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Home Brew Beer Recipes - Partial/Extract
Beer Brew 1 - Hubert's Belgium Trippel
  Beer Brew 2 - Straw Dog Kolsch

  Beer Brew 3 - Blow My Windmill Pilsner
  Beer Brew 4 - What to Wheat for Dinner
  Beer Brew 5 - Let the Oktoberfestivities Begin
  Beer Brew 6 - Belgian Battleground Ale
  Beer Brew 7 - Pablo's Kolsch
  Beer Brew 8 - Belgian Golden Ale
  Beer Brew 9 - Ichabod's Cranium Pumpkin Beer
  Beer Brew 10 - Appalachian Pale Ale (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 11 - Appalachian Pale Ale 2 (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 12 - It's Good to be American Pale Ale
  Beer Brew 13 - Another Munich Beer Tent Brau
  Beer Brew 14 - Up Under Australian Lager
  Beer Brew 15 - Monks Gone A Rye Ale
  Beer Brew 16 - Trouble With Belgian Dubbel
  Beer Brew 17 - Hubert's Belgium Tripel 2

About Pablo's Kolsch Home Brew Beer

This is a Kolsch beer produced by the Reissdorf Brewery in Cologne, Germany.The Kolsch style of beer comes from the German town of Koln (Cologne), where it is written as Koelsch.  This beer is has a yellow straw color.  It is somewhat hoppy, but not as bitter as the typical German pale lager. 

Kolsch is top-fermented at a temperature of 55 to 70 degrees (warm fermented).  The popularity of this beer didn't rise until the 1960s, as bottom-fermented beers were the norm for hundreds of years.

According to Kolsch Convention of 1986, it is not permitted to brew the beer outside the city of Colgne, though there are several German breweries that do produce a Kolsch style beer.

Pablo's Kolsch is our version of a Mexican-accented Kolsch home brew.  In other words, the Rhein meets the Rio Grande.  It's a cool, refreshing beer that's perfect after a mowing the grass or working in the garden on a sunny day.  Expect to find a slight peppery bite with a hint of citrus at the end.

Hops Used

Bittering - Perle Pellet Hops.

Flavoring - Czech Saaz Hops.

How Served

Serve Kolsch at about 40 - 45 degrees F.  The glass of choice is a small one, the cylindrical .2 liter glass, also called a Stange (pole) or Reagenzglas (test tube).  Another "moking" term for a Kolsch glass is the Fingerhut (thimble).  These names were given because, as you probably already know, most German beers are served with huge glasses and mugs.

Tradition has it that when you sit at the bar, the bartender will keep the beer coming, each time with a new glass, until you place your beer coaster on top of your glass, indicating that you are finished drinking for now.

Food for this Home Brew

There is a hint of pepper and cuman towards the end of this drink.  Initially, though, you'll notice the refreshing fruitiness from the citrus.  Enjoy Pablo's Kolsch with spicy food, especially burritos, tacos, and chips & salsa.  Drink with your tamales or while sitting around the backyard fire on a warm summer's evening.  Of course, this version with its Mexican flavors, can be served with just about any Mexican food.  If you would drink a Corona with it, then you can drink Pablo's Kolsch with it! 

Technical Stuff

Image of a hops cone as it appears on a bine.

Styles of Beer
Many have said the taste of beer must be "acquired".  That may be true.  Although factors such as the brewing process and various spices, fruits, etc. play a role, the taste of beer chiefly comes from the malt and water used, esters (or lack of) from the yeast, and the hops.  And, it's the hops that people are inherently tasting when we say beer is an acquired taste... more

Choosing the Right Beer Glass

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Home Brew How To: Brewing Beer

Discover the wonderful world of home brew.  If you've ever wanted to brew at home, but didn't know how to get started, this website serves to provide information on how to make home brew beer and the home brew process.  Get recipes for home brew beer, and step-by-step instructions on how to home brew beer.  No detail has been left out. 

Every new home brewer is going to need a basic set of brew equipment.  Read about all the home brew supplies available and typically used within the hobby.  Get information about home brew kits - one of the first purchases you'll make.  Find your local home brew stores and shops

You'll find that most beginners use bottles for their home brewed beer.  But, as you advance your knowledge and experience in brewing beer at home, you'll likely want to move away from bottling to kegging your beer.  Learn about the various home brew kegs and kegging systems.

