Lincoln Slagel, cofounder and head brewer of Emancipation Brewing in Fairbury, Illinois, shares this homebrew-scale recipe for the beer that his rural patrons enjoy in considerable quantity at their occasional Kölsch Nights. It embraces a traditional German step-mash but also some Midwestern flavor via Indiana craft malt and a kiss of Michigan hops.
“A well-made Kölsch-style ale is just as comfortable taking a back seat to conversation as it is to being appreciated for its subtle complexities,” Slagel says. “In my opinion, it’s at its best when neither flavor nor drinkability are sacrificed.”
Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%