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November 10, 2017
Last updated

Brewing Beer: Cucumber Kölsch Style Homebrew Recipe

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
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 (12.7 C). 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 this 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


Beginning water volume: 7.43 gallons (28.1 liters). We did adjust chemistry.


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

Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) (4.8%)

pouring grain into mill to crush it

Pouring grain into our mill to crush it

crushed grain

Crushed grain


We mashed at 150F (65.5C) for 90 minutes then brought it up to a boil.

mashing in

Mashing in

The Boil

2 oz (56.7 grams) Hallertau at beginning of 60-minute boil.  


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 (15.5C) during primary. We’re going to do a split batch into two 2.5 gallon (9.5 liter) kegs – one will be pure kölsch and the second will be “dry hopped” with cucumber.

pitching yeast starter

Pitching our yeast starter


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 (24.4 liters) Actual: 6.50 (24.6 liters)

Post boil volume - Estimated: 6.04 gallons (22.9 liters): Actual: 5.5 gallons (20.8 liters) (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 (20.8 liters), Actual: 5.5 gallons (20.8 liters) (we adjusted our trub loss and pump loss for future brew days)

Final keg volume – 5.0 gallons (18.9 liters)

Digital Electric Brew System (Brew in a bag)

Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

  • Where is the taste test/comparison? We need to know!

    Posted by KB on February 07, 2022
  • The people are dying to know — which one was better?

    Posted by Jacob on December 14, 2021
  • What was the weight for the grain bill?

    Posted by Robert on March 23, 2021
  • How did the cucumber kolsch taste? did the cucumber flavor come through? was it noticeable? would you brew it again? any recipe adjustments that you would make?

    Posted by on August 13, 2019
  • Can you post the results of the experiment? Which turned out best?

    Posted by Sean on June 26, 2018

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