After posting with the entries about our trip to Western Germany, where we visited Cologne and Dussseldorf to taste their famous beer styles, it is the turn for the tasting of one of our beers with which we tried to recreate one of those beer styles, a kölsch we already told you about its elaboration in this post.
In terms of appearance, the Kölsch 2017 is up to par with the ones we could taste in our trip to Cologne. With a nice golden colour, it’s crystal clear as you can see in the above picture, and a white head of medium persistence. In respect to the clarity of the beer, as you could see in our post about brewing this kölsch, we didn’t add any fining or clarifying agent during all the process. This confirm us that to get a good clarity the key is time, something you can shorten with low temperatures, not being strictly necessary to add any other substances to fine or clarify (irish mosh, gelatin,…).
Before commenting aroma and flavor, a quick note. 17 days after bottling the beer, with enough time to carbonate, we put all the bottles in the fridge and that same day we open the first bottle due to the “homebrewer yearning” sickness. Well, this first bottle, remember it has been only about 3 hours in the fridge, had a considerable sulfide aroma and flavor. The information about the yeast we used in the Giga Yeast website says that this particular strain produces a moderate amount of sulfide… that luckily will dissipate completely with time. So we left the bottles in the fridge, at about 6ºC (42.8ºF), for 3 weeks before opening another bottle. Take this into account if you use this strain to brew a kölsch.
After this time in cold storage, there was no trace of sulfide in the aroma. Instead, a nice subtle fresh hop aroma was present. Carbonation was medim-high, with a crisp finish. In terms of flavor, sulfide is also gone, and malt and hops are in a very nice balance with a subtle fruity touch and low-medium bitterness. All of this, plus the fact that it is clean and dry, make it a very drinkable beer. We had enjoyed it very much, but it had changed for the worse through time, losing hop aroma and flavour, and with an unidentified strange flavour that we don’t know where it comes from.
We are glad with the results, although evidently it is not in the same level as the wonderful kölsch you can taste in Cologne. However, we consider it a good approximation. For those of you interested in brewing it, you must remember the thing with the sulfide if you plan to use the same or other similar strain (time and patience) and try to drink it as fresh as possible because, at least the one we brewed, it doesn’t stand well the test of time. We will probably brew this style in the future due to the fact that it is a very drinkable beer and we like it a lot. We won’t make a lot of changes with grains and hops, but we will maybe play with other yeast strains, for example Fermentis K-97, that left us a very good impression in our gose with apricots (the post about the tasting of this beer will arrive soon).