I can make a decent lager by fermening in my Michigan basement at about 45-50 degrees, which I figure is about the same thing as a German "keller" before refrigeration. The temp may change slightly a few degrees, but if it does it never goes over 52 and takes at least 24 hours to move 2 or 3 degrees. I then lager at around 35 degrees for 3 weeks. I've made many dark lagers and they've turned out fine, but whenever I make a light German style "pils" I get one bad flavor or another. I make fine ales as well and when I substitute one ale yeast for another it doesn't seem to make much difference, so I was going to try using my standard blond ale dry yeast (Sa-05) with the pilsener recipe. Can anyone give advice on what this will do?
Also: I've read that seperating the cold break from the boiled unfermented beer after 12 hours is standard among pros, but since I've never done this with an ale, I don't do it with lagers. Could this be my problem? I hate to let beer sit without fermenting any longer than I have to!