Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finally Making That Kolsch

So, I've been staring at these grains for way too long, and I finally have a weekend with nothing planned. Time to brew. Also, because I put it off, I'm making one of my go-to Kolsh brews a little late in the season. I'll make up for that in a few weeks with a Dunkleweizen or something.
Anyway, I'm going to experiment with this one a little bit. First up, I'm going to do a no chill brew. I used that method a while back on a schwarzbier with very good results in that I didn't have to mess around with chilling anything to an ideal pitching temperature, and the beer didn't go bad. In fact, it turned out quite nice. The next thing I'm going to try is my own making it up as I go batch sparge. I don't have an HLT yet (been putting that off for a while), and siphoning off of the stove while trying to keep temps consistent and water levels high enough is just a huge pain in the ass, so batch sparge experiment, it is.
My method this time around will be as follows:

  • Heat my sparge water to about 180°.
  • gently stir the mash while trying to avoid foam. This is to release any sugars that still may be trapped in the grains, and is harder than it sounds.
  • top off my mash tun with sparge water.
  • run off a gallon or two, and recirculate.
  • run off wort to just above grain bed. 
  • if I'm still getting good wort draining out, add more sparge water, and repeat. 
My target OG is about 1.046. We'll see in a bit how this turns out.

I guess the upside of my timing is that I put things off until the end of September. That means that I should get a good few weeks of cool fermenting time out in the garage. My standard two weeks in the primary, two weeks in the secondary, and then kegging.

UPDATE:
efficiency coming in at around 65%. I usually do much better than that. Oh, well. Next up, how will it taste?