minutes would just darken this beer and further concentrate the sugars beyond my target OG.)

I then chilled using an immersion chiller AND I put my plastic stir thingy into my cordless electric drill and created a whirlpool with it -I've NEVER had a 10 gallon batch chill faster! It also helped create a trub pile but again the trub is extremely fluffy with this one.

Chill down as quickly as possible to below 140F to avoid DMS formation -beyond that it doesn't really matter. Even when I do hop stands now I will chill down immediately to 140F, THEN do the hop stand and then do the rest of the chilling later; no reason to mess around with DMS when the mitigation is this simple.

Adam
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Postby nigel_c » Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:18 pm

Is there many people doing that same recipe? I'd say there will be some differences in the final product. I've seen this on group brews for barrel projects. Same recipe but every beer is different.
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Postby Biertourist » Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:48 am

nigel_c wrote:Is there many people doing that same recipe? I'd say there will be some differences in the final product. I've seen this on group brews for barrel projects. Same recipe but every beer is different.


We've got 20 people doing the same recipe and we're going to see what the differences are given the different brewers, equipment and process.
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Postby Biertourist » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:13 am

Tastes delicious already but really won't clear. Been @ 2C for a week and still quite cloudy from the yeast; I'm going to leave it another week and a half, hopefully at -1C and if it doesn't clear on it's own I'll add gelatin finings.


Really almost perfect Kolsch. Can't wait to see what it's like when the yeast drops. Great base beer for a hoppy session beer, or a base for a pale sour fruit beer, too.


Adam
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Postby Biertourist » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:06 pm

I added gelatin finings and it still didn't get properly clear a week later; I bought 3 lbs of dry ice and wrapped it around the corney keg with a towel and it was BRILLIANTLY clear in only 2 hours.

This is pretty much Kolsch perfected; I could not be happier with it. It's the best or second best beer I've ever made (the coconut porter with MO base malt is right there with it).


I would change nothing about this beer, but a hoppy version could be quite nice, too.

I just won my club group brew with this beer with 4x the votes of any other beer, too. ;-)

I'm hoping to taste it side-by-side with my MS buddy's Kolsch that just won Best of Show in an AHA competition in Tacoma, WA. -We both brewed the EXACT same recipe; he was smart and submitted it to a competition.


Adam
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Postby Biertourist » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:08 pm

I think I'm going to repitch this Kolsch yeast into a modern Jamil-like Oktoberfest recipe (orangy, sweetish stuff).

Then I'll brew a proper lagered Oktoberfest with a more traditional grist and an appropriate lager yeast and compare them side-by-side.



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Postby Ciderhead » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:43 pm

Just done a "Jamil" Munich Helles taken from Brewing Classic Styles using wlp860 with a pal where I hermed and he biab, its the first Jamil I've done and was amazed how simple recipe was too. Interesting start between the 2 to fermentation already.
Altstadt alt with wlp036 next :D
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Postby Biertourist » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:58 pm

Ciderhead wrote:Just done a "Jamil" Munich Helles taken from Brewing Classic Styles using wlp860 with a pal where I hermed and he biab, its the first Jamil I've done and was amazed how simple recipe was too. Interesting start between the 2 to fermentation already.
Altstadt alt with wlp036 next :D


I like altbier and as fall approaches I start to think about it more and more, but it's not a beer I can drink a lot of. (Kolsch, I can drink by the gallon, though; lol!)

I need to find an area homebrewer and setup a beer trade and trade 2 1/2 gallons of something that I have for an altbier because it would take me FOREVER to get through a whole keg.


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