Kölsch is an excellent style to explore if you are an all-grain brewer aiming to develop a pleasant and easy-drinking beer. This German beer type is light, crisp, and refreshing, making it ideal for a hot day. While both all-grain and extract brewing methods can be used to create Kölsch, an all-grain version can deliver a greater depth of flavor and complexity, making your homemade Kölsch truly stand out.
The Pilsner and Carafoam malts used in this all-grain formulation offer a light and delicate basis for the beer. Hallertauer hops are utilized for bittering as well as fragrance, adding a mild floral and herbal touch to the malt character.
You should be able to make a delightful and refreshing Kölsch true to the style by following this recipe and carefully regulating the brewing process. This beer is guaranteed to please friends and family with its light golden color, bright and dazzling look, and clean and flowery scent. So get your mash tun ready and start brewing – the ideal Kölsch is only a few steps away!
- 7 lbs. Pilsner malt
- 8 oz. Carafoam malt
- 1 oz. Hallertauer hops (60 min boil)
- 1 oz. Hallertauer hops (5 min boil)
- White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch yeast
- 5 oz. priming sugar for bottling
- Heat 3.5 gallons of water to 165°F (73.9°C) in your mash tun.
- Mash in the Pilsner and Carafoam malts and stir well to eliminate any dry clumps.
- Adjust the mash water to achieve a target temperature of 152°F (66.7°C). Cover the mash tun with a lid and let the mash rest for 60 minutes.
- After 60 minutes, recirculate and collect the wort in the brew kettle.
- Sparge the grains with 3.5 gallons of water at 170°F (76.7°C).
- Bring the wort to a boil and add 1 oz. of Hallertauer hops. Boil for 60 minutes.
- Add 1 oz. of Hallertauer hops and boil for 5 more minutes.
- After boiling, cool the wort to 70°F (21.1°C) and transfer it to a sanitized fermenter.
- Pitch the WLP029 yeast and ferment at 68°F (20°C) for 7-10 days.
- Transfer to a secondary fermenter for an additional 7-14 days.
- Prime with 5 oz. priming sugar and bottle.
- Allow it to carbonate in the bottlers for 2-3 weeks unless you are kegging.
Batch size: 5 gallons
Brewhouse efficiency: 75%
For brewing Kölsch-style beers, the White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch yeast is my recommendation. It is a neutral ale yeast that produces a clear and crisp taste profile with modest fruity esters and a low diacetyl level. This yeast ferments at a low temperature, often between 65-69°F (18-21°C), making it ideal for the Kölsch style.
This recipe should provide a crisp, clear, and refreshing beer with delicate Pilsner malt and Hallertauer hop characteristics. With a little time and careful attention to detail, you should be able to create a wonderful and authentic Kölsch to share with friends and family. Prost!