Saturday, January 4, 2014

#16 Americanized Kolsch - Recipe

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

I've spent the last few batches brewing pretty much by the book-- fairly basic recipes for some styles and clone recipes of famous commercial examples for others--but this one is going to be a little bit different.  It's more of the "I think this would be cool to try so I'm going to brew it" variety.  Pull up a chair and let me tell you a story about where this recipe comes from:

Once upon a time (or during Christmas vacation with the family), a man (me), was stranded in the wilderness (or eating lunch in the ski lodge in Idaho) with nothing to drink.  He wandered for days searching for something to parch his thirst (actually they recently remodeled so I did have to search a bit), when at last he stumbled upon a golden chalice...

I was excited to try some Idaho beer; the only one I had had prior was Payette Brewing's Mutton Buster and it was pretty delicious.  Unfortunately there was no more mutton to be busted, so i took the only remaining local option: Galena Gold Ale from Sockeye.  Based on the name I guessed it was just a blonde ale, but turns out it was supposed to be more of a Kolsch.  It wasn't great.  Drinkable sure, Budweiser would have been proud, but not exactly something I would order again.  I started to dream about what I would brew for that occasion and this is what I came up with:

Something cool, clean, crisp and refreshing as the Rocky Mountains (because after all I was in the Rocky Mountains), but with a little more interesting malt character, and a touch of American hops.  Nothing too bitter, but enough hops to dry it out and give it a bit of a piney aroma.  I liked the idea of using the Kolsch yeast to get a nice clean fermentation, and it fit with the alpine theme.  From Cologne, Germany, it is technically an ale strain but ferments well at cooler temperatures like a lager yeast, and produces a similar crisp beer as well.  The malt bill was roughly inspired by Samuel Adams Boston Lager, which I remember as having a nice dry yet malty character, but by the time I brewed I ended up using all different grains.  I didn't want the crystal malts to make it too sweet, so I went with Vienna and wheat for some variety, which turns out similar to an actual Kolschbier.  I have a good stash of Simcoe hops, so I decided it would be good time to do a single hop beer and really get to know Simcoe.  I ended up with a sizable hop load--closer to a pale ale here than a true Kolsch--but weighted towards the end of the boil and dry hop for maximum aroma.  As much as I've learned, this is a bit of a stab in the dark, so we'll see what comes out.  Even if I don't nail the nuances I'm aiming for, I'm sure it will be a great way to end a day of skiing.

Americanized Kolsch
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated ABV: 4.7 %
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated FG: 1.012 SG
Estimated Color: 4.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 41.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 55.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 60.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt          Name                                     %/IBU
7 lbs        Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           53.8 %
3 lbs        Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)                    23.1 %
3 lbs        White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM)               23.1 %
0.30 oz      Simcoe [14.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min         13.6 IBU
1.00 oz      Simcoe [14.40 %] - Boil 20.0 min         27.4 IBU
1.70 oz      Simcoe [14.40 %] - Boil 0.0 min          0.0 IBU
1.0 pkg      German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029)   -
1.50 oz      Simcoe [14.10 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days      0.0 IBU

Mash Schedule: BIAB, 148F
Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs
Estimated Cost: $23.71

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