Averagely Perfect Kölsch - Poll #7 - Fermentables Combo Poll

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by VikeMan, Apr 29, 2020.

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What should join German Pilsner in the Grain Bill?

Poll closed May 1, 2020.
  1. Wheat Malt

    29.7%
  2. Vienna Malt

    8.1%
  3. Carapils

    5.4%
  4. Wheat Malt and Vienna Malt

    29.7%
  5. Wheat Malt and Carapils

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Vienna Malt and Carapils

    13.5%
  7. Wheat Malt, Vienna Malt, and Carapils

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. None of the Above

    13.5%
  1. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,957) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Poll #6 determined that Carapils would advance to the combo poll.

    This poll is that oft mentioned Combo Poll. It will determine the exact combination of grains to join German Pilsner in the grain bill, i.e. this is where you'll vote them in/out in context. This is a simple plurality poll. Top choice is IN. Others are out.

    If your first choice is losing badly, consider jumping to a similar choice that has more votes.

    I recommend you think about this in terms of not only your personal preferences, but also in the context of the ABV and Final Gravity (and thus the attenuation) already selected and base malt already selected, as well as any possible yeast strain selection that might be kicking around in your head.

    This poll will be open for 48 hours.

    If you have issues with or suggestions for methodologies used in this project, please send them via PM. Let's keep the threads themselves on topic to the question at hand and not about how you would have asked the question differently.

    The Averagely Perfect Kölsch Recipe so far...

    Target ABV: 4.8%
    OG: 1.045
    FG: 1.008
    German Pilsner Malt: IN

    Wheat Malt: possibly in
    Vienna Malt: possibly in
    Carapils: possibly in
     
  2. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (502) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I'm still interested in hearing some debate regarding the use, or lack thereof, of wheat malt. I have never used it before in a kolsch, and would like to hear some opinions on what it brings to the table.
     
  3. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (393) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Apparently, from what I’ve read, it is used infrequently by commercial Kölsch brewers. It seems like a small amount might work in the style, but I personally am in favor of pils malt only. Cheers!
     
    JSullivan, dmtaylor and scottakelly like this.
  4. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,883) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Me too but it seems 'popular' for BA homebrewers to prefer 'lots of stuff' here?

    Cheers!
     
    JSullivan and dmtaylor like this.
  5. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (222) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Yup... It's the American way. More is always better.
     
    Eggman20, JackHorzempa and JSullivan like this.
  6. Hanglow

    Hanglow Champion (809) Feb 18, 2012 Scotland

    Went for pils+wheat malt. I'd use up to 20% wheat malt. Helps body/mouthfeel etc
     
    Naugled likes this.
  7. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (383) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan
    Trader

    I was obsessed with brewing Kolsch in 2019. I think between end of 2018 and 2019 I might have brewed 12 or so beers that were based around the idea of Kolsch. I did tons and tons of research, especially on the more highly regarded or most award winning American versions. I’ve never been to Cologne unfortunately and I find it pretty tough to use the German examples we get here as a basis for how they should taste cause they’ve usually been so abused by the time at we get them not to mention old.

    Anyways it seems like Chuckanut Kolsch is the most awarded Kolsch brewed here in the US. It’s won GABF and WBC many many many times. They are a very traditional brewery that applies all the traditional techniques in mashing, fermentation, lagering, etc.

    Their Kolsch uses a small percentage of Wheat. According to the founder it’s less than 10%. He says it helps to dry the beer out or helps with the perception of dryness.

    Will and Mari Kemper have been on the Session twice discussing their process and beers. I’d highly suggest checking out those episodes if you’re interested in learning some more interesting aspects of brewing Kolsch. Sadly they use a proprietary strain that isn’t offered by the major yeast banks here in the US.

    Really wish I could get my hands on that Kolsch strain East Coast Yeast offers. Sounds unique and different than what’s usually available.
     
    MrOH, skleice, utahbeerdude and 5 others like this.
  8. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (389) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Suppose none of the grains from this poll end up in final recipe. What would be the best way to assure a rocky, pillowy, lingering and stark white head?
     
    Naugled likes this.
  9. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (383) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan
    Trader

    Long mash rest at 162

    Keeping most of the trub out of the fermenter

    Spunding

    Getting the beer off the yeast quickly

    Slowly stepping the temperature down instead of crashing

    Carbonating to slightly higher levels
     
    MrOH and riptorn like this.
  10. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (502) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Throwing this out here as a discussion item. From my experience following a traditional commercial recipe on a homebrew scale does not necessarily create identical results. There is something about the process that creates something different.

    I have brewed many single malt beers on my brewing system over the years, especially single malt pilsner beers for various styles such as koelsch, pilsner, helles, etc. Almost all of those beers have been great, though I would describe the malt profile as being different from what I have experienced from a commercial brew that reportedly has only pilsner malt. The homebrewed example is almost always lighter in color and malt flavor.

    I would guess that most German koelsch beers are 100% pilsner malt. I can also guarantee you that on my brewing system that if I brew a 100% pilsner malt koelsch that the color will be lighter than a German commercial example, and the malt character will be a bit different.

    I see three ways to approach this poll as a homebrewer. What is an ideal recipe that would be produced as a commercial recipe? What is a recipe on my system that will produce a beer similar to an ideal commercial example? What is a recipe on my system that exemplifies my ideal of what a koelsch should be?

    If we want to answer the first question, this recipe should be over with quickly. If we are answering the second or third questions, I would like to hear some more experiential input from other homebrewers.
     
