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Old 10-10-2010, 09:47 PM   #1
paraordnance
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Default Lagering without fridge

Do you guys think this set up will work?


I dont have a room for dedicated lagering fridge so have to come up with something also. I love lagers and pilsners, never really dig the ales so have to find a way to ferment them around 50 F in closet with ambient teperature around 70 F in a house. I sprayed some insulation foam around my 10 gal ex-primary plastic fermenter to help with temperature control, glass 5 gal carboy goes inside. Will I have a problem to keep my temps around 50 F for weeks in a row with water and frozen water bottles?

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Old 10-11-2010, 12:57 AM   #2
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you're in Canada right? Do you have a basement or garage? It's getting to be that time of year you could use some natural cold. Maybe even leave it outside, in the shade? What's your temperature swing there?

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Old 10-11-2010, 02:02 AM   #3
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Lagering would be at a temp around 30 or so. Fermentation temps should be able to be addressed by your setup, with some attention to a cold water bath. When it comes time to lager, maybe you could use dry ice instead of wet ice (water ice)? Dry ice will be able to get the temps down colder for lagering than what wet ice could.

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Old 10-18-2010, 10:19 AM   #4
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So have you tried it with the frozen bottles or outside yet? Anything to report?

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Old 10-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighGravity View Post
So have you tried it with the frozen bottles or outside yet? Anything to report?
Not yet, I think I still get a small freezer for lagering since it will be next to imposiible to keep it down 35-40F with just water and ice bottles. I will use this bucket as fermentation chamber, I know I can easly hold 55-65 F there in my cold closet, I could maintain steady 65 F just with wet towel around it, so low 60s shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 10-19-2010, 12:07 AM   #6
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it'll work, but if you 'love lagers and pilsners, never really been into ales' you won't be satisfied. take it from me, I don't like the ales much either and i've already been down that road. The lagers I've done in the basement at 56 were ok, but i still really didn't consider them good enough to serve to others. The people that say "I do my lagers at 56 in the closet and they come out fine!" must be IPA-heads or something, because I spent 2 years lagering and tinkering in the basement only to come out with slight to not-so-slight off flavors each and every time.

But it's not all bad news, I did ferment some good lagers in the garage and outdoors in the fall, so now's your time! While 50 on the nose is ideal, lager yeast likes 45-50 ALOT more than it likes 50-55, and with the insulation keeping it cool in the daytime I think you'd have great success if your climate is right. If I were you I'd brew as many lagers as I can before it gets too cold, then switch to kolsch yeast and move back indoors until you get a spare lagerator. Good luck!

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Old 10-19-2010, 12:18 AM   #7
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Here's my set up:



With a water bath, I can control temperatures very well. In a basement, I add frozen water bottles and float a thermometer in the water bath, and can keep the temperature wherever I want. It's easiest in the winter, when the room is 50 degrees, and I can lager at 34 degrees just by adding frozen water bottles and changing them out every other day. I can also use an aquarium heater in the water bath to raise the temperature if I need to. I live in a cold climate, so it's pretty easy to manage lagers like this. I call it the "Yooper Lagerator".

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Old 10-19-2010, 12:39 AM   #8
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You may want to check out a "Son of Fermentation Chamber" in a search of the forums or your favorite search engine. The folks at Home Depot in my home town told me that if I came up with a cut sheet that they would do their best on a sheet of 2 inch pink insulation.

Give your set up a try though and let us know how it worked... It could be the next trend !?

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