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Brewing lager beer with ale yeast?

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Doools

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I have a Lawnmower Lager extract kit from Brewcraft USA however I don't have to equipment to control the lower fermentation temps needed for a lager yeast or a lager type beer in general and I don't plan on getting that stuff anytime soon. Since I do not want to waste the kit I was curious as to what would happen if I use an ale style yeast instead of the one they provide. (SafLager W-34/70) Will the beer be much different at all? I don't know how this would change the style and the taste. If it helps the full ingredient list can be found here http://www.brewcraftusa.com/docs/Beer%20Ingredient%20Kit%20Specs%20Sheets.pdf
about halfway down the page. Thanks for any help you guys can offer.
 

rodwha

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Are you wanting to replace the SafLager or use it? It's lager yeast.

You can certainly use ale yeast and make a good beer. It might be best to use a cleaner tasting ale yeast, and I think SafAle US-05 would do nicely.
 

Psycotte

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I think if you can swamp cooler this and keep it in the 60's you will be fine. You don't need to change out the yeast.

From the BrewcraftUSA instructions:

Ferment at ale or lager temperature, according to your preference and environment: cooler- 58-62°F for smooth, clean crisp beer; 62-70°F for a bit fuller flavored, more aromatic beer.
From the fermentis specs page:
http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/SFG_W34pdf.pdf
fermentation temperature: 9-22°C (48.2-71.6°F) ideally 12-15°C (53.6-59°F)
 
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Doools

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Replace it, sorry if that wasn't clear. If I use something like US-05 what kind of differences would I notice in the overall taste compared to if I was able to lager it correctly with the W-34/70, will it be any sweeter or drier or anything?
 

rodwha

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Lagers are cleaner, more crisp. Ales will often impart a little bit of a flavor that lager drinkers might deem unrefined I suppose.

I'm not qualified to give good advice, and just went by it being a lager yeast and needing to be fermented much colder, but as you see, Psycotte actually gave you their directions, which state you can use this, though it's still better a little cooler.

Were it me I'd likely try this yeast and do what I could to get the temp down to ~60*. Even if you find the low 60's is difficult it won't turn out bad.
 

rodwha

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I'd also wash the yeast in case I found I really liked it.
 
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Doools

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I haven't thought of a swamp cooler and to be honest didn't look into it much because it sounded more intimidation and difficult than it actually is. It seems like a good route to go and something I can do quite easily. If I keep the fermentor in a swamp cooler in the basement which is probably already in the low 60s temperature wise it being winter on Long Island and all what temperatures could I reasonably expect to keep in the cooler? From the little research I've done about them now it looks like the low 60's is where people are staying for the most part.
 

rodwha

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That's a hard question to answer, especially for someone so far south as myself, but I have a friend slightly further south who has said he's used a cold concrete floor with no ice, and that it worked quite well. But when it's cold here I can get away with less frozen water bottles.

Do you have a floating thermometer? You could try it out and see, but I'd guess the water ought to hold the temp fairly well down there.

You'll want a fermometer on your fermentor to know your beer's temp as that's the important temp.

I'd have some frozen water bottles on hand in case them temp did get higher than anticipated/wanted just in case.
 
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Doools

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I do have a fermometer on the fermenter but I was worried I wouldn't be able to read it if it is underwater or what not. I think I will set it up with just plain water in the fermenter for a day or two and see what kind of temperatures I can get.
 
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