Hey guys, I'm new to this forum and homebrewing in general.
I'm in my junior year in college (I'm a Comp. Sci. major), and recently decided to pick up homebrewing as a hobby, which gives me plenty of stuff to talk about in school.
At some point, I may want to pursue a professional career in brewing in the future, but right now I'm still trying to learn the basics of beer brewing and have a few questions.
That being said, I'm curious about how to brew a lager. I just (successfully?) brewed a pale ale using very basic ingredients. I know that lagers must be brewed at lower temperatures (45-55deg F) and know that the wort undergoes a primary and secondary fermentation cycle, but how long does it take for each cycle? Does the secondary cycle need a lower temperature? I'm a little confused.
Also, I had a question about the malt itself. I use a 2.5 gallon fermenter, and most cans of pre-made malt make about 6 gallons of beer. How long is the shelf-life of the unused malt if refrigerated? I want to make sure I don't waste it, as a 3.75lb. can of premium brand-name malt costs about 15 bucks.
Looking forward to some help here from the pros... keep in mind I'm new!