Lager question.

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Cody Stark

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Hello, I’m looking to do a lager currently but I really don’t have a way to obtain a fridge or anything like that to ferment, I do have a basement in my house and was wondering if maybe that could be good enough. If anybody has some recommendations for me that would be awesome! It’s still a little cool outside where I live ( in the 50’s) but it may not last much longer. I did see a video about a room temperature Pilsner on you tube also. Not really sure what to do, ideas, thoughts, recommendations? Thanks!
 

LostHopper

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I've made lagers without using a refrigerator. An ice chest large enough for your fermenter and some frozen water bottles with an insulating layer on top (reflectix) will keep it cool enough. I used Saflager 3470 yeast and pitched at 58 degrees. I kept it around 50-52 except for a diacetyl rest.
 

Clonefan94

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You have to exchange the bottles pretty regularly, but I have had good luck putting the fermenter in a large garbage bag along with two frozen gallon milk jugs of water, right up tight agains the fermenter. Then wrap a couple of towels around that. I swap out the ice jugs every other day or so. I am lucky though in that I have a space for my ice gallons in our large chest freezer.
 

madscientist451

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I made lagers for several years using a 24" square cardboard box lined with 1" insulation board sealed with duct tape. A 5 gallon better bottle carboy fits in there pretty good, I cut a hole in the flaps for the box and about 6" stuck out with the airlock. I covered that with another smaller box.
My basement is about 45-50 this time of year and about 65-70 in the middle of the summer.
1 liter and 1/2 gallon bottles/jugs of frozen water in the corners of the box kept everything a consistent 10 degrees below ambient temperature. A cheap thermometer completed the "fermentation chamber". I changed the ice out twice a day and usually only used 2 bottles. As the temperature warms up you can use the same setup for fermenting ales.
There are more elaborate versions on you tube using a computer fan controlled by a thermostat and 2" insulation.
Here's one version, there are many others:
 

Gnomebrewer

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I do have a basement in my house and was wondering if maybe that could be good enough.
What's the basement temperature? Does it fluctuate much? If it holds a steady temperature, even into the low 60's (maybe even higher) saflager W34/70 works well. Some other strains aren't good at higher temperatures. That's only for the ferment though - IME lagers are much cleaner and better given cold conditioning/refrigeration time (lagering....hence the name). Two weeks is OK for your typical 1.045 to 1.050 lager, but four or more is better. I think this would be OK done in bottles, but haven't tried it myself.
 
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