1st Cold Fermentation Attempt: Kolsch

November 30, 2010

Recently I’ve been gaining a serious interest in German beers. Many of their beers are lager styles, which ferment at cold temperatures. If I make one of these German lagers, I’m going to want to go all out and devote myself to doing a double or triple decoction mash to maintain authenticity, but that increases the length of the brewday to around eight or nine hours and is very involved. Instead of brewing one of these lagers, I went with a Kolsch, which is a light ale fermented at cooler temperatures and lagered for a while.

Kolsch is a very light colored, malt accentuated ale that developed in the city of Cologne. It’s typically around 4.5-5% ABV, has low to no hop character, and a light grainy malt sweetness. Typical fermentation temperatures are around 58-60F, which I’m able to maintain quite easily in my living room during the winter. After about three weeks of fermentation, I’ll bump the temperature up to 68-70F to give it a diacetyl rest (diacetyl is natural byproduct of fermentation, but yeast will clean it up quicker at warmer temps). Then I put the Kolsch into a keg, drop it in the kegerator, move the temperature down to 37 or 38F and lager it for a month before serving around 41-42F. I’ll have to pour really cold beer from kegs for about a month, but that’s not a big deal to me. Should be a fun experiment.


Boil Volume: 7.90 gallons

Batch Volume: 6.14 gallons

Boil Time: 90 minutes

Gravity: 1.052

Efficiency: 85%


  • 9.00 lb Pilsner malt
  • 0.50 lb Munich malt
  • 0.50 lb Wheat malt


  • 1.50 oz Tettnang (Boiled for 60 minutes, 4.8% Alpha Acid)
  • 0.50 oz Tettnang (Boiled for 15 minutes)


  • Strike with 5 gallons at 158F
  • Mash at 149F for 90 minutes
  • Sparge with 6 gallons to collect 8 gallons in the kettle


Wyeast 2565 Kolsch yeast

Water Additions:

  • 2 gm Calcium Chloride
  • 4 gm Gypsum
  • 2 gm Chalk

5 Responses to “1st Cold Fermentation Attempt: Kolsch”

  1. […] completely satisfied. Well, given that the only two beers not in kegs in the chest freezer are a Kolsch which will be lagered for a while, and an Imperial IPA which will be bottled, I need to start […]

  2. pdtnc Says:

    hey, how did this one turn out?
    I’ve got a Whitelabs Kolsch in the fermenter at the moment.

    • darknova306 Says:

      It came out pretty nice, but I’d want to get it to attenuate more next time. It wasn’t quite crisp enough for me.

      • Vina Says:

        Quero entrar no ramo de couosltnria na area de metalurgia, só que nao sei como fazer um primeiro contato com as empresas gostaria de saber se voces tem alguma sugestão?

  3. Geri Says:

    pis:ÅzNieze‚y pomysÅ‚,. chociaż można też skorzystać z gotowych rozwiÄ…zaÅ„. SprawdziÅ‚y by siÄ™ tutaj koszulki w których kolekcjonerzy przechowujÄ… swoje karty. Można wtedy wsuwać torebki z drobnym sprzÄ™tem od boku.

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