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Getting the most out of my fermenting fridge

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lmccrone

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So the cold weather is upon us and it’s time to get into the larger’s, however I only have one chest freezer with a SCT-1000 to work with. Given amount of time a Pilsner or an Oktoberfest need to cold condition the ugly spectre of running out of beer can raise its terrifying head. So I want to try and maximise the capacity of the chest freezer which can only fit one 60 L fermenter inside, along with some dead space. I was thinking the following
  1. Altbier: A few weeks at lowest temp the yeast will work at and then into bottles to cold condition for about 3 weeks to a month at 10 C
  2. Oktoberfest: Love this style, 3 weeks to a month at 10 C in the fermeter with all the dead space in the freezer packed with the above bottles of Altbeir then into bottles and CC for another 6 to 8 weeks at 1 C, Altbier comes out
  3. Pilsener: Once the Oktoberfest is done with the fermenter I put down a pilsener and this is where it gets dicey. By now we are deep into winter and I hope its cold enough to ferment this for 2 to 4 weeks outside, maybe draped in a wet towel? Then bottled and into the chest freezer with the Oktoberfest for another 4 weeks or so at 1 C
What do people think of this, anyone got any better ways of dealing with this bottleneck (not that sort of bottleneck you idiot)

Cheers Luke
 

manticle

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First few days of fermentation in the fridge, into a water bath with rotating ice bricks for the rest until lagering time.

If really necessary, lager one overnight and chuck in an ice bath the next day, chuck another in the lagering fridge and repeat.

Far from ideal but from personal experience, it works OK.
 

iralosavic

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Based on those styles of beer, I think the more appropriate question is do you want my email or postal address to send the invite to? Summer at your bar sounds bloody good.

You can fit a lot of 20L jerry shaped vessels side by side efficiently if their height is no problem. It may not be ideal in larger volumes, but has allowed me to have more concurrent lagers cold conditioning in my setup.
 

Droughtmaster

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tied up my fermentation fridge once only do ales now ;)
 

lmccrone

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iralosavic said:
Based on those styles of beer, I think the more appropriate question is do you want my email or postal address to send the invite to? Summer at your bar sounds bloody good.

You can fit a lot of 20L jerry shaped vessels side by side efficiently if their height is no problem. It may not be ideal in larger volumes, but has allowed me to have more concurrent lagers cold conditioning in my setup.
I think ill make a trip down to bunnings and take some measurements of varies shaped water receptacles, some of those 25 L cubes might be the go, i might just be able to stack 4 in there and then i could do the Oktoberfest and Pilsner at the same time...
 

GuyQLD

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Or check the website. The dimensions are on the site.
 

Nick JD

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Brew in 20L Willow jerrys. You'd fit heaps of them in there.
 

iralosavic

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Nick JD said:
Brew in 20L Willow jerrys. You'd fit heaps of them in there.
I wouldn't really expect a lager to cause many issues with overflowing either (so no need for multiple lids - half with blow offs etc), so it's a good option for 20L batch brewers who want to ferment multiple lagers simultaneously. In your case though, you'll be splitting your batches, which isn't ideal, but still a reasonable solution. You could even use it as an opportunity to compare yeast strains like Hella Bock (833) vs Bavaria for the Oktoberfest. Danish vs whatever Pilsner strain etc
 

Nick JD

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iralosavic said:
I wouldn't really expect a lager to cause many issues with overflowing either (so no need for multiple lids - half with blow offs etc), so it's a good option for 20L batch brewers who want to ferment multiple lagers simultaneously. In your case though, you'll be splitting your batches, which isn't ideal, but still a reasonable solution. You could even use it as an opportunity to compare yeast strains like Hella Bock (833) vs Bavaria for the Oktoberfest. Danish vs whatever Pilsner strain etc
Also, 20L willow jerrys hold about 23L.
 

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