The Brew Style Challenge for Feb 2018 will be a Kolsch. It can be found in the 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines: 5 Pale Bitter European Lager, Sub Category 5B Kolsch
Kolsch is a Hybrid beer typically fermented with Ale yeast, and “can” be lagered but isn’t required to be. This is a beer that many people should be able to make this time of year with no extra equipment really needed. You can ferment them in the ale temp range, as well as temps down in the mid 50s. I have only made one so far, and it fermented in the low to mid 60s. Depending on the yeast and what temp you ferment it, you could get more of less fruity esters. The starter I just made fermented at 67F and it had a lovely fruity aroma, but not super dominate. Below you will find a recipe and suggested yeast strains to try. Please remember that this is just a suggested recipe based on the guidelines and feel free to play around and alter it as you’d like.
(From Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer’s book Brewing Classic Styles) The following is assuming a 70% efficiency with 6 gallons left at the end of the boil and 5.5 gallons going into the fermenter.
OG 1.048, FG 1.009, IBU 25, SRM 4, ABV 5.1%
GRAIN: 10.3# German Pilsner malt, 0.5# Vienna malt (Mash at 149F for at least 60 mins but you might lengthen your mash time to 90 mins due to the lower mash temp. You should consider boiling for 90 mins to help drive off any DMS from the Pilsner malt, and you’d need to take that into consideration as you calculate for boil off.)
EXTRACTt: 8# Pilsner LME, 0.25# Munich LME (No Mash required)
HOPS: 1.5oz Hallertau 4%AA for 60 mins giving you around 24 IBUs (Feel free to play around and try different hops)
YEAST: White Labs WLP029 German Ale/Kolsch (which I’ve used and it turned out great), Wyeast 2565 Kolsch, or Fermentis Safale US-05 (which will give you a clean character but will not give you all the Kolsch characters that you might want). Whatever yeast you use make sure you check out the suggested fermentation temps and try to stay within them.