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22

You are doing absolutely nothing wrong. Many people are far too quick to drink their precious homebrew and most beers benefit a lot from aging. A few months for ales and simple lagers. Beers with a high ABV should be aged much longer. I make a Chimay Grand Cru clone that I typically don't try for 4-6 months. Aging remove a lot of the "hot" taste from ...


11

There could be a few things going on: High Alcohols can improve in flavor after some time in cool, dark storage Sediment can drop out of beer after long, cool storage leading to better head formation and retention (since the sediment is no longer there to form a big nucleation site) Yeast in the beer, if still active, could be cleaning up some byproducts ...


8

Well yes and no. Allow me to elaborate. First, you certainly can lager in a Corny keg. That is my primary method of lagering. It works great. There is one thing, however. I cut the beverage dip tube in the Corny keg to prevent it from sitting directly in the collected yeast that falls out during lagering. If you don't cut the dip tube, you will get ...


6

Not all beer matures at the same rate, and not all beer drinkers have the same tastes. For some examples, I like to drink really hoppy beers while they're fairly young and the hops are still vibrant. An altbier I'll cold condition for a couple months. Something like a tripel I prefer with maybe a month or 2 of age on it. The best thing to do is ...


5

Well first of all, you can't really turn around a 1.090 Lager in two months time (7/19 - 9/29). Its going to need 3 months of lagering minimum AFTER fermentation is totally done. So if you really want beer that's "more than good" for your wedding, then you need to brew a backup Ale right now that has a short maturation period. (I suggest a wheat beer, like a ...


5

Clarity and poly-phenol/tannins pretty much nails it. Lager yeast do tend to be weaker flocculators than ale yeasts, so more time at cold temp helps clear things up. I brewed up an all Munich malt beer with German Lager yeast. It tasted so good after a 4 week primary that I kept drinking it during "lagering" and it was gone before the lager period was ...


4

Basically what you've described is cold conditioning an ale, a fairly normal practice. It allows the beer to clarify and smooth, the same way it does with a lager. There is no need to let the beer warm before bottling. There's still plenty of yeast in it, and the yeast will become active once you add priming sugar and let the beer sit at room temp to ...


3

Most extract-based lager kits are sold with an ale yeast. This is because most home-brewers don't have the equipment to ferment at a consistent low temperature. You could check the kit to make sure, but it's almost certainly the case that your kit makes a light ale, not a lager. I've had good luck in the past with WYeast 2112 (California Lager, equivalent ...


3

If you like the taste now, then there's almost no need for any kind of temperature gradient. Crash to as low as you can , e.g. 30F,-1C and let the yeast and chill haze fall out. Commercial breweries don't leave their lagers sitting around for months, it's just not necessary if your fermentation temperature profile is good.


3

Traditional German brewers would use a krausen from an actively fermenting batch to carbonate and this would also reabsorb the diacetyl. You can do the same thing by priming and pitching a pack of yeast and the secondary fermentation should do the trick. A diacetyl rest at this point will not effective since there is very little active yeast in the beer ...


3

You could build a Son of Fermentation Chiller or a 36 DD Mother of Fermentation Chiller. Both are pretty close to your original idea of using a foam container with ice. Adding a thermostat or temperature controller will let you maintain a more constant temp.


2

As you may know or will soon find out its not easy maintaining a constant temperature when lagering without a refrigerator and controller. One thing that can make it easier is to submerge the carboy in water in an insulated vessel. This should slow the warming process so you can change out the ice packs on a regular basis. Another trick is to wrap a wet ...


2

It gives an increased chance for bacteria to take over from the yeast if your sanitation isn't impeccable. That said, many Australian homebrewers cool their wort overnight (the no chill method) and pitch their yeast the next day. I'm not planning on trying that, but it seems to work for them without introducing bacteria since they sanitize properly. You ...


2

Above around 40°F, the yeast will still be somewhat active, and will continue to contribute to the beer's flavor (or, more likely, remove flavors from the beer). Below 40, the flavor of your beer likely won't change. Which temperature range you choose should depend on how satisfied you are with the current flavor of the beer - if you think there's still ...


2

Put it in the basement the entire time. As we move towards winter, your basement should get cooler and that will help