Klassic Kölsch Tomorrow

On March 27, 2009, in Homebrewing, Recipes, Stuff..., by Mark Ranes
Kalssic Kolsch Tap Handle

Kalssic Kolsch Tap Handle

It’s time to brew my Klassic Kölsch tomorrow.  This ale was last brewed in July and the second keg just blew tonight (Brenda was the BlowMaster:)  I’m using the exact same recipe as the last batch as it turned out well and needs no tweaking. The starter for this ale has been working since Tuesday.  Kudos to Stephen for opening up his conditioning fridge to cold ferment this ale.

On a sad note, yesterday I ended my association with my local homebrew club.  I was a charter member and have only missed 3-4 monthly meetings over the last three years.  The drama in the club is not something I want to be a part of.  In the coming weeks, I’ll post more on this, but considering the fresh nature of my exit, I want time to reflect on what happened, and hope to temper my thoughts before writing on the topic.  The biggest issue currently facing the club is that I set up, configured and managed my homebrew club’s web site and forums.  Additionally, I actually host the club’s forums and web site on my small business’ servers, and that is ending with my departure.  I’ve done this at no charge for the last three years, and I want to provide the club’s data to an able member to continue the (often contentious) communication of the club.  I fear they are in for a shock concerning this aspect of the club’s daily function.

Overall, I’ve met some really wonderful people in the club – some who I know will be lifetime friends.  I’ll miss the camaraderie at the meetings, the sharing of information, and the love of quality ales.  I’ll even miss managing the club’s forums – it’s been a mostly fun ride:)  Good luck, Mashers!

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Feeling Empty (Figuratively and Literally!)

On August 17, 2008, in Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes
The latest kegged-up ales on gas

The latest kegged-up ales on gas

Today I kegged up the last two ales from my summer brewing marathon that were still in carboys.  For the first time, in what seems like forever, I have nothing in glass fermenting away.  I kegged ten gallons of Klassic Kolsch and five gallons of Blue Flame Imperial IPA.  They both attenuated well and completely.  The Kolsch had an original gravity of 1.052 and finished at 1.011, for a 5.4% ABV.  The hydrometer jar sample tasted wonderful, a bit drier and less sweet than my first batch of Kolsch.  This one is a keeper!  The Blue Flame Imperial IPA also attenuated much better than the last batch.  It started with an original gravity of 1.078 and went all the way down to 1.011, for a 8.8% ABV.  For this batch of Blue Flame, I used late hops exclusively, except for the single 90 minute bittering charge.  I also bumped up the dry hops with two ounces each of Summit and Nugget hops.  The uncarbonated sample tasted great and the ale has a huge hop nose.  This is going to be an awesome ale in six weeks!

Eight, sad empty carboys...

Eight, sad empty carboys...

I now have eight dirty carboys that I need to clean.  Nothing is quite as sad looking as eight empty carboys…

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Klassic Kolsch is Fermenting Away…

On July 18, 2008, in Homebrewing, by Mark Ranes

The Klassic Kolsch brew day was uneventful.  I got up early to beat the heat, and everything fell into place.  I hit my mash temp exactly at 150 degrees, with no fooling around with water additions.  I enjoyed the change in hops from what I regularly brew with.  The Hallertaus have a nice earthy aroma and the Tettnangers have a wonderful, spicy – almost peppery, aroma.  They smelled wonderful during the ninety minute boil.

My Brew Sculpture in Action

My Brew Sculpture in Action

The Kolsch is in the conditioning fridge, at 60 degrees, and actively fermenting.  I checked it when I got home from the Leon Russell show, and it was ready for air locks.  I always worry about putting air locks on too early when putting carboys in the fridge.  My early lagers would suck the air lock’s liquid (cheap vodka) back into the carboys if I put them on too early and the temps dropped, before it started off gassing CO2.  Once the positive pressure of the CO2 is blowing out of the carboys, it doesn’t matter if the temp drops a few degrees.

I’m excited to have a Kolsch in glass again.  It is easily six to eight  weeks away from drinkability, but September should be a good month for brews at Sociables.

Now I just need to finish cleaning six dirty kegs, and then cleaning and rebuilding the six kegs Steve recently picked up for for me.  Cleaning kegs is probably my least favorite brewing task.  I have thirty gallons of hoppy ale in glass that needs to be kegged up soon…

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Kolsch on Deck for Friday

On July 17, 2008, in Homebrewing, Recipes, by Mark Ranes

It’s time to brew a Kolsch again.  This ale was very well received by friends and family, and the last time I brewed it, the second keg was like liquid gold!  It is a nice crossover beer for those folks who don’t yet know they like craft beer.

A Kolsch is a bit of a challenge to brew though as it needs to be cold fermented, even though it is an ale.  My conditioning fridge is finally empty enough handle a couple carboys for 10 days or so.  I currently have forty gallons of ale in carboys (and no empty carboys), so I’ll be need to rack the wit into kegs this afternoon, before I get water and grain ready to brew.  I made a 2000 ml starter last night, so hopefully I’ll get the nice clean fermentation this ale requires.

Klassic Kolsch
6-C Kölsch

Size: 10.08 gal
Efficiency: 75.0%
Attenuation: 75.0%
Calories: 220.35 per 16.0 fl oz

Original Gravity: 1.050 (1.044 – 1.050)
Terminal Gravity: 1.012 (1.007 – 1.011)
Color: 4.1 (3.5 – 5.0)
Alcohol: 4.88% (4.4% – 5.2%)
Bitterness: 24.96 (20.0 – 30.0)

2 tbsp 5.2 pH Stabilizer – added during mash
18 lbs Pilsner Malt
1.5 lbs Cargill White Wheat
2 oz Hallertau (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 90 min
1 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 50 min
1 tsp Wyeast Nutrient  – added during boil, boiled 15.0 min
2.0 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15.0 min
1 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 2 min
2000.0 mL Starter White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch

The weather report is forcasting 94 degrees for tomorrow, so an early start on this brew day will be be in order.

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