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Fatboy 08-01-2005 03:00 AM

Lager Primary Fermentation Temps - Help
Evening guys,

I'm getting ready to pitch yeast into my latest lager experiment, and have new temp controlled freezer at 55-60 degrees. Just had a new question - can the primary fermentation happen in the freezer at that temp - or does it need to happen at basement temperature, then to the freezer at secondary fermentation?

Thanks - Paul

Fatboy 08-01-2005 04:10 AM

well - did it anyway. We'll see how it turns out. At the temp in the freezer - it will be within the temps for Saflager 23. Should be just fine.


homebrewer_99 08-01-2005 04:17 AM

You should have activity in the airlock at room temp prior to chilling down to lagering temp in the fridge. :D

DeRoux's Broux 08-01-2005 04:17 PM

i do as HB99 said. but, i've read in Brew Your Own several times that you should chill the wort to as close to the ferm temp as possible, pitch yeast and get it into the fridge/freezer set to ferm temp. lag time will be longer unless the yeast was at the ferm temp when pitched into the wort. easier the other way. i see activity within a couple hours, so it's no real worry for extra or over diacetyl production in that short period of time when the temp of the wort gets to the proper ferm temp for the yeast used......

Fatboy 08-01-2005 07:19 PM

I pitched the Saflager 23 at 62 degrees and placed the primary in the freezer which had a temp range of 54-59 degrees. How's that sound? Should I get it back to room temp (est 65-70 degrees) tonight? - then back to the freezer at secondary?

Thanks - Paul

DeRoux's Broux 08-01-2005 08:00 PM

nah, you did good. most lager "purists" would say that's the only way to do it.

what's your lager schedule?

Fatboy 08-01-2005 08:07 PM

3 days in primary - 1 week in secondary - I will probably transfer again if there is a bunch of sediment in the secondary. Probably won't bottle for 3-5 weeks.

homebrewer_99 08-01-2005 08:34 PM

As long as you have activity it'll be fine. :D

Fatboy 08-02-2005 01:37 PM

I posted my weizen beer that turned into a clove ham marinade in another forum. How long can it sit in a secondary in this freezer (transferred a total of 2 times, nearly no sediment). It would be easier for me to age it in the carboy if that can be done.

Thanks - Paul

DeRoux's Broux 08-02-2005 02:00 PM

yes, it'll be fine to lager in the secondary. a lot of people use corny kegs, and then use the co2 to jump beer from one keg to another.
here's what i do when i brew a lager:
1. 10-14 days in primary until fermentation is complete set at around 52-58 degrees (depends on yeast i use).
2. raise temp in freezer (or set out at room temp for 2-3 days) to 68-70 degrees for diacetyl rest of 2-3 days.
3. rack to secondary and set temp to about 55 degrees. after a day or two, start lowering the temp by about 2 degrees a day until you reach 30-32 degrees. allow to lager for a minimum of 4-6 weeks. bottle/keg as normal. let bottles condition at room temp for 2-4 weeks. you may need to add some dry yeast at bottling inorder for it to carbonate properly. or, you can just drag the racking cane along the bottom of the secondary when you rack to your bottling bucket. this should stir up enough yeast for carbonating your brew. i keg and force carbonate, so i skip that part.
i'm sure there are others that do it different and have some tips, but this is what myself and most in my HBC do for lager schedule. plus, my club has several gold medals for lagers, so i'm a little biased! :~)

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