I want to brew a Lager. Please help.

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I want to brew a Lager. Please help.

Postby kevponce » Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:16 pm

Hello

I have a spare frig and I would like to brew a lager. I have 50 ales under my belt but no lagers yet. My question centers on this: If I only have 1 frig then I really can't do more than 1 lager every 3 months or so because the temperatrures would be competing right? You see from what I have been reading on line it seems fermentation is one temp then lagering is another so I guess once I go down to the lagering temp that frig is out of commission for a few months. Can someone explain good technique and timing for 1 frig? Thanks.
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Re: I want to brew a Lager. Please help.

Postby Push Eject » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:40 am

For Teach a Friend to Homebrew Day, Sven and I split a 10 gallon batch fermented with lager yeast.

I fermented it at ale temperatures (creating a "steam" beer) and Sven took his home to lager. I'll bet he'll have insight into how to manage temperatures...

I thought he lagered around 40F which would be fine serving temperature too, as far as I'm concerned.

Sven?

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Re: I want to brew a Lager. Please help.

Postby Sven » Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:12 pm

kevponce wrote: My question centers on this: If I only have 1 frig then I really can't do more than 1 lager every 3 months or so because the temperatrures would be competing right?


Pretty much.

During primary fermentation you will want to have your fridge running around 50 degrees for 1-2 weeks. This is an awkward temperature setting for multi-use as it is too cold to ferment ales and to warm to store bottles and kegs for serving.

Secondary fermentation for lagering runs in the neighborhood of 35 degrees, which could be an ideal serving temp for bottles or kegs, so you could dual purpose the fridge in that sense.

Aside from getting two fridges (which I have) my best recommendation is to brew a large quantity of lager and cellar it while you brew your ales. Or vice versa.
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Two Fridges

Postby BillyBock » Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:03 pm

It helps to have more than one fridge. I have two: my fermenator (the fermenting fridge), and my lagerator (the lagering/serving fridge). By the way both are actually freezers with external thermostats. Once I get done with a primary lager ferment of 2-4 weeks, I download to kegs and place the kegs in the lagerator which is set for 30F. This is where it stays until it's empty. I lager in the keg, and when it's ready to serve I hook it up to the tap. The first draw has some yeast--oh well, dump it and that's it. I don't worry about the beer being too cold to drink, because it always sits for a few minutes and warms up by the time I drink it. Additionally (unless you have a frost free freezer) I find this temp to be just about right to prevent condensation from pooling at the bottom of the freezer, especially in the summer. Will the beer freeze at this temp? No. Your standard strength beer freezes around 27F--the stronger it is, the lower the freezing point. Hope this gives you some ideas on dual use equipment.

***EDIT***
Ok this guy uses one fridge to serve and ferment in
http://www.oregonbrewcrew.com/freezer/freezer.html

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