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Old 11-29-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Got a 12.4cu ft Chest Freezer...now what do do with it!

Just picked up the 12.4 Frigidaire that Lowe's had on sale for $100 off. It's 12.4 cubic feet. I'm guessing it could hold either 8 corny's or 4 carboys.

I already have a kegerator, and wanted to use this more of a conditioning/cold storage unit. I've got my temperature control module to keep the temp steady.

So now what? I've got the oatmeal stout that has been in the secondary for a few weeks now, and I could use the new freezer to cold crash it and store it? Any recommendations on how to use it? How about what temperature to store the brews at?

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Old 11-29-2011, 02:52 AM   #2
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When I cold crash my beers I set my temperature control for 40 degrees and put the beer in 2 days before kegging. As for brewing, you can do lagers now. In the first fermentation stage you'll want to keep a lager outside of the fridge at room temp for about a day or until it starts up a tiny bit, then stick it in the fridge around 40 degrees. I let all my beers sit for 2 weeks in primary to make sure they are done doing what they need to do.
Take your lager out and let it sit at room temp again for a day or 2 then rack it to the secondary. For the lagering stage you'll want to keep the fridge around 34 or just above freezing and let it sit for about as long as you can stand it. I'm sure there's all sorts of text you can look up about how it changes the flavor depending on how long you let it lager for. I usually wait 1.5 months before kegging.

It's good that you have a separate fridge for conditioning/lagering (like you do now) because beer should be served around 50 degrees to get all of the nuances.

Edit: those are just my general rules I follow for conditioning/lagering I'm sure there are other/better ways.

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Old 11-29-2011, 03:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauzzastrip View Post
...you can do lagers now. In the first fermentation stage you'll want to keep a lager outside of the fridge at room temp for about a day or until it starts up a tiny bit, then stick it in the fridge around 40 degrees. I let all my beers sit for 2 weeks in primary to make sure they are done doing what they need to do.
Take your lager out and let it sit at room temp again for a day or 2 then rack it to the secondary.
With respect, I think there are three separate pieces of bad advice here. The first is with respect to pitching temperature. My own recommendation is to pitch the correct quantity of yeast at fermentation temperatures. I'm not sure why you would pitch at room temperature--if you pitch enough yeast, they will work at the proper temperature.

The second is with respect to an ambient temperature of 40 degrees. That's cooler than some (even most) lager strains will ferment. For newbie lager brewers the most common error is underpitching. Combine that with exceedingly low temperatures and you have a recipe for disaster.

The third is with respect to "2 weeks in primary." I've said it ad nauseum in this forum but...your hydrometer, not your calendar, determines the proper time for your diacetyl rest. When you get down to about 8 points over expected FG, raise the temperature of your lager to 60 degrees or higher (room temp is fine in my experience) for a couple of days, then rack and start the lagering period somewhere around 32 degrees.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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What about cold conditioning for ales? I'm mainly concerned with them sitting on the yeast cakes too long and getting off flavors (which is what I think happened to my last two hefe's). Rack to a secondary, and then cold store. I'm not sure I'll try lagering anytime soon.

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #5
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I would cold condition/crash ales at 32-34. I know a lot of breweries use 32F to cold crash.

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