I'm screwed before I even started....

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oldwarrior86

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So....my Red Stripe mini-mash arrived from the brew shop. I believe it was delivered to my house by foot across the country or maybe I was just really anxious to start my next batch. Anyway....the directions call for two different options for your first week of fermentation. Option one: Cool and control the temp of the wort after the first 36hrs at around 50-55 degrees. (Can't do it...don't have the gear.) Option two: Ferment at room temp, then transfer to secondary for another week. (I would do 2 in secondary..)

OK....what is going to happen if, make that WHEN, I let it ferment at room temp instead of the cooler 50-55 degrees? Will it change flavor? What is happening at 50-55 that I'm missing at a beautiful 66? I love me some Red Stripe and I need this batch to taste good. We will be drinking it as we pull in some 40lb Stripers off of Atlantic Highlands in Jersey.....(when the beer will be ready...the fish will be biting.)
 

The Pol

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It will be different... Red Stripe is a Lager, you will be fermenting at Ale temps. More fruity/estery flavors... it will be an ale at room temp. What is the yeast strain?
 
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oldwarrior86

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White labs pilsen lager wlp800.....so man, that is what I was thinking. If the yeast isn't a ale yeast, am I bound to have an issue? Thoughts..
 

The Pol

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I am sure it will make good beer, but to brew a lager, and have it taste like a lager... you need to ferment at lager temps, then lager it at 45-55F for while after the ferment as well.

You are making a Red Stripe sort of Ale...

The optiumum temp for that yeast is 50-55F... above that it will most likely not ferment as cleanly as youd expect a lager to taste.
 

Revvy

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If you can't lager...even doing it ghetto style in a cold garage (i don't know where you live) you could opt for getting a packet of a dry neutral/clean ale yeast like safale us-05 and brew it as an ale instead...a lot of beginner kits are "lager style" meaning that they give you a neutral ale yeast instead of lager yeast, so you can brew at room temps...

If you brew the beer with the lager yeast you may get all matters of esters or off flavors...and it might still be good BUT NOT have the same flavor profiles you are looking for..BUT if you brew it with the cleanest ale yeast possible...like 05 (or the liquid chico strain- American Ale Yeast) you will more than likely get closer to the redstripe flavor, rather than stressing out the lager yeast..which MAY produce banana esters, or other flavors...
 
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oldwarrior86

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Revvy...thanks for the response. I live in NJ and the temps could get into the high 30's at night...let me get this right. After I bring the wort temp below 80 and add the yeast....do I then bring it out to the garage, or do I let it sit in the basement (around 65) for the first 36hrs, then move it outside.

I guess I could keep the lager yeast in the fridge and go pick up an ale yeast....I would rather avoid off flavors...especially since I hate bananas, I want to avoid that one...
 

Revvy

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If you are brewing a lager, you want get your wort down as close to 55 as possible before you pitch...if you pitched lager yeast at 80 you would be getting some off flavors....And if you have a place that is consistantly cold but not to freezing temps, and doesn't range to much, then you could ghetto lager it...But honestly with the weather this late in the winter (nearly spring) here in Michigan, it was 61 friday and freezing saturday...if Jersey is having temp shifts like this, you are best to brew it with safale 05 ale yeast, at normal room temps.

Unless you get a fridge, you might end up doing what many of us who don't have the space for a dedicated lagering fridge, and brew with the seasons...Ales in warmer temps, and save you lagers for late fall and winter....That's what I did this winter...I live in a loft and we have an "underground" garage with storage lockers, and the ambient temps all winter were below 50...so I brewed mostly lagers and left them in there...
 

fungusamungas

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why dont you use the old cooler ice bottle method, freeze two liter pop bottles filled with water. submerge 5 gal carboy in cooler that is filled quarter full with water, one frozen liter in cooler will take temp down around ten degrees. wrap with blanket. change two liter bottles once every 12-24 hours depending on room temps, when its time to cold condition. three frozen two liters will get just above freezing if room temp is about 65 degrees.
 
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oldwarrior86

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Looks like I will need to hit the brew shop tomorrow and buy some new yeast.

fungusamungas.....you crack me up. You assume I have the energy (after work/chasing kids and running from my wife) that I have the time to perform that routine....that is a classic.
 

Homercidal

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Looks like I will need to hit the brew shop tomorrow and buy some new yeast.

fungusamungas.....you crack me up. You assume I have the energy (after work/chasing kids and running from my wife) that I have the time to perform that routine....that is a classic.
Actually, that is a very cool process. I was planning on doing this this summer. If you got time to brew, you got a few more minutes each day to do it right. I'd rather use the right yeast and the right process if possible.
 

Revvy

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I know you were anxious to get started on this batch, that's why I suggested you just go the ale route rather than the swamp cooler method, which to me is a pita for lagers because you'd have to keep feeding it for at least a month to keep the temps in range during the slow lagering period.

I find it works better for Ales in summer, where you really only need to keep the temp down for the first day or so of fermentation....temp control is less crucial in ales except for the first couple days.

 

Homercidal

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I know you were anxious to get started on this batch, that's why I suggested you just go the ale route rather than the swamp cooler method, which to me is a pita for lagers because you'd have to keep feeding it for at least a month to keep the temps in range during the slow lagering period.

I find it works better for Ales in summer, where you really only need to keep the temp down for the first day or so of fermentation....temp control is less crucial in ales except for the first couple days.

I thought it was only necessary for the first few days. I didn't know that this method required the ice for the whole lagering time. That's a bummer.
 
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