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Ken Bazley takes us through a brief history of the Kölsch style...

London Amateur Brewers

September 11, 2023

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    by Ken Bazley

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  2. Pre-Konvention History
    • Brewing tradition in Köln goes back 1000

    • Kolsch relatively new style - as a term used to
    describe beer only used in the last 100 or so

    • Developed from wiess, an unfiltered bitter
    lager beer - not to be confused with weiss.

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  3. Pre-Konvention History
    • The name Kölsch is also the name of the local dialect.

    • It began to surface as the name for this top-fermenting
    style of beer in the latter half of C19th

    • First used in an official capacity after WW1

    • 1920’s - the first distinction was made between echt Kolsch
    which was filtered and Kolsch wiess, which was not.

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  4. Kölsch Konvention
    • 700 year tradition of Cologne brewers organising themselves to
    protect their rights and their craft

    • The Kölsch Konvention regulates which beers can be called Kölsch.
    The rules of this were approved by Federal Cartel Office in 1985

    • Hans Sion in 1945 recognised the need for rules governing
    production and distribution of the various Kölsch brands.

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  5. Kölsch Konvention
    • 24 breweries signed Kölsch Konvention in 1986. Some disappeared or
    taken over. Newer breweries have also opened, including Hellers in
    1991 and Bischoff in 2001

    • 16 brands of Kölsch are produced currently by 9 breweries

    • In 1997 Kolsch received a protected appellation from the EU – the
    only beer style in the World to be protected like this.

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  7. Konvention Description
    • A full beer (11-14 plato / 1.044-1.056 OG)

    • Top fermented

    • Filtered bright

    • Dry

    • Hoppy

    • “Produced in Cologne, with the exceptions as per section1 para 2. The designation
    "Kölsch" may only be used for light, highly fermented, hoppy, clear, top-fermented full-
    bodied beer produced in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot, which is produced within
    the "Kölsch" area of
    ​ ​
    origin and which is produced there conventionally and under the
    designation "Kölsch" and corresponds to the top-fermented beer sold. The area of
    of Kölsch is the urban area of
    ​ ​
    Cologne. The area of
    origin also includes those breweries
    outside of the city of Cologne that had already acquired valuable ownership of the
    designation "Kölsch" before these competition rules came into force.”

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  8. BJCP Description
    • ABV 4.4% -5.2%

    • FG 1.007-1.011

    • IBU 18-30

    • OG 1.044 – 1.050

    • EBC 7.0 – 10.0 (3.5 – 5.0 SRM)

    • A subtle, brilliantly clear, pale beer with a delicate balance of malt, fruit, and hop character, moderate
    bitterness, and a well-attenuated but soft finish. Freshness makes a huge difference with this beer,
    as the delicate character can fade quickly with age.

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  10. Recipe Discussion
    • According to Eric Warner (author of Kölsch - History, Brewing, Techniques, Recipes)this is the recipe if you want to make the perfect

    • For a 5 gallon batch

    • OG 1.045

    • IBU 22

    • Soft water

    • Triple-step infusion mash – 62C, 71C, 78C mashout.

    • Malt

    • 3.18kg Pils malt

    • 0.34kg Wheat malt

    • Hops

    • Perle @ 60min

    • Perle @ 20min

    • Hersbrucker @ 10min

    • Kölsch yeast

    • Then lager @ 0C for 21 days

    • Carbonate to 2.3 vols (2.65 for bottled)

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  11. Recipe Discussion
    • Mark Sanderson’s award-winning recipe

    • OG 1.048

    • IBU 25

    • Single-step infusion @66C plus mashout @ 75C.

    • Malt

    • 97% Heidelberg (Bestmalz)

    • 3% Acidulated malt

    • Hops

    • Perle @ 60min – 15.1 IBU

    • Perle @ 10min – 6.6 IBU

    • Perle @ FO – 3.5

    • Kölsch yeast @ 14C + diacetyl rest

    • Then lager @ 4C for 52 days

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  12. Find out more…
    Buy this book:

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  13. Acknowledgements
    • Eric Warner’s book

    • Kölsch Konvention website

    • https://www.koelner-brauerei-verband.de/k%C3%B6lsch-konvention

    • Wikipedia

    • Also I stole loads of images from the internet, (especially these lovely ones which have formed the
    background to my presentation) so if they’re yours, then thanks.

    • Danke schön unt prost!

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