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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Garage Lagering
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Old 11-18-2007, 05:32 PM   #1
MikeRLynch
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Default Garage Lagering

Hey all, tis the season for cheap garage lagering, and I had a few questions

How important is it for the beer to remain at a consistant temp during the lagering process? A garage can change by several degrees, but the range is usually below 40 degrees. In short, is it more important to keep a lager cold than it is to keep it consistant? I was hoping to do a schwartzbier soon before it got so cold that stuff actually froze in the garage. Let me know what you guys think, and what you all do for lagering. I don't have the money for a fridge or a controller yet (im working on it) so maybe some lowtech solutions would be cool. (<-- pun)

mike

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:03 PM   #2
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I just put it in the garage. The temp fluctuation during the winter will not be all that much to worry about IMO.

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:11 PM   #3
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Put your fermenter in a container with water filled to a level as high as you can without floating the fermenter. The water will even out any sudden temperture changes and keep your fermentation even. you could even insulate a box to put around it also.

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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thats exactly what I'm doing now. Jamil's schwartzbier is sitting in my mash tun reconverted back to a cooler till the next batch. change out bottles of ice in the morning and when i'm back from work plus filling it with water to the level of the wert keeps it at a nice temp. I'm at 1.026 from 1.060 after a week and a half. just about time to do a D rest.

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Old 11-19-2007, 01:21 AM   #5
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So for the primary fermentation, should I do it at slightly warmer temps like 65 or so? And then just throw it into the garage for the 6 to 8 weeks for secondary fermentation? Or will the lager yeast be able to work at those lower temps? Garages around the east coast are starting to get as low as 30 at night now. I'm new to lagering, so the technical points are a little elusive. I don't know if there is some wiggle room or if I should be really anal about it.

mike

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Old 11-19-2007, 01:28 AM   #6
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Most lager yeast should be around 50-55 degrees for primary. The way I do that is to use my lagerator- it's an igloo cooler with a styrofoam top- and fill it with water and an ice bottle. I float a thermometer in it, and keep it in my basement. It stays a perfect 52 degrees. (Pictures in my gallery).

When it's time to do a diacetyl rest, I pull it out and put it in my kitchen- which is around 65 degrees or so. After two days of the d-rest, I rack and then put it in the clearing tank for two weeks at 50 degrees. Then I lower the temperature 5 degrees per day until it's lagering at around 34 degrees for 4-6 weeks. I do that all in my redneck lagerator- so I'm sure you can figure a way to do it with your set up.

The only thing that might be a sticking point is the primary fermentation temperature. Anything over 55 degrees is just too warm.

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