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Old 03-13-2012, 06:39 PM   #1
adrock430
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Hi, I can't recall where I crossed this information, but I heard that you can make some lagers (vienna, oktoberfest, marzen) without a cold lager period, but an extended fermentation at 50F.

This is pretty attractive to me, as it is getting warm outside and my only lager apparatus is a carboy in a sleeping bag in the bulkhead.

Has anybody heard of this, or, better yet, done this?

 
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #2

You can make it any way you like. "Lager" comes from "lagern" which is "to store." If you are okay with the results of a long fermentation at 50 degrees with no extended cold storage, great. Only way to know if you like it is to give it a shot.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #3
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You certainly can make lagers without lagering them. But they will be better for lagering. The lagering period (technically "cold storage") is where the lagers get that "crisp" clean finish that exemplifies a lager.

During lagering, lots of things are happening like polyphenols dropping out of the beer, and the beer becoming clearer. I like braukaiser's write up on brewing lagers, here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...menting_Lagers

Some people who can't lager in a carboy will lager the beer in bottles after the beer is carbed up. If you have room for that, it might be one way to get a more authentic tasting lager.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:08 PM   #4
adrock430
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I'm brewing lagers because the crispness is my favorite part, so no cold storage, no crispness? I thought it was more of a function of the yeast & temps. If so, I'll just try the swamp cooler thing to knock off 5-10*F and keep 'em in the bulkhead.

Trust me, if I had room to lager the bottles in a fridge, that fridge would have a temp control and would be exclusively for lagering!

 
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:07 PM   #5

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Originally Posted by adrock430 View Post
Trust me, if I had room to lager the bottles in a fridge, that fridge would have a temp control and would be exclusively for lagering!
Having a lot of refrigeration power is a good thing for brewing lagers. My 15 cf chest freezer is the fermentation chamber. Plus I have an industrial restaurant-style stainless fridge (must be 40-something CF) for bottle and keg storage. The icing on the cake is a three-door Pepsi cooler we are moving into the garage soon. It alone should give us about 1,000 bottles worth of storage.

If that's not enough I can always use my wife's stainless basement fridge...but she gets ornery when my 120cf of beer refrigeration is insufficient...
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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Just my 2 cents. I would think fermenting at 50 degrees is more of a steam style beer. Anything in the 40's or below is a lager. That's putting it in simple terms.

 
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:24 PM   #7

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Just my 2 cents. I would think fermenting at 50 degrees is more of a steam style beer. Anything in the 40's or below is a lager. That's putting it in simple terms.
50 degrees is a very common fermentation temperature for lagers and is right in the wheelhouse for most lager yeasts. It certainly will not yield beers with a "steam" character.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:43 PM   #8
adrock430
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I set up a swamp cooler for my lagers. We have an upcoming bout with 75 weather, so I may pull my doppelbock after 6 weeks of lagering (sad, I know).

Bulkhead will probably get to upper fifties during that stretch, so I hope I can keep my vienna smash in the low 40's.

 
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
rockfish42
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You can make something quickly with WLP833 at 50-55F assuming you pitch correctly. There's an episode of Brewing TV, #34,where they drink half of a 10 gallon batch young after 10 days in the keg and then lager the rest. This only really works with lager yeasts that don't throw tons of sulfur, oxygenate well and pitch 5 degrees lower than your target temp and you should be golden.

 
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:29 PM   #10
adrock430
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Only have a cake of 830 right now, and the only lager I used 833 on is the one that has been lagering the longest, damn!

Any harm in a short term spike in temp, to the high 50's range when lagering?

Reason: too many damns

 
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