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Old 08-29-2006, 01:34 PM   #11
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May 2006
Adams, MA
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Originally Posted by Ize
(Also, I'm screwed, unless it's winter, my basement hovers between 72 and 76 degrees... Tell me how happy I am??? Ales in the summer, lagers in the winter?)
Have you tried a po'boy lagerator? I haven't yet, but sounds like they work terrificially. Just a big tub of water, a wet towel, a little bit of bleach (presumably to keep mold from growing) and some ice packs changed out once a day. My basement is just about the right temp in summer for ales, but nowhere near right for lagers (and I'm reasonably far north), so it'll be a po'boy for for when I decide to try a lager.

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Old 08-29-2006, 01:45 PM   #12
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Oct 2005
Madison WI
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Lager comes from the German word "lagern" which means to store. A lager beer is in cold storage while it ages in the conditioning phase. Temperature influences lagers in two ways. During primary fermentation, the cooler temperature (45-55 F) prevents the formation of fruity esters by the yeast. In addition to producing fewer byproducts during the primary phase, the yeast uses the long conditioning phase to finish off residual sugars and metabolize other compounds that may give rise to off-flavors and aromas. Unfortunately, this long time with the beer in contact with the yeast can be a problem. The problem is autolysis, i.e. yeast-suicide, which can produce terrible off-flavors in the beer.
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Old 08-29-2006, 02:25 PM   #13
Jul 2006
Posts: 141

Bird--don't you have a nearly ideal situation? Brew your lagers in late winter, they should be ready to rack in early spring and bottle by mid spring. Two big batches might just get you through the summer, and then you've got all summer to make ales, porters and barleywines to get you through the winter.

I'm starting to wrap my head around the times required to get the best results, so I need to start brewing for what I think I'll want in 2 months rather than what I want now. I'm guessing why there are three or four pumpkin ale threads working right now, eh?

Baby steps.

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Old 08-29-2006, 04:19 PM   #14
Nov 2005
I'm gone!
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Originally Posted by marshman
The lager question is a toughie...If I use a lager recipe and lager yeast and age for several months at the 68-ish degrees of my basement, will it still be lager? Is the 'lagering' temp the essential aspect, or the yeast?

Can it freeze?
The lagering phase is done at 30-34*F, only the fermentation is done at 50*.

The water in beer will freeze, but not the alcohol. This is part of the process for making an eisbock beer.

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Old 08-29-2006, 05:34 PM   #15
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Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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marshman - a very simple box, even a large cardboard box and a pipe "freeze protector" is all you'll need in the garage.
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Old 08-29-2006, 06:09 PM   #16
Jul 2006
Beervana (Portland, OR)
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Originally Posted by marshman
so I need to start brewing for what I think I'll want in 2 months rather than what I want now.
Sometimes ever further out. If you are brewing "bigger" beers, you will want to let them age, and mellow a bit longer. This is why you are seeing so many Pumpkin Ale threads now, we are planning for what we will be drinking come Nov/Dec, that way we can give this beer proper time to condition, and age, so it is in its prime drinking shape, during the holiday season.

Most beers get better if you let them age a bit, really, if you give yourself more like 3-4 months out, you will get better results.

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Old 09-04-2006, 04:15 AM   #17
Aug 2006
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This topic is what I love about this forum. As my wife kissed me goodnight, she looked at the screen and said, "Don't stay up all night." She knows from experience I'll be reading every thread under every topic, picking up every piece of info I can. This sight rocks. (Sorry, no smily faces).

I sit here and laugh, and I sit here and learn, as experienced homebrewers pass on facts and opinions, both of which I question, to answer queries, both simple and complex.

Is it lager? Why do you care. If you made it, and it tastes good, it's yours. If you think you can make it better, do it. It's still yours. And when you make it better, you may have a better idea.

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