#10 Gloriosa Kölsch

Eureka, its time for another recipe from the brewers logbook. The recipe of the day is a Kölsch. This is a beer style which is brewed around Cologne, Germany. For further details about this beer style, please have a look at the BJCP guidelines about Kölsch.

Some information about the name of the beer. There is a huge cathedral in Cologne, called Kölner Dom. It is pretty nice and the view from the top of the towers is just beautiful. Visit the Cathedral if you are around Cologne some day. It is really impressive. As a lot of other cathedrals, the one in Cologne has bells. And the Gloriosa was the heaviest bell in the Cathedral until 1918. Its weight: nearly 27’000 kg! Some of you might already guess what happened with the bell in 1918… Its metal was used to create weapons for the First World War. Really sad in my opinion. However, as I came across the story of the Gloriosa bell I knew that this is a name for a Kölsch beer.

The recipe itself is rather easy. Some Pilsner, wheat and Munich malt. Some Perle hops for bittering and Saazer as aroma hop. All fermented with a typical Kölsch yeast strain.

Recipe: Gloriosa Kölsch
Numbers: Volume [L] 22 (5.8 gal)
Original gravity 13.5°P
Terminal gravity 5.5°P
Color Around 10 EBC
ABV 4.4 %
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 4.2 kg
Wheat malt (4 EBC) 0.2 kg
Munich malt 1 (14.5 EBC) 0.3 kg
Hops: Perle (7.5% AA) 25.3 g and boil for 80 min
Saazer (3.1% AA) 29.0 g and boil for 20 min
Yeast: #2565 Kölsch
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 12 L (3.2 gal), sparge: 20 L (5.3 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @48°C (118°F), 10 min @53°C (127°F), 30 min @62°C (144°F), 15 min @73°C (163°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 80 min
Fermentation: Primary 14 days @ 20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary None
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2
Maturation time 3 weeks

08/25/07: Brew day number ten. You might have noticed that some of my beers have a somewhat complicated mash schedule compared to other recipes. One explanation for such complicated mash schedules is the malt quality back in the old days. Some of the malts had a higher protein content than modern malts do. It was therefore necessary to do a protein rest at around 45-53°C. This meant you needed a kettle you could directly heat or do decoction mashing. As already mentioned, a lot of the modern malts do not need a protein rest anymore. A single saccharification rest therefore is all you need to do nowadays. Several step makes the whole resting pretty labor intensive since you always need to stir the mash during the heating steps to prevent scorching.

Fig 1: Mash kettle and PLC

You might have already seen in previous posts that I have a pretty nice stirrer (Fig 1). So no stirring for me anymore. However, the stirrer broke last year and I haven’t fixed it yet… The next thing I build myself was a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). This device can be seen in Fig 1 (the grey box on the table). There are two exits where I plug-in my stirrer and my kettle. The stirrer is always on, the kettle is regulated to keep the temperature (which is measured by a probe). However, my mash kettle can keep the temperature at a constant value as well. You can set the temperature at the bottom with the white nob (Fig 1). What makes the PLC special is the programs you can store. The only thing I have to do now is feed the mash schedule into the PLC, press start and mash in at the right temperature. And stop the program at the mash out temperature. So no complicated mash schedules for me anymore. And yet again, I needed some parts of the PLC for my kegerator… so no PLC anymore. I just need the right parts and one hour of work and the stirrer and PLC are working again. The kegerator was way more important than the PLC… Now back to the brew day.

The mash went great… iodine test was negative.

Fig 2: Rest and stir

Then transferred the whole mash into my lauter bucket and collected the wort (Fig 3). Then sparged with 20 L (5.3 gal) of water. Added the Perle hops as the wort begun to boil and added the Saazer hops later on (see recipe).

Fig 3: Lauter and collecting the wort

Cooled the wort down for the fermentation and added a starter of Wyeast’s Kölsch (#2565) yeast strain. I then left the fermentation bucket at 20°C (68°F) for 14 days.

09/08/07: Bottled the beer with cane sugar to a carbonation level of 2 vol. Then left the bottles carbonate and mature for nearly 4 weeks. Unfortunately, I do not find my tasting notes for this particular batch anymore… No problem, I did a second batch of this recipe  (batch #14) with some tasting notes. Nevertheless, the beer looked quite amazing (Fig 4).

Fig 4: Gloriosa Kölsch in a glass

Looking at this beer makes me thirsty. I will head to my kegerator (see, the kegerator is much more important than a PLC) and pour myself a glass of fresh beer. I hereby close this post. Stay tuned for further recipes.