My homebrewing misadventures

Rainy Day Brews

A collaboration beer that's a family affair

I've been overdue to brew a Kölsch I've been planning for the spring. Despite a constant drizzle all morning, I set up under the eaves of the garage and got to work, with the help of my brother-in-law, an engineer and accomplished homebrewer in his own right. Even though he has a technical background, his best advice for homebrewing is to not get too technical about it. With a little patience, any minor missteps in the brewing process will work themselves out in the fermenter, he says.

An acolyte of Charlie Papazian, my brother-in-law's mantra is to relax and have a homebrew. That was all the excuse we needed to drink a beer while we wee making it. Luckily, we still have some of the chocolate milk stout left to enjoy.

Enjoying a pint of my chocolate milk stout while brewing a Kölsch. From Carboy

Except for a slight boil-over after we added the Tradition hops to the boil, it was an uneventful brew, until it came time to rack the beer to the carboy. For years, I've used an immersion chiller to cool boiled wort. But my brother-in-law brought along his plate chiller to this brew day, and it was amazing. The plate chiller brings down the temperature of your wort while it's draining into the fermenter, cutting a good half-hour off the brew day, at least. Suffice it to say that I'll be looking to pick one of my own up soon enough.

The revolutionary plate chiller in action. From Carboy

After one of my fastest brew days in years, I now have five gallons of Kölsch fermenting in my beer cellar. I'm looking forward to tapping a keg of it in six weeks. And I'll probably have to share a bottle with my brother-in-law, to thank him for introducing me to his plate chliler.

Ready for primary fermentation. From Carboy

Recipe for Kölsch

Kölsch, All-Grain

5 gallon batch


9 lbs, 2-Row German Pilsner

1 oz, Tradition, 60 mins
1 oz, Hersbrucker, 30 mins

Kölsch Yeast, Wyeast Labs 2565

Original recipe from Northern Brewer.

Mash schedule

Add 11.25 qts water @ 168.5° F
Sacch' Rest, 60 min @ 151.0° F
Add 5.90 qts water @ 212.0° F
Mash out 10 min @ 170.0° F
Fly Sparge 16.64 qts water @ 170.00° F

Fermentation schedule

Primary, 14 days @ 60.0° F
Secondary, 14 days @ 72.0° F
Keg, 14 days @ 74.0° F


  • ABV: 5.63 percent
  • IBU: 35.66
  • Boil Size: 6.53 Gals
  • Color: 3.6 SRM
  • Boil Time: 60 minutes
  • Estimated Preboil OG: 1.036
  • Actual Postboil OG: 1.043
  • Efficiency: 74.25 %

Stats by iBrewmaster

By Tom on 04/02/2016

Stage: Brewing

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