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Old 01-10-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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Default Fermentation of first lager

I am thinking about trying to make a lager. I have only made beer that ferments at the ~70 degree mark, and want to try making a lager. Is it possible to ferment a lager around 44 degrees? I have a fridge that only goes up to 44 degrees, I have not checked the accuracy of this temperature, but I am curious if it is +/- 1 degree of this mark if that will be outside of the range to ferment the lager? Any opionons on this would be helpful.

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Old 01-10-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
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I've never went below 50F for the primary fermentation of a lager and even then I let it go three weeks before I bring it up for a D-rest. Then it goes back in the box at 33 degrees for 2 months or more and then I'll bring it up to 40-45 for serving. The only thing you can do is give it a shot and understand that it may take longer than normal to finish, I'd also make a larger starter than normal.

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Old 01-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #3
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Primary is usually around 55-60 in primary and then after you rack it you drop the temp like 2 degrees a day until you reach about 38 degrees at which it will usually set for about 2 months. Thats the way my Octoberfest went anyways. Oh and double up on the yeast for the lager.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:08 PM   #4
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Check the temp range for the yeast you are using. Remember also, that your wort temp will be higher than air temp for the first few days of fermentation. White Labs Pilsner Yeast recommends 50-55 degrees. Honestly I would be comfortable fermenting that yeast down to 45 or so AIR TEMP.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:55 PM   #5
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is the fridge dedicated for brewing? if so i would look into a temperature controller. pretty easy to wire in. i use my fridge for corny kegs and lager fermentation. it is set at 45 degrees. however, this last summer i was able to use it for ale fermenting by setting it at about 62.

if your ambient stays at a constant 44 you may be ok. my lagers usually rise about 2 to 3 degrees due to fermentation.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
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Your beer will be okay fermenting at 44 provided you pitch a yeast strain that will tolerate cold and use proper pitching rates. As someone else suggested, you may want to get a temperature controller that will keep your fridge above 44 even if your fridge thermostat won't let it go any warmer. As an aside, if your ambient temperature is 44 the actual fermentation temperature will be at least a few degrees warmer.

I've used Wyeast 2124/Saflager W-34/70 (same strain) that cold and it's performed well. I know others have used it very cold as well. Plus I have used it with good results in bocks. The key to getting a yeast strain to work at that temperature will be to make sure your pitching rate is adequate--at least 1.5 million cells per millilitre per degree Plato.

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