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Old 03-25-2008, 01:35 AM   #1
Kiwi_Jonno
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Default A Lager Question....

Iv been reading here a lot lately, that for good lager you really need a secondary fermentation... Unfortunitly Iv only got a primary.

My Muntons Premium Lager Can has been fermenting for 2 weeks today in primary. I took it out of its ice bath yesterday so it was a few days warmer to finish fermenting. I am wondering if I should now leave it in primary at the current (18-19*C) or put it back in the ice bath (16*C), or bottle?

Iv been reading these guidelines for lager beers...

1) pitch yeast at room temps, wait for signs of fermentation, move to beer fridge/freezer.
2) Primary fermentation for about 2 weeks at 45-52 degrees.
3) Check SG, if gravity is below 1.018, raise temp to room temperature to allow for diacetyl rest. Leave at room temp for around 48 hours.
4) Rack to secondary and move back into beer fridge. Lower temps gradually to around 38-42 degrees for lagering.
5) Leave beer in secondary for a couple months at lager temps
6) Bring beer to room temp, prime and bottle the beer.
7) Leave beer at room temps for a few weeks to allow for carbonation.
8) Chill, and drink the sh!t out of the beer.

Iv just finished making a chilli-bin cooler. It has a foam lid, with the airlock thru the lid etc as others have had. Am wondering if I should put the lager in there, at say 10*C? That would be the same as cooling the beer down in a secondary, only that its in primary still.

Any help?

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Old 03-25-2008, 02:27 AM   #2
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Do you use a bottling bucket? Rack your beer to the bottling bucket, clean out the primary, and rack back to the primary, which is now a secondary.

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Old 03-25-2008, 02:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
Do you use a bottling bucket? Rack your beer to the bottling bucket, clean out the primary, and rack back to the primary, which is now a secondary.
No I dont :-( my fermenter has a little "tap" at the bottom so I bottle straight to PET bottles that way. I have no other suitable containers large enough either ... would cooling the beer down to "lagering" temps in primary not be worth while?
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:26 AM   #4
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Anyone? Is it worth "lagering" the lager at a cooler temp once has fermented, if you dont have a seperate secondary?

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi_Jonno
Anyone? Is it worth "lagering" the lager at a cooler temp once has fermented, if you dont have a seperate secondary?

First off, you really need to get it off of the yeast and second you secondary should be glass and not plasic especially for long term lagering. As I see it you have 2 viable options. You could bottle using priming sugar like normal, let the beer carbonate for about 3 weeks, then move the bottles to lagering temperatures. Option 2 is buy a glass carboy, if you stay in the brewing hobby for any time at all you won't regret it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:15 AM   #6
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Yeah will def look into a carboy for next time. Is glass the only way to go? Is it worth using a carboy for ales or mostly for lagers? Will take your advice, will check hydrometer and bottle tomorrow.

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Old 03-25-2008, 04:20 AM   #7
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I wish some others would chime in. I'm a glass carboy secondary guy myself, but I guess others have had luck with the better bottles which look like the bottles on water coolers but are made of a better plastic. These are probably ok for your shorter secondaries when the only purpose is to let the beer clear out, but I'd hesitate to use them for prolonged secondaries. I use a secondary for everything, but that is something that is to each his own. High gravity beers need one for sure, and lagers for sure to "lager" any ale other than something that is high gravity it is debateable whether secondary is neccesary or not.

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Old 03-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi_Jonno
Is glass the only way to go?
Nope. If you have the cash, consider switching to all stainless. I gave all my glass to my brother in law when I had enough Cornelius kegs. I primary in (Cornelius) Stainless. I secondary in (Cornelius) Stainless. I serve in (Cornelius) Stainless.

If I am going to bottle a batch I push it from Corny into my bottling bucket on top of priming sugar.

It was a few sheckles, but on the cold side all I have is cornies. I use OxyClean to clean all of them, and I use one sanitizer to sanitize all of them. Now that they are paid for, the simplicity is very nice. And I can primary under pressure...see wortmonger.
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