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Old 03-11-2013, 03:39 AM   #1
melby
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Default Best temperature control until or system for lagering

I'm looking to do my first lager in time for spring. I do not have room in my fridge to put a carboy, but pops has the garage fridge free at his place. Needless to say I can't drive over there every day to adjust the temperature. So I'm trying find a thermostat control unit that could automatically drop temps every day or two by a few degrees. Maybe something like this doesn't exist? Maybe it's not that important to drop the temp that consistently and I can make the trip every few days.
I keep seeing the Johnson controller but it doesn't look like you can "set it and let it" to drop every day or so.

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Old 03-11-2013, 04:22 AM   #2
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I've never seen anything like that, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist.

Is it an option to moves Pop's garage fridge over to your place? If so, an STC-1000 setup would serve you fine. Press a couple of buttons each day, and you have it handled.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:37 AM   #3
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Lager @ 50 for 2/3 of the ferm, then bring up to 60 for the final 1/3.

Drop no more than 4 degrees per day (so yeast don't go to sleep) until it's down to 40, then leave for two months or more.

The only time you need to change the temp is when going from 60 down to 40, you can do that at any slow pace you want.

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Old 03-11-2013, 04:41 AM   #4
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That may be an option. Although, dad has brewed a few too so maybe it can be collaborative effort. Pay the old man in Lagers to hit that button every couple days. Thanks for the link!

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Old 03-11-2013, 03:21 PM   #5
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You shouldn't be dropping temps slowly - that's bad lager brewing practice. Crash cool the beer for 5-7 hours to a couple degrees lower than target fermentation temp, then aerate and pitch the yeast directly from your fridge. Not only is this better practice, it'll also be easier for you given your constraints.

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Old 03-12-2013, 04:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclman
Lager @ 50 for 2/3 of the ferm, then bring up to 60 for the final 1/3.

Drop no more than 4 degrees per day (so yeast don't go to sleep) until it's down to 40, then leave for two months or more.

The only time you need to change the temp is when going from 60 down to 40, you can do that at any slow pace you want.
Thanks for the note. I'll consider it when I get there.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow
You shouldn't be dropping temps slowly - that's bad lager brewing practice. Crash cool the beer for 5-7 hours to a couple degrees lower than target fermentation temp, then aerate and pitch the yeast directly from your fridge. Not only is this better practice, it'll also be easier for you given your constraints.
I've never heard of this technique. What does "crash cool" mean? It sounds fast and hard, but over 5-7 sounds slow haha. You still keep it at a lower temp correct?
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Old 03-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melby

I've never heard of this technique. What does "crash cool" mean? It sounds fast and hard, but over 5-7 sounds slow haha. You still keep it at a lower temp correct?
Read this page, then read it again:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...menting_Lagers

The important thing is to pitch into cool (46-50F) wort, not warm wort. Crash cool just means stick it in the fridge that's set around 33-36F. The idea of reducing temps slowly after primary is a relic of commercial brewing that just doesn't make sense for home brewing. Look at the ferm graphs and you'll see many ways to ferment. Totally legit to crash cool the beer to 50F, aerate and pitch, come back in two weeks when it's done, and rack it off and crash cool to 33-38F for lagering. That'll minimize the amount of playing with the thermostat. And that's how most of us do it, except many folks will insert the d-rest as shown in the figure F on Kai's web page.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedYellow

Read this page, then read it again:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...menting_Lagers

The important thing is to pitch into cool (46-50F) wort, not warm wort. Crash cool just means stick it in the fridge that's set around 33-36F. The idea of reducing temps slowly after primary is a relic of commercial brewing that just doesn't make sense for home brewing. Look at the ferm graphs and you'll see many ways to ferment. Totally legit to crash cool the beer to 50F, aerate and pitch, come back in two weeks when it's done, and rack it off and crash cool to 33-38F for lagering. That'll minimize the amount of playing with the thermostat. And that's how most of us do it, except many folks will insert the d-rest as shown in the figure F on Kai's web page.
Great read. Thanks for the heads up. Just got the kit today and will probably brew this weekend or next. I've got a Steam I need to bottle so ill make a day of it.
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