Man, it’s FINALLY warming up here in chilly Minnesota. It has taken so long to get to this point that coincidently I had a lot of time to brew these past few months. Further motivation was provided by the fact that my wife and I will be going to Europe very soon (my first time), and I don’t anticipate having much time to brew until maybe late-June, but more likely not until mid-July. As a result, I hit it hard in March/April, having brewed something crazy like five batches in seven weeks. Considering I did a total of only eight batches in all of 2010, this spring has indeed been quite intense. (more…)
I decided to brew a Kölsch-style beer this past weekend, which was somewhat unplanned. After I learned my wife would be having dinner with a girlfriend Saturday, I figured I might as well get another batch going. I’m going to put a halt on production in a few weeks so I can get all of my beer out of fermenters and into bottles before we go to Europe in May/June, so might as well brew now! The decision to brew this style was based solely off a pint of Lake Superior’s Kayak Kölsch I’d purchased at Pracna during the last NBA meeting. Good stuff.
I’m calling this batch “Frosty Dog” because 1) Kölsch-style beers use ale yeast but are generally fermented much cooler than most ales (55-63*) to prevent any ester production and to help achieve maximum attenuation, and 2) because my wife wants to bring some Barking Dog brews to an upcoming “Frosty Friday” (an afternoon happy hour they have at her company every week — jealous!) and I figured this style of beer would go over very well with both craft beer lovers and those whose palates have yet to be challenged. It’s kind of like a training wheels homebrew. Perfect.
This recipe is the first I’ve intentionally formulated on my own. Kölsch-style beers are pretty straightforward as far as the grain bill goes and the hops are downplayed in most recipes I found, as well as in the style guidelines. The one thing that seemed to be very important was the type of yeast to use, as this style gets many of its characteristics from yeast. Here’s the rundown: (more…)