Saturday, July 17, 2010

Honey Kölsch, July 16 2010

The weather is here and I'm about to switch into high gear for brewing this summer.  Kara suggested that we brew a Kölsch and here's the first of two.  When this finishes primary, I'll brew another to rack on to the yeast cake.  Adding honey was a bit more of a stretch from style but that's what happens around here.  If I remember correctly, Kölsch is defined by the Kölsch-Konvention and can't be brewed outside the German city of Cologne.   Also, this brew violates the Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity Law which states that you can only produce beer with water, barley, and hops.
Jonathan stopped by today during the boil and brought a bottle to share from the Hook Norton BreweryHooky Gold is listed as a Traditional English Ale at 4.2% ABV.  We noted it to be bready, nutty, and fairly well balanced.  The hop flavor was reminiscent of East Kent Goldings but after viewing their website, apparently this English Ale uses American hops.  Overall, it was a pleasant beer.  Thanks for sharing, Jonathan!
Jonathan talked me into upping my honey addition from 1/2 cup to a full cup.  We debated how many gravity points this would equate to but I agreed that a full cup will impart more of a honey note.  In it went!
A smirk of Breaking the Law!

Honey Kölsch, July 16 2010
5 Gallons, All Grain, Single Infusion Mash, 75 Minute Boil

9.5 lbs. Domestic 2-Row
0.5 lb. Vienna
Single Infusion Mash 150°F

1 cup of Sage Blossom Honey added at KO

1.25 oz. Hallertauer 60 min.
0.25 oz. Saaz 1 min.
1 Whirlfloc tab 20 min.

White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch Yeast (vial to quick starter), thanks Kara!

OG: 1.062 @ 78°F
FG: 1.012 @ 56°F
ABV: 7% (temp corrected)

Update 7/23: Racked to secondary.  Current gravity is 1.013.
Update 8/16: Kegged after 2 weeks of lagering at 45°F.  Great flavor profile so far.
Update 8/25: Now on tap!  Last week, I took this beer to an evaluation committee headed up by Harold Gulbransen.  We decided that this beer would best be categorized as a Belgian Blonde.  Its great with lots of malt character, easy drinking with a very hidden alcohol content, there's a hint of sweetness imparted by the honey, and overall a pleasant drinker.  Kara tested this beer for me over at White Labs this past weekend for gravity and ABV.  The results: 7.03% with a Specific Gravity 1.01195.  Looks like my measurements were spot on.

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