Quantcast

Lagering - What Do You Use?

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Brend0

Well-Known Member
Joined
24/5/10
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
I have been brewing AG for a year or two now and have never really ventured out side of making ales, wheat beers, stouts ect. mainly because i haven't had the facility to lager.

What does everyone use? modified bar fridges? what did you modify it with? and is it hard/expencive ?



Thanks in advance!!
Brendan
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
I make lagers at 11-14C but rarely "lager" them for periods of time.

Lagers are more about the yeast than extended cold storage periods.

Grab yourself some nice lager yeast (S189, 34/70 or even S23 are great if you don't want to step up liquid yeasts), ferment them between 10C and 15C, and you made a lager.
 

Brend0

Well-Known Member
Joined
24/5/10
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
What do you use to keep the fermenter between 10 and 15C ?
 

felten

Homebrew Conjecturist
Joined
13/5/09
Messages
2,536
Reaction score
45
a fridge that was third hand when we got it 25 years ago
 

Brend0

Well-Known Member
Joined
24/5/10
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
Is it modified for temperature control ?
 

jakethesnake559

Well-Known Member
Joined
14/9/11
Messages
126
Reaction score
16
Hi Brend0,

I have a fridge that I use as a kegerator most of the time.
When I put a brew on, I take the kegs out and use it as a fermentation fridge.

I picked up a Brewmate (STC1000) AUTO SWITCH DIGITAL Temperature Control thermostat from ibrew online.
ibrew

It was $165 + $33 for a stainless steel probe (optional).
It's fully wired, you stick the probe through your fermenter lid, plug the fridge and heater into it and forget about it.

Usually I brew ales at 18c, but did a lager late last year at 10c now worries.
Then dropped the temp to 2c for a month.
The fridge coped fine and I could have gone longer, only problem was I was tying up my kegerator!!

$165 is WAY expensive, and if you have any basic electrical ability you could wire it up yourself.
I don't have such skills, so just paid the extra for it :unsure: .
I think you can pick up a basic STC1000 controller for about $60...without wires/probe etc.

One day when I get more space, I'm hoping to run a separate fridge for fermenting...one day :icon_cheers: .
 

Brend0

Well-Known Member
Joined
24/5/10
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
So the temp controller is hard to install ?

What temp does a fridge usually run at? I have a keg fridge I could use but it ismy gf's mums fridge... I dont know how she would be if I started pulling it apart.
 

white.grant

tum te tum
Joined
12/3/08
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
239
The temp controllers like the stc1000 don't interfere with the fridge internals.

You basically plug the fridge into the temp controller and plug the temp controller into the wall. The temp controller turns the power on and off depending on the set point and temperature of the fridge. They are not difficult to wire up but standard warnings about playing with 240volts if you are properly qualified etc apply here.
 

Brend0

Well-Known Member
Joined
24/5/10
Messages
64
Reaction score
0
As in - plug the fridge power into the temp controller, then temp controller power to the wall ?

seems easy enough ?
 

seamad

beer dog
Joined
25/1/11
Messages
1,534
Reaction score
401
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland
The stc has a heat and cool output. Plug fridge into it, put temp probe that comes with it in ( i put mine in the fermenter ) the fridge. Use the google search on this forum for stc-100, shitloads of info including wiring diagrams
cheers
Sean
 

warra48

I've drunk all my homebrew and I'm still worried.
Joined
16/7/07
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
663
Location
Corlette NSW
I use a bar fridge for my fermentation and lagering.
The temperature is controlled with a TempMate from CraftBrewer.
Easy enough to wire up, there's some really good threads on here.
I ferment lagers and lager all in primary, and bottle from there. I don't even transfer for lagering, just drop the temperature from about 9 to 10C fermentation to about 2C for lagering for as long as I can stand it. Ales are fermented at 18 to 20C.
No need to get all fancy. Keep it simple.

I don't do many lagers, but I time it so that the lagering happens when we're away on holidays etc, so it deosn't interfere with other use of the fridge.
 

jakethesnake559

Well-Known Member
Joined
14/9/11
Messages
126
Reaction score
16
As in - plug the fridge power into the temp controller, then temp controller power to the wall ?

seems easy enough ?
Yep, the controller has two female plugs coming out of it...one for your fridge power cord, the other for your heater.
It also has it's own power cord that you plug into the powerpoint.

As mentioned above, you don't have to fiddle around with the internals of the fridge...just plug it in.

Bremate.jpg
 

felten

Homebrew Conjecturist
Joined
13/5/09
Messages
2,536
Reaction score
45
I use a fridgemate, got it for ~$45. But the STC1000s are a lot cheaper (on ebay) and better from what I can tell.
 

Maxt

Geer bod
Joined
12/7/06
Messages
659
Reaction score
13
I make lagers at 11-14C but rarely "lager" them for periods of time.

