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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Whoops! Bought Lager recipe but can't lager...
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:21 PM   #1
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Default Whoops! Bought Lager recipe but can't lager...

Okay I made a mistake and bought a recipe kit for a Oktoberfest lager. The problem is that I do not have a way to maintain temperatures required to lager. The best I can do is put my carboy in a tub with some frozen 2 liter bottles. Here is a link to the recipe:

http://www.brew-winemaking.com/ProductPDF/6379.pdf

My plan is to just make the beer as though it was is an ale and not worry too much about it, it should still be beer right? A mild concern is that the yeast I have is labeled as lager yeast, so it may want lower temperatures.

I am open to suggestions here, is there anything about making it as an ale that will mess it up? If I must I can probably pick up some ale yeast from my LHBS, but I'd rather not as it is a trip with Atlanta traffic.

Anyways wish me luck!

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Old 09-03-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Easiest thing to do would be to double pitch a clean ale yeast like Safale-05 which would give you a really clean ale ferment. Otherwise you will have to hold the temps steady at 50-55 which is going to be impossible without some sort of insulated fermentation vessel like a huge cooler.

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Old 09-03-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
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yes....or use the lager yeast and call it a steam ale

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Old 09-03-2008, 11:34 PM   #4
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yes....or use the lager yeast and call it a steam ale
Judging by how fruity the starter beer was from my last lager starter, I'd call it an English steam beer.
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:26 AM   #5
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+2 on using US-05 or Nottingham and fermenting low.

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Old 09-04-2008, 03:06 AM   #6
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I did a Kolsch (an ale yeast, but better if fermented cool) by putting my fermenter in a water-filled ice chest, put a foam cooler upside down on top of it, and then swapped out 2 frozen 2-liter soda bottles twice a day. Kept the temp down between 45-50 degrees.

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Old 09-04-2008, 03:36 AM   #7
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You could try and wait a month and let it cool down a few degrees. Not sure what your temp control would be to keep it warm through winter weather?

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Old 09-04-2008, 03:37 PM   #8
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I can easily get temps to 50 degrees iin my garage in Albuquerque when the temps are in the upper 90s outside using my ghetto cooling tank.

I am sure if you were more aggressive with the frozen bottles of water you could get the temps you need.

Cake.

Link:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/low-...ng-tank-74665/

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Old 09-04-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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Did you get the Superior lager yeast? I've had good results using Superior at fermenting temps as high as 70 degrees. IMHO, if you can get down to 60, or heck - 65, I'd say you're good to go.

Got a Pilsner going now that was fermented at just about 60 degrees. I racked it to secondary this past weekend and, judging from the sample, if all goes well from here I'd have to say it will be my best batch yet.

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Old 09-04-2008, 06:24 PM   #10
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In his book, Chazz Papazz says if you don't have lagering capablities, just ferment like an ale and call it good. I do my Vienna lager this way. No issues.

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