Kolsch Recipe

Kolsch is a great, easy-drinking beer that straddles the boundary between ale and lager. Clean pilsner malt, lager-like fermentation characteristics, subtle noble hopping, and hint of sulfur make this a beer than can be drank by the liter (although it tastes better 0.2 liters at a time in an authentic Stange). Fermented cool using a specialized Kolsch ale yeast strain sets this apart from traditional blond ales you might find at your local brewpub.


Volume: 6.12 Gallons
Original Gravity: 1.048
Terminal Gravity: 1.009
Color: 3.95 SRM
Alcohol: 5.05%
Bitterness: 24.8
Efficiency: 75% (tweak recipe to match efficiency of your brew house)
Boil Length: 90 Minutes


10.16 lb (89.0%) Pilsner Malt; Weyermann
8 oz (4.4%) Pale Wheat Malt; Weyermann
8 oz (4.4%) Vienna Malt; Weyermann
2 oz (1.1%) German CaraFoam
2 oz (1.1%) Acidulated Malt; Weyermann
19 g (57.3%) Magnum (12.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
.25 oz (21.4%) Czech Saaz (3.1%) – added during boil, boiled 30 m
1 ea Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
.25 oz (21.4%) Hallertauer Mittelfrüher (3.4%) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
.5 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 ea WYeast 2565 Kolsch – 1800ml 1.040 starter on stir plate


Carbon-filtered Seattle water which is very soft.  All salts added to grist before mashing in.
2.0 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate)
6.0 g Calcium Chloride (Calcium Chloride)


60 Minute Saccharification Rest at 149° F
10 Minute Mashout Rest at 170° F (I do a second hot water infusion to mashout)
Sparge at 170° F and collect sufficient runnings to hit pre-boil volumes.


  1. Chill wort to 58° F and pitch yeast slurry.
  2. Set temp controller to 60° F and allow to rise to this temp.
  3. Ferment at 60-62° F until beer is 2-6 points from terminal gravity then raise temp to 68° F.  Hold at 68° F for 2 days.
  4. Chill fermenter to 34° F.  Rack beer off yeast and lager near freezing the 4-6 weeks.

Keys to Brewing

  1. This is a very clean beer with little room to hide. Good sanitation, pitching a healthy culture of yeast in the correct quantity, and solid temperature control will help ensure a quality end product.
  2. The Wyeast Kolsch strain of yeast doesn’t like to drop bright. I tend to use gelatin to get a beer of brilliant clarity.


The beer brewed from this recipe has won several awards as a BJCP Category 6c. Kolsch:

  • 2012 NHC First Round – 1st Place
  • 2012 Best of the Bay – 3rd Place
  • 2012 Evergreen State Fair – 2nd Place

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