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Old 02-05-2012, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Brewing A Lager As An Ale

Hey there you beer brewing gurus,

I don't have enough refrigerator space to lager my beer, so does it hurt to brew a lager as an ale? What are the ramifications of doing this?

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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You'll end up with a different flavor profile. I believe lager yeasts when fermented warm can throw off a lot of off flavors just like fermenting an ale too warm. But California steam beer is using a lager yeast at ale temperatures so it can be drinkable.

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Thanks.

So would it be wise to swap the lager yeast with an ale one?

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:39 PM   #4
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What are you wanting to brew, and are you familiar with the swamp cooler premise?

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:51 PM   #5
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Personally, I'd swap for an ale yeast but sometimes experimenting is a little fun.

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Old 02-05-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wailingguitar View Post
What are you wanting to brew, and are you familiar with the swamp cooler premise?
I just ordered a Labatt's Blue clone. Is swamp cooling placing the fermentor in water and wrapping it with a towel that is also sitting in the water?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postal_penguin View Post
Personally, I'd swap for an ale yeast but sometimes experimenting is a little fun.
I'm still relatively new to brewing and am afraid to experiment. I did brew a Vienna Lager that the instructions said it was OK to ferment like an ale.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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What are the ramifications of doing this?
You'll have an ale.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:04 PM   #9
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There are a variety of yeast strains designed to deal with just your predicament. The Kolsch style of ale was developed to emulate the pilsner-type beers that were becoming popular in Germany at the time, while still using the (then-traditional) ale yeasts for fermentation. The 'California Common' style is fermented with a lager strain which has been selected to retain lager-like characteristics when fermented at higher temperatures. And Cream Ale is, much like Kolsch, an attempt to imitate popular lager characters while using the easier, cheaper ale fermentation methods.

White Labs has strains for all these styles: Kolsch, Cream Ale, and California Common.

I'd go with one of those.

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Old 02-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I just ordered a Labatt's Blue clone. Is swamp cooling placing the fermentor in water and wrapping it with a towel that is also sitting in the water?
Right... you don't necessarily have to have the towel. Get a tub of some sort that is big enough to hold the fermenter and water. Put cold water in it, float some frozen plastic bottles of water in it. Change them out a couple times a day. You can pretty much get the temp where you want it by varying the amount of frozen stuff floating in it. Putting some bleach in the water is also a good idea, keeps it from growing anything unpleasant.

Saflager S23 is a good yeast choice if you don't have a proper temp controlled chamber. It does well up around 60F which is pretty easy to maintain.
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