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Old 11-07-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
Yesfan
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Default lagers and ales, but one fermentation chamber?

Can you ferment both ales AND lagers if you have only have one freezer (external controlled) to ferment your beers in? If you can't, what about multiple lagers? I get the impression you have to step down temps for lagers, compared to "set and forget" ales. What if you have one lager that's only been fermenting for a few days and you want to brew another lager before the first one is bottled?

I would like to start brewing lagers someday, so thought I would ask.

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Old 11-07-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
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I've seen it done where you set the freezer to lager temps and use a brew belt or other heater on your ale hooked up to another temp controller to regulate it to ale temps when in a lager temp freezer.

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Old 11-09-2012, 11:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. What about two or more different lagers? Like I mentioned before, is there a temperature step down process when fermenting lagers or do you just set the temps at the low end to start with and wait it out like with ales?

In short, if I wanted to start doing lagers, does it matter if I started a lager today while I had one already fermenting a week at a lower temp? Stepping the temps down gradually for lagering has me confused.

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yesfan View Post
Thanks for the reply. What about two or more different lagers? Like I mentioned before, is there a temperature step down process when fermenting lagers or do you just set the temps at the low end to start with and wait it out like with ales?

In short, if I wanted to start doing lagers, does it matter if I started a lager today while I had one already fermenting a week at a lower temp? Stepping the temps down gradually for lagering has me confused.
Some people pitch warm(75ish) and then chill down to 50 slowly, but I've heard plenty of things saying that this isn't the best idea because as the yeast cools it could go dormant and fall out. Basically just set it at a normal temp and pitch a healthy amount of yeast and it will be fine without any temperature adjustments. So you can stagger them, go ahead and put a new one in while the other is a week or two into fermentation. It should be fine.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:31 AM   #5
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It's best to try and ferment them both at relatively the same starting time with similar, if not the same yeasts. That way you can do the right temp for both, do the diacetyl rest for both and then lager both. That being said, it sucks brewing 2 batches in one weekend... But hey, you're lagering so you won't have to brew again for a long time.

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Old 11-10-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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are you going to use the same freezer to lager in also? Basically make sure you have enough yeast http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html. Cool the wort down to around 48-to50 deg and pitch. If you are going to do a diacetyl rest pull it out of fermentation chamber when it is 80% done fermenting and let it rest till done. If not doing one leave it alone. You can knock out as many as you want then when it is time to lager cool it down to 32 and leave it alone.

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