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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Recipe Discussion --> Kolsch with Lager Yeast

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Stonehands
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
59 Posts


The title says it all. You guys think I could make a decent kolsch (dare I say BrewUnited award winning kolsch) with lager yeast? Specifically WLP833 - which I always have - fermented a little warmer. Or do you think this style demands a hybrid yeast? 



Posted 34 days ago.

homebrewdad
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts


I bet you could make at least a decent kolsch with your standby yeast.  I mean, kolsch yeast isn't exactly known for being expressive, anyway... so, to my way of thinking, a clean lager strain would work fine. 

But what do I know?



Posted 34 days ago.

rayfound
Charter Member
Riverside, CA
313 Posts


Maybe. I mean, it does get to the question of what distinguishes a kolsch from a Munich Helles. A little late hopping? 
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Posted 34 days ago.

KidMoxie
Charter Member
San Elijo Hills, CA
405 Posts


The light fruity esters, IMO. I'd say it's halfway between a Helles and a Pilsner, but with some light fruity esters.

On Thursday, August 6, 2015, rayfound <listpost@brewunited.com> wrote:
Maybe. I mean, it does get to the question of what distinguishes a kolsch from a Munich Helles. A little late hopping? 


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Posted 34 days ago.

rayfound
Charter Member
Riverside, CA
313 Posts


I'm not disagreeing. I am just saying a Kolsch with a Lager yeast might get along nicely with a group of Munich Helles. 

Then again, WLP029 (kolsch Yeast) seems to be perfectly capable of imitating lager strains. So Shit, I dunno. I suspect if you entered the same beer in both categories, it could get respectable scores in both. In fact... I think I will do just that with my Kolsch that's currently fermenting. Would be fun! Maybe throw it at a German Pilsner category too. muaahahahah
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Posted 34 days ago.

rayfound
Charter Member
Riverside, CA
313 Posts


Aaron, is there anything wrong with that plan?
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Posted 34 days ago.

testingapril
Charter Member
Atlanta, GA
595 Posts


IMO, WLP029 is too clean for kolsch. I don't mean that to say that a good or even award winning kolsch can't be made with it, just that it's missing those light fruity esters that are characteristic of the style like Derek said. So I got a packet of WY2565 because it's said to be a touch fruity. I also like my kolsch a little more fruity and less minerally. Marshall likes it to taste like alma seltzer :-P


Ray, I think that's a great idea. Kelsey McNair said that's one of the reasons he's been successful with his IPA was entering it in multiple categories. This year he medaled in spice herb vegetable with a habanero version. Especially with NHC where all you need in the first round is to advance, then you can fine tune the beer for the particular style that advances with a rebrew for second round.


Anyway, I think even with the light esters it could pass as a lager. Some lager strains have a light fruitiness.


Stonehands, how is that 833 flavor wise? If it's really malty you may have to play up the hops and make sure the pH is low to get that crisp finish. Hops might also substitute for the yeast fruitiness a touch if that strain is particularly clean.


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Posted 34 days ago.

Stonehands
Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
59 Posts


I love 833 in that it leaves maltiness but can still dry a beer out. Last helles went down to 1.008. It may be too clean though for a kolsch. I've never fermented in the 60s with it, was hoping someone had. Maybe that gives the slight fruitiness. 



Posted 34 days ago.

CentralCalBrewer
Fresno, CA
89 Posts


Ray - I'd go for it. There nothing in your typical comp that says you can't turn in whatever the hell you want to call a beer. If it produces what you feel is a good kolshe, won't hurt to see what some judges say ;-)

Carbing up my Classic American Pilsner that I fermented with 833 now. Dried out, but still quite malty. Can't want to taste it carbed nicely. 
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Posted 34 days ago.

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