In trying to decide what my next brew should be, I contemplated many styles. A pumpkin spice ale is definitely on the list, but I want to wait a few weeks until pumpkins are available before attempting that one. I’d love to do another stout, but I’d rather schedule that for colder weather. I need to make another couple batches of my steam beer, which is my flagship house beer, but I can whip that up anytime and I want to try something new.
Enter the Kölsch. I’ve wanted to brew one of these ever since tasting them in Köln, but never got around to it for whatever reason. I think in the back of my mind I associated them with true lagers, and didn’t want to deal with the huge yeast starter and conditioning times. This style is sort of a hybrid in that it ferments at low ale temperatures, but is best with at least four weeks of lagering after primary – not to worry, though, because at my house, lagering is best conducted with pint-sized samples taken every evening.
So, it’s time. I even have stanges for proper serving and everything. I smacked two very old (two years!) Wyeast 2565 smack packs today, and am picking up two more fresh packs this evening. I plan on making a gallon starter with one fresh and two old packs tonight, and pitching that into a 10 gallon batch brewed on Sunday. I’ll keep the second fresh pack in case of stalled fermentation, or for the next batch.
The recipe is going to be 95% German pilsner malt and 5% Vienna, with light Hallertau hopping. The mash will be low (149°F) and long (90 minutes) with a 90 minute boil. This will be my first 10 gallon batch, and the wort will be split into two primaries and fermented at 60°F. I’ll post an exact recipe once I work out the details in BeerSmith.