Home Brew Beer Recipes
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
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
About Kolsch Home Brew Beer
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.
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
Enjoy Straw Dog Kolsch with any German food, especially
bratwurst and brotchen (bread). Drink with your fish,
shellfish, or pork meal.
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...
Home Brew How To: Brewing Beer
Discover the wonderful world of
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
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
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!
Favorite Brew Supply Store
If you live in Western
North Carolina, we highly recommend you visit the guys over
Asheville Brewers Supply!
Favorite Commercial Beers
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.
Beer Brew 2 - Straw Dog Kolsch
Ingredients for this Home Brew
Briess Pilsen Malt Extract 3.3 Pounds
Briess/Northwestern Gold Dry Malt Extract 3 Pounds
Crushed Grain, Kolsch Blend (.5 German Pilsner Malt + .5
Vienna Malt) 1 Pound
Perle Pellet Hops 1 Ounce
Czech Saaz Hops 1 Ounce
6. White Labs German Ale/Kolsch Yeast WLP0029 - 1 Vial
Corn Sugar - 1/2 cup
February 2012 - The first thing we do before any beer brewing process is
get everything cleaned. That means we wash all beer-brewing
equipment with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Then,
we sanitize. Using Easy Clean, a no-rinse powder cleanser (1
tablespoon dissolved into 1 gallon warm water), we dip our
brew pot, brew utensils, hydrometer, thermometer, etc. to
We also took our White Labs Homebrew Liquid Yeast out of the
fridge. It's a German Ale Kolsch Yeast, and like all
brewer's yeast, needs to reach room temperature before
pitching into the wort.
The first step for our 5-gallon batch of Kolsch Pilsen beer
is to prepare 2 gallons of filtered water. By preparing, I
mean we put that amount into our 5 1/2-gallon stainless
steel brew pot over medium heat. We obtained our water from
the filtered water coming from the refrigerator.
want to purchase your own filtered water. But, we find the
local water from the Blue Ridge Mountain area, when ran
through a filter, makes for a perfect home brew. As water is
one of the four main ingredients in beer, you'll want to use
only the best.
And, depending on what part of the world you
are located, you can brew varying tastes of beer using the
same recipe. So, use the best water you can find for your
We placed our crushed grain mixture, conveniently packed
into a cheese-cloth boiling bag, into the warming filtered
water. The idea is to bring the temperature to 150 155
degrees F. Once there, we let the grain steep for 45 minutes
to 1 hour. The purpose of steeping grains is to add color,
body, and that genuine Pilsner flavor to your home brew.
After the grain steeped, we carefully lifted out the grain
bag, let it drain for a few seconds, and then placed it into
a clean, sanitized bowl. We'll be using the remnants of the
Turn the heat on high, and bring the temperature to a near
boil. Turn off the heat and add your malts and/or malt
extract. Stir constantly when adding, and be careful for any
boil over (that's why you turn the heat off before adding
the malt). Lack of stirring will lead to sticking.
After the extract has been added and thoroughly
dissolved, turn heat back up and bring mixture to boil. Once
it reaches a rolling boil, start timer. In this batch, our
total boil time is 50 minutes. During that time, we will be
adding hops. Be careful! During the first 5 minutes of boil,
there is a greater likelihood the mixture will boil over.
After that, you'll notice the suds reduce to a point where
you can actually see the boiling. Place heat on medium and
The Perle pellet hops, with their Alpha Acidity of 7.8%,
were added after 10 minutes of boil, followed by the
remaining juice from the grain/boil bag we saved earlier.
At mid boil (about 25 minutes into the boil), we added the
Czech Saaz hops (Alpha Acid of 3.0%). Hops, essentially are
bittering agents. They balance out the flavor of beer,
making smooth beer have more of a bitter taste. In other
words, they are used as a stability and flavoring agent in
50 minutes of boiling, we took our home brew mixture off the
heat. At this point the key was to get the temperature down
to about 74 degrees as quickly as possible. This is the
temperature required for pitching the yeast. Since this was
only our second brew and we still don't have an immersion
coil (basically a copper coil through which cold water
runs), we decided to try something different... ice.
My fridge has filtered water, so that means the ice is
filtered. If you use this method for lowering the
temperature of your wort, just make sure your ice box is
clean before adding the ice.
We added a tray of this ice (about 5 pounds) to the brew
kettle immediately after the 50-minute boil. It dropped the
temperature from 215 degrees F. to 100 degrees F. in a
matter of a couple minutes. After pouring the brew into the
fermentation bucket, we further added cold, filtered water
to bring the total brew amount up to 5 and Ό gallons.
