Author Topic: First lager attempt  (Read 1327 times)

Offline dean

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First lager attempt
« on: February 24, 2010, 05:36:02 AM »
I'm going to try making a lager in March, fermenting it outdoors.  I've been trying a few things different because of my brewing situation as it is and one of them was to pitch both the yeast and the wort at near freezing temperatures.  Specifically, I used 1450 slurry from a previous batch and to my surprise it took off well after warming up to the high 50's or very low 60's.  Its the nicest looking krauzen I've seen since we moved back to Michigan.  So my next experiment will be with using lager yeast and letting it swing with the weather.  I'm figuring by the end of March it should be relatively decent, probably mid to high 40's.  Any thoughts?  Anybody tried it?

Btw... the beer from the first slurry tastes very much like an Oktoberfest... it has a maltier bite than I expected.  Definitely drinkable at least so far, I'm not sure if it got oxidized so I'm waiting and testing it, everyday.   ;D

Offline BrewArk

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 05:53:38 AM »
I'd expect too big a temperature fluctuation outdoors.  But, I don't live where you do.  My experience has been that at some point, it'll get warm, then when it gets cold again, you won't get much yeast activity.  Do you feel lucky?
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Offline dean

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 06:11:31 AM »
Thats the nice thing about water / liquids, the temperature doesn't swing as readily as air, its more like a trend on bellcurve and a moderate one at that.  So yes, I do feel lucky.   ;D

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 06:25:38 AM »
You could be really authentic and find a cave somewhere to lager it in, just like in medieval times.
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Offline dean

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 06:42:55 AM »
Don't tempt me.   :D ;D

Offline ndcube

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 07:05:44 AM »
What's the temp in your basement?  Temps are probably more steady there.  Mine stays high 40's this time of year.  I just started lagering and use a swamp cooler to keep the temp steady.

Offline dean

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2010, 07:21:04 AM »
I don't have a basement, just the brewshed outside for the time being.  Oh believe me, I've thought of building a root cellar and I just might if things go well.

Offline ndcube

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 08:35:36 AM »
I would still put it in a swamp cooler.  You can then ice it down if it starts to get too warm.

Offline babalu87

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 11:22:05 AM »
I would still put it in a swamp cooler.  You can then ice it down if it starts to get too warm.

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Offline 1vertical

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2010, 11:26:34 AM »
Ken has some sage advise for making lagers on his sight.
http://kenlenard.webs.com/makinglagers.htm
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2010, 12:05:06 PM »
Ken has some sage advise for making lagers on his sight.
http://kenlenard.webs.com/makinglagers.htm

He makes many good points that match my experience. In particular the importance of primary fermentation over the actual “lagering” or cold conditioning process.

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Offline redbeerman

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Re: First lager attempt
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2010, 12:50:24 PM »
I would still put it in a swamp cooler.  You can then ice it down if it starts to get too warm.

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+1 or 2

I read Ken's treatise on lagers and I agree.  I do mine pretty much the same way and have very good results as well.  Controlling fermentation temps in a swamp cooler is not all that difficult to do and I can maintain the temps within two degrees over a twelve hour period using this method.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 12:56:36 PM by redbeerman »
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