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Old 04-01-2012, 09:12 PM   #1
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Default Brewferm Lager yeast

my refridgerator will only go as high as 44deg F. Is this too cold to pitch this lager yeast? i want to try and use my fridge to lager my brew, because its a spare and just taking up space.
thanks..
Dave

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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The only lager yeast I personally have experience with that will reliably work that low is W-34/70. I have seen a few other people claim good results at temps that low (or lower) but I don't know what strains they were using.

If I knew I was going to be brewing at an ambient temp of 44, here's what I would do: (1) cool my wort to around 50 degrees (2) ensure it was well-aerated (3) pitch 1.5 million yeast cells per degree Plato per milliliter of wort. You either need a big decanted starter or a significant amount of dry yeast (please rehydrate) for that.

My advice to people without much experience brewing lagers who have to brew at 44: (1) pitch in the mid-50s, leave your wort for several hours, then move it into your ferm chamber--this gives the yeast a fighting chance (2) pitch a crapload of yeast, in accordance with the pitching rates I mentioned above (3) watch for your krausen to start to fall in five days to a week; confirm you are in in the 1.020 range (assuming you are not making a super high gravity beer) then take your fermenter out of your fridge and leave it at room temperature for a week for a diacetyl rest, then rack it to a secondary and lager as usual.

As an aside you should be aware that "lagering" your brew is cold-storage, not fermentation.

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #3
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that explains alot "As an aside you should be aware that "lagering" your brew is cold-storage, not fermentation" i didnt look at it this way. wonder if i just make a swamp cooler to ferment at the yeasts temp which is 12-15 deg Cel. then rack to secondary. .(after a week of diacetyl rest) and then cold store in fridge. at maybe 44 - 46 deg F.

thanks for the quick response.. as i am almost at the end of my boil (brewers best extract kit.. German Oktoberfest.) this is my first "lager" kit.

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Old 04-02-2012, 12:19 AM   #4
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Yeast selection is one of the most important quality factors for your beer. I realize it's Sunday evening so you probably have to go with the yeast you have on hand, and you probably don't have enough of it anyway. So a swamp cooler might be the best option.

For your next lager try to have enough of a good strain on hand that you can use your fridge as planned.

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Old 04-02-2012, 12:54 AM   #5
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thank you. this is correct. brew sunday at my house. and everything is closed till tues around here. re-pitch maybe? once i can get more yeast?

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Old 04-02-2012, 02:43 AM   #6
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Hopefully there will be no need to repitch. But if you are saying you have one pack of yeast, don't even bother trying to get it going at 44. Pitch at 55 or something, wait until you see activity (overnight if need be and if you can somehow keep it a bit cool), then worry about lowering the temp. Job 1 is just get the strongest fermentation going you can at a temp that is not completely going to mess up your flavour profile. Then the instant you have enough activity to reduce temps while being confident fermentation has a good enough start that it will be strong right through to FG (or d-rest), lower temps.

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:29 AM   #7
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i turned my dial down just a little more .. this was done while i was creating the wort. the temp in my basement is 68 deg right now.. i have my fridge at 48 deg. i may be able to weak it a little more to get 50.

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Old 04-02-2012, 04:23 AM   #8
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OG was 1.056 i now have it in a swamp cooler at 56deg F. i will wait for activity.. then move to fridge and lower temp.

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Old 04-02-2012, 04:32 AM   #9
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Sounds like you have it under control. Remember actual ferm temp will be higher than ambient. So if you have good signs of fermentation tomorrow I wouldn't hesitate to let it go at 48 ambient; it will be 52-53 ferm temp which is perfect.

Good luck!

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
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no activity yet.. still at 56deg F in swamp. hoping for signs soon.

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