Saturday, February 20, 2010

German Bitter a Hoppy Kolsch

This was a tasty beer I brewed for my flag football team.  I wanted something light and refreshing, but with enough bitterness and hop aroma that you knew you weren't drinking a macro lager.  The Munich provided a slight bready character and the wheat assisted with the head retention which was terrific. The saaz hops near the end of the boil aren't exactly traditional, but their distinct spice played well with the clean malt character. A cold fermentation with kolsch yeast did a great job giving me a clean beer with some interesting light apricot notes.  Three weeks of cold conditioning after fermentation yielded a clear golden yellow beer, perfect for tricking an unsuspecting macro drinker. 

The team was pretty happy with the beer and helped to kill a case of it in the shadow of the Washington memorial one hot September evening.  One of my co-workers summed up the general opinion "I can drink this faster than Bud." I agreed.  Planning on brewing something along these lines soon now that summer is just around the corner...

Sadly after looking through my pictures from around that time I wasn't able to find a single shot of this batch.

German Bitter

Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)
Batch Size (Gal):         4.00   
Total Grain (Lbs):        6.50
Anticipated OG:          1.044   
Anticipated SRM:           4.2
Anticipated IBU:          30.8
Brewhouse Efficiency:    70 %
Wort Boil Time:             80 Minutes

69.2% - 4.50 lbs. French Pils
15.4% - 1.00 lbs. German Munich Malt                  
15.4% - 1.00 lbs. German Wheat Malt     

0.38 oz. Magnum (Whole 14.50% AA) @ 75 min.
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz (Whole 3.30% AA) @ 5 min.

0.50 Wirlfloc @ 15 min.

WYeast 2565 Kolsch

Water Profile
Profile: Washington DC

Mash Schedule
Sacch Rest - 90 min @ 148

Brewed 7/29/07 with James

Added 1 gram of gypsum to the mash to keep the pH down.  Took forever to get to the boil (1 hour +).  Chilled to the mid-80s, strained and place in the freezer at 59, after 3 hours added a cold jug of Deer Park spring water, gave the carboy a 45 second shake, and pitched the smackpack of yeast.  Turned the temp down to 55 (the lowest recommended temp for the yeast).

Nice healthy krausen by 30 hours (possibly earlier, but I hadn't checked in awhile).  After another 24 hours I raised the temp to 58 to encourage a complete fermentation.

8/05/07 Down to around 1.012, good flavor with a moderate hoppiness.  Still yeasty.

8/09/07 Left in primary, dropped temp to 42 for cold conditioning.

8/26/07 Gravity down to 1.009, nice smooth flavor.

8/30/07 Bottled with 2.25 oz of corn sugar (aiming for ~2.45 volumes CO2)

9/15/07 What a great beer this is, bready and smooth with an interesting slightly apricot like aroma.  Went over well with the flag football team, a version of this should become a summertime tradition.

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