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Old 05-22-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
goatchze
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Default What should I do? Lager temps.

So I'm in a bit of a pickle and thought I'd get some opinions.

I normally brew 2 five gallon batches very close to each other (one on saturday, one on sunday). This way they're on the same fermentation schedule.

But I went out of town 2 weeks ago and was only able to brew one batch. Now I'd like to do the second.

So, here's the question. I have 1 lager that is 2 weeks into fermentation, has completed primary and been racked to secondary, and is currently at 35-40F. I'd like to brew a second lager today, but only have 1 kegerator/freezer (so only one temperature).

Should I:

A) Brew the second batch and raise the temperature in the freezer to ~45F for 7-10 days, then work it back down to 35F.

B) Brew the second batch and leave the freezer at 35-40F, understanding that the primary fermentation time will be extended.

C) Brew the second batch and ferment at room temperature for a few days, then put batch in the freezer at 35F, hoping that the yeast manage to clean up the mess that they (I) have made

D) None of the above. Do not brew.


I'm leaning towards "A". What does everyone think?

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Old 05-22-2009, 06:27 PM   #2
menschmaschine
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Of A through C, A is the least damaging. The most important thing with lagers in this type of situation is to get them off the primary yeast, which you've done.

If you raise the 1st one up to 45°F, you'll lose a little CO2 (which is good to have in the beer during lagering), but it's not that big of a deal. But if you do this method, you may not be able to do a diacetyl rest (for lack of temperature control to ~60°F), so be sure to pitch the yeast cold in the new batch.

Personally, I'm too exacting... I probably wouldn't brew. But if someone put a gun to my head and said, "you better brew!", I would pick A.

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Old 05-22-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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Your first lager has gone through the critical time and raising up to 55F would not hurt it now. I would brew the second lager and when you get done with primary and a week of secondary you can lower them both to lagering temperature.

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Old 06-11-2009, 04:56 PM   #4
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Update:

Success!

I went with option A raising the temprature up to ~50F and everything worked out fine. After 2 weeks I dropped the temperature down to 35F; by taste, it seems the 1st lager will need another week or so to be "ready". That makes 5-6 weeks total from brew day, which is par for this lager.
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