Commissioned – making a Kolsh


I won’t say scary but definitely I will say that today’s brew day is slightly more of an anxious one than usual.

Today I’m not making beer for Kate and me. Today I’m making a special beer at the request of a work colleague.

Now I say special beer because this one is a very traditional beer made in cologne. It’s protected by the European committee people that dictate what you call a product. I’m sure they have an official title.

So like Arbroath smokies can only be made in Arbroath and Stornoway black pudding can only be made in Stornoway… A Kolsh beer can only be made in cologne.

So today I’m making a Kolsh style beer.

All the beers I’ve made so far have been straight forward ales. That is to say that they are brewed at room temperature or there about. And the yeast does well at these temperatures. The Kolsh however is a tricky one to describe.

It’s brewed at a much lower temperature, 14 Celsius and then it goes through a process called lagering which means it’s left to clear and “condition” in a fridge at close to 0 Celsius for a long time.

But it’s made using a type of yeast traditionally used for ales so I’m not sure whether to say it’s a lager or a beer.

I should probably go along with the German way and say beer rather than defining things further.

All the temperature and time are important. This all has an impact on the flavour, which is very much like a lager but much softer on the mouth.

kolsch grains







So I did the brewing today, and it’s now sitting in the big brew fridge at 14 degrees where it will stay for a couple of weeks before I lower the temperature to 2 degrees for a few months.

Gonna have to be patient to see how this turns out.

brewing kit kolsch day












The finished beer.



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