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Old 08-09-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
tockeyhockey
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Default German Altbier

I am currently fermenting a German Altbier in my lagering freezer. The recipe calls for regular ale yeast, but as I understand it, altbiers are traditionally fermented at lager temps even if they are ales.

I've got my freezer set for about 65 F. should i drop down into a lagering range and let it ferment lower and slower? or will this not make a difference?

also, at this point it has alread fermented for three days.

any advice? is cooling down an ale worth it?

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Old 08-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tockeyhockey
I am currently fermenting a German Altbier in my lagering freezer. The recipe calls for regular ale yeast, but as I understand it, altbiers are traditionally fermented at lager temps even if they are ales.

I've got my freezer set for about 65 F. should i drop down into a lagering range and let it ferment lower and slower? or will this not make a difference?
I think that's right: ferment at about 65 and then drop the temp after fermentation is complete.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I think that's right: ferment at about 65 and then drop the temp after fermentation is complete.

by saying "drop the temp after fermentation is complete" do you mean after it stops bubbling consistently, or once i rack to my secondary?

what tempurature do you think i should drop it to? i was thinking 45 F.

what will the benefits be?
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:32 PM   #4
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I would say after fermentation is complete--maybe after a week in secondary, when there's no airlock activity?

The benefits of colder storage in secondary are said to be smoother flavor and clearer beer (since the colder temp encourages more yeast and schmutz to fall out of suspension.)

I sometimes do a more halfassed version of this technique with ales during the cool season by simply taking them down to the basement where it is cooler after about a week in secondary.

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Old 08-09-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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ok, so keep it at 65 for another three or four days, move it to a secondary, keep it at 65 for another 7 days, then drop the temp down to 45 or so and keep it in the secondary for another 2 weeks. then bottle and condition for another two to three weeks at about 45.

will i be able to produce carbonation at 45 degrees? or will i have to bottle condition for a much longer period?

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Old 08-09-2006, 03:47 PM   #6
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No, I think you want to do your cold storage in the secondary, and then bottle condition at the usual temp (at least for the first week).

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Old 08-09-2006, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
No, I think you want to do your cold storage in the secondary, and then bottle condition at the usual temp (at least for the first week).

ok, sounds like a plan! i'll go about a week and a half more at 65, then drop to 45 for another 7-14 days. then i'll bottle and condition at room temp for about two more weeks.

this could be some good beer! my first couple of batches were made this summer without the help of the lagering freezer, and they fermented at about 78 F, just because i couldn't do anything to cool them down. this freezer is a godsend.
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