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Old 03-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
Beernik
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Default Kolsch vs. Export vs. Weisenbock

This is more of a question of time and temperature than style because I want to do all of them eventually.

My cellar has about 6 more weeks of 40 - 50F temperatures. Right now it's sitting at 45F. As it gets warmer outside, the cellar will get warmer too. I can warm the fermentation but I can't cool it.

Which style am I likely to get better results with? I'm guessing the Kolsch or Weisenbock.

Thanks.

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Old 03-13-2010, 07:24 PM   #2
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You put export in the title... is that a Dortmunder Export? If so, you might get the best results with that since it is the only lager you named. Otherwise the other two should ferment at about the same temp (62 - 65 IMO) and it is too cool for that.

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Old 03-13-2010, 09:39 PM   #3
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It's habit. Growing up in Germany, when I was drinking it, I always heard it referred to and labeled as "Export". It wasn't until I started brewing that I ever heard it referred to as "Dortmunder".

The problem with the Export is I can't lager it below the fermentation temp.

With the Kolsch or Weisenbock, I can warm it with a brew belt for fermentation. After that's complete, I can cellar it below fermentation temperatures.

So I guess the question is: how important is it to lager below 45F?

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Old 03-13-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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Pretty important I think. I assume you are not kegging and don't have the ability to "lager" 2 cases of beer in the fridge after they get finished bottle carbonating?

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Old 03-13-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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Could I lager them in bottles?

I might be able to pick up a cheap used mini fridge (might be too small for a carboy). I could put it in the garage and crank the temp down. I don't think the wife would like me picking up a full sized.

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Old 03-13-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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From what I have heard you can lager in the bottles after allowing the to carbonate at room temp as usual.... someone correct me if I am wrong.

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Old 03-13-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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40-50 for 6 week? Lager. Lager. Lager.

45 might be a little low for some lager yeast, they will warm things up during active fermentation. But if it drops to that after the majority of fermentation is over, the yeast might not finish completely. I would look into a way to warm it slightly, like up to 50.

If you pitch the proper amount of yeast and oxygenate well, you should be able to ferment a lager at 50 for 6 weeks and it should be ready to bottle and drink once carbonated. Some additional aging might improve the beer, but (IMO) light lagers should be consumed young.

Great beer to brew now for the upcoming warm months.

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