Kolsch notes from the Jamil Show

Schreckenskammer KolschI’ve been listening to the Brewing Network’s Jamil Show and Sunday Session, and I recently decided to start making notes because the information is so good.  This is just what I found noteworthy.  There’s other good info provided in the show.  If you’re a homebrewer and haven’t listened to the shows yet, they are extremely educational.

 This is from the 6/18/06 or so Jamil Show.


  • White Labs propogates yeast in the mid-70s.
  • A hybrid ferments with lager yeast at ale temperatures or ale yeast at very cool temperatures and lagered.
  • For a classic kolsch, you can use 100% pilsner malt.
  • But it is nice to add 10% wheat for breadiness (or 5% wheat and 5% munich or vienna)
  • If you can chill fast to prevent DMS, then keep your boil down to 60 minutes to prevent melanoidin development and color darkening
  • But normally 90 minute boil because of using alot of Pils causes DMS risk
  • mash at 149 (148-150) to end up crisp
  • JT really likes BrewTec CL 450, but can use Wyeast 2565 or WLP029 (all 3 are very different yeasts)
  • Kolsch yeast is great for American Wheat Beer
  • Pitch at 60F and don’t let it warm beyond 62F
  • underpitching and fermenting warm increases esters
  • ferment a little longer than a standard ale but not as long as a lager
  • if start warm, diacetyl rest necessary, if start cool diacetyl rest not necessary (I don’t get this)
  • Let it FULLY finish.  Be sure.  If you cool to soon, you may end up with diacetyl, acedealdehyde (sp?),  other off-flavors
  • 10 days in Primary
  • Cool to 33F (1 to 2 months; 1 month ok)
  • may benefit from filtering, one of the few styles where it is ok
  • 2.5V carbonation
  • Alot of lagers done with a slow low ferment  (need a big pitch of healthy yeast for this) are very good right out of primary
  • Munich Helles is a good example (ok right out of the primary)
  • Kolsch is the same way except the yeast does not floc well so it needs another month for the yeast to drop
  • Bo Pils and Czech Pils are stunning a month of 2 out but turn bad at around 6 months (most pale lagers are that way) vs. beers such as RIS and Robust Porter that can be good at 1, 2, 3 years.
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