German Ale/Kölsch Yeast (WLP029)


This ale strain is from a tradional German brewery in Kölsch. The ales made in Kölsch are considered a bridge between a mostly extinct tradition of German ale brewing and modern lager brewing. In fact, this clean fermenting ale yeast has many lager-like characteristics with low production of diacetyl and esters. While faint fruitiness is an important feature of subtle Kölschbiers, this fruitiness is catagorically different from estery English ales.

This strain has some similarities to WLP001. Both have high attenuation and minimal fermentation byproducts. Both strains are known to accentuate hop flavors. Both are noted for the ability to mimic the results of lager fermentation.

Similar to many lager strains this yeast produces large amounts of sulfur compounds early in fermentation. Unlike diacetyl and acetaldahyde, yeast will not further metabolize sulfur compounds. They need time to diffuse into the air. Dissipation is aided by vigorous fermentation and extended aging.

Although Kölschbier is cannonically brewed at cool temperatures, intermediate between ale and lager temperature ranges, White Labs indicates that this particular Kölsch strain ferments best around normal ale temperatures. Normal ale temperature fermentation could be followed by a period of cold conditioning. A quick drop in temperature can really help yeast to fall out of solution. A couple weeks or more at cold temperatures helps flavors to integrate and makes the beer seem softer and more mature.

This yeast strain tends to produce a very thick mat of cells floating on the wort. This mat can build up very quickly and appear somewhat unappetizing, but it is usually a sign of healthy fermenation.

Beer Styles

This yeast produces clean and delicate flavors well suited to easydrinking ales and beers that resemble ale/lager hybrids. This strain is a good choice for fermenting: Kölschbier, cream ale, blonde ale, honey beer, altbier, and miscellaneous American ales.

Yeast Characteristics

Yeast Form Liquid
Attenuation 72 - 78 %
Flocculation Medium
Optimum Temp. 65 - 69 °F
Alcohol Tolerance Medium


  1. White Labs. Retrieved 2013-11-22.
  2. Williams, Forrest. "The Queen of Köln -- A Visit to the Court of Germany's Kölschbier." Brewing Techniques. April 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-25.