Is it possible, given a lager's need for colder controlled temperatures, to brew a lager beer without having a refidgerator on hand? I've never tried a lager simply because of this fact but with autumn arriving and such it has me thinking...
with winter just being over her in Melbourne i succesfully made 3 lagers without using a fridge. This was my first time making them.
Temps were am average 14C in the day and 8C at night. If it gets cold enough where you live you should be able to do it. My lagers were at about 10-12c.
I did CC them in a fridge after that. They all came out nice and clear and very drinkable.
I am not sure of the climatic conditions of where you are situated, but i find it very difficult to maintain a low temp for fermentation of lagers without some cooling. living in Qld i use a fridge to ferment my lagers even in the middle of winter as we don't really experience a cold winter. having said that i have also used an insulated wooden box and frozen pet soft drink bottles of ice to keep the temps down. The box is made of plywood and insulated with styrofoam. with a little bit of trial and error you can control the temps reasonably well. i use about 6 1.25lt bottles and change them daily. this allows me to maintain a temp of approx 12 to 15 degrees C. I use this as a backup when I cannot use my fridge to ferment. I also find it useful to keep ale fermentation under 20 degrees C in the middle of summer.
I have encountered similar problems, even thought i live in melbourne where it is usually cold. so I rigged up an old fridge with a temperature controller and a light bulb.
So far it works perfectly holding the set temp. When it gets too hot, the fridge kicks in to cool the fermenter down. When it get too cold the light bulb switches on to heat things up.
depending on where you live, ie the US, you can buy fermenters with cooling built in.
for everyone else;
other ideas are making 'son of chiller' i live in the tropics and managed to make a lager at around 14C when its 30C+ outside. so these work well if you don't have a fridge. just be prepared to keep swapping the ice bottles often.
if you have a room with or you can get an air-con into a room or insulated box then use that to keep the temp in the room at the temp you need and let it bubble away.