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Old 04-14-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default any reason to use a lager yeast if not lagering?

The thread title pretty much sums up the question - is there any reason to use or not to use a lager yeast, ferment at lager yeast temps, but not actually lager a brew?

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:14 AM   #2
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A lager yeast works at 48-54 degrees or so. If you're fermenting a beer in that range, a lager yeast would be the way to go. If you're fermenting in the 59-70 degree temperature range, an ale yeast would be the way to go.

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
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yup. Steam beer. Like Anchor Steam.
Steam Beer is when you use lager yeast at ale temps. Put that into the search engine and I'm sure you'll get tons of info.

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:50 AM   #4
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A lager yeast works at 48-54 degrees or so. If you're fermenting a beer in that range, a lager yeast would be the way to go. If you're fermenting in the 59-70 degree temperature range, an ale yeast would be the way to go.
Let's say I have both options available - 1st floor steady at ~65-66 degrees and an unheated cellar at ~50 degrees. Is there any reason to go the lager yeast route (fermenting in the cellar) over the ale yeast route (fermenting on the 1st floor)? I don't have any place where I can actually lager the brew after fermentation, so I'm not sure using a lager yeast does me any good.

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Old 04-14-2009, 12:54 AM   #5
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Let's say I have both options available - 1st floor steady at ~65-66 degrees and an unheated cellar at ~50 degrees. Is there any reason to go the lager yeast route (fermenting in the cellar) over the ale yeast route?
Well, what's your plan for the beer? do you want a clean, crisp lager quality? Or do you want some esters, maybe some flavor from the yeast?

If you want a lager and to use a lager yeast, you go with the cooler ferment temps. For an ale, you'll ferment with an ale yeast (top cropping) and go with ale temperatures.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:57 AM   #6
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Well, what's your plan for the beer? do you want a clean, crisp lager quality? Or do you want some esters, maybe some flavor from the yeast?

If you want a lager and to use a lager yeast, you go with the cooler ferment temps. For an ale, you'll ferment with an ale yeast (top cropping) and go with ale temperatures.
So, you can still get that clean, crisp lager profile without lagering? I guess this is the real question I'm trying to figure out - can I make a lager (or a lager-like beer) without lagering? How different will it be compared to a fully lagered brew?
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:02 AM   #7
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So, you can still get that clean, crisp lager profile without lagering? I guess this is the real question I'm trying to figure out - can I make a lager (or a lager-like beer) without lagering? How different will it be compared to a fully lagered brew?
Sure you can. It wouldn't have the defining crispness that a true lager has, but it wouldn't have esters or fruity flavors, and be closer to the flavor you associate with lagers. It might not be as smooth if you don't cold condition it, but it would be a lager. It might not be as clear as a beer that spent 6 weeks at near freezing temperatures either. Lagering the beer allows it time to condition, and mature, and the cold temperatures cause it to be clear.

If you want to, you could make the lager and then bottle it. Once it's carbonated, take half and put in a fridge for as long as you can and simply drink the other half. Then compare the beers and see what you think.
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Old 04-14-2009, 02:07 AM   #8
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It wouldn't have the defining crispness that a true lager has, but it wouldn't have esters or fruity flavors, and be closer to the flavor you associate with lagers. It might not be as smooth if you don't cold condition it, but it would be a lager. It might not be as clear as a beer that spent 6 weeks at near freezing temperatures either.
Sounds like the end result would be a mediocre lager and not really worth it. Not as crisp, not as smooth, not as clear...might as well keep making ales (not that I have any problem with that).
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Old 04-14-2009, 03:09 AM   #9
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Sounds like the end result would be a mediocre lager and not really worth it. Not as crisp, not as smooth, not as clear...might as well keep making ales (not that I have any problem with that).
I lager my lagers at 45-50F as that is the temperature of my crawlspace. They turn out fine. I do crash chill them and add finings before kegging and lagering them so they are crystal clear when served cold.

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