Summer is in full swing here in Portland it was time to get another tasty and sessionable beer brewed. Kolsch is a style I’ve been meaning to brew for a while now and I went with a pretty simple recipe for the first draft. I picked up some Kolsch malt online that is from Germany which had a really nice biscuit taste to it, similar to Vienna. This is my first SMaSH. beer (single malt and single hop) so it will also give a chance to really see how Kolsch malt and crystal hops taste. Double Mountain in Hood River makes a real nice Kolsch and was the inspiration of this beer but I decided to go a little more classic keeping the hops toned down in this recipe.
Mash: 149 (75 min)
Boil: 75 min.
Mash pH: 5.4
100% Kolsch Malt (Schill)
0.75 oz Crystal (6%) 60 min.
0.50 oz Crystal (6%) 15 min.
1.50 oz Crystal (6%) 0 min.
Wyeast 2565 – Kolsch Ale
Fermentation took off like a rocket, under 3 hours and actually blew off the bung before I put the blow off tube on. I fermented this at 60 for the first couple days and let it free rise up to 68 to clean up. I’m planning of getting it kegged and allowing the beer to lager a few weeks before tapping.
Kegged on 7.3, finished right around were I wanted it. Gravity sample had that distinct Kolsch aroma and tasted quite nice. This one should be on tap in a couple weeks.
Tasting notes – 8.6.15
Appearance: Goldenrod with a billowy white head that lingers for a bit before fading away. Nice lacing on the glass as pint is consumed. Brilliant clarity.
Aroma: First whiff is a tiny bit sulfury, but that almost immediately fades way. Gives way to a rich, malty aroma of crackers and honey with a little fruity ester in there as well.
Taste: Grainy, biscuit and honey up front. A little bit hoppy with some nice herbal and spicy notes coming in as well. Really clean with a bit of yeast character that rounds out the flavors.
Mouthfeel: Medium with medium carbonation.
Overall: At first I wasn’t in love with how this beer turned out. It was a tad sulfury and the flavors were just a little out of sync. This guy just needed some proper lager time to pull it all together. A month after kegging, the yeast dropped fully clear to yield a brilliantly clear pint and the malt and hops have really meshed nicely. The beer is now drinking clean and crisp with a great malt character and is balanced by the herbal, spicy and somewhat fruity Crystal hops. Really enjoying this beer as its drinking now and when I compared this one to some commercial examples, it tasted much richer and a bit more interesting. The only thing for this one is to really stick to the month or more lagering time.