#19P Heidelberger Kellerbier Clone

Eureka, yet another recipe from the old days (2010). There is one recipe left to publish and afterwards all my recipes up to batch number 50 will be on this blog. The recipe below is basically a recipe clone to re-create a Kellerbier (link to ratebeer) I tasted during a study trip to Heidelberg, Germany. Originally brewed by the Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg. We even visited the brewery for a tour which was quite interesting as well. Was quite a nice study trip. Our goal was to find the best beer in Heidelberg… In the end, the group decided Heidelberger Export (link to ratebeer) to be the best. Anyway… Lets get back to the Kellerbier. I really enjoyed this beer, bought myself a bottle and isolated the yeast from it. And this recipe was the first (and last) attempt to brew a Kellerbier clone using the isolated yeast.

Recipe: Heidelberger Kellerbier Clone
Numbers: Volume [L] 5 (1.3 gal)
Original gravity 13.5°P (1.054)
Terminal gravity 4°P (1.016)
Color Around 20 EBC
ABV 5.2% (v/v)
Grains: Munich malt (14.5 EBC) 0.65 kg
Caramunich II (120 EBC) 0.075 kg
Acidified malt (5 EBC) 0.025 kg
Vienna (8 EBC) 0.3 kg
Hops: Hallertauer Tradition (4% AA) 8.2 g and boil for 90 min
Saazer (5% AA) 5 g and boil for 1 min
Yeast: Wyeast’s Yeast isolated from
Heidelberger Kulturbrauerei
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 4 L (1.1 gal), sparge: 5 L (1.3 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @55°C (131°F),
15 min @55°C (131°F),
35 min @64°C (147°F),
20 min @72°C (162°F),
20 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 14 days @8°C (46°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary N/A
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 3 with sugar addition
Maturation time > 3 weeks

August 2010: (Don’t know the exact date anymore). Small batch brew day. Crushed all the grains, mashed in at 35°C (95°F) and increased the temperature to 55°C (131°F) and followed the mash schedule as mentioned in the recipe above. Then sparged at 78°C (172°F) and boiled the wort with the mentioned hops. Cooled down to 20°C (68°F) and stored the fermenter (no yeast added yet) in my refrigerator at 8°C (46°F) over night. I then added the yeast in the morning, aerated by shaking and left the fermentation go for 14 days. Gravity was down to 4°P. Left the fermenter sit at room temperature for two days (diacetyl rest). Then bottled with an addition of sugar.

Tasting: (beer nearly 2 months in the bottles):

Aroma: Very malty. Nothing else.

Appearance: Brilliant clear, amber color, white head with very small bubbles.

Flavor: Malty, caramel, sweet, not bitter and slightly dry nevertheless

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, average carbonation level, finishes with a malty medium lasting aftertaste.

Overall Impression: Unfortunately, I could not compare this batch with the original brew since I had to drink the only bottle I got to get to the yeast sediment. However, this is a very neat malt-caramel driven beer like one would expect from a Kellerbier.

I lost the isolated yeast strain in the meantime and this is why I can’t brew another batch. Honestly, I am not sure if I would have brewed a second batch anyway. Anyway, it turned out great, was fun to brew and cool to use an isolated yeast as a primary strain. Cheers!


Bottle dregs harvest: Kellerbier Kulturbrauerei Heidelberg

I visited Heidelberg (Germany) in 2009 and attended a brewery tour at the Kulturbrauerei. I really liked their Kellerbier and I wanted to plan a clone brew. Inspired by the Kellerbier brewed by the Heidelberger Kulturbrauerei I wanted to make a similar beer myself.

Tube with Kellerbier yeast

First, I got myself a bottle of Kellerbier and isolated the yeast from the bottle. The brewer assured me that they use the primary yeast for bottling. After drinking the beer I transfered the dregs to a sterile sugar solution to have a kind of fermentation and then plated on agar. Unfortunately I can’t remember which kind of agar I used. I guess it was malt agar. Well, I got a acidic impression while examining the plates after growing colonies were visible. As I had a lot of work to do for my studies at that time I just forgot about the yeast and put the rest of the yeast in isotonic sodium chloride solution and stored it in my refrigerator.

Nearly a year later in the Spring of 2010, I found the tube and gave the yeast a second chance. This time, I used Ovomaltine a malt based beverage which is very well known in Switzerland as a starter media. I went with this kind of starter because I had no access to my normal brewing equipment. I used one teaspoon of Ovomaltine to 450 mL of hot water. I then transfered this DIY-yeast starter in three bottles. The yeast was added after the starter cooled down.

Yeast starter

I racked the sediments after six days to a new bottle and added 50 g of sucrose and 400 mL of sterile water. There was a nice sediment visible after several days and the starter had a nice yeasty smell. So far so good. Now the really funny part: the yeast went back in the refrigerator because I had no time for brewing… The yeast finally got to work in August 2010. I dumped the whole sediment of the bottle in wort from another batch and pitched it after a week to the first clone recipe of my version of Heidelberger Kellerbier. I have to thank all the little cells for staying with me all that time. I still have the yeast on a agar plate in my refrigerator waiting for the next batch…

I am now planning a second version of the beer and I now found out that the brewery does not make the beer anymore. I might have the only yeasts left for that beer now. I will post my recipe for the first attempt in the future and publish the tasting results as well. Stay tuned.