Einfach Kolsch

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This is the recipe for one of the beers I entered in the 2017 Newfermenters homebrew competition. It is primarily based on the Beersmith recipe, with a few finings-related modifications to try and make this beer as clear as possible.

Called this one Einfach because the recipe is straightforward - simple grain bill, one type of hop, and a single infusion mash. The only complications with this recipe are the various efforts to clear the beer.


  • 10 lbs German Pilsner Malt
  • 0.5 lbs German Munich Malt
  • 8 oz rice hulls
  • 1.5 oz Spalt hops (4% AA bittering for 60 minutes)
  • 1 tsp Irish Moss (10 minutes)
  • White Labs WLP029 German Ale/ Kölsch or Wyeast 2565 Kölsch
  • 1 tsp gelatin finings

Mash the grain for 90 minutes at 150°F (65°C) using 13 L of water. Sparge at 168°F (75.5°C) with 15.6 L of water, making sure to vorlauf.

Boil the wort for 90 minutes, making sure to crank the heat early to get hot break. At the 60 minute mark, add hops. Use hop spider to reduce hop debris. At the 10 minute mark, add Irish Moss. Chill quickly, to generate cold break. Pitch yeast when wort is at 65°F (18°C).

Ferment the beer at 60°F (15°C), or as close as you can get to 60°F (15°C), for 5-7 days. Ferment at 65°F (18°C) for 1 day for a diacetyl rest. Rack the beer and age at 35°F (2°C) for 21–30 days.

About 2 days before bottling, boil 1 cup of water, then allow to cool to 150°F. Dissolve gelatin finings in water, and add to fermenter.

At bottling, add 1 ¼ cup of light DME that is boiled in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. If you are kegging, carbonate the beer to 2.5 volumes.

Batch 1

Adjusted grains, based on availability: 8.25 lbs of Pilsner malt, and 1.75 lbs of 2-row pale malt. Used Tettnanger hops instead of Spalt. Didn't end up using all the finings I had originally planned.

April 22, 2017: Started burner at 12:44. Water to temp at 12:57. Mashed in @ 148 F at 1:01. 148 F at 1:43. Started vorlauf at 2:42, temp was 145 F. Started sparge water at 2:38, reached 178 F at 2:54. Batch sparged, then drained. Started burner at 3:17, 134 F before boil. Pre-boil gravity is 1.040. Wort to the boil at 3:33. Hops added at 60 minutes remaining, Irish moss and chiller added to pot at 15 minutes remaining. Transferred to bucket around 5:20. Post-boil gravity is 1.070. Temperature at pitch is 58 F. Liquid appeared to be up to 12 L, with foam up to 18 L mark on bucket.

June 2, 2017: Bottling day! Since only primary was used, hard to tell exact volume; appears to be between 12-13 L. 36 standard 340 mL bottles cleaned and sanitized. 3 carb tabs used per bottle. SG at bottling: 1.016.

June 17, 2017: Opened first bottle. Not carbonated at all. Not clear. Picked up some peach or apricot flavour. Realized I didn't calculate the ABV previously; comes in at about 7%.

June 18, 2017: 2017 Newfermenters Homebrew Competition. Provided samples to several attendees. Beer was well received; a few people noted a bit of alcoholic heat, and a few picked up fruit (apricot/peach, apple, pineapple). Alicia MacDonald from Port Rexton Brewing gave some excellent feedback; in her view, the beer is most likely infected. Another possibility is that my water, while carbon filtered, may not have been sufficiently filtered. Can't remember exactly how long it has been since I replaced the filter, but it's probably been at least 6 months or more, so chlorine may have also played a part in this problem.

Associated links

Photo album | Short Entry Form | Long Entry Form | Scorecard

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