OG = 1.040 to
1.048 FG = 1.008 to

 1.013  IBUs = 16 to 30 SRM = 3.5 to 5

 ABV = 4.0 to

Kölsch is the beer that put the German city of Cologne
(Köln) on the map. Kölsch is the only beer in the world that has “protective
appellation” and is recognized by the German government. This means that the
name Kölsch can only be used for beers that are brewed in Cologne.

Kölsch is an ale that is fermented at the lower end of ale
temperatures (between 55° to 62° F), then lagered at 34° to 45° F to reduce
fermentation byproducts. The well-balanced Kölsch pours into the glass as a
brilliant straw-gold beer topped with a tightly-beaded head. The aroma is soft
and subtle with a hint of fruity hops leading to a clean, crisp flavor and a
dry, lingering finish.

Style Guidelines

The guidelines for Kölsch do not allow for much variation.
The light, fruity hop aroma is from German noble or Czech Saaz hops. There
should be no or very low maltiness. There should be no diacetyl because after
fermentation this beer is lagered, rendering it smooth and clean. There is a
slight hint of fruitiness because it is fermentated at low-end ale

The beer is brilliantly clear, very pale to light gold. A
stark white, long-lasting head stays until the end with lace clinging to the
glass. The palate is round and soft with just a slight hop fruitiness and a
subtle dry finish. There is a low to medium bitterness.

Hops, Malt and Yeast

It is very important to use German hops for brewing a true
Kölsch. Use Tettnang, Perle or Hallertau for bittering, and Spalt, Tettnang and
Hallertau for flavor and aroma. The only exception, Czech Saaz, can also be

Some Kölsch brewers use 100 percent pilsner or two-row pale
malt in the grist, while others use as much as 20 percent wheat malt. The wheat
is used for head retention, mouthfeel and to add to the body of the beer. An
addition of a small amount of German Munich malt will provide a subtle
maltiness to the Kölsch. For extract brewers, use Muntons extra-light DME with
up to 20 percent dry wheat malt extract. The reason for using the British brand
is for lightness in color. The best choice of yeast is Kölsch (Wyeast 2565)
(ferment at 60° F) or German Ale (White Labs WLP029).


(5 gallons, extract with grains)

OG = 1.047 to 1.048 FG = 1.010 to 1.011  SRM = 3  IBU = 23  ABV =


4 oz. German crystal malt (2.5° Lovibond)

4 oz. Munich malt

4 lb. Muntons extra-light dry malt extract

1.5 lb. Muntons wheat dry malt extract

5.4 AAUs Tettnanger (1.25 oz. of 4.3% alpha acid)

1 AAUs Spalt (0.25 oz. of 4% alpha acid)

1 AAUs Czech Saaz (0.25 oz.
of  4% alpha acid) (flavor)

1 tsp. Irish moss for 15 minutes

1 AAUs Spalt (0.25 oz. of
4% alpha acid) (aroma)

1 AAUs Czech Saaz (0.25 oz.
of  4% alpha acid) (aroma)

Kölsch (Wyeast 2565) or German Ale (White
Labs WLP029) yeast

1-1/4 cup Muntons extra-light DME

Step by Step

Bring 1 gallon of water to 155° F, add crushed grain and
hold for 30 min. at 150° F. Strain the grain into the brewpot and sparge with
1/2 gallon of 168° F water. Add the dry malt extract, dry wheat malt extract
and the bittering hops.

Bring the total volume in the brewpot to 2.5 gallons. Boil
for 45 min., then add the flavor hops and Irish moss. Boil for 13 min., then
add the aroma hops. Boil for 2 min., then remove from the stove. Cool wort for
15 min. Strain into the primary fermenter and add water to obtain 5-1/8

Add yeast when wort has cooled to below 80° F.
Oxygenate-aerate well. Ferment at 60° to 62° F for 7 days, then rack into
secondary (glass carboy). Ferment until target gravity has been reached and
beer has cleared (approximately 5 weeks). Prime and bottle. Carbonate at 70° to
72° F for 3 to 4 weeks. Store at cellar temperature.

Partial-Mash Option: Acidify the mash water to below 7 pH. Mash 2.25 lbs. German two-row
pilsner malt and the specialty grains in 1 gallon of water at 122° F for 30
min. and then at 149° F for 90 min. Sparge with 1.5 gallons of water at 5.7 pH
and 168° F. Then follow the extract recipe, omitting 1.75 lbs. of Muntons
extra-light DME from the boil.

All-Grain Option: Acidify the mash water to below 7 pH. Mash
7.5 lbs. German 2-row pilsner malt, 1 lb. German wheat malt and the specialty
grains in 3 gallons of water at 122° F for 20 min. and then at 149° F for 90
min. Sparge with 4.5 gallons of water at 5.7 pH and 168° F. The total boil time
is approximately 60 min. Add 4.4 AAUs of bittering hops for the last 60 min. of
the boil. Add the flavor hops, Irish moss and aroma hops as indicated by the
extract recipe.

Issue: September 2001