We like the extra quarter-gallon because it allows us to
leave that amount with the sediment prior to bottling. The
added water brought the temperature down to about 80 F.
Without a wort/immersion chiller, our first batch (brewed 4
months earlier) took three hours to reach 74 degrees F. So,
we were happy the wort in this batch cooled to around 80
degrees in just a few minutes. Another half-hour in cold
sink water got the temperature to 74 F.
After the temperature lowered to 74 F., we measured the
specific gravity to an estimated 5 1/2 % alcohol by content, pitched the yeast, gave the wort a
good stir, and sealed the lid. The air-lock went on, and we
added some filtered water to it and capped it. We sat the
brew on the floor of our living room. Ambient room
temperature is about 70 degrees.
The next day, we noticed some initial fermentation. How? The
air lock shows movement (bouncing up and down), meaning the
CO2 produced during fermentation is escaping. Total time
from when we pitched the yeast until the first signs of
fermentation was about 15 hours. The temperature gauge
(sticker) on our brew bucket showed 67 68 degrees F. at
the beginning of fermentation, so we decided to move it to a
cooler part of the house. Ideally, we wanted to be around 62
About 24 to 36 hours after yeast was pitched, fermentation
increased to a point where the air lock was bouncing every
few seconds. This very active fermenting went on for about
days before it started slowing. Primary fermentation
ceased after about day 6, and the next day we decided to move the brew into a
secondary fermentation stage this time, a glass carboy
to further condition the brew. This secondary fermentation
allowed the remaining active yeast to work out any potential
off flavors. And, it gave the brew more time to settle,
making for a clearer beer.
We had been saving our Heineken, Warsteiner, Bitburger, and
other European beer bottles for use in bottling our home
brew. But, we were told, thankfully, by our friends at
Asheville Brewers Supply that American-produced caps don't
seal properly on imported beer bottles. Fortunately, I also
had plenty of Grolsch bottles on hand and we used them
What is a Grolsch bottle? You've probably seen them. Basically, it's
a green beer bottle that comes with
a ceramic lid held in place with a wire-clamping
system. A red rubber grommet seals the beer, and has to be
replaced with each bottling. The grommets can be
purchased for about a nickel each.
Grolsch is an
excellent beer from the Netherlands, that I find at our
local grocery store. In that they hold 15.2 ounces, our
5-gallon batch could fill about 35 of these bottles.
But, we also just purchased another type of bottle - 1-liter
wire-top bottles, which use the same wire-clamping system as
Grolsch. To make a long store short, we
filled a case of 12 of these 1-liter bottles, and 12 of the Grolsch bottles.
Just prior to bottling, we siphoned the beer to the racking
bucket (simply a 6-gallon bucket with a spigot/tap) and
added the corn sugar. Why corn sugar? This gives
the remaining yeast something to eat while in the bottle,
which produces a small amount of CO2. You know it as
the fizz you get when you open a beer. Without adding
a small amount of corn sugar, you would likely get a flat
Next, we gave the brew a good stir and were ready to
bottle. We have a basic bottom filler tube that we
used for bottling the beer. If you just use the spigot
you'll find that it creates too much bubbles and makes for
After bottling, the beers promptly found their way to the
fridge, where they rested for about a week before we tried
one. Of course, we poured into a small, cylindrical
glass and enjoyed. It turned out fabulous! Nice
yellow color, enough body, and a slight bitter taste.
It has since become an excellent "after-mowing-the-lawn" beer!
For our second run of Straw Dog Kolsch, we decided we were
going to do some kegging. Another, more important fact we should mention is this beer
represents the first in which we are kegging, as opposed to
bottling. That's right, we sacrificed $150 for a kegging
system. Why not? Bottling takes a load of time and
if a batch is under/over carbonated, we would have serious
problems in saving the beer. With a keg, it's simple to
adjust carbonation issues. Another advantage of using a
keg instead of bottles is the speed at which the beer can be
consumed. Bottled beer requires at least a week or two to
condition and develop enough carbonation to make the home brew
consumable. With kegged beer, our sweet nectar can be enjoyed in
as little as a couple days after fermenting has ceased! More to come
kegging process for our Straw Dog Kolsch.
Also, our second run started creating some rather
interesting off-smells at day 2 of fermentation.
Essentially, the air coming out of the air-lock smelled like
rotten eggs. After a quick research of the Net, we
determined that we don't have a bacterial infection - most
likely. Only time will tell. Most in the
industry agree that the smells are a result of the White
Labs yeast we are using (WLP0029 German Kolsch Ale Yeast).
It is known for producing off-smells of rotten eggs or
sulfur. These typically go away and leave the brew as
a fantastic state. We'll keep you updated.