Summer Sun Kolsch Recipe

Brew this classic Cologne beer, Kolsch, whose crisp, refreshing taste comes from a warm fermentation coupled with a cool lager.

| April 2019

Image by Praglady from Pixabay

The Kölsch is one of the very lightest ales, and can often be mistaken for a lager. This beer should be light, crisp, and refreshing. While a simple beer, it can be challenging at times as there is little for off flavors to hide behind. Pay attention to your technique and this can be a rewarding beer to sip on a hot day in the summer sun.


OG: 1.046
FG: 1.0
IBU: 24
SRM: 3.7
ABV: 5%
Batch size: 5.5 gallons


  • 10 lbs. Pilsner Malt
  • 8 oz. Munich Malt
  • 2.5 oz. Hallertauer Hops
  • 5 oz. Corn Sugar (bottle conditioning)
  • Kölsch Yeast (Wyeast 1956)


  1. Mash in with 4.5 gallons of 156 degrees Fahrenheit water to reach a mash temp of 148 degrees Fahrenheit. Mash for 1 hour. Sparge with 6 gallons of 168 degrees Fahrenheit water. Boil for 90 minutes, adding the 2.5 oz. of Hallertauer Hopswhen there is 20 minutes left to the boil.
  2. Ferment with a Kölsch Yeast for 2 weeks at a temperature as close to 60°F as you can get it, if you have trouble keeping the temp down, don’t worry and keep it as close as possible for the first three days. Many examples of this beer will be lagered, or otherwise kept in cold storage for a few weeks prior to serving.
  3. For bottle conditioning, prime with 5 oz. of corn sugar.


For extract versions, replace the Pilsner Malt with 7.5 lbs. of a Pilsner-based liquid malt extract. Steep the Munich Malt for 45 minutes in one quart of 150 degrees Fahrenheit water, before adding to the boil. As this is a very light beer, you want to hold back at least half of your extract until the last 15 minutes of the boil to avoid darkening.


More from The Homebrewer’s Handbook

Excerpted with permission from The Homebrewer’s Handbook: An Illustrated Beginner’s Guide by Matthew Schaefer. Copyright 2014 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.



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