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Old 10-01-2009, 07:01 PM   #1
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Default "Lagering" Ambient-Temp Lager

Hey guys -- I'm a newbie to the forums, but have been brewing for a few years. And for the longest time I wanted to make a great German-style lager but was unable to since I lacked equipment to keep it cool. Then I started reading The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and in it Charlie states that it's perfectly possible -- and indeed okay -- to use a lager yeast at ale temperature. So I gave it a shot with an Oktoberfest.
Now, I realize it will not come out as crisp and clean as a true lager, but what I'm curious about is aging (or "lagering") and bottle conditioning. After primary fermentation I racked it to a secondary, in which it's been for two weeks, still at ambient temperature (about 68 or so). Would it do me any good to leave it like that for a few more weeks, or would it do me any good to maybe pop it out in the garage where it might be a bit cooler and leave it out there for awhile?
Should I go ahead and bottle now or leave it off? And after I do bottle, should I let it condition at room temp, or cold-condition it?

Sorry for all the questions, but I appreciate any help or suggestions anyone can provide. Prost!

- Chris

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Old 10-01-2009, 07:38 PM   #2
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Cold conditioning will help the beer. Bottle it and condition it that way.

Not sure I agree about fermenting a lager strain at ale temps. It will make beer but not necessarily the profile desired.

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Old 09-07-2010, 07:34 PM   #3
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Isn't lager ale feementing at ambient temps considered California common? Anchor head steam beer is one of my current faves. But that whole style came about because of the exact situation Chris is in.

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Old 09-07-2010, 10:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicratlhead51 View Post
Isn't lager ale feementing at ambient temps considered California common? Anchor head steam beer is one of my current faves. But that whole style came about because of the exact situation Chris is in.
Yes. Steam beer is a hybrid beer- an fermented at low ale temperatures using a lager yeast.

I love California common, and have one on tap often. But (and it's a big but), it doesn't taste anything like a "real" lager. It also uses a special strain of lager yeast.

Using lager yeast at ale temperatures usually doesn't taste very good, in my opinion. I think you'd be better off to use an ale yeast, and ferment it at the coolest temperature that ale yeast can ferment. I've done pseudo lagers before with nottingham yeast at 59 degrees, for example. That gives a "cleaner" taste. Lager yeast strains can be sulfury or estery and not pleasant tasting at higher temperatures. To me, the defining characteristic of a lager is the "clean" crisp taste that you won't get from fermenting lager yeast at warm temperatures.
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