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Kölsch Recipe

Here is one of my upcoming brews that I have planned.
A nice crisp Kölsch in time for the change of seasons into spring.


Batch Size: 5.5 gal
Efficiency: 70.0%

Original Gravity: 1.048
Terminal Gravity: 1.010
Color: 3.8 SRM
Alcohol: 4.98%
Bitterness: 26.23

9.5 lbs German 2-row Pils
0.5 lbs Munich 10L Malt
0.5 lbs 2-Row Carapils Malt
1.5 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 60 min
0.25 oz Tettnanger (4.5%) – added during boil, boiled 5 min
2.0 tsp Irish Moss – added during boil, boiled 0.0 min
1.0 vial White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kölsch

Mash temp- 150F

Results generated by BeerTools Pro 1.0.29


Goodnight Kegerator


Brew Day – American Pale Ale


  1. CynicalSOB

    Why post a recipe before having brewed it? Much more informative to tell us how it tastes and what you’d change. Or is this virtual brewing because you’re so brilliant on paper but so disappointing in reality? Don’t you actually brew? Then the big promise of a followup IPA that never occurs because you lost interest. By the way, your recipe is crap. Grainbill too complicated. Pilsner malt only, maybe 5% wheat. NO late hops. The brewers of Cologne are laughing at you.

  2. I believe as homebrewers we can take our inspiration from anywhere. Brewing it right to style isn’t a rule, homebrewing is about creativity and experimentation. So what you find complicated in that grain bill is just an means to an end. I do remember this beer and it was a pleasant crisp drinker. Just what I intended it to be. Half a pound of munich is probably a waste of time I admit, but I did it at the time…it certainly didn’t hurt. Great beers are great in your mouth not on paper trying to compare it to someone else’s standard of a good recipe.
    We often post recipes before we brew them. Its part of our thought process. Sometimes things change and we don’t follow up, sorry you don’t have anything else to do but wait for us to follow up.
    hmmpf. I think it odd that you cruise a 3 year old post in-order to trash it. Welcome to the site and our content. CynicalSOB is more like CynicalDB… Bring it. Its good entertainment.

  3. All I can say to CynicalSOB is this. A TRUE Kölsch has ZERO wheat in it. A true Kölsch will have low or no hop aroma/flavor BUT there are some brewed in Colonge that DO have a mild hop aroma/flavor so it’s not completely unheard of or against the style. Would I brew that exact recipe for my Kölsch? No, but my recipe is pretty damn close.

    at 82% efficiency)
    9lbs Pale malt (or Pilsner)
    .5lb Munich II (8.5 srm)
    1oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (3.9%AA) 60
    1oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker (3.9%AA) 30
    Whitelabs German Ale/Kölsch yeast WLP029

    color 3.7SRM
    22.6 IBU
    Mash at 152 (no need for cara-pils this way)

  4. Bruce

    Can’t imagine why someone would trash your post this way. Obviously he hasn’t read very much on your site or he’d realize that you brew quite a lot of beer, and what you present is not ‘virtual’ or ‘theoretical’ but is very practical. Homebrewers are fortunate to have access to information such as what you have made available here and instead of griping we need to be grateful to everyone who gives us the benefit of experience. I am planning to brew an Irish Red this weeekend and a Kolsch in the future, so I am preparing my grain bill for the Red today. I used to brew a pretty good Irish using extract but this time I want to exercise my Sabco and go with all-grain. I also plan to use something other than Cascade which is one reason I am searching recipes. Thank you for the time and effort you have put into this and keep in mind there are far more of us who support you than there are ‘complainers’.

  5. Thanks Bruce. I would say 99% of the comments we get are positive. We publish all the comments we get unless they are obvious spam. We don’t take this kind of comment to heart. You can’t please everybody.

  6. James

    Having to work in Germany regularly I have had just about every Kolsch and Alt
    in Dusseldorf and Kolin. These have become my favorite beer by far. I am going
    to try this recipe today. Thanks for the post and don’t sweat the Trolls. Keep
    posting and we will keep reading.

  7. Thanks James – Brew on!

  8. Ben Leonard

    Kolsch is my go to summer brew, and I like to add a pound of rye for a dry finish, ala Leinie’s Canoe Paddler, which for the money is a great beer. Or add a pound of wheat for sweet. In a perfect world I’d have Sunnar Kolsch in my stang and any thing I brewed would be a feather in my hat. And I always look forward to the first alt of autumn too!

  9. Thanks Ben!

  10. Jim Brennan

    This is a very old post at this point but I thought I would weigh in.

    #1, I feel that this is a great recipe for a Koln-style beer. In fact, I just checked it against my own (I’ve been brewing professionally for over 25 years) and it’s pretty much the same. I have 90.9% German Pilsner and 9.1% German Munich (7.6 SRM) in my recipe with everything else pretty much the same except that I do add some Hallertauer Mittelfruh during the whirlpool. It’s a minor note, but sometimes that minor note adds just enough that it makes a difference. Some will say that there are no late addition hops, and I’m OK with that, that’s my spin. It’s just a light floral note.

    #2, It’s not unknown for a brewer in Koln to use wheat. Someone had noted earlier that there’s “no wheat” in Kolsch but that’s not true. I don’t use it myself because I don’t filter, but several Koln breweries do to gain head retention.

  11. Thanks Jim – it’s hard to believe that this post was published over 11 years ago. We appreciate the comment and the insight.

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