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how to handle a true lager?

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6 hours ago, Jdub said:

How did your Helles turn out? I have a can I’m going to brew soon but this whole lager topic has got me like....😳

Yeah, the lager conditioning stage would throw a wrench in my schedule!

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The one thing I haven't fully understood yet is the lagering/conditioning temp.  My understanding is, ales condition at the same temp as they fermented, normally 65-68 degrees.  Lagers ferment in the lower 50's but a true lagering (I have two of them going from March until September) will ager in the 30's.  What would happen if I lagered in the same temp as fermentation for 4-5 months?

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On ‎1‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 7:49 PM, Creeps McLane said:

I forgot about carbing. Its been a long time since ive bottled

We just got a counter pressure bottle filler.  LOVE THAT THING!  Makes it so easy to bottle up samples for places or for me to bring bottles to friends, instead of full growlers. :)

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On 5/9/2018 at 5:51 AM, Cato said:

Yeah, the lager conditioning stage would throw a wrench in my schedule!

 

On 5/9/2018 at 5:53 AM, MiniYoda said:

The one thing I haven't fully understood yet is the lagering/conditioning temp.  My understanding is, ales condition at the same temp as they fermented, normally 65-68 degrees.  Lagers ferment in the lower 50's but a true lagering (I have two of them going from March until September) will ager in the 30's.  What would happen if I lagered in the same temp as fermentation for 4-5 months?

 

From what I've gleaned, the MRB lagers should carb at room temp for three weeks, then get lagered at their fermenting temperature.  That's what I've done...to a point.  I have an old wine fridge that I can get two full batches in.  So after bottling them they sat at room temp for three weeks then into the wine fridge they went.  I keep them there at 54*F until ready to drink, then I put one or two in the beer fridge for three days.

 

The down side is that last winter I brewed four batches of lager.  So two have been sitting at room temperature since bottling (this is why I brewed them during the winter - colder room temperature.)  As room opens in the wine fridge I rotate some of the ones sitting at room temperature into it.  But the ones that have stayed at room temperature have all been very tasty.  Would they have been better if "properly" lagered?  Quite possibly.  

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13 hours ago, Shrike said:

 

 

From what I've gleaned, the MRB lagers should carb at room temp for three weeks, then get lagered at their fermenting temperature.  That's what I've done...to a point.  I have an old wine fridge that I can get two full batches in.  So after bottling them they sat at room temp for three weeks then into the wine fridge they went.  I keep them there at 54*F until ready to drink, then I put one or two in the beer fridge for three days.

 

The down side is that last winter I brewed four batches of lager.  So two have been sitting at room temperature since bottling (this is why I brewed them during the winter - colder room temperature.)  As room opens in the wine fridge I rotate some of the ones sitting at room temperature into it.  But the ones that have stayed at room temperature have all been very tasty.  Would they have been better if "properly" lagered?  Quite possibly.  

 

I've heard two different versions of the story.  Some say to lager at the same temp as fermentation (just like ales), and some say lager at refrigerator temps.  Perhaps @MRB Josh R can chime in and give us the answer

 

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John Palmer says (quoting a familiar saying)

"Lager": I do not think this word means what you think it means

 

Check this out.

https://www.homebrewing.org/Lagering--Chapter-1-Common-Misconceptions_ep_58-1.html

*

I have only one issue with this. He says traditionally lagering was done in deep caverns. Deep caverns adopt the subterranean  temperature of the earth's crust and generally that is around 45-50 deg F. So much for lagering at 35 deg F.  (Unless this was in their outhouses back in the days of no central heating. Or in winter with a fair amount of air exchange into the cave.)

However, that does not mean that 35 deg lagering is bad just maybe not what was originally experienced.

*

So my take is that for an old fashioned beer, lager it at fermentation temps - otherwise do whatever you like :-D

Of course it could be that the caves used to have 2 areas, closer to the surface for most activity i.e. brewing, and lower down/farther in for cellaring. That would make the cellaring/lagering happen at a lower temp probably, but still not 35.

*

Anyway that is my interpretation.

*

Another good read

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/06/lets-talk-beer-styles-pilsner.html

 

Stranger than fiction....

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/did-lager-beer-originate-south-america-180964962/

 

*

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On 5/14/2018 at 7:45 AM, MiniYoda said:

 

I've heard two different versions of the story.  Some say to lager at the same temp as fermentation (just like ales), and some say lager at refrigerator temps.  Perhaps @MRB Josh R can chime in and give us the answer

 

 

All lagers will lager at cold temps (35-45). The word "lager" means "cold storage". The closer you can get to freezing temps without actually freezing is best.

 

On 5/14/2018 at 9:20 AM, Nickfixit said:

John Palmer says (quoting a familiar saying)

"Lager": I do not think this word means what you think it means

 

Check this out.

https://www.homebrewing.org/Lagering--Chapter-1-Common-Misconceptions_ep_58-1.html

*

I have only one issue with this. He says traditionally lagering was done in deep caverns. Deep caverns adopt the subterranean  temperature of the earth's crust and generally that is around 45-50 deg F. So much for lagering at 35 deg F.  (Unless this was in their outhouses back in the days of no central heating. Or in winter with a fair amount of air exchange into the cave.)

However, that does not mean that 35 deg lagering is bad just maybe not what was originally experienced.

*

So my take is that for an old fashioned beer, lager it at fermentation temps - otherwise do whatever you like :-D

Of course it could be that the caves used to have 2 areas, closer to the surface for most activity i.e. brewing, and lower down/farther in for cellaring. That would make the cellaring/lagering happen at a lower temp probably, but still not 35.

*

Anyway that is my interpretation.

*

Another good read

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/06/lets-talk-beer-styles-pilsner.html

 

Stranger than fiction....

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/did-lager-beer-originate-south-america-180964962/

 

*

 

Yeah, they used to lager in caves back then, but we have refrigeration now and I can almost guarantee that the quality of lager we can make now is way beyond what they had when they were still lagering in caves.

 

When lagering, colder is always better.

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I make 90% of my beers as Lager.  First of all, cool fermentation is necessary.  I tend to bring it up to room temp (about 72) prior to bottling.  I am fortunate in that I am able to lager them rather cool for as long as I want.  It takes a lot of work to make them in AZ (where I live) but I am not a fan of most IPA's and prefer the Pilzners and Lagers I grew up with in Wisconsin in the 50's and 60's.  For the most part, happy with the results. BTW, a conical fermenter with a wrap to keep items steady was a BIG help.

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