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Old 01-20-2009, 04:04 AM   #1
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Default Brewing a Lager

I am new to homebrewing and am just now starting to formulate my own recipes instead of using the kits. I would like to make a lager sometime soon, maybe a yuengling clone or along those lines. I know that lagers are to be fermented at colder temperatures as opposed to ales which ferment in the mid to high 60s. My question is, can you produce a lager, or something close w/o using a fridge/freezer to get the colder ferment temps.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:02 AM   #2
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Not really, you need an externally temperature regulated refrigerator or freezer.
The controls in the existing refrigerator are hard to keep at the proper temperature for lagers.
Freezers make better fermenters because they are all open inside and you just take out the trays and shelves. People do brew lagers without refrigeration but have to be around to add ice to the fermentation chamber and have a really hard time keeping the temperature they need constant when they are at work somewhere else.

You need this model: 111000-000

Ref: http://www.rancoetc.com/ranco-etc111000000-digital-temperature-controller-p-86.html?osCsid=8390a82eb7b4703d781e90298bc2ff6c

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:56 AM   #3
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Sounds good... was able to find a used fridge for $50 and will pick up the temperature controller.

Through research I have found this general lagering procedures...

1. Primary ferment in the fridge at the temperature determined by the yeast used for about 2 weeks.

2. Diacetyl (sp?) rest - 2 days at 67-68 degrees

3. Rack to secondary, put in fridge at primary ferment temp and lower temperature 2-3 degrees a day until it is around 32... ferment at this temp for about 4 weeks.

Does this sound about right? Any tips along the way?

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Est. 2008 - Pittsburgh, PA

In primary: None
In secondary: Amber
Bottled (Conditioning): Pale Ale
Bottled (Ready to Drink): Oktoberfest, Porter
Next up: Section 143 Originals - "Off-Season Ale" and "Draft Day Lager"
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:21 AM   #4
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Good, you did your homework and you will make a great lager. You will find that the lager yeast does not look like ale yeast as it stays on the bottom but it is still working at a slower pace.

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Fermentor 1: Bill's House Ale II, Fermentor 2: German Helles, Fermentor 3: Bill's Schworzbier (Black Bier)
Tap 1: Bill's House Ale II, Tap 2: German Hefewizen, Tap 3: Nut Brown Ale
Future Brews: Stone IPA Clone, Blonde Ale, Budvar Clone, Newcastle Clone
New toy: Blichmann 27 gallon fermentor


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Old 01-22-2009, 04:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Section143BrewCo View Post
2. Diacetyl (sp?) rest - 2 days at 67-68 degrees

3. Rack to secondary, put in fridge at primary ferment temp and lower temperature 2-3 degrees a day until it is around 32... ferment at this temp for about 4 weeks.
2.5: Bring beer down to lagering temp, 5F per day, before racking.

I see you got a lagering fridge, but if you didn't, you can do temp-controlled fermentations in a rig like this. Works great, and the round cooler doubles as a MLT and the pond pump multitasks for a recirculating ice water wort chiller.
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