48 degrees cold enought to lager?

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Well-Known Member
Aug 6, 2007
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The thread pretty much says it all.

This is the temp in my basement at the momement and it has been warm this week so i think it may drop a couple more degrees. I dont have any type of temp control so this would be a very rudimentary lagering technique.
To ferment with lager yeast, you wanna be between 48-52F. To actually "lager" your beer, you wanna follow this schedule;

Nominal lagering times are 3-4 weeks at 45°F, 5-6 weeks at 40°F, OR 7-8 weeks at 35°F...
Well, no. But yes.

Here's what I do- ferment at 48-50 degrees in the basement. Then, after I rack to secondary, I keep it at 48-50 for another week, and then gradually reduce the temperature 5 degrees per day until I'm lagering at 34 degrees for 6-8 weeks.
I use an igloo ice cube cooler to do this. First I add water (with just a little bleach in it, to prevent mold) to the cooler along with my carboy. Then I reduce the temperature by adding a frozen water bottle. Then the next day I add another. The third one a day or two later. I keep a floating thermometer in the water, so I can judge the temp and have a thermometer strip at the top of the beer so I can see that temperature. After it gets to 34 degrees, I change the water bottles every three days or so. It sounds like it is more complicated than it is- it really works well with almost no effort, and the temperatures really keep at the level I choose. In the summer, though, I use a fridge.

There is a picture of this set up in my gallery. I made a different lid for my cooler, so that the carboy fits in and is insulated well.
Do you Lager before you Bottle/Condition?will Temps at 35-40 degrees for 4 weeks kill the Yeast, Or will it just put them to sleep?
You lager before you bottle condition. Depending on the yeast you use, you may or may not want to add more yeast (like 1/4 of a package) when you bottle. I've done it both ways and never had any carbonation issues. One time the beer was so crystal clear I was worried it wouldn't carb, so I added a pinch of yeast in with the cooled priming solution. I've read Kaiser's posts on krausening, and that would be another way to go for more experienced brewers.
conpewter said:
I think they used caves which are a pretty constant temperature

See. You should have bought one of the newer homes. You know, the ones that come with caves?

I am just lucky, My basement has this crawlspace closet thing that is in the wall. It is like cupboard. the floor of it is about 4 feet off of the floor of the basement, and it is 3 feet tall. It stays pretty cold....Except for lately when we have been having record breaking temps.
Most caves are around 50-55F, ok for fermentation, wine and root storage. Not so good for lagering. As a recovering wine snob, I can say that the perfect and only temperature for aging wines is ... whatever the local caves are at.

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