Originally Posted by schu_22
I'm thinking about making a Kolsch this weekend. Anyone got any great tips or recipes? I only have extract capabilities right now but I don't want to use a kit.
A Kolsch is a bit tough to pull off properly with extract because the grain bill is typically 100% grains that require mashing - so you won't be able to steep any specialty grains. That said, you can still brew a decent one with extract.
I would use dry malt pils extract as that will get you closest to the light straw color of a Kolsch and keep the grain bill traditional . Also would do a full boil if you have that capability. This will also help keep the color light.
For hops, you can use any of the German noble hops, or use American hops like Mount Hood or Crystal. I would just hit it with a 60 minute addition and maybe a light 20 or 15 minute addition.
If you're going traditional, aim for an OG between 1.045 and 1.050 and IBU:BU ratio of close to 0.5.
Wyeast 2565 is nice, and if you can do a starter I would do at least a 1 liter starter, then try to ferment around 64f for 3 or 4 weeks. Then if you can lager it for another month or two at about 35f you will be a happy man.
The first Kolsch I did I got impatient and knocked the yeast out early with gelatin. It had a very green apple taste because I knocked the yeast out before they cleaned up all the fermentation by-products.
It's a very clean and simple beer and the yeast profile really makes it what it is. You could use a touch of wheat or add some honey, but my best have been 100% pilsner.