If you are considering the achievements of the city of Cologne, Germany, one would need to include this straw colored, Pale Bitter European Beer. Brewers began brewing Kolsch beers in the city of Cologne, Germany at the very least a thousand years ago. Cologne is positioned along the Rhine River. The Cologne residents were looking for something different from the old brewing method of lagering their beer. They were so serious about this that they passed a law in 1603 that insisted only top fermented ales be brewed in their city. Top fermented refers to beers that are fermented at temperatures of 57 to 68°F or 14 to 20° C.
This graphic from https://www.popsci.com, illustrates the difference between Top and Bottom Fermentation quite well.
In 1985 the Kolsch Konvention was held to ensure that only Kolsch beers be described as beers that are only brewed in Cologne. Thanks to the twenty-four breweries attending this convention, whenever a non-Cologne brewery brews a Kolsch beer the beer is labeled as a “Kolsch style beer.”
My love for Kolsch beer began shortly after I discovered IPAs. A nice Kolsch was a welcomed diversion from the overly hoppy beers I was consuming and still am enjoying today. The smooth, crisp mouthfeel of this beer along with its low noble hop profile gave my palate a much needed break. The low abv was a nice contrast to the 7-8% IPAs and Double IPAs.
My desire to brew a Kolsch came at a perfect time, both for good and bad. The week prior to my brew day I had experienced HomeBrewCon 2018 in Portland, Oregon. I attended a talk by Marshall Schott and Matt Del Fiacco, from Brulosophy and Sachin “Chino” Darji entitled, “It’s a Sprint, Brewing Beer Faster,” In this talk, it was suggested that a thirty-minute mash and thirty-minute boil was quite a possibility for homebrewers looking to shave off some time to their brew days. My desire to test out what I learned from these three “learnd” men the week prior was in overload. The bad comes into play because my wife’s family was arriving at our house at noon that day and brewing needed to be completed before they arrived. With my time restrains, I figured a “Short and Shoddy” brewing method would be the best way to handle this brew day. You can check out Brulosophy’s info and recipes for more Short and Shoddy brews here.
“Learnd” Men! It’s a Sprint: Brewing Beer Faster HomeBrewCon 2018 Portland, OR
I already had my grain milled and purchased my RO water from the neighborhood grocery store the prior day. After taking my strike water to 147° For 63 ° C, I poured my grains into my brew bag and mashed for a quick thirty minutes. After the mash and squeezing the bag, I brought my wort to a boil and continued to boil for thirty minutes. The other important thing that I learned from the talk was to increase the bittering hops by 50 percent. This is reflected in the recipe that I have included below.
Grains crushed to an almost oatmeal like consistency.
To read more about this wonderful beer style, check out this site from the BJCP.
Kite Krasher Recipe
Malt Weight Percentage
Belgian Pilsner 4lbs 72.7%
UK Munich 1.5lbs 27.3%
Hops Oz Type Time Alpha Acids IBU
Tettnang .75oz Pellet First Wort 4.5 20.63
Tettnang 1 oz Pellet 10 min. 4.5 11.8
Fermentis/Safale – German Ale Yeast K-97
Batch Size: 3 gallons
Boil Size: 4.5 gallon
I was cautiously optimistic about this brew day. I wanted to have some evidence to fall back on to say that a thirty-minute mash and boil helped produce a solid, award winning beer. Currently, this beer is cold crashing right now. I did taste it while checking the gravity only a mere four days after my brew day. I was very pleased with the way it tasted. Although there was some sulfur, the dryness and flavorful yeast profile really stood out in this small sample.
Gravity reading at the end of brew day, after fermentation (four days later), and a sample to try myself.
Above all, this brew day illustrated to me the possibilities of continuing to spend time brewing beer in my garage and spending much need time with my family. As any homebrewer can attest to, time or the lack thereof, is the true enemy of any obsessed homebrewer. This brewing method, “Short and Shoddy,” is the real deal. It has confirmed to me that brewing does not have to be an all-day venture in the garage.
Thanks to a shortened brew day, I was able to enjoy the trails with my family.