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Old 07-06-2006, 03:45 AM   #1
seyahmit
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Default Lager/Cold Condition in Bottle?

Is it possible to lager or cold condition a beer in the bottle? I want to brew a Kölsch. I can get the temp down to the upper 50's to low 60's with an ice batch for the primary fermentation. I've read that many people lager a Kölsch for several weeks in the secondary, but I don't have an extra fridge or freezer yet to hold a carboy. Can I achieve roughly the same results by bottling the beer after the primary fermentation has completed and store them in the fridge for several weeks to lager?

Thanks,

Tim

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Old 07-06-2006, 03:41 PM   #2
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It probably won't be as clear, as the Kolsch yeasts are poor flocculators (if that is even a word), and the beer really benfits from time in the secondary to let the yeast fall out. My take is that you'd be better off giving it a month in the secondary as cool as you can manage and then a month in the bottle at lager temps rather than skipping the secondary process. To put it another way, I would not let the lack of a fridge for cold aging prevent me from brewing a Kolsch as long as you can keep the primary temps within the recommended range of the yeast you are using....but then again, my brewing philosphy is what ever the opposite of a purist is, at least when it comes to technique

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Old 07-08-2006, 01:51 AM   #3
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I don't think it would be as effective. From what (little) I know, the yeast is an important part of the lagering process. You leave quite a bit of yeast behind in the secondary when you bottle...

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Old 07-08-2006, 02:13 AM   #4
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You should be fine. If you skip the secondary, leave it in the primary for one or two more weeks to settle more of the yeast. Since you will have yeast in the bottles unless you filter, it should be able to "lager" in the fridge.

It would be better if you can lager it in a keg/carboy, but that doesn't seem to be an option.

Kai

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Old 07-08-2006, 12:50 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I think I will try your suggestion Kaiser. I look forward to the day when I can get a freezer to help with temp control.

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Old 07-08-2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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Default Lagering:Cold Bottle Conditioning

Kaiser is right!

The AHA guidelines say that kolsch is an alt-style beer, warm fermented using ale or lager yeast and aged at cold temperatures.

All of the 1996 World Beer Cup Winners for Koln-Style Kolsch fermented 50-60F, carbonated at temps over 60. No mention of long term lagering. This is contrary to the AHA description.

In Homebrew for Dummies, Copyright 1997, AHA Nationals 2nd place - Xmas Kolsch - Used Wyeast #1007 - Primary 4 days @ 72F & 2ndary 13 days @ 72F
Go figure....

Another source; "Better Beer & How to Brew It", by M.R. Reese. States that lagering can be achieved (after warm fermentation) by lagering in the bottle. It goes on to say that bottle lagering is not as good as traditional methods but greatly improves the beer quality. Allowing it to carbonate for two weeks before lagering. Lager at 40-45F

If you lager it long enough the yeast will drop out, it will clear quickly in the fridge.

You can also try the "Lagerator Method"; Soak the botton 3rd of the carboy in a tub, drape wet towels on the carboy, and a fan blowing on the towels. @ 70'F Ambient you can get as low as 58'F. I tested it, it works! It uses evaporative cooling, the towels wick up the cool water.

There is a post on this a while back...

I would ferment w/ ale yeast @ 68-72 in the primary for 10 days, then bottle, carbonate 14 days, and then put what you can in the fridge.

I have also heard Superior's Dry Lager Yeast works very well 50-70'F

Good Luck!

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Old 07-08-2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great information Schlenkerla! I am planning on using the tub and towel method for the fermentation. I think I might experiment with this batch. I will let half of the bottles carbonate for a few weeks before I throw them in the fridge and the rest will go right into the fridge after bottling.

Thanks again for the info,

Tim

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