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Old 10-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
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Default lazy/ghetto lagering

heres what i did. i try to brew with the seasons but my cousin is having a bag pipe gig in the spring and they drink lagers. so i made a bitburger like pils but my basement isnt cold enough yet. so what i did was i took the red bucket, the one at parties that the beer goes in, and put the fermentation bucket in it with a water bath up to the 5 gallon mark and left it outside. it doesnt get that cold yet at night maybe the upper 40s.

my rationale is, with a large amount of water it takes a lot of energy to raise the temp. so it "should" stay pretty constant unless we get a cold snap. i checked it last night before bed and read 50F and this afternoon it read 54F. if we were to get a cold snap i can always bring it into the garage.

i guess its along the lines of a swamp cooler and i think itll work?

any comments or concerns

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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The weather report says your outside high is 64 and the average outside low is 42 for October. 5 gallons of water outside will hold some temperature, but I would guess mot a whole lot I've a 12 hour period. You have a 20 degree daily swing, from my experience with swap cooler fermenting I'm going to wager that your temp swing is 10-15 degrees. That sounds a little dicey for a lager. If you keep it in the shade close to the house that's your best bet. I'd love for you to tell me in a month that I'm wrong and this is the cleanest lager you have ever made!

Here's my "ghetto" swap cooler:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...enbock-ii.html

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:23 PM   #3
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The temp swings will not make the yeast happy. More than likely it will fall out too soon and you'll have to raise the temp, swirl, pray, and possibly even pitch a new starter at high krausen.

Everyone who wants to make a lager but doesn't have a consistently cool place to ferment in the 50's, use WLP810 SF Steam Lager yeast. I've used it for SO many beers and it works great at ale temps. Try to keep it near 60 though (or lower) and not 70 or anything.

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Old 10-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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I think you meant to write resourceful/genius lagering.

I bet putting a giant cardboard box over the whole thing would make it even less susceptible to wind and air temp fluctuations.

And make sure to slap a big 'H' on the box so everyone know's there's homebrew inside.

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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but yea its in the shade on the side of the garage. the air temp during the day will be fluctuating but i dont believe the temp of about 10-15 gallons of water in the shade will swing that much.

i hope it works

i do have lagering capabilities. i have a cooler in the basement that i have my kegs in. ive lagered in there before and it came out great. last year my basement was about 50 in the winter. then i sealed the windows this spring and it has stopped all drafts so we can use the finished basement for a playroom. this is just something different to keep it interesting

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhoundbrewing View Post
but yea its in the shade on the side of the garage. the air temp during the day will be fluctuating but i dont believe the temp of about 10-15 gallons of water in the shade will swing that much.

i hope it works

i do have lagering capabilities. i have a cooler in the basement that i have my kegs in. ive lagered in there before and it came out great. last year my basement was about 50 in the winter. then i sealed the windows this spring and it has stopped all drafts so we can use the finished basement for a playroom. this is just something different to keep it interesting
Like I said, You can make just about any Lager with the WLP810 yeast in the 60's and it will turn out great. Now, if you want to start getting real technical and to-style, you'll want to "really" lager and use the right strains for each style.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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The swap cooler I use is similar to to OPs. I did some measurements and models for my system a while back. If I apply that to the 24 hour temperature swing that the OP has right now it looks like it should be 53 +/- 3 degrees. That's not to shabby for lagering

Here's the data:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...mp-cooler.html

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Old 10-17-2012, 10:12 PM   #8
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ya know im just trying to keep things interesting. there is more than one way to get a lager done. like woodland and m stodd said just being resourceful.

yea you can make a lager with fancy stuff and gadgets but we can make them with know how and common sense.

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #9
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i did not mean to be abrupt or short. i had been reading the posts from the past couple of days and it seems that many folks have grown bored. it got me thinking of what i could do to spark the good anxiety that weve all had as a new brewer, trying something new. im trying to ferment a lager with variables that i cant control. but using some common sense and logic, i think i can do it.

do you remember when you first started? how you were always checking, swirling or sniffing and thinking this cant turn out to be good beer. thats what im trying to do. if all else fails ill brew another one. its just beer

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Old 10-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Why leave it outside...do exactly what you planned but just throw some frozen water bottles or ice packs in it. Rotate them out each day and you should be fine. I did this during the spring/summer and keep it pretty cold

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