Brewing a Rye Amber Ale and Kegging the Kolsch

Brewing a Rye Amber Ale
Recently, I brewed an amber ale with a twist. Looking for something with a little more malt character for the cold weather but still craving something hoppy and citrus-y, I brewed up an amber ale with a large dose of rye and loads of late centennial hops. Since I’ve been busy with brewing-related projects, I turned out this recipe using extract. You may be asking “How do you get rye with extract?” Well, it certainly wasn’t around when I started brewing, but more recently, rye malt extracts have been hitting the market. From what I can tell surveying and shopping around homebrew shop websites, rye malts extracts are mostly pale malts extracts but with 20-25% rye. Also, they often contain substantial amount of medium crystal malts in the 10-15% range. From this, I thought an all-extract batch was in order, and from the extract composition, geared it toward an amber ale style. Wort samples had a substantial amount of rye spiciness, so I’m definitely looking forward to the final product. Fermentation is already complete, and after some cold conditioning, hope to keg it sooner than later.

Guest Article for HomeBrewTalk.com
A few weeks back, Austin at HomeBrewTalk.com asked me to write an article on apartment brewing. I was honored to be asked and glad to do it. Although not a comprehensive guide to apartment homebrewing, it covered some of the surface level details of apartment brewing for new brewers and people looking to start the hobby. If you haven’t read it already, give it a look! Also, any feedback would be greatly appreciated as well. The article is linked here.

Kegging the Kolsch
Kegging the KolschRecently, I kegged an all-grain Kolsch made with 90% Bohemian floor-malted pilsner and 10% Munich malt. One observation for the future Kolsch brewer: Kolsch yeast strains have an incredibly low flocculance! After 4 weeks of cold conditioning below 40 F between the primary and keg, Kolsch samples are still yeast hazy. Despite this, the yeast is slowly falling out and most importantly it’s tasting fantastic. Overall, the Kolsch is well-attenuated (over 80%), very refreshing, and tastes close to a Munich-style Helles but with the low levels of fruity-bready esters you expect from a Kolsch fermentation. I might bring it to the ZEALOTS Christmas party in a few weeks time. Look for tasting notes soon!

Have you brewed in the recent cold weather? Leave your experiences in the comment section below. Cheers and happy brewing!

2 thoughts on “Brewing a Rye Amber Ale and Kegging the Kolsch

  1. As far as brewing in cold weather…down here where I live, it rarely even freezes. I made my traditional German wheat and the ambient temp was 65 degrees. In the summer, I cannot get that room any cooler than eighty without running up my a/c bill. Using the Wyeast 3068, there is a definite difference in aroma and taste with the temp variation. Good luck with your rye!

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