CUCUMBER KOLSCH - #1
- Liquid: 6 lbs
- Dry: 1 lb
- Carahall Malt 8 oz
- Hallertaurer Hops 1.25 oz - 60 min
- Citra Hops .2 oz - 15 min
- Bitter Orange - 15 min
- 5 cucumbers - grated into 2 gallons of water and let sit over night
- German Ale/Kolsch Yeast
This being my first solo brew, I wanted something to reflect a little bit of my heritage and highlight my newly brewing 'creativity.'
Part of my family is originally from Koln Germany and the beer style they are known for there is the Kolsch. A Kolsch is a very light and refreshing beer that are often be consumed in what we would consider a Session style (At a bar in Koln, the waiter will mark your beer mat to keep tally of how many you drink for the bill). They are served in tall narrow glasses that highlight the effervescent quality of the style (very similar to a champagne flute).
There's not a whole lot of experimentation going on with Kolschs. They have a low hop profile and there are traditionally no adjuncts. What makes the Kolsch style unique is that it's a hybrid yeast (Ale/Lager) - This means that it needs to ferment then be stored in the cold for a long period of time. I didn't know this at the time. It was a REALLY hot summer in 2014 and I wanted to brew something that would be exceptionally refreshing. Cucumber water first came to mind and since all I knew about Extract brewing at the time was that you cut the concentrated wort with water, I figured why not flavor that water (since boiling cucumbers would ruin their fresh taste). This was smart.
The final product came out light, effervescent, refreshing, with a strong cucumber nose. The longer it sat, the better it got. It was an excellent marriage between a refreshing glass of cucumber water and a light beer. Perfect on a hot day.
- The day before brewing - peel and shred 5 cucumbers 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.