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Bad Lands Kölsch

Brewed: 05/03/2015   Kegged: 05/16/2015

badlands.jpgA couple years ago I visited South Dakota with my family, and my favorite part of the trip was when we went to Bad Lands National Park (see Badlands National Park Pictures on the blog).

In 2015, we were talking about possibly meeting family in South Dakota, which brought up memories of the previous trip for me. I thought I would brew a beer to bring if we ended up going. If we didn't I could still drink it and reminisce about good times.

Since the Bad Lands are hot and dry (at least in August when we went), I wanted a light refreshing style. Plus, since the people we would be meeting are light beer drinkers, I didn't want anything that would shock their taste buds.

I had never brewed a Kölsch, and it seemed a great style for the occasion.

A Kölsch, being a subtle beer has a light grainy Pilnser aroma and flavor with a bit of malt sweetness up front, but finishing crisp and dry enough to be a drinkable thirst quencher.

There is not much hop character, but what is in there is a soft and floral. It has only enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.

It isn't real fruity, and sometimes can be mistaken for a lager, being fairly clean.

It is low enough in alcohol to allow a few pints in any one sitting, but not so low that you would (necessarily) call it a session beer.

Overall it is a pleasant drinking experience. Perfect for satisfying thirst on hot days with friends and family.


For more information about this beer on our blog, see Sheppy's Blog: Bad Lands

Bad Lands Kölsch --- Batch 1

Style Kölsch Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.047 SG Estimated FG 1.009 SG
Recipe Bitterness 24.1 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.1 %
BU : GU   0.510        
Recipe Color 3.5 SRM
Measured OG:   1.050    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   76    Measured ABV:   5% 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1 -
9 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 90.0 %
1 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 3 10.0 %
0.500 oz Hallertauer [4.60 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 4 9.9 IBUs
0.250 oz Magnum [12.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 12.6 IBUs
0.250 oz Hallertauer [2.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 6 0.8 IBUs
0.125 oz Hallertauer [4.60 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 0.8 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 8 -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 9 -
1.0 pkg Kolsch Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2565) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 12.50 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.95gal, 3.88gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Make a starter a day or two before brew day.
4g gypsum in the mash water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to
Mash and boil as instructed.
Cool to below 60 degrees F. Maintain this temperature for a day or two, then let the yeast rise as it wants.
Ferment for 2 weeks. Keg and carb to about 2.5 volumes.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:  5/3/2015 Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  156 down to 150 dropped to 148 over 1.25 hours
Pre-boil OG   (1.038 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    58
Day 1: Started up overnight. 60 added blow-off tube
Day 2: Very active 62  
Day 3: Very active 62  

Brewing Notes:
05/03/2015 esheppy
Brew day today. Everything went well. My gravity was a bit high all the way through. Kept diluting. Pitched at about 58.
05/04/2015 esheppy
Things started up sometime over night. I added a blow-off tube this morning. It sure looks like it will need it. 60 degrees.
05/05/2015 esheppy
Lots of blowoff. Keep switching the blow-off container. More keeps coming. 62.
05/06/2015 esheppy
Tried removing the blow-off tube last night, but the air-lock filled with yeast pretty quickly, so I put it back in. There still is active fermentation. Temperature is still around 62. The beer is pretty clear at this point.
05/08/2015 esheppy
Intetesting fermentation. There is still movement in the liquid, but not much bubbling in the airlock. It is also very clear. 64 degrees.
05/12/2015 esheppy
Took a gravity sample. 1.014 makes this a 4.7% abv beer right now. Delicate grainy flavor balanced by some floral hops. It is more cloudy than it looked a couple days ago. Nice pleasant drinking beer.
05/16/2015 esheppy
Kegged it. FG officially at 1.012 for 5% abv. Cloudy now. Hopefully yeast well settle out in the keg. Tastes like a nice delicate Kölsch. Perhaps a bit hoppy for style. Delicious.
05/31/2015 esheppy
Has been sitting in the fridge without the CO2 tank. I have pressurized and disconnected a couple of times, so there probably is some carbonation. The Melting Stream keg died today, so this will probably go in the keggerator.
06/09/2015 esheppy
I placed in keggerator under 12 psi on Sunday. Tried a sample today. Nice and crisp. Nice malt sweetness balanced up with a touch of hop bitterness. Pale in color but still not clear. A fair amount of hop flowery fruitiness. A bit thin in the mouth-feel, but very pleasant to drink.
06/12/2015 esheppy
Have had a couple of these. They are very tasty. Need to save the rest for SD.
06/22/2015 esheppy
Finally been drinking seriously from the keg. Seems to be a hit. Really nice hop character. Not as crystall clear as ideal, but that doesn't distract at all from drinking experience.
06/24/2015 esheppy
Took the keg to SD and shared with my bi. It was a hit. Even my sister said it wasn't horrible. Still have some left, but probably won't for much longer.
07/10/2015 esheppy
Still delicious. Very clear at this point.
07/17/2015 esheppy
Perhaps a bit thin. Delicious, though.
07/18/2015 esheppy
Done. Keg is gone. Actually, I'm surprised the beer lasted this long.
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