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Old 04-03-2012, 06:08 PM   #1
seabeemech1970
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Default Lagering Below Freezing Point, Good or Bad?

Ok I need to know the opinions and the effects of what I have going on with this. I have a Altbier lagering right now it lagered at 34F for a week then I moved to another lagering chamber (i.e. a modified dorm frig). I have problems controlling the temperature in this one its either over 40F or at 27F. So I keep it as close to 27F. Of course I would prefer 34F butnot possible. So my question is will lagering below freezing have any bad effects to my altbier?

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Old 04-03-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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Ok I need to know the opinions and the effects of what I have going on with this. I have a Altbier lagering right now it lagered at 34F for a week then I moved to another lagering chamber (i.e. a modified dorm frig). I have problems controlling the temperature in this one its either over 40F or at 27F. So I keep it as close to 27F. Of course I would prefer 34F butnot possible. So my question is will lagering below freezing have any bad effects to my altbier?
Only if it freezes...........................
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Which it will. And once it is frozen, the lagering process stops.

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Old 04-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #4
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Which it will. And once it is frozen, the lagering process stops.
If it does freeze let's say just slushy then thawed will lagering process start back up?
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:15 AM   #5
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Which it will. And once it is frozen, the lagering process stops.
Not always, that's dependent on the alcohol content. I routinely take my lagers down to 28f before racking and lagering. They are usually at 6% and above.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Found this out there on the interwebs, apparently from the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists:

The freezing point (°C) of beer = (-0.42 × A) + (0.04 × E) + 0.2, where A is the percent of alcohol content by weight, and E is the original gravity of the wort (°Plato). Therefore, each 1% increase in alcohol content lowers the freezing point by 0.42° C and each increase in gravity of 1° Plato raises it by 0.04°C. Thus, no beer will freeze at -1°C, and products at higher alcohol concentrations (including high-gravity brews prior to dilution) will withstand even lower temperatures.

http://www.asbcnet.org/journal/pdfs/2004/0223-02R.pdf

If that formula is correct, you need a pretty big beer for it to be okay at 27 degrees.

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Old 04-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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With the usual gravity of an alt it will freeze at that temp. I have had bottles of beer freeze on me before and even after they thawed out there was something a little off about it so I try to avoid freezing my batches if possible.

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Old 04-10-2012, 12:55 AM   #8
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I don’t know anything about lagers, but I would expect it to take forever to freeze a carboy in a dorm ‘fridge. I remember mine would barely freeze those itty bitty ice cube trays.

Your fridge is barely below the freezing point of the beer. Heat loss is proportional to temperature difference. If the beer freezes at 30F and the average temperature of the fridge is 27F, △t is 3.

Even if you reach equilibrium, water gives off a lot of heat as it freezes (heat of fusion.) It would get slushy very gradually.

Not sure at what point the yeast get bummed, but the freezing point goes down as the mixture freezes. Ice crystals precipitate out, and the remaining solution is more alcoholic. Ultimately you would have a snowball floating in pure alcohol.

My guess is that if you keep an eye on it, you’re fine. If you see ice crystals, unplug it. Wait a half a day and plug it back in. Rinse lather repeat.

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