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Old 09-22-2005, 12:43 PM   #1
mike004
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Default Lagering without a fridge

Any UK brewers here who have brewed good lagers without using a fridge?
I understand that lagers should be fermented at 45-55 and lagered at 35-45.
I live in a centrally heated bungalow. I would guess that the ambient temp. over autumn/winter is in the high 50s, maybe higher. UK winters aren't typically extreme. A couple of cold weeks near to freezing, the rest is rain!

Any tips? How about bottling, putting in a cardboard box and storing at the back of an unheated garage/shed. Would that do the trick, or are the temperature fluctuations too great?

The Germans initially lagered in kellers (caves). So maybe I should start digging!

Mike



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Old 09-22-2005, 06:57 PM   #2
JacktheKnife
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Default Caves?

Mike 004,

I was thinking about making beer with lager yeast.
Have a temp. control for a used fridge,
{which I don't have yet.}
and even bought some lager yeast.
Just waiting on cooler weather...


The summers are sooooo, hot in Texas.
These 'bomb chunkin terrists,' are everywhere.
And now big ole storms are stiring up tornados,
again.

I have thought about digging out me a storm cellar,
And a bomb cellar,
But a brew cellar?...
Hmmmm...

A cave looks like a practicle way to:
Roll them all into one,
A multi-puropse cellar, or cave.

Brew lager all year,
not only in the cooler season,
down in my storm proof, nucular proof,
and hoards of starving masses proof,
brew cellar!
The fridge would be lots cheaper to run, down there.
And if a tornado,
a nucular bomb,
or even the hoards of starving masses came on 'my '25' acres.'
Looking for something to steal,
I could adjurn to my 'hole',
And with a few books,
and enough ale and beer down there to last a long long time,
with a gun safe, to keep stuff dry,
I could take valuables,
like ammo, rare books and pictures,
my accordian,
Hell, I may like the peace and quiet down there so much...

I may never come out.




J. Knife



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Old 09-22-2005, 09:42 PM   #3
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I did a lager last winter and left it in the garage, but it get's pretty cold where I live. You might swing it the way you've described.

I'd suggest possibly placing the fermenter in a plastic tub like a Rubbermaid and filling it with cool water, then draping it with a t-shirt to wick the water up and keep the temperature more stable. You'd probably want to change out the water every few days. Maybe even add ice (?).

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Old 09-22-2005, 10:12 PM   #4
PT Ray
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I have to think someone has had good success with something as simple as a rubbermaid tote or a garbage can. It seems if you can insulate the outside of them and fill with water you could place a carboy inside and use something like frozen 2liter bottles with water to maintain the temps. It will be a little demanding but seems possible. I even wonder if adding some type of salt to increase the gravity of the water will aid in helping to maintain a more consistant temp.

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Old 09-23-2005, 12:43 AM   #5
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Ray- You're on the right track. Everythig you said is a workable and often used idea. Necessity is the mother of invention and ignorance is bliss. I once came up with a way for one guy to do aerial cable TV construction alone, only to find out that they call it drive-off construction and that it was invented years ago. There goes my patent and prospective fortune !

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Old 09-23-2005, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JacktheKnife
Mike 004,

I was thinking about making beer with lager yeast.
Have a temp. control for a used fridge,
{which I don't have yet.}
and even bought some lager yeast.
Just waiting on cooler weather...


The summers are sooooo, hot in Texas.
These 'bomb chunkin terrists,' are everywhere.
And now big ole storms are stiring up tornados,
again.

I have thought about digging out me a storm cellar,
And a bomb cellar,
But a brew cellar?...
Hmmmm...

A cave looks like a practicle way to:
Roll them all into one,
A multi-puropse cellar, or cave.

Brew lager all year,
not only in the cooler season,
down in my storm proof, nucular proof,
and hoards of starving masses proof,
brew cellar!
The fridge would be lots cheaper to run, down there.
And if a tornado,
a nucular bomb,
or even the hoards of starving masses came on 'my '25' acres.'
Looking for something to steal,
I could adjurn to my 'hole',
And with a few books,
and enough ale and beer down there to last a long long time,
with a gun safe, to keep stuff dry,
I could take valuables,
like ammo, rare books and pictures,
my accordian,
Hell, I may like the peace and quiet down there so much...

I may never come out.




J. Knife
Knife, you are one INTERESTING fellow.
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Old 09-23-2005, 01:40 AM   #7
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Ain't he though ? Man after my own heart up until the part about the accordion. I'm a concert kazooist, myself.

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Old 09-23-2005, 08:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsmonkey
Ray- You're on the right track. Everythig you said is a workable and often used idea. Necessity is the mother of invention and ignorance is bliss. I once came up with a way for one guy to do aerial cable TV construction alone, only to find out that they call it drive-off construction and that it was invented years ago. There goes my patent and prospective fortune !
Thinking about this... the olden times brewers of Germany and Bohemia didn't have access to fridges, yet presumably produced good beers. My cave idea isn't so wacky after all!

Mike
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Old 09-23-2005, 08:40 AM   #9
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>I did a lager last winter and left it in the garage, but it get's pretty cold where I live. You might swing it the way you've described.<

I'm quite tempted to just pack a few bottles in a cardboard box with some newspaper insulation and then store them in the back of my external unheated garage over autumn/winter...

Mike

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Old 09-23-2005, 01:44 PM   #10
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I saw a thread on another brewboard (hint as to where it is) that showed a fellow that had cut a hole in the top of one of the Cube coolers Walmart sells so the Airlock would stick through. This thing was EXACTLY the right size for 6.5 gal carboy to sit down in. He filled it with water and put water bottles of ice down around the sides to keep temps lager like. PLUS this made it easy to move the carboy around as this Cube cooler has wheels on it. This sounds like a great idea to me. I dont have a lager or storage fridge...but I think I can afford this hobo hookup.



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