  11. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (389) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    @scottakelly …asking those 3 questions make sense; the unaimed arrow always hits its target. Wish I could offer some input on the experience side; no can do.

    Discussion at a brisker pace might run up against discussious interruptus as poll closing time approaches. If changing my "None of the Above" vote will force a runoff, I'll do that in an attempt to keep the banter alive.
     
    #11 riptorn, Apr 30, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2020
    scottakelly likes this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,883) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Absolutely!

    There are so many variables (e.g., 'knobs' to be turned) in brewing that it is practically impossible to replicate what is done by another brewery/brewer. Heck, as a homebrewer it is impossible for me to precisely replicate what you are achieving. We discussed just one aspect of this recently as regards what level of attenuation you achieved for a Bitter Ale as I did even using pretty much an identical grain bill, similar mash temperature (at least from a target perspective) and same yeast strain.
    Well, one 'knob' here is specific Pilsner Malt used. Do you use the same Pilsner Malt in your beers (e.g., Weyermann?)? Weyermann Pilsner Malt seems to be 'popular' for homebrewers but in Germany the are 'tons' of other malting companies producing Pilsner Malt. Jeff Alworth discussed this in his book "The Secrets of Master Brewers" in the Helles section:

    "Each helles had a similarity to the last – it’s one of the least varied beer styles on the planet – and yet each helles was also different. I later learned that one of the main reasons for this is there are tons of malt houses throughout the country. I was surprised to never encounter a brewery that used Weyermann, the only German malt house I knew (This was true in Bamberg, Weyermann’s home.) Each malt was slightly different, resulting in flavors that varied surprising ways helles to helles."

    Needless to say but another 'knob' here is specific mashing regime utilized.
    Well, there is indeed an 'easy' answer here but for several (many?) BA homebrewers there is a need to use 'lots of stuff'. They associate 'lots of stuff' with complexity?

    Cheers!
     
    scottakelly likes this.
  13. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (502) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I'll add that my most used pilsner malt producer is Avangard.

    I agree that there are a lot of variables we need to consider as homebrewers, many of which are overlooked by individuals that assume that recipe "A" will always produce the the same result.
     
  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,883) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    I have yet to use Avangard, how would you compare this malt to the other Pilsner Malts you used?

    I am a fan of the following German Pilsner Malts: Bestmalz BEST Pilsen Malt and Weyermann 'regular' Pilsner Malt. I am not a fact of Weyrmann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt.

    I am a fan of the following Belgian Pilsner Malts: Castle & Dingemans.

    I am a fan of Rahr Premium Pilsner Malt for producing American lagers.
    As detailed as a recipe gets, and these Averagely Perfect recipes have indeed become more detailed over the years, there is still many other 'knobs' in our homebreweries that will yield varying results.

    Maybe for fun we can establish another 'poll'? How long in time do you think until this Kolsch recipe is completed?

    My guess is June 18th.

    Cheers
     
  15. scottakelly

    scottakelly Zealot (502) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Avangard to me is very similar to Weyermann, Durst, and Dingemans and better than Rahr and Swaen. It's been too long since I've used Bestmalz or Castle that I would not want to make a comparison.
     
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  16. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,957) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    This discussion (on the difficulty of replicating someone else's beer) reminds me of the guy a (few?) years ago that posted here, looking for recipe advice. But he wouldn't actually post drafts of his recipes, because someone might steal them before he could go pro. Good times.
     
  17. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,883) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Well, at least there is more discussion here than in Poll #5. :slight_smile:

    Cheers!
     
    scottakelly likes this.
  18. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,905) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    Went with wheat and Vienna because it runs counter to what I usually do (which is all Pils). As for the debate about what wheat and Vienna add, a parallel debate centers around the amount you would need to make that impact.
     
    scottakelly likes this.
  19. Supergenious

    Supergenious Disciple (366) May 9, 2011 Michigan

    What does the long mash rest at 162 achieve?
    Also, what does the slow step down in temp do?
    Just curious. Thanks!
     
  20. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (222) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Brew an all-DME version of the recipe, and consider over-carbonating it on purpose.
     
    JSullivan likes this.
  21. wasatchback

    wasatchback Disciple (383) Jan 12, 2014 Tajikistan
    Trader

    The 162 step helps to create more glycoproteins. Proteins of a certain molecular weight that aid in head formation and retention. It’s also the optimum alpha rest temp which is nice.

    Fast cooling of yeast can cause thermal shock or stress. Yeast can release lipids and fatty acids when stressed like this that can damage head retention.
     
    Supergenious likes this.
  22. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,905) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Society

    I'll let you in on a secret. All of the recipes, hints, and advice I have posted in the last decade have been lies and misdirection so that I will have a competitive advantage when I go pro. Now 5.5% crystal malt in an Irish stout doesn't sound quite so crazy, does it?

     
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  23. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,957) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    3-ish hour warning.
     
  24. dmtaylor

    dmtaylor Aspirant (222) Dec 30, 2003 Wisconsin

    Friggin Vienna..... you guys just can't not, eh?!
     
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  25. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,957) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Society

    We have an apparent tie. However, I am invoking the pollster's right to cast a tie-breaking vote (first mentioned in the previous AP project), and my vote is for Wheat Malt.

    The next poll will be to select a Yeast Strain, before returning to the grain bill to determine the proportions of German Pilsner and Wheat Malts.
     
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