"Natural" lagering?

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McCall St. Brewer

Well-Known Member
Sep 10, 2005
Reaction score
West Monroe, Louisiana
The temperature in my carboys in my basement in winter is around 57 F. I could probably get it even cooler if I put the carboy directly on the cold cement floor.

If I were to make, say, a Munich lager right now and just keep it cool in my basement, do you think it would turn out well?
i think that's good for fermentation - i'm in the same boat having started a lager last sunday - but don't you need it colder for the actual lagering phase when fermentation is complete? like <40F or something?
Well, technically I think you're right. Maybe I should be thinking more in terms of a California Common or something of the sort.

Or, maybe brew a German style lager, but with Wyeast 1007 ale yeast?
For a true lager, fermenting at 55F would be OK, but you want to lager anywhere from 32F to 45F keeping it at a pretty constant temp.
What I do, which seems to work well, is place the carboy near the door to my bulkhead. I can then regulate the temperate by how much I open the door.

If I open a little, the temp drops 55 to 45. If I open a lot, it drops down to 35. Not fancy, but does work well enough.
I've got this lager fermenting right now, it's about 50-55 in my basement. Then I'm going to move it to secondary (glass carboy) after two weeks - and plan to just stuff the whole thing in the fridge (which is about 40F). Is that going to work?

FTR, I used S23 dry lager yeast, the LHBS said it wouldn't be so adversely affected by warmer (high 60's) temps, but because it's so cold here (near Philly) it's cold enough anyhow.