Get answers about the home brew system, the best home brew kits, all the different pieces of home brew gear, and even where to obtain beer labels for your bottles!

Our Favorite Brew Supply Store
If you live in Western North Carolina, we highly recommend you visit the guys over at Asheville Brewers Supply!


Our Favorite Commercial Beers
Chimay Trappistes
Any of the Belgian Monk beers brewed within the walls of the Trappist Monastery and controlled by the International Trappist Association.  World renowned beers that are considered by us among the finest brews.

RJ Rockers
Great beer, brewed in a fashion familiar to any of us who have served with the Army/Air Force in Germany during the Cold War.  Love the new Pint Glass they sent me recently.  Ummmmmm!

BrandBrand Bier - The Brand Beer from The Netherlands.
While stationed in The Netherlands, this was the more popular beer, after Heineken.  In our opinion, it is a far better brew than the big "H" beer!  Unfortunately, Brand beer is not available in the United States.


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Beer Brew 7 - Pablo's Kolsch

July 25, 2014 by Rick Morris:

Recipe for this Kolsch Home Brew

1. Briess Pilsen Malt Extract 3.3 Pounds
2. Briess/Northwestern Gold Dry Malt Extract 3 Pounds
3. Crushed Grain, Kolsch Blend (.5 German Pilsner Malt + .5  Vienna Malt) 1 Pound
4. Perle Pellet Hops 1 Ounce
5. Czech Saaz Hops 1 Ounce
6. White Labs German Ale/Kolsch Yeast - 1 Vial
7. Corn Sugar - 1/2 cup

Additional Spicing & Ingredients

1. One Jalapeno Pepper, Skinned and Quartered.
2. One Zest of Lemon.
3. 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper.
4. 1/2 teaspoon Cumin.

August 12, 2012 - This homebrew has a Mexican twist on the popular German Kolsch beer.  It's pretty much our Strawdog Kolsch recipe with the addition of several spices, pepper, and lemon zest.  It also represents our first attempt at straying from the kit recipes. 

Honestly, we really didn't read up on how to go about adding spices or fruit to our homebrew.  So, we were pretty much guessing at how to do it.  This seemed more fun anyway!  I'm sure we'll learn something in the process.

Thinking ahead, one of the first things we did was chill about 3 gallons of filtered water.  We accomplished this by taking filtered water from our refrigerator dispenser - one glass at a time - and adding it to our sanitized fermentation bucket.  Then, it was into the fridge for an overnight cooling...

When it was brew time, we performed all the usual sanitation methods.  Clean, clean, clean!  Nothing was left unwashed and all was dipped into the One Step sanitizing solution in the sink.

Then, it was time to steep the grains.  After raising the temperature of about 2 1/2 gallons filtered water to 150 degrees F, we added the grain bag and let is soak for 50 minutes at 150 - 155 F.

Important: Do not add your grain bag until the temperature of your water has risen to, and is holding steady at 150 - 155 degrees F.  Why?  Well, if you forget about monitoring your water for a few minutes, you can always adjust for temperatures higher than 155 degrees F. (by cooling, obviously).  If the grain bag was placed in the water as the temperature was rising, and you step away for a minute, the grains may accidently steep at a higher temperature and produce off-flavors.

We then removed the grain bag and rested it on a strainer above a bowl to collect the juices.  This was added back to the brew at mid-boil.


The brew was heated to a near boil.  At that time, we removed the heat and added the malt extract and dry malt, while stirring to prevent scolding/burning of mixture.  We of course watched for boil over as this is when it would ordinarily happen...


Ten minutes into the boil we added the bittering hops and the zest of lemon and jalapeno pepper.


We let the brew boil vigorously for 15 minutes and then added the crushed red pepper and cumin, as well as the remaining grain bag juice...


Another 25 minutes of boil brought the total boil time to 50 minutes.  The brew was removed from the heat and flavoring hops added...

Five minutes later, we moved the brew pot to a sink filled with cold water, and added the chilled 3 gallons of filtered water to the wort...


The temperature fell to about 80 degrees F so we let the pot rest in the sink for 10 or 15 minutes, changing the warmed water out several times.  When the brew reached a temperature of about 76 degrees F., we siphoned it to the fermentation bucket.  Another half gallon of filtered water was added to bring the total wort level to 5 1/2 gallons.  We prefer the extra 1/2 gallon because we always leave a bit of trub in the bottom of the bucket at bottling. 

By now, the temperature had reached a nice 74 degrees, so it was time to pitch the yeast.  Adding the yeast and stirring vigorously for a minute ensured everything was mixed and read to go.  We sealed the bucket and added the air-lock.


August 13, 2012: Fermentation began at about 18 hours after yeast pitching.  Temperature is at 72 degrees F.

August 15, 2012: Fermentation is going at a slower rate than yesterday, but is still quite active.  About 10 bubbles a minute.  Temperature is at a steady 70 degrees F.

August 18, 2012: Fermentation has all but ceased.  We get a "pop" of the air-lock only about every 5 minutes.  So, we are prepping for secondary fermentation.

August 22, 2012: Considering bottling this evening.  It has been fermenting for about 10 days.  Would rather move it to a secondary fermenter, but all our carboys have something in them! 

August 23, 2012: Bottling Time!  After siphoning the brew over to the racking bucket and adding the 1/2 cup of corn sugar, we bottled our beers in 1-liter bottles with wire-frame Grolsch-style lids.  After 19 bottles, we still had just enough to fill a single regular Grolsch bottle.  The bottles of fresh beer went on a rack in a dark closet with temperature of about 72 degrees.  After a week there, we'll move them to the fridge for another week to condition.

August 27, 2012: For each of the past 5 days we gently shook all our bottles to get the sediment stirred up.  We have found that this hastens carbonization.  We took the single Grolsch bottle and placed it into the fridge for cooling.  We will crack it open and try it this evening.

Our Pablo's Kolsch home brew beer after it has been bottled.

Ok, so I tried the beer.  I decided to go with one of our RJ Rockers pint glasses as opposed to a stange (typical for a Kolsch beer).  The pour was successful and the beer achieved a nice frothy two-finger head.  The full head remained for several minutes and, though smaller, never completely disappeared though about 10 minutes of drinking from the single pour.  Immediately I noticed the smell of cumin and pepper.  As I took a drink the citrus notes were quickly cleansed with a nice peppery aftertaste.  And, you feel the slight heat all the way down.  The more you wait after each drink, the more the jalapeno you notice. 

Here is a 1-liter bottle of Pablo's Kolsch Homebrewed Beer. 

The lacing on the glass was present, but not completely as expected.  Turns out, this is one interesting beer.  It is probably like nothing you've ever drank.  It's a dry beer that pours like a Kolsch, and drinks like a breaded mild pepper.  We rate it average on our list of personal favorite homebrews, mostly because it's a unique style of beer with a warm, peppery note as it goes down.  But, it is certainly one you can drink on a cold winter's day.  I'm guessing we can impress our Mexican friends with one of our Pablo's Kolsch homebrew beers!  But, for us, it's not something we'll be brewing again anytime soon.

August 30, 2012: Here is a video of Levi and his first bottle of Pablo's Kolsch Homebrew...

December 28, 2012:  Okay, I have to say that I'm now truly impressed with this beer.  We still had a few in the fridge and decided to give one a try.  After 4 months the beer was perfectly carbonated and poured to a thick, frothy head.  The head lasted about 3 minutes before starting to dissipate.  Another 4 or 5 minutes was required before the head completely leveled out.  The color was nice and clear, amber to amber-yellow.  I'm not a certified beer judge, but I have to say that the beer has become a crisp, smooth drink with a slight heat afterwards.  It seems to me this could be the perfect beer at the Mexican restaurant.  It seems it's also a nice lawnmower beer and can be one of the first I reach for after a hot summer's day working outside.  I'm completely impressed what a few months of conditioning does for a beer!  Previously, I stated this is not one of my favorites.  Now, I may have to rethink that.  Whatever my decision, this was one of the "oldest" homebrews I've tried from our brews.  It's clear that homebrewed beers need more than a couple weeks of conditioning.  And, it's clear that this one tastes much, much better after four months!  From now on, I'm not touching my bottle-conditioned brews for at least 2 months after bottling.  Just going to have to plan better, and brew on a schedule.


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