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cstacey44 09-18-2012 05:45 PM

Lagers without tempreture control
 
Hello,
Ive been tempted to move onto brewing a lager style beer (like festa brew Blonde Lager). Most of the kits appear to use the following yeast :Saflager S-23

The yeast recommends you ferment between 9-15 Celsius. I am fairly new to brewing, and I dont have the equipment to control the tempreture of the fermentation. The room that I have been using is typically around 20-22 Celcius.

Has anyone tried fermenting a lager yeast at this tempreture range? Can I simply ferment at this tempreture, and then lager later on once its bottled?

Just wondering if I should bother, or stick with Ales.

Thanks!

aiptasia 09-18-2012 05:51 PM

Lagering is just essentially cold temperature fermentation. It takes longer to complete but it produces some nice clean smooth tasting beers. You could use a dual purpose yeast like nottingham that does well in a wide range of temperatures or just hold off on lagering until you can control your fermentation temperature.

Yooper 09-18-2012 05:54 PM

A 20-22 degree room is even a bit on the warm side for most ales, and I wouldn't attempt a lager until maybe winter or late fall when you may have a cooler place.

I'd try my best to even keep my ales at 20 C or under, and since fermentation creates heat sometimes I hit 20C with my fermenting beer even in a room where the ambient temperature is 17C.

brycelarson 09-18-2012 05:54 PM

yeah, you're not lagering without the temp control. Steam beer is a style that involves brewing with lager yeast at ale temps - but you get a lot different product. The esters and yeasty flavors come out pretty heavily - exactly the opposite of what you're going for in a lager.

StoneHands 09-18-2012 05:56 PM

You'd be better off using an ale yeast at those temps. You have to ferment it in the temperature range specified to get the clean lager flavor. I'd hold off until you get temperature control in hand before tackling a lager (or ales for that matter, but I digress). That being said, there are some very inexpensive ways of controlling your temp. Do a search for "swamp cooler". I personally use an igloo cooler for my lagers, and they turn out quite well. I use a glass carboy for primary fermentation, put that in a 60 qt Ice Cube Igloo cooler with water filled to the level of the wort. Swap out ice bottles to maintain near 50F, it works well.

Revvy 09-18-2012 05:57 PM

You live in Ontario, you have winter. DO what many folks who live in our 4 season's climate and brew seasonally, brewing lagers in the cooler times of year. Here's I how lagered the last couple years in the winter. Ugly junk 2012, Ghetto Lagering Chamber

david_42 09-18-2012 06:03 PM

Seasonal brewing is great. Although I have a controlled fermentation chamber, I don't do lagers, except in the winter. My brewery was originally an attached, but unheated garage. In the winter, the temperature is ideal for fermenting lagers. The new garage is completely uninsulated and tends to sit around freezing. The only heat is gets is a small trickle through the brewery wall. It's just right for lagering.

cstacey44 09-18-2012 06:10 PM

Hmm, ive got an attached unheated garage, i'll put a thermometer out there and see how cold it gets in the winter time. Here in Ottawa, overnight temps can drop pretty low at night in the dead of winter.

Revvy 09-18-2012 06:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cstacey44 (Post 4423273)
Hmm, ive got an attached unheated garage, i'll put a thermometer out there and see how cold it gets in the winter time. Here in Ottawa, overnight temps can drop pretty low at night in the dead of winter.

That's why you use a setup with a cheap temp controller and a heater to keep the liquid above freezing.

sweetcell 09-18-2012 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cstacey44 (Post 4423273)
Hmm, ive got an attached unheated garage, i'll put a thermometer out there and see how cold it gets in the winter time. Here in Ottawa, overnight temps can drop pretty low at night in the dead of winter.

as a former native of ottawa (actually aylmer, across the river) i can assure you that it will eventually get too cold, even inside your garage. that probably won't happen until december but it will happen. so i would count on being able to lager in late fall and early spring, but not in february.

lagers need to be lagered for several weeks/month, so the challenge is to find a time of year when you have a long enough window of cold-but-not-freezing temps. you might have to keep an eye on that garage thermometer and be ready to spring into action once it starts dipping below zero inside the garage.

revvy': your ghetto-chamber is one of the coolest things i've seen on here recently.


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