Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: cfleisher on January 21, 2013, 10:25:41 pm

Title: Lagering question
Post by: cfleisher on January 21, 2013, 10:25:41 pm
I'm fermenting a bock right now and am weighing whether to bottle or transfer to a secondary. I've been fermenting it in a cooler that holds the temperature at a steady 50 degrees, but don't have the ability to lower the temperature further, as many recipes recommend, and lager it for an extended period without risking some more significant temperature fluctuations. (Basically, I'd put it out in my mudroom, where it gets plenty cold, but can have temperature swings of 20 degrees.)

Is it worth transferring to a secondary and continuing to hold it at 45-50 degrees for a month or more, or should I just bottle it when fermentation is complete, as I do with most ales?
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: weithman5 on January 21, 2013, 11:23:43 pm
I have started just bottling my lagers after about a month then stuffing in back of fridge for a month
Title: Lagering question
Post by: majorvices on January 22, 2013, 01:32:03 am
The term "lager" literally means to store (and in brewing it means to store close to freezing). You will be better off aging this beer at 32 degrees (or as close as you can come to that) for a month or so in the primary or secondary or in the bottle if that is your only option.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: anje on January 22, 2013, 06:08:23 pm
How's the temperature in the garage?

(I'd be chicken about lagering in mine, but on the other hand, I keep sodas cold out there all winter without them freezing.)
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: cfleisher on January 27, 2013, 06:02:42 pm
Yeah, I tried storing a scottish 60 shilling in my garage on time, and it froze solid. We just ended a week when the daytime high temps were -2 to 0. Don't think I'll try that. But I'm definitely going to transfer and store. Just seems everyone says it results in much smoother beer.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: euge on January 28, 2013, 08:13:19 pm
What's a "mudroom"?

I think ambient swings are ok if you take steps to ameliorate them. Five gallons of wort in a water bath will stay stable in cold temps just like it would in warm temps. Throw some blankets over the fermenter as added insulation. You shouldn't have much way of exothermic activity when in the lagering phase anyway, so a few hours of warmer air won't have much of an effect in temp swings.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 28, 2013, 08:16:28 pm
What's a "mudroom"?

In colder wetter climates it is a room that serves as a place to take the coat off and remove muddy shoes/boots. Often not with a lot of heat sources. Sometimes between the house and garage.

Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: cfleisher on February 02, 2013, 08:29:18 pm
I couldn't have described it better. A mudroom is a necessity up here in New Hampshire, particularly in March when Spring -- otherwise known as "mud season" -- begins.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on February 02, 2013, 08:32:43 pm
Yep, something we know in the frozen slippery states. We call it mud season too.
Title: Lagering question
Post by: majorvices on February 02, 2013, 10:50:11 pm
it's a yankee thing...
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: a10t2 on February 02, 2013, 11:44:26 pm
I had never heard of mud season until I moved to a town with 160 in of snowfall and dirt roads.

Tradeoff: Being able to brew lagers year-round.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: skrag6713 on February 02, 2013, 11:55:02 pm
mud season?  we've always just called it winter and road construction.
Title: Re: Lagering question
Post by: 1vertical on February 03, 2013, 11:17:31 pm
What's a "mudroom"?

Iffn ya eva get up here, I will show you mine!!!
I lager in the  garage one winter it even froze....still made good beer