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November 10, 2017

Brewing Beer: Cucumber Kölsch Style Homebrew Recipe

Brewing Beer: Cucumber Kolsch Beer Recipe

One of our favorite summertime beers is the German Kölsch style. We like the style so much that we decided to brew one up for the kegerator. Of course, technically it would only be a Kölsch if we brewed it in Cologne, Germany (watch the video for more on that), so we have to call it a “kölsch style” brew.

Kölsch style beers are top-fermented with ale yeast but primary fermentation temps can be as low as 55 degrees F. They're then generally keg conditioned at even lower temps for several weeks.

Digital Electric Brew System (Brew in a bag)

We got really weird with beer and decided to split it into two batches after primary fermentation was complete. Half was left as is and keg conditioned as normal. We added fresh cucumber juice to the other half. Why? A local brewery makes a cucumber beer that is absolutely stellar. We wanted to try to re-create it.

As usual, we used Clawhammer's electric brew in a bag system and the entire brew day was filmed. You can check it out below (also, scroll further down for the infusion video as well as complete recipe details).

Cucumber Kolsch Homebrew Brew Day Video

Cucumber Kolsch Homebrew Infusion Video

Cucumber Kolsch Full Recipe Details

Water

Beginning water volume: 7.43 gallons. We did adjust chemistry.

Malts

Pilsner (2 row) Ger (2.0 SRM) (95.2%)

Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) (4.8%)

Mashing

We mashed at 150F for 90 minutes then brought it up to a boil.

The Boil

2 oz Hallertau at beginning of 60-minute boil.  

Fermentation

The day before brew day, we created a 2L yeast starter and let it sit on the stir plate for 24 hours. We used a German Ale/Kölsch yeast (White Labs WLP029) and fermented at 60F during primary. We’re going to do a split batch into two 2.5 gallon kegs – one will be pure kölsch and the second will be “dry hopped” with cucumber.

Benchmarks

Pre-boil gravity - Estimated: 1.043, Actual: 1.048  (we adjusted our efficiency in BeerSmith for future brew days)

Pre-boil water volume – 6.44 gallons Actual: 6.50

Post boil volume - Estimated: 6.04 gallons: Actual: 5.5 gallons (we adjusted our boil off rate in BeerSmith for future brew days)

Post-boil gravity - Estimated: 1.048, Actual: 1.053

Volume into the fermenter - Estimated: 5.5  gallons, Actual: 5.5 gallons (we adjusted our trub loss and pump loss for future brew days)

Final keg volume – 5.0 gallons

Digital Electric Brew System (Brew in a bag)
  • Can you post the results of the experiment? Which turned out best?

    Posted by Sean on June 26, 2018

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