I want to brew a Mexican lager where the suggested fermentation temp is in the low 50s. The average temp in my garage right now is right on the mark but the temp will fluctuate between 45-65. Will this create a bad beer or will I be ok?
No this is not ok. You need to maintain a 50deg temp throughout out the fermentation.
__________________ Fermenting. On tap: World wide lager, Dopelbock, Apfelwein, American Wheat, DFH 90, Dortmunder export, Skeeterpee, Chinook/Citra ipa. Waiting on a tap. Maibock, Two Hearted, Pliny the elder, Chimay White, Roggenbrier, DFH60 Fermenting:Apfelwein On Deck: Hiding in dark corner: Lambic, Flanders red, Oud Bruin, DFH 120(in bottles)
You might do a search for ghetto lagering on these forums - I have seen folks who use winter to their advantage to brew and lager beer using ambient temperatures. I'm sure your results will vary and probably not be repeatable, but that doesn't mean you'll end up with crap. It's still beer
Yea, you need to maintain a constant temperature. 65F for any period of time is going to ruin a lager, and cooling it back down to 45 is going to put all those yeast back to sleep. Even with ales, you need to keep the temp constant, but with lagers it is even more imperative.
I can't be arsed to keep up this list of what's in the fermenters, but hey, check out the cool brewery I own!