Lagers in the Winter/Dry Yeast

Lagers in the Winter/Dry Yeast

Post by SP 1194 » Mon, 07 Dec 1998 04:00:00



Has anyone had success doing lagers in the winter? I am looking for
suggestions, though I made one or two with a temperature-controlled
setup to keep the beer from freezing. I have a few questions:

1. What temps are good for fermenting? For lagering?
2. How long to lager? Is this really an extended cold-fermentation or
just a cold aging?
3. To keep costs down and for convenience (mainly convenience) I use
dried yeasts. I've had good success even with Red Star lager yeast. Are
there any really superior dried yeasts commonly available (USA)?
4. What happens if the weather suddenly goes warm (Ohio winters are
unpredictable)?
5. What is the recommended pitching and primary ferment temp?

I'm looking for experience here, not textbook answers, which I can find.
What can you "get away with" without introducing an "ale" taste to the
beer?

I'm not ready to buy an old refrigerator at this point.

Donald Hellen
--
CHANGE RETURN ADDRESS by
removing the ".removethis"
from it to reply or use this
email address:

 
 
 

Lagers in the Winter/Dry Yeast

Post by Ullric » Tue, 08 Dec 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
> Has anyone had success doing lagers in the winter? I am looking for
> suggestions, though I made one or two with a temperature-controlled
> setup to keep the beer from freezing. I have a few questions:
> 1. What temps are good for fermenting? For lagering?

For fermenting I try to keep temp at 50F or just below, use Wyeast
Bavarian primarily.

Quote:
> 2. How long to lager? Is this really an extended cold-fermentation or
> just a cold aging?

To simplify, I ferment at 50F or so for about a month, bottle and store at
60F until carbonated, then "lager" at temps in the 40s in the garage.
Haven't tried lagering while beer is in a fermenter.

Quote:
> 4. What happens if the weather suddenly goes warm (Ohio winters are
> unpredictable)?

Iowa winters somewhat unpredictable.  I keep fermenter in tub of water so
I can adjust with ice if necessary.  Important to keep temperature as
constant as possible.  If concerned about high temps, could use a yeast
like White Labs SF lager yeast, which according to their claims will keep
lager characteristics at temps into the 60s.   Wyeast has strains with
similar properties.  Either way important to keep temp constant,
cuz temp flux = yeast strain = off flavors, or so I've read.  I had a
"bock" going fruity because of temperature flux between 50 and 60F.

Quote:
> 5. What is the recommended pitching and primary ferment temp?

Pitch as much as possible, I believe more of a concern with lager yeasts
as fruitiness that can come out of low pitching rate *way* out of place in
a lager.  So quart starter at high krausen important.  50F for a week
or 2, then maybe down to 45-50F for a few weeks.  

Greg Noonan's lager brewing book is probably the best brewing book I have,
and includes much info applicable to ales.  Also fun/useful to refer to
winning recipes in Zymurgy.  Gives you real-world procedures that may or
may not be consistent with all the "do or die" recommendations in brewing
tech books.

Phil

 
 
 

Lagers in the Winter/Dry Yeast

Post by NO-SPAMwortsbrew.. » Sun, 13 Dec 1998 04:00:00



Quote:
> Has anyone had success doing lagers in the winter? I am looking for
> suggestions, though I made one or two with a temperature-controlled
> setup to keep the beer from freezing. I have a few questions:

> 1. What temps are good for fermenting? For lagering?
> 2. How long to lager? Is this really an extended cold-fermentation or
> just a cold aging?
> 3. To keep costs down and for convenience (mainly convenience) I use
> dried yeasts. I've had good success even with Red Star lager yeast. Are
> there any really superior dried yeasts commonly available (USA)?
> 4. What happens if the weather suddenly goes warm (Ohio winters are
> unpredictable)?
> 5. What is the recommended pitching and primary ferment temp?

> I'm looking for experience here, not textbook answers, which I can find.
> What can you "get away with" without introducing an "ale" taste to the
> beer?

> I'm not ready to buy an old refrigerator at this point.

> Donald Hellen
> --
> CHANGE RETURN ADDRESS by
> removing the ".removethis"
> from it to reply or use this
> email address:


Hi Donald,

In my early years before I could afford a freezer for lagering I used to
make winter lagers by fermenting the brew to completion, then bottling, let
sit at room temp for a week or two to carbonate; then place the bottles into
a snow filled picnic cooler; leaving the cooler outside for two to three
months (I live up in New Hampshire, where the winters are snowy and cold).

Several of my best lagers were made this way.

Ciao