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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Using Lager Yeast at a higher temp.
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:05 PM   #1
messler
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Default Using Lager Yeast at a higher temp.

I'm brewing a pilsner right now but I live in an apartment. The guy at my homebrew store gave me a liquid pack of pilsner yeast for it. I know you're suposed to do pilsners at lower temps, but the guy said it would be fine, it would just lack some of the crispness.
Does anyone know the effect of using lager yeast at like 72 degrees? Will it take longer or shorter? Also, with lager yeasts, should I expect to see the same activity as with ale yeasts?

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Old 10-05-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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What you're going to get is a "steam beer". It may or may not be tasty. Steam beers are better made with yeast strains for that style. Lager yeasts fermented at higher temperatures produce a lot of esters, diacetyl, and other fermentation by-products that result in off-flavors. Saying that it will only "lack some of the crispness" is a huge understatement. Also, it doesn't seem that you plan to lager it (secondary at near freezing temps for a month or so). So, I hope this turns out drinkable for you, but don't be discouraged if it doesn't. Temperature control is key to making good lagers, so you may want to research what goes into making a lager before trying another. You might want to stick with ales for a while until you can get refrigeration and temperature control for making lagers.

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Old 10-05-2008, 03:53 PM   #3
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Do you have a spare bathtub or a large Rubbermaid (or the like) container that you can put your fermenter in? If you can keep it in some sort of water bath, you can easily keep your fermentation temperatures in the low 60s with frozen water bottles. That'll go a long way toward minimizing those esters Menschmachine mentioned. Your beer will come out cleaner and crisper for the effort.

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Old 10-05-2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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I brewed a European Lager (my first batch since Beer Machine days) and to keep the temperature low I moved the fermenter to the balcony to keep the temperatures lower. For my next batch which just happens to be another lager (American Lager that came with my Coopers Microbrewery) I plan to modify a cooler to be used as a fermentation chamber. Its very compact and I will find a place for it in my apartment. Also you can use the cooler to control the temperature of all your brews during the warm months of the year.

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Old 10-06-2008, 12:39 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I was going to just stick with the yeast I got with the kit (which i think was ale) but the guy said the liquid lager yeast would be better. I moved my primary out onto the balcony in a box and insulated it with plenty of blankets. I live in Edmonton so it will be pretty easy to keep it cool. Hopefully the temp differences won't be too much for it.

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Old 07-17-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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what store do you buy your grains at? I live in camrose and want to buy grain in edmonton the shipping is killing me from online suppliers.

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Old 09-07-2013, 10:25 PM   #7
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I live in S California and its difficult to keep low temps without a ref rig - You might look into Cool Brew - I was skeptical at first but by using only 2-4 frozen 2 liter bottles I can keep the temps in my carboys from 55-65 degrees

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Old 09-07-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blkcld5150
I live in S California and its difficult to keep low temps without a ref rig - You might look into Cool Brew - I was skeptical at first but by using only 2-4 frozen 2 liter bottles I can keep the temps in my carboys from 55-65 degrees
How often do you have to change out the frozen bottles? How warm is the temperature outside of the Cool Brew?
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Old 09-08-2013, 02:02 AM   #9
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It won't be fine. You're right to be skeptical.

If you can't maintain ferment temps around 48-50*F, you're much better off sticking with an ale yeast and taking the liquid lager yeast back for a refund. Even those few lagers yeasts (like WY2124) that are appropriate for steam beers (aka, "California common") need to be fermented no higher than the low to mid-60's (beer temp, not air).

Did the guy at the store who talked you into buying the pack of liquid lager yeast bother to clue you in to the fact that you'll need to make a sizable yeast starter if you're going to use it? Simply tossing that pack into 5 gallons of wort isn't nearly enough yeast cells. If you're not set up to make starters, dry ale yeast gives you the best chance for success.
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