Brewing Up the Kölsch

Written by Dee Gross for crazycow252

The brewing juices are flowing, and Husband is brewing with the enthusiasm of a wood nymph in an oak forests.  His latest endeavor is the honey Kölsch. Though this is his third brew of said German deliciousness, he thinks it will be his best.  The secret to this particular Kölsch is the balance between the sweetness of the honey and the bitter-floralness of the Hops.  The first batch was too sweet, the second batch was too hop-y, and hopefully, this batch will be just right.

The day seemed like it was full of beer-filled possibilities.  And best of all…

 

 we had help!  Husband suckered…I mean offered this learning opportunity to his dear friend Ryan.  I love getting to sit back and watch as the magic unfolds.

 

 

 

 Here the two can be seen kindling their bromance over opening the bags of grains. Husband used a blend of German Pilsner malt, wheat malt, and a dash of honey malt.
 
After the bags were opened and carefully mixed,

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Once the water reached the perfect temperature.  Husband and Ryan transferred the boiling hot liquid to the mash tun. 

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 Usually, I am the one on the other side of the pot praying that the pot holder doesn’t lose its grip.  Ah, it is so nice to see someone else risking socks and limb in the brewing process whilst I am safe and cozy behind the camera.

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After adding a pH stabilizer and allowing the water to temper the mash tun, the boys added the grain. 

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Ryan poured the grains.

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Husband stirred the mash into a tornado of taste. Then is was time to let the grains steep and release their sugary goodness.  While we waited the requisite hour, the boys rushed off to get more propane and I check in on grad school. Oh Boy!

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In between errands, Husband tried to coax the stubborn yeast out of the bottom of the tube so it could be incorporated into the wort.

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When the time had come, they sparged.

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 and sparged,

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(Ooh, pretty)

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 and sparged.  When the liquid ran free of grains, it was time to boils the wort.

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Which basically looks like a lot of this for about another hour.  During the break in action, I took the opportunity to hoe it up, literally.  I weeded my tomatoes and harvested my parsnips.  The only action I missed was Husband adding the sugars, hallertau hops, saaz hops, and local wild clover honey.
 
Then it was time for the wort to cool, and for us to watch an episode of The Good Guys. (A highly underrated show, available on Netflix, a must watch)  Upon the climatic conclusion of the episode, the wort chiller had done its job.

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It was ready to add to the primary fermenting bucket.  Once again, I was relieved not to have the fate of Husband’s beer in my klutzy hands.
 
They strained it carefully into the bucket and added the yeast.
 

 

Not before using the beer thief to take a sample of the brew for testing.  This super science-y instrument is a hydrometer.  If you are super intrigue, click on the link.  If not, just know that it is used to tell the strength of the beer.  According to initial measurement, it is going to be 8%.  It might be a little too strong for a Kölsch, but is that really even possible.
 
So, dear friends, it is time to say thanks to Ryan for all the help.  We will have to wait with great anticipation through the fermenting and lagering, but I am sure we are in for delicious treat.
 
Can’t get enough of the Kölsch, read more about it in these past posts: