Where the Fuck Are My Hops Kölsch

First brew-day in Texas! There is no LHBS in B/CS so I ordered a Kölsch and a Bitter from Northern Brewer. I figured Kölsch is a good way to ease any megaswill-drinking new friends into good beer. Last night I went through boxes of packed equipment and retrieved what I need to brew. I had a nice starter ready. Everything looked set to go.

The recipe from NB:


  • 9 lbs Durst Pilsen
  • 1 lbs. Weyermann Pale Wheat


  • 1 oz. Argentina Cascade (60 min)
  • 1 oz. Argentina Cascade (30 min)

Wyeast #2565

I started the strike water around 11:30 (central time) just as a couple of my friends showed up to watch the process. When I went go get the ingredients from the cupboard I discovered that the hops were missing. Either I misplaced them or NB didn’t ship them…. This was the perfect opportunity to introduce the guys to the homebrewer’s creed: “Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew.” Lacking homebrewed beer, I pulled out some Fancy Lawnmower ale from St Arnold’s Brewery (a kölsch) and went for the ingredients from the bitter. EKG, Target, Magnum…. This won’t quite make the BJCP standard definition of kölsch.


  • 0.75 oz 8% AA Target 60 mins
  • 1.00 oz 5% AA E.K. Goldings 30 mins

I also couldn’t find my depth meter (an aluminum ruler), so I had to eyeball the amount of strike water. It turns out I had too much, leaving me with a dilute mash and not enough sparge water. My efficiency is way off because in the end I collected about 4 gallons of 11% brix wort.

I am glad to be making beer again, glad to have six or eight new friends (enough to start a homebrew club) to share the process with (in no small part because of the beer for them). I’ll probably find those hops tomorrow.

8 thoughts on “Where the Fuck Are My Hops Kölsch”

  1. Ah, nice Kölsch. My Schwarzbier is nearing the end of fermentation. Soon I’ll be lagering.

    Keeping with the German Beer theme, I was just reading about Alts, and there’s a special seasonal Alt brewed in Duesseldorf (or course) called a Sticke (or secret) Alt. It’s stranger and hoppier than a regular Alt. I think this may be my next beer…a new style!

    5.3 lbs Pilsner malt
    2.6 lbs Munich
    13 oz Caramel
    2.5 lbs Crystal 60L
    0.25 lbs Black Malt

    (I know, that’s a lot of Crystal, but the guidelines say 21% of the bill).

    1.6oz Perle at 60 min
    .6 oz Hallertau Mittelfruh @ 5 min
    1.2 oz Tettnang steeped 5 minutes after boil

    Then use a nice Alt yeast.

    1.056 OG and 50 IBU. 🙂

  2. Well done Dean.

    Congratulations on your first brew after the move.

    I’m impressed that:
    1) you didn’t let a minor thing, like missing the hops, stop you.
    2) you went forward undaunted and
    3) most important had beer to share with your new found friends.

    Good job,

  3. @Craig: Thanks for reading.

    @GregR: Ship me a bottle of your Schwarzbier. 🙂
    I found a few strange things about this NorthernBrewer kölsch. First, they (should have) sent Cascade hops instead of some noble German variety. Also, the hopping level that they suggested would have put it in the 40-45 IBU range, well outside the suggested guidelines.

    @Roger: It was aggravating discovering that the recipe was missing the hops, but the show had to go on! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. w00t! Off to a good start brewing in Texas! Nice read and thanks for sharing! Keep those fermenters full! Missing you guys out here in Cali.

  5. A yard with grass!

    Congratulations on your first brew in Texas.

  6. Awesome!

    Convert those Texans one beer at a time.

    Congrats on the Beer.

Leave a Reply