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Old 04-17-2009, 04:50 PM   #1
Devantf
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Default My first Lager - Question about 'lagering'

So i dont have any fancy temp control equipment (but i think im going to convert an old fridge after reading so much about its importance) and i figured i could only do a lager in the winter. I made my best attempt at making a bohemian lager given my equipment:

US Pilsen Malt 5.00 lb 62.5 % 0.9 In Mash/Steeped
Extract - Light Dried Malt Extract 3.00 lb 37.5 % 1.7 Start Of Boil

Hops
Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
Czech Saaz 3.0 % 1.00 oz 11.4 Loose Pellet Hops 60 Min From End
Czech Saaz 3.0 % 1.00 oz 10.5 Loose Pellet Hops 45 Min From End
Czech Saaz 3.0 % 1.00 oz 5.6 Loose Pellet Hops 15 Min From End

Yeast
Wyeast 2124-Bohemian Lager

I got fermentation going at around 45 degrees in my garage. After 3 weeks transfered to secondary (gravity dropped to 1.014). While in the secondary the temp in the garage has been going up with the weather. So its been hanging there right around 50 degrees for another three weeks. So my real question is 1) What are the benefits to lagering? 2) Would i simply transfer it to a fridge and lower the temp every day? 3) should I just bottle it now? 4) After bottling will i have to put the bottles in the fridge to get the yeast happy again for carbonation?

Thanks again for your help guys

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:10 PM   #2
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I have just hooked up my first lager to gas last night. 2 weeks fermenting at 50* and 5 weeks lagering at 40* but was only a 1.045 beer. I fermented in a 10G round cooler I use to mash with and was able to hold the temp within 2 degrees the whole time.

I know the temp was in the range in your garage but how did you get it to not fluctuate more than a few degrees from morning to night?

1. Lager is done after fermentation and is the defining element of a lager, clearing a beer up, leaving it very crisp.

2. A fridge would be good for lagering and if you can lower the temp a few degrees until you get to about 10* less than you fermented at.

3. don't bottle now, wait until you have lagered for a while, lagering times vary, but 6 weeks is a good guess unless you have a big beer but doesn't look too big based on that recipe.

4. After bottling you want to move them to room temperature to carbonate for a few weeks.

I am just a begginer at Lagers, so someone else might come by and give better advise, but this is what I know from my first one.

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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Here is my lagering spot. Do you have room for this? I keep my lagers in here for 8 weeks prior to bottling.

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Old 04-17-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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oh well. not the answers i wanted, but i guess its for the best. I'm going to hook up my fridge in the garage and start getting the temp right. guess it will be a few more weeks till bottling.

Thanks for the help!

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Old 04-18-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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Answers:

1) How to Brew - By John Palmer - What is Different for Brewing Lager Beer?

2) Yes.

3) No.

4) No. Carbonate in bottles at room temp. for a min. 21 days.

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