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.
Bittering - Hops.
Flavoring - Hops.
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!
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...
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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 gallons filtered water to
150 degrees F, we added the grain bag and let is soak for 50
minutes at 150 - 155 F.
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
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
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
August 13, 2012: Fermentation began at about 18
hours after yeast pitching. Temperature is at 72
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
August 30, 2012:
Here is a video of Levi and his first bottle of Pablo's Kolsch
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.