Lagers are more about the yeast than extended cold storage periods.
If you have the gear and can wait, try it some time, you may be surprised. Lager(ing) is the name of the process not the beer (or the yeast).
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
I have been brewing AG for a year or two now and have never really ventured out side of making ales, wheat beers, stouts ect. mainly because i haven't had the facility to lager.

What does everyone use? modified bar fridges? what did you modify it with? and is it hard/expencive ?



Thanks in advance!!
Brendan

Free fridge, used as a fridge*.

I disagree with Nick.

*for lagering, not for fermentation. Fermentation I use a water bath with ice bricks and only brew lagers between May and August. I am in Melbourne so that is possible.
 

cam89brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
2/10/11
Messages
559
Reaction score
0
Free fridge, used as a fridge.

I disagree with Nick.
+1 I find that it is more important to lager for longer when you are kegging but I tend to only lager for a week or 2 when bottling as you generally have to wait a few months to condition in the bottle anyway.
 

cam89brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
2/10/11
Messages
559
Reaction score
0
I also simply lager in my keg fridge in a spare fermenter as the standard 2-4C is perfect for lagering.
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
I find lagering for long periods is a pain in the ass and prefer to use fining agents to get the beer clear and into the keg around a week after it's finished.

It does get better after a month or two of lagering ... but taking up fridge space and costing a box of Pilsner Urquell wirth of electricity to keep at 1C for 3 months is a false economy for a slight increase in quality.

YMMV - but I want to make more beer not sit there watching paint dry.
 

SJW

As you must brew, so you must drink
Joined
10/3/04
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
211
I have spent my entire brewing life mainly brewing Lagers. I am sad to say after 100's of brews I am still trying to make the perfect brew. I have come close once with a Bock and again once or twice with festival style German Lagers and got 1st in a local comp with a Schwartzbeir. Anyone can make a Lager but very few can make a great one, worthy of the title.
A few things you should have to make a great Lager are temp controlled fermentation. This is a must. Maybe you could jag some good weather and luck by doing all kinds of crazy things but there is only one way to ferment with accurate temps, and I just duct tape the probe to the outside of the fermenter and tests have shown that the wort is 2 deg warmer so I adjust the controller to suit.
Also a good healthy, active amount of yeast. Remembering that Urquell pitch 15 million cells per ml or wort. (do the math).
But if you keep the recipe simple, i.e. 100% Pils malt, use loads of Saaz plugs preferably, do a two or three step decoction, chill quick after the boil, aeration of the wort should not be a big issue if you pitch enough yeast, Then pitch cold letting it warm up to may 12 deg C, then get it of the yeast cake ASAP, and keg or lager near 0 for as long as possible, and even if you can do all that it isnt worth a pinch of goat shit unless your brewing technique is perfect and you hygiene even better. Even then, if the planets all line up and the beer gods are smiling on you on brew day you have a small chance of making a beer worthy of the name LAGER.
I must admit some of the best ones I have ever made were just luck, I have no idea what made them better than others. I hope now that I am brewing with the Braumeister I can recreate the same beer over and over with more predictability. There were just too many variables using the old 3v system.

Good luck

Steve
 

cam89brewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
2/10/11
Messages
559
Reaction score
0
I have spent my entire brewing life mainly brewing Lagers. I am sad to say after 100's of brews I am still trying to make the perfect brew. I have come close once with a Bock and again once or twice with festival style German Lagers and got 1st in a local comp with a Schwartzbeir. Anyone can make a Lager but very few can make a great one, worthy of the title.
A few things you should have to make a great Lager are temp controlled fermentation. This is a must. Maybe you could jag some good weather and luck by doing all kinds of crazy things but there is only one way to ferment with accurate temps, and I just duct tape the probe to the outside of the fermenter and tests have shown that the wort is 2 deg warmer so I adjust the controller to suit.
Also a good healthy, active amount of yeast. Remembering that Urquell pitch 15 million cells per ml or wort. (do the math).
But if you keep the recipe simple, i.e. 100% Pils malt, use loads of Saaz plugs preferably, do a two or three step decoction, chill quick after the boil, aeration of the wort should not be a big issue if you pitch enough yeast, Then pitch cold letting it warm up to may 12 deg C, then get it of the yeast cake ASAP, and keg or lager near 0 for as long as possible, and even if you can do all that it isnt worth a pinch of goat shit unless your brewing technique is perfect and you hygiene even better. Even then, if the planets all line up and the beer gods are smiling on you on brew day you have a small chance of making a beer worthy of the name LAGER.
I must admit some of the best ones I have ever made were just luck, I have no idea what made them better than others. I hope now that I am brewing with the Braumeister I can recreate the same beer over and over with more predictability. There were just too many variables using the old 3v system.

Good luck

Steve
I agree. The thing that makes it so hard to make a great lager is that by having so much clarity not only allows you to taste all the wonderful flavours you may introduce but it also makes it very easy to notice any flaws in your beer, so by keeping it simple allows a lot less things to go wrong. ;)
 

Latest posts

Top