Can you lager in just a cold water bath?? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Can you lager in just a cold water bath??

Thread Tools
Old 11-26-2009, 02:42 AM   #1
Bulls Beers
Bulls Beers's Avatar
Sep 2007
, Boston Bomber#1 place of death...
Posts: 3,284
Liked 171 Times on 132 Posts

I'm looking to do a lager, but don't have a chest freezer or any refridgeration at this time. When I brew, I put my fermenter in a cooler with water and frozen water bottles. It works great. I'm wondering if I could do a lager this way. I'm pretty sure I could get the water temp to 50 or so. What do you think?

One problem would be when I keg I'd need to get that temp down in the 30's. Not sure I could put a keg in a cooler and get it down that low...
Spezialisiert auf Deutsch Lagerbier...

Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 04:27 AM   #2
Jan 2008
Posts: 389
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I feel like you could, but it may not be very efficient. It is unfortunate, but some kind of refridgeration is really pretty essential. Some people modify in-window AC units to achieve that result.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 04:53 AM   #3
May 2009
Los Angeles
Posts: 8,219
Liked 493 Times on 398 Posts

Yes, you can. I get my fermenter down into the 30's when I cold crash, and I also use a cooler and water bottles. I just put like 8 bottles at a time in there to bring the temp down and swap them out more often until I get there. Once in the 30's I can maintain that temp using 2-4 bottles depending upon ambient temperatures.

I couldn't imagine trying to maintain those temps long enough to lager, though. A few days is one thing, but several weeks sounds like a pain in the butt.

Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2009, 11:59 AM   #4
Jun 2008
Posts: 205
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I agree with Weirdboy. Sure you could do it for a few days, but after a while that's going to be tedious. And lagers take a while.

You could go the alternate approach and use a fairly neutral ale yeast. I've made mock lagers with the Chico yeast (Safale 05) fermented in the low 60s and they've come out great.

For me it hit the sweet spot. No, you won't get a hint of sulfur that a lager yeast would provide -- but you don't swap bottles three times a day for months.
"There is nothing in brewing so complicated that a little effort can't make even more complicated."

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water bath for bucket McCuckerson Equipment/Sanitation 7 09-08-2009 03:58 AM
Water bath for fermentation Echo2112 General Beer Discussion 9 04-07-2009 09:51 PM
Lagering with a cold water bath brewbies Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 03-21-2009 07:00 PM
Water Bath Temp Rockweezy General Beer Discussion 2 02-16-2009 12:41 AM
Those that water bath to ferment cuinrearview General Techniques 5 05-05-2008 01:41 AM

Forum Jump