Kolsch with a little something extra...

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Blackmuse, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks! I am probably going to brew a Kolsch Sat or Sun morning... I just wanted some input on the slight twist I want to add to it.

    I have mostly dark beers right now so I want another easy Summer Crusher. However, I want to add 5-10 percent of something extra to my Kolsch - I am leaning towards 10% Dark Munich but wanted some feedback on other ideas...

    What might you think of 5-10 percent of any of the following:

    Special B
    Victory
    Brown

    I am really intrigued by what the brown malt might add... Almost like a nutty/coffee blonde ale... I'm nervous to give it a whirl.

    Here's the recipe with the 10% Munich added in:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1000608/kolsch

    Thanks for any feedback!
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I personally love a really light Kolsch, but I don't think there is any reason to be nervous about trying darker malts. Restraint is the key, not too much so it's no longer anything like a Kolsch, but not so little it doesn't make an impact.
     
  3. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    I'm brewing a kolsch tomorrow also! But I'll make a traditional light crisp kolsch. Let us know how yours turns out!
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking this recipe will come out more like a Festbier or Vienna Lager.... But hey, either are quite drinkable beers!
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, what Nosy said...The dark Munich will add some sweet malt/caramel notes but you won't get any roasty flavors from it. Definitely Vienna Lager territory or maybe Amber Lager if your Munich expresses plenty of color.
    Certainly nothing wrong with it but I've got kegs of leftover Wedding beer that's very similar in color and flavor and I can tell you that while it's great beer and very drinkable I'm really, really ready for something lighter and crisper. The weather here is getting into the 95-100 range and muggy. I need something with a clean, crisp bite. ;)
     
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  6. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    You all may have worked me into a different beer. I am keeping the Munich but only about 13 oz and switching the rest of the grain bill to straight Pilsner. :) This should hopefully make it a bit more crisp and still give me some of that munich flavor I like.

    Should I stick with the German Tradition hops or try something like Hull melon and/or mandarina?
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong...a well-built Altbier that finishes clean will do nicely on a hot day, too. One of the favorites here in Texas used to be Shiner Bock and it was plenty sweet and malty. Having a little Munich flavor and color won't hurt a thing.
    A "lawnmower" beer should primarily be relatively low ABV and very well attenuated. With Munich or Vienna, mash low to get the best fermentability. Might even throw in 10% corn or rice to lighten things a little.
     
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  8. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I hear you. The beer I am finishing up now is a mix of Pilsner, Vienna and corn - Very crushable! It actually sprung the idea to try that malt combo but interchange the 10% (in this case the corn) with different specialty malts to see the outcome.

    However, I have the Kolsch yeast and should maybe try and stick with something closer to a Kolsch. It can be hard to make up my mind on what to brew as their are so many ideas floating around in the old noggin.
     
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  9. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Once again, I move towards a more conservative approach with my recipe - after much hemming and hawing of course. :)

    5% Munich
    95% Bohemian Pilsner
    24 IBUs (German Tradition)
     
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  10. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Do it! That's the beauty of homebrew... tinkering with things you like.
     
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  11. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    That's my go-to. I'll use rice instead of corn a lot of times and that's even lighter. I'm starting to see a couple of kegs free up. I'm going to have to get brewing on a beer for the rest of the summer. :)
     
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  12. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    So I finally did the brew last night! I hit most my numbers but had a weird temp swing at my second mash step (145).... I accidently ended up hitting 149, I think I used both elements to heat, so I turned off the 1000w element so only the 500 would kick on if it dropped below 145.... 15-20 minutes later it was 141 and the 500 never kicked on... I switched to the 1000w and it got to 145 again. I suppose the average there would be 145 ;) - She'll make beer for sure! - The next jump to 162 for 20 minutes was flawless.

    My boil must have been more vigorous than usual because I ended up boiling right down to 5.5G and only got 5.4ish (with a lot of trub) into the fermenter. I'll probably end up with 4.5G to the keg when all is said and done.

    What might I expect from the temp swings? I assume a bit drier of a beer but maybe it won't have much effect at all?
     
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  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Likely you won't notice anything. If it didn't jump to a higher mash temp too soon, most of the enzymes are going to be pretty steady in the temp range you describe. Maybe just slightly more fermentable sugars but more attenuation is better in this sort of beer.
     
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  14. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    Well folks: It is done and ready to drink! Thanks for the advice. What a classic tasting beer! A bit more hop and drier than the festbeir style I love but man is it crushable! I love the german hop taste that is in the forefront and how crisp it is on the finish.

    This is a beer I can reach to time and time again!

    I used Lalbrew Koln yeast but feel like I can get a similar taste with 34/70 at the same temps (60 F). I may try it again and see. I have been trying to reach out to different dry yeast strains lately but can't seem really find a reason to have anything more than 34/70 and Notty on hand. Even the Belgians I made, while good, just weren't what I wanted yeast-wise (too many esters).

    Anyway, THANKS AGAIN!

    20200715_162947_HDR.jpg
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd stick with the Kolsch yeast. People generally make two mistakes with Kolsch: They either get it way too estery (cloying) or too much like a lager. A real Kolsch does have a kiss, just a kiss, of fruit. But hey, I suppose it would be good dry too.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've used dry Kolsch yeast K-97 and 34/70 and S-23 with fairly similar results. The big difference with the Kolsch yeast is a very specific soft-fruit/pear ester. Nothing like the peachiness of US-05 or the cherry/stonefruit of some of the English yeasts and definitely not the banana/tutti-frutti/bubblegum of the Belgians. The S-23 at over 60 will yield a little fruitiness but it's not the same as the K-97 and not as appropriate. The 34/70 has a deeper graininess all around and seems more neutral even at slightly higher temps. I think of S-23 as a good American Cream Ale yeast and K-97 as a more authentic Kolsch flavor and 34/70 for a more pure German lager aesthetic.
    In terms of drinkability and flavor, I'm not sure I'd have a preference.
    Congrats on a successful brew. :)
     
  17. Iliff Avenue Brewhouse

    Iliff Avenue Brewhouse Well-Known Member

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    Kolsch is one of the few styles I use liquid yeast for. Have been interested in the Lalbrew Koln but it was as expensive as liquid where I saw it. I’m a wy2565 kind of person. I don’t care for k97 in general but admittedly never tried it in a kolsch.
     

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