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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Lager Newb seeking Brewer HELP!!!
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:50 AM   #1
BJBrewer
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Default Lager Newb seeking Brewer HELP!!!

I have been wanting to brew a lager or bock beer for some time now. I got me a frige that gets down into the 40s. I have brewed lots of ales, but my question is how do I go about getting the wort cooled down to a point were I can pitch the yeast. I have a chiller, but I live in arizona were the cold water form the hose is like 80 deg! If I can chill my wort down to the 80 deg and then transfer it to a primary, pop in the frige, let it chill down to the proper lager temp. 50s-60s? Then dump the yeast? let it ferment in the frig and then transfer it to a secondary? I have some something about a rest period at room temp. Just seems like so much work! Can some one help me ou? Thanks for much!

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Old 06-03-2009, 07:45 AM   #2
Vic_Sinclair
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This page from Palmer will help you:
How to Brew - By John Palmer - Yeast Starters and Diacetyl Rests
When I have lagered, I have used his second option, which is to pitch the yeast above lagering temps and then slowly lower the fermenter temp. I find that gives the yeast a good head start. But as Palmer says, that requires a diacetyl rest, which is what you are referring to.
This is what I do:
Pitch the yeast in the 60's
Cool to the 50's for a month
Bring back up the 60's for a diacetly rest for 48 hours or so
Rack into a glass carboy and lager in the 40's for as long as possible

It is alot of work if you don't have a dedicated brewing fridge that you can use. What I do is wait until winter in Utah. My spare room is 50 degrees and my garage is 40 degrees.

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Old 06-03-2009, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJBrewer View Post
I have been wanting to brew a lager or bock beer for some time now. I got me a frige that gets down into the 40s. I have brewed lots of ales, but my question is how do I go about getting the wort cooled down to a point were I can pitch the yeast. I have a chiller, but I live in arizona were the cold water form the hose is like 80 deg! If I can chill my wort down to the 80 deg and then transfer it to a primary, pop in the frige, let it chill down to the proper lager temp. 50s-60s? Then dump the yeast? let it ferment in the frig and then transfer it to a secondary? I have some something about a rest period at room temp. Just seems like so much work! Can some one help me ou? Thanks for much!
I to live in AZ. This is how I used to do my lagers......now I have a 3rd freezer on a controller at 52 degrees so I don't have to do it in the one fridge anymore. Before that:

If you have a wort chiller, take a couple of twists of your garden hose and loop them in an ice chest. Dump a couple of bags of ice in it, and fill with water. Your hose water will get chilled down nicely on it's way to the wort. This will get you to 65 degrees pretty easily.

Once in the fermenter, I'd cart it to the fridge and put it in. My fridge stayed at 44 degrees. I'd pitch the yeast, and the activity of the yeast would keep the wort at 50 to 60 for a couple of days.....I'd leave it in the fridge for about a week or so, maybe 10 days. Bring it out, let it warm to room temp for 24 hrs (if you secondary, you'd rack it following this) for your diacytel rest, then put it back into the fridge for a month or two of lagering.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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This was a very nice, concise set of the basics. Thanks!

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:16 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the great info and help! I will post my results when I get going with this! Thanks AGAIN!!!

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Old 06-03-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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I have a similar problem here in the summer, but my well water is still about 60°F in the dead of summer. But I'm pretty anal about pitching lagers. I don't like to pitch them warm. I disagree with all the authors that say it's OK. I'm not saying it's a terrible idea, but it's definitely not the most ideal. I have found that I get some esters when I do this... diacetyl too, but that can be gotten rid of. I like to pitch mine at 50°F or less. But I think as long as you can get it below 60°F, it should be OK.

I take a big plastic tub (20 gallon?) I bought at Lowes and a relatively small pond pump. I also buy two bags of ice. With the pond pump in the tub, I fill it maybe 2/3 full with water and pour in a bag of ice. With some plastic tubing and garden hose fitting, the pond pump connects directly to the immersion chiller. I pump ice water through the chiller and when the ice melts, I dump the other bag of ice in the tub with more water. Buy the time the 2nd ice melts, my wort is usually down to the low 40s°F... and this is with a 25 ft immersion chiller on an 11 gallon batch.

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