CUCUMBER KOLSCH 2: Cucumber's Revenge - #6 (09/12/14)
- Liquid: 6 lbs (Pale Malt - put in at 20 mins)
- Dry: 1 lb
- Carafoam Malt 4 oz
- Carahell Malt 4 oz
- Mt. Hood Hops 1.5 oz - 60 min
- Citra Hops .5 oz - 15 min
- Whirlfloc Tab - 20 min
- 5 cucumbers, 1 x Lemon Grass Stalk - blended into 2.5 gallons of water and let sit over night (9/11/14)
- WYEAST 2565 Kolsch Yeast
They say you never forget your first.
After a little time apart, I still couldn't let go of my first homebrew. In a misguided attempt to relive the 'good times,' this beer turned into a 2AM drunk dial of a recipe. I thought after a few successes it would be a good time to go back and apply my experience and make it even better. I tried compensating for the parts that could've been better and even tried to spice things up a bit, BUT alas, just like getting back with an ex, it was doomed from the start. Yes, it was 'familiar' and yes, it was 'comfortable,' but there wasn't that fresh spark. Something was missing. The magic was gone...
Giving it another go wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I learned a lot and you know what they about even your worst Brew Job........ FAAAANtastic. In no way was this a bad beer, but the places where I cut corners really seemed noticeable. The first corner I cut was replacing the expensive Organic Cucumbers from Sprouts with bulk Costco Cucumbers. The freshness and sweetness of the cucumber flavor really fell flat, Organic FTW. I also took out the Dried Bitter Orange Peel from the first batch, which, I guess actually helped balance the flavor in the first batch.
I think the BIGGEST problem with this recipe was the grain bill. My first Kolsch had almost no head, so to counteract that I used some Carafoam... for what I guessed would be 'Foam.' This actually took away from the light and crispy body and weighed it down with a heavy malty flavor which completely counteracts the whole premise of the light/effervescent/rejuvenating marriage between cucumber and beer.
- The day before brewing - peel and shred 5 cucumbers and 1 stalk of lemon grass into 2 gallons of water and allow to sit over night.
- On brew day - In a small pot boil bring some water up to almost boiling and steep the grains in a bag for 30 mins.
- Add this mixture to a larger pot with water and boil. Strain as much out of the bag as possible.
- When the boil begins, add extract and begin the Additions Schedule in mesh bags.
- Cool down wort and pour into sanitized fermenter. Add Cucumber water and bring up to 5 gallons.
- Pitch Yeast.