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Old 08-18-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
gregiscool
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Default Brewing a lager with ale yeast.....

I'd like to make a lager, but do not have the ability to keep it cold enough to properly do it. I live in Florida, so we don't have basements, and its never naturally cold enough to pull it off(although it is 90+degress every day most of the year). I've read that you can make a lager using ale yeast and let it ferment at ale temps(65-75 range). Has anyone every done this, and what did it taste like? I was thinking of trying but would like to know that its not going to be a waste of time. Thanks and cheers


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Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 PM   #2
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I suggest you try making something like a Kolsch. I think you will like the resulting product better than if you were to continue down your original path. Just my opinion.


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Old 08-18-2010, 03:39 PM   #3
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By using a neutral yeast, you can get good results.
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Old 08-18-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
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You can do it but you need to pick the correct style of ale yeast (EDIT - As David mentioned - a neutral yeast - e.g. U.S-05 or Nottingham). I haven't done one myself yet but search for "California Common" or "Steam Beer" and you'll find a lot of information. The best commercial example of the style I can think of is Anchor Steam.

Here are a few links to get you started:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_beer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Steam_Beer

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Old 08-18-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bopper View Post
You can do it but you need to pick the correct style of ale yeast (EDIT - As David mentioned - a neutral yeast - e.g. U.S-05 or Nottingham). I haven't done one myself yet but search for "California Common" or "Steam Beer" and you'll find a lot of information. The best commercial example of the style I can think of is Anchor Steam.

Here are a few links to get you started:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_beer

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Steam_Beer

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Thanks, first post is always a doozey.

I found some Kolsch yeast and recipes from Northerbrewer.com but they all require a below 70 temp(which i cant do at my house).

but from what i gather from the wiki page you suggested, is this "steam beer" or California common, are pretty much lagers made at ale temps. I wasn't sure if lager yeast would even work at 75F or not, but guess so. thanks again.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregiscool View Post
Thanks, first post is always a doozey.

I found some Kolsch yeast and recipes from Northerbrewer.com but they all require a below 70 temp(which i cant do at my house).

but from what i gather from the wiki page you suggested, is this "steam beer" or California common, are pretty much lagers made at ale temps. I wasn't sure if lager yeast would even work at 75F or not, but guess so. thanks again.

Generally, 75 degrees ambient is too hot even for ale yeasts as well since the actual fermentation temp will be closer to 80 due to the heat generated from fermentation. I would consider using a "swamp cooler" - submerging your carboy in a bucket of water with frozen water bottles. This will bring your temp down into a good range for ale yeast fermentation during the summer. It's cheap too.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bopper View Post
Generally, 75 degrees ambient is too hot even for ale yeasts as well since the actual fermentation temp will be closer to 80 due to the heat generated from fermentation. I would consider using a "swamp cooler" - submerging your carboy in a bucket of water with frozen water bottles. This will bring your temp down into a good range for ale yeast fermentation during the summer. It's cheap too.
Agreed. The "swamp cooler" will get you by until you become completely obsessed with this hobby and dump several thousand into your brew house, fermentation chamber, and pub.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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If you use a lager beer reciepe (kit) and change the lager yeast to an ale yeast, you will have created an ale brew and not a lager beer made from ale yeast.

A lager yeast ferments from the bottom and an ale yeast ferments from the top. As mentioned earlier, ale yeasts can work at much higher temps.

If you look at some lager reciepes and lighter ale receipes you will find similarities in the fermentables (grain/extract bills) so you probably will not be creating a new exotic brew.

Enjoy - Good luck!
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bopper View Post
Generally, 75 degrees ambient is too hot even for ale yeasts as well since the actual fermentation temp will be closer to 80 due to the heat generated from fermentation. I would consider using a "swamp cooler" - submerging your carboy in a bucket of water with frozen water bottles. This will bring your temp down into a good range for ale yeast fermentation during the summer. It's cheap too.
I agree. I wouldn't go over 68 degrees with the majority of the ale yeast strains available. That's pushing it for most ale yeast. Nottingham is especially bad over 72 degrees, but incredibly "clean" and almost lager-like at 59 degrees.

Submerging your fermenting in water and adding a frozen water bottle once or twice a day may keep you in the low 60s. It'd be worth it, in my opinion.
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:37 PM   #10
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I've done a couple of Brewers Best German Oktoberfest kits that come with a Lager yeast that does well in warmer temps (but not 70+). I have made this kit twice, and although not a big fan of BB kits, this one turned out really nice both times. I fermented at about 63 degrees but I can't remember which yeast they packaged the kit with. Here is what the kit instructions say:

BEST BEER KIT GERMAN OKTOBERFEST Brewers Best Classic Beer Making Kit. Amber in color with a nice blend of Munich malt and crystal grains. Medium-bodied, malty and finished with a distinct hop flavor. This kit includes a lager yeast that will also perform well if fermented at ale temperatures. IBUs: 22 - 25. ABV: 5.25 - 5.75. OG: 1.052 - 1.056. Difficulty: Intermediate. Color: Amber. Yield: 5 Gallons.


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