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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > How to lager w/o a basement
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
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Default How to lager w/o a basement

I live in a house with no basement. Does anyone have any hints on how i would make a lager?

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:36 PM   #2
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You'd need a refridgerator or freezer with an external temp, comtroller.

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:37 PM   #3
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use an old refridgerater or freezer. there are some plans floating around here on how to convert these.

dp

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:38 PM   #4
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The best option would be to get a second hand fridge and a new thermostat. Fridges are among the easiest things to come by free. Ebay is worth a shot, too. This makes lagering a doddle.

Or you could build a fermentation chiller of some sort. The Ken Shwarz 'son of fermentation chiller' is popular (google search or search on here). Or, you could make a large water bath and put ice in it and monitor the temperatures. Remember you'll need to hold the temperature at or close to freezing for a month after fermentation.

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:41 PM   #5
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Make a Steam Beer/ California Common using Wyeast 2112 California Lager Yeast or White Labs WLP810

Wyeast 2112 California Lager Yeast. Particularly suited for producing 19th century-style West Coast beers. Retains lager characteristics at temperatures up to 65° F, (18° C) and produces malty, brilliantly clear beers. Flocculation - high; apparent attenuation 67-71%. (58-68° F, 14-20° C)

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:42 PM   #6
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Sure...

This ($145)

and

This ($54)

That's my exact setup, for just about $200. You could go a little bigger on the freezer so as to fit two carboys...but, yeah, that's the best way I've found.

If you wanna do it on the cheap, get a big rubbermaid bucket (with the rope handles, like they use for horsefeed and frat kegs). Put the carboy into it, then put some water in. Get a bunch of 1L pepsi bottles and fill them with water, then freeze them. Add the frozen bottles (and refreeze as necessary) to keep the temp where you want it. It's the cheap method, but it's also the PITA method, because you need to monitor it constantly.

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Make a Steam Beer/ California Common using Wyeast 2112 California Lager Yeast or White Labs WLP810

Wyeast 2112 California Lager Yeast. Particularly suited for producing 19th century-style West Coast beers. Retains lager characteristics at temperatures up to 65° F, (18° C) and produces malty, brilliantly clear beers. Flocculation - high; apparent attenuation 67-71%. (58-68° F, 14-20° C)
I just had a dopplebock that Brewsmith made with a California Common yeast, and it was damn tasty. I'm inclined to make a few quasi-lagers using this yeast strain while the basement is still in that optimal, low-60s temp.
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Old 01-09-2007, 02:51 AM   #8
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We have a never-been-used small chest freezer that I'm debating on using for fermentation (I'm sure the summer temps in central Arizona will be too hot even for ale) or to convert to a kegerator.

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Old 01-09-2007, 02:58 AM   #9
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I did the CA Doppelbock mentioned by the_bird last february. I had a place that stayed around 55 all day long. Beyond that you'll need a fridge as previously mentioned.

If that still isn't an option, you can go really low-tech and use a big ice bath. Use a big plastic bin or even better a picnic cooler, even a rectangular one standing on end and use ice to regulate the temp. It's more work, but it's possible. I heard John Palmer from www.howtobrew.com mention it on a podcast on the Basic Brewing Network.

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Old 01-09-2007, 04:59 AM   #10
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Keep watching Craigslist and/or classifieds if you are in a bigger metropolitan area. I had been watching it for about 3 months to find a freezer chest that fits my needs and costs less than $100. Saturday, Bingo. A free one that holds 3 cornies and works just fine. Just a big dent in the back. Now I'm looking for a temp controller w/o paying more than $40.

BTW, free or cheeap fridges seem to be much more common than freezer chests, but they use more power to run.

Kai

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