Can you just lager your beer in a fridge?

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JPDosey

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I have a Whirlpool Wine refrigerator. I t has a temperature control built in & I can get it down to 36 degrees F. The racks are removable.
Im lagering a maibock right now.
 
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Beer Viking

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Thanks for the replys everyone, I think I'll try to lager in a fridge. How much does the beer improve if you lager it compared to as if you didn't lager it?
 
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i use glycol. there are different ways to go about it, beer & brewing had an article called how to stop worrying & lager in mid september of this year. so i followed that process for a marzen i had brewed and wanted to get the lagering done a little quicker so i could serve it. that being said it produced one of my better beers. this is just a recent experience but i was very happy with the results.
 

Beermeister32

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Lager in kegs if you can. I go 3 months on most lagers, 6 months for heavier beers like Märzens. Really improves things.
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madscientist451

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When I bottled, I just put the bottles in the bottom drawers of a spare 'fridge and tried to forget about it for 3 months or so. Now I use a chest freezer with temp control, or put a carboy of lager in another small 'fridge I have. I think laagering makes the beer better, but I've never done a side by side comparison with laagered vs the same recipe fresh brewed.
 

VikeMan

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What can you get the temperature down too with a Kegerator? Can you pour some as it is lagering without interfering with the process or do you need to wait for 2-3 months?

That would depend on the kegerator, but getting down to lagering temps (i.e. < 40F) shouldn't be a problem for most. And yes, you could pour some beer midway through the process if you want.
 
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Beer Viking

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That's good, I'd have to be really ahead on brewing to be able to lager beer for 2-3 months without getting into it!
 

McKnuckle

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I think you're over-complicating this lagering concept a bit. Lagering is just extended cold storage*, and can easily be accomplished as part of the standard carbonating and serving process.

You ferment your beer per usual, optionally employing a warmer diacetyl rest at the end for a couple of days, then rack it to a keg. Place the keg in your cold serving location, be it a fridge, keezer, kegerator, whatever.

Hook up the CO2 tank and set it to serving pressure. Forget about it for at least 2 weeks. Then you can start cheating and pouring off a bit to taste. You'll witness how it gets better with literally each subsequent week, up until maybe a couple of months where it levels off and stays there.

*For the pedantic among us, I'm aware of how yeast plays a role in the traditional process, slowly conditioning the beer in the cold over the long haul. But that's not essential info for our average homebrewer.
 

Jag75

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What can you get the temperature down too with a Kegerator? Can you pour some as it is lagering without interfering with the process or do you need to wait for 2-3 months?

I've had mine at 36f . Normally I'm at 38f. Yes you can drink as you want . I lagered an Oktoberfest for 6 months and during that time I tried it 3 different times just to check it. Lagering is just cold storing for conditoning
 

Wolffie

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I think you're over-complicating this lagering concept a bit. Lagering is just extended cold storage*, and can easily be accomplished as part of the standard carbonating and serving process.

You ferment your beer per usual, optionally employing a warmer diacetyl rest at the end for a couple of days, then rack it to a keg. Place the keg in your cold serving location, be it a fridge, keezer, kegerator, whatever.

Hook up the CO2 tank and set it to serving pressure. Forget about it for at least 2 weeks. Then you can start cheating and pouring off a bit to taste. You'll witness how it gets better with literally each subsequent week, up until maybe a couple of months where it levels off and stays there.

*For the pedantic among us, I'm aware of how yeast plays a role in the traditional process, slowly conditioning the beer in the cold over the long haul. But that's not essential info for our average homebrewer.
easy to understand right to the point about lagering, nice answer !
 

Srdjan Ostric

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Lager in kegs if you can. I go 3 months on most lagers, 6 months for heavier beers like Märzens. Really improves things.View attachment 705508
So if I understand correctly, you brew the beer, ferment it, and then place it in the keg and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready to go. And you can do this for 3 to 6 months depending on the strength of your beer?.
 

VikeMan

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So if I understand correctly, you brew the beer, ferment it, and then place it in the keg and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready to go. And you can do this for 3 to 6 months depending on the strength of your beer?.

IMO, most lagers don't need 3-6 moths of lagering. The point of lagering is to allow yeast, proteins, and polyphenols to drop out of suspension, leaving a very clear beer. After that, the beer is simply aging, which includes staling reactions. You may or may not like lagers more as they continue aging. Personally, I don't. You can decide for yourself at what point the best compromise between clarity and freshness is reached, given your process and your preferences.
 

Beermeister32

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So if I understand correctly, you brew the beer, ferment it, and then place it in the keg and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready to go. And you can do this for 3 to 6 months depending on the strength of your beer?.
Yep, keg with with your carbonating corn sugar charge (4 to 4.3 oz), then hook up your C02 tank and purge it of C02 with 15 bursts. If you are on tank C02 for carbonating, do so do so using your favorite C02 settings. I like to naturally carbonate so I'll let the keg condition at room temperature for a couple weeks. Then into the refrigerator. I lager at 34F, I have a temperature controller for that. 3 months on most lagers is my favorite. In the last month I usually check the lager for clarity, if it needs some gelatin, I usually do that in the last month. Timing not critical though. Prost!
 

GeorgeGreen

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I literally just transferred to secondary and let it sit in my fridge for about three weeks. That being said it's my first lager and I haven't tried it yet soooo take that with a grain of salt.
 

jtgoral

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So if I understand correctly, you brew the beer, ferment it, and then place it in the keg and let it sit in the fridge until you're ready to go. And you can do this for 3 to 6 months depending on the strength of your beer?.
My kegerator holds 4 kegs but I have only 3 taps. The fourth keg lagers until on of other 3 kegs gets empty so it can be connected to the tap. Afterwards it lagers until I drink all the beer in it. Usually it is total ~ 4 months. Every beer lagers this way: lager, ale, Belgian, German,....
 
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