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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Should I lager at these temps?
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
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Default Should I lager at these temps?

I'm about to start my 5th batch, but first using lager yeast (white Labs oktoberfest lagar yeast 820). It's an Oktoberfest recipe I picked up.

Directions say:
If Lagering: 40-50 deg F for 4-6 days, then 3 weeks in secondary.
If not: 70-75 deg F for 4-5 days, then 10-14 days in secondary.

My basement closet is a steady 62 right now (no spare refridgerator). But we are about to enter a stretch of outside temps around 40-50 with a 10 degree swing each day.

I'm tempted to try these lagering temps, but I can't trust the weather to keep cool for weeks. Can I do the primary ferment in an outdoor shed at 40-50, but then keep the secondary at 62 in the basement if I have to? Or should I just stick with the steady ale temps for both primary and secondary?

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Old 10-15-2009, 03:10 AM   #2
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DO you have to brew this now, or can you wait a couple more weeks?

I discovered last winter that I can "ghetto lager" in my apartment garage once we get to a point where it is consistantly in the 40's or colder...so I am planning to brew lagers once we have our first frost...probably after nov 1st here in Michigan. But not before.

If I were you, I'd save this recipe for a few more weeks, and stick to ales til you are sure that you can get the temps you need.

One of my ghetto lagers caught the tail end of witner/spring, and the temps rse, it definitely had some off flavors that would not have been present if I had the deep cold I needed for the lager phase.

But I have a few bottles left, and I have been leaving them a long time in the fridge and they do improve tastewise with the cold conditioning.

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Old 10-15-2009, 06:46 PM   #3
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You ought to ferment that batch at roughly 50F, whether you lager it properly or not.

Keep in mind that, although the air outside your basement may fluctuate in temperature by 10 degrees or more each day, the air temperature inside your basement should fluctuate much less, and the beer temperature even less than that.


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Old 10-15-2009, 09:18 PM   #4
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Thanks. I think you are right that I should wait and make for better conditions.

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Old 11-23-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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I plan to ghetto lager in my basement. My basement is around 64-66°F now, so I figure a nice bath in a tub for my fermenter and swapping out some water and ice/ice packs twice a day should easily keep me in the 50s. Then I can lager lager in my normal fridge.

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Old 11-23-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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It's been said that that swinging temps going up and down can cause yeast to flocculate early and leave behind acetaldehyde and diacetyl.

You guys notice any of these off flavors when 'ghetto' lagering?

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Old 11-23-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
I plan to ghetto lager in my basement. My basement is around 64-66°F now, so I figure a nice bath in a tub for my fermenter and swapping out some water and ice/ice packs twice a day should easily keep me in the 50s. Then I can lager lager in my normal fridge.
I switched out two 1 gallon jugs of ice every 12 hours, and noticed big fluctuation, from 53F to 63F (water temp). This was with a Cream Common, Cali Lager Yeast (good up to 65), with the fluctuation I got huge amounts of fruity esters. I'm going to wait until my basement gets around 50 and going to try a Classic American Pilsner probably.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODaniel View Post
I switched out two 1 gallon jugs of ice every 12 hours, and noticed big fluctuation, from 53F to 63F (water temp). This was with a Cream Common, Cali Lager Yeast (good up to 65), with the fluctuation I got huge amounts of fruity esters. I'm going to wait until my basement gets around 50 and going to try a Classic American Pilsner probably.
1 Gallon Jugs of ice? I'm confused.
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:43 PM   #9
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Fill empty milk jug with water, put in freezer overnight, wake up and it's a gallon of ice! I had 4, and swapped 2 every 12 hours.

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Old 11-23-2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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What was your basement temp when you started?

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