With friends visiting us from Germany for TT this year I thought it was time to brew another light one, aiming for a style which they’ll hopefully recognise. We had some problems with the starter at first and as I write this the brew is about to be kegged, having fermented nicely, cold-crashed for 4 days, and now ready for about 5 weeks lagering. Tracking in Brewfather.
Really great taste to this; good mouthfeel and plenty of body, light enough to be refreshing and quaffable on a summer’s day. Not quite as clear as I’d hoped however, which I’m putting down to chill haze rather than anything else.
Ironically the 20cl »Stangen« which our guests kindly provided for this brew are difficult to pour and fill up with 50% foam each time, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for actual beer. Definitely one to be repeated though, probably more so than Sarka.
Thankfully the disconnects on the side of the Fermzilla’s collection were just above the top of the settled gunk, so I was able to use those instead of the floating dip tube and capture most of the FV’s offerings, the first 18 litres into a Corny keg and the remaining 4 into a MJ Mini. No issues.
Really not much to report on this brew day; everything went more or less to plan, the starter was deployed successfully, things started happening around 18 hours later. Temperature is a bit lower than other yeast I’ve used to date and the colour is still quite dark, but all’s well. Raw brew day notes below, next stop cold-crashing and kegging.
I set out to prepare the yeast starter for this brew as usual, boiling up and then chilling DME 2.5 days before the brew day, but I couldn’t get the magnetic stir bar to operate consistently and found that it wanted to jump out toward the edge of the flask all the time, leaving the starter inanimate.
1.5 days after pitching I decided to make another starter in my second flask, this time picking a different stir bar on the basis that my usual go-to bar may have become differently magnetised or otherwise worn out. I did note that the old one lacked the small ridge around the middle, which made for a larger contact area with the base of the flask and therefore increased the amount of friction. Was that enough to upset the apple cart once the viscosity started to change?
Following a successful trial in water using a smaller, ridged stir bar I sanitised it and deployed it to my second starter, where it performed flawlessly for just over 24 hours until pitching, at which point a decent head of Krausen was observed.
#wisdom: the ridge is there to help the stir bar move more easily. Always use a bar with a ridge. 1.5 days seems fine for Lallemand Koln (Kölsch) yeast, ignore the funky packaging / rehydration instructions and prepare starter as usual, observing temperature suggestions.
It’s not without irony then that this brew, Bernsdorfer TTZ, is as difficult to start as the ETZ 250 after which it’s named.