Fermenting a Lager: Is there still activity at 40 degrees?

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fastricky

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The reason I ask is I'm wondering if an airlock is necessary once you go to this kind of temp (once it's racked to the secondary)?
 

BigEd

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I would say yes, my lagers have an airlock until they are kegged. I would also say that when brewing lagers secondary fermentation and lagering are two different steps. My schedule is to secondary at the same temp as primary and then lower to lagering temps. Lagering should be done at as cold as you have the capability to reach without freezing the beer. Lager yeasts work at slower rates and at much lower temperatures than ale yeasts. It may be in super slow motion but things are still happening.
 
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fastricky

fastricky

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OK, thanks... I was hoping I wouldn't need an airlock so I'd have a better chance of fitting a 5 gallon container in our fridge - even going (2) 2.5 gallon containers.

Onto 'Plan B' I guess...!
 
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fastricky

fastricky

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Here's a 'Plan B'...

I live in a NYC apartment, so lagering is a challenge (no second fridge option possible).

So! Once I'm ready to go to secondary, what if I were to split my 5 gallon batch into (2) 2.5 gallon splits. And rather than use a traditional fermenter, use 2 of these bad boys:



That way I can just put some tin foil over the top hole to act as an airlock, and I can add a spigot. It's shape would make fitting it into our fridge feasible.

Any problems with this plan?
 

GunnerMan

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Looks like it would work well, another option is if you can mount an airlock in the fridge and then use tubing to go from the carboy to your out of the way airlock. Or stuff your airlock hole with gauze soaked in vodka, resoak it every day or so and you will *probably* be ok, ppl ferment beer with nothing more than a t-shirt covering the top...
 
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