Kolsch Beer Recipe
OG (Stammwurze) : 1.043 to 1.046 FG : 1.007 to 1.009 (relatively dry)

Grains - Naturally you would ideally want to use a good German Lager malt. Fortunately for us the regular Canada Malting 2-Row which is so widely available in Canada makes an exceptionally good Kolsch-style beer. Up to 20% Wheat Malt is permissible, but this is very-much the exception and not the rule. My e-friend the Braumeister says he only knows for sure of one brewery which uses wheat.

Hops - just about any good German hop can be used to brew a Kolsch-style beer. In particular Tettnanger and the various types of Hallertauer are most often seen. In contradiction to the otherwise great article from Brewing Techniques, my source says that Kolsch absolutely should not display hop aroma, and that all hop additions should therefore be early in the boil. 20 to 24 IBU is your target for bitterness. However, of the 20 or so brands weve personally tasted, 3 or 4 definitely had a lively hop aroma.

Water - A very soft water similar to that required for a Czech Pilsener is ideal for brewing a Kolsch-style beer.

Yeast - Most good high-attenuating Ale yeasts can be used to make a decent Kolsch-style beer. Wyeast 2565 is specifically designed for Kolsch-style beer, as is White Labs Kolsch (reportedly from PJ Fruh). 1007 German Ale is another good choice, and even 1338 European Ale or Chico 1056 can be used. Basically anything that can ferment very clean at room temperatures - strong esters are verboten in Kolsch - and can attenuate in the 80-85% range.

Mash - as many of us have heard, fewer and fewer German brewers nowadays do a decoction mash, and this is true in Cologne as in the rest of the country. The Kolsch brewery I" ve been in touch with mashes-in at 63C, then brings it up to 70C and finally mash out at 78C. They say that exact times are a trade secret, though it is widely known that Kolsch brewers mash on for a good hour after a positive test for conversion, in order to achieve the high attenuation required by the style.

Fermentation - The normal fermentation temperature is 1 week at 20C to 25C. One brewery in Cologne chooses 20C. This seems to contradict the commonly accepted knowledge that one should ferment down closer to 15C. After a week at what amounts to room temperature, the beer is then Lagered for 3 to 4 weeks at 0C. It should be noted that German breweries (and even most German homebrewers) ferment their beer under pressure.

Attenuation - Kolsch-style beer is attenuated extremely high: 80-85%

What follows is my own personal favourite recipe for a Kolsch-style beer. Again I state that I do not call by own beer "Kolsch", simply out of respect for the Herkunftsbezeichnung. I personally do a single-infusion mash generally at 150 to 151. I also break the golden rule and add some Saaz at the end of the boil because I personally prefer to have a bit of hop aroma in my beer. This goes against the spirit of a true Kolsch-Style beer, but if I cant brew beer the way I like to drink it, then damn-it I shouldn t be brewing beer in the first place. I also like to boil my wort for 15 minutes before adding hops. I ve read that this can be beneficial, but to be honest I"ve never actually done any experimentation to verify one way or the other. With the extract recipe you actually want a more processed honey, and you want to boil it for a while, specifically to reduce or ideally eliminate any honey flavour in the final beer. For both recipes a suitable yeast and fermentation regime as given above is assumed.

Johnny Davidson Ale - All-Grain
Ingredients for 40 litres : 15-18 lb 2row (will depend upon your extraction) 1.5 lb Wheat 2.0 oz Tettnanger Leaf (imported by myself from Tettnang, Germany. 5.5% alpha) 0.5 to 1.0 oz Saaz pellets (3.2% alpha) Procedure : 0:00 mash-in at 151F 1:15 check for conversion, bring the mash up to 165F 1:30 begin runoff 2:10 pour off 27 litres into boil-kettle, turn on heat 2:45 end runoff, pour-off remaining 27 litres into boiler 3:15 boil commences 3:30 add 2.0 oz Tettnanger @ 5.5% 4:30 turn off heat, add Saaz stir, immediately begin to chill
7/25/2002 1:19:23 PM
Kolsch Beer Recipe