Searching for a home-brew to suit the lager preferences of some friends and to accompany a BBQ on a hot summers day, we settled on brewing a Kölsch.
Kölsch has a similar clear, crisp and refreshing style to lager but is top-fermented as an ale making it a readily achievable lager-like beer to home-brew as it doesn’t require the cold (7-13c) fermenting temperatures of lager. Kölsch originates from the German city of Cologne which straddles the river Rhine in the west of the country. Kölsch is local dialect and literally translates as ‘of Cologne’. The name (like champagne) is a protected geographical indication, restricting official naming rights to beer brewed in this style in the Cologne region. Commercial variants will be labelled as ‘Kölsch Style’.
Approx ABV: 4.5%; Makes about 22 litres (40 pints)
Bitterness rating 25 IBU
- Pilsner Malt – 4 kg
- Carapils Malt – 500g
Mash at 65c for 1 hour with 11 litre liquor
Boil time 1 hour 15 min with 27 litre liquor
- Spalt select – 44g – add at start of boil
- Tettnang – 20g – add for last 5 min of boil
- Tettnang – 44g – add at flame-out
- Protrofloc – 1 tsp or 1 tablet
- Yeast – Wyeast 2565 Kölsch activator (needs to be activated 1 hour before pitching)
Ferment temperature: 18-20c
Mix in around 8g of brewing sugar for each litre of ale to a bottling bucket before bottling.
Bottle conditioning gets best results at a cooler temperature of 12c for 3 weeks. We cleared a couple of shelves out of the wine fridge and set the bottle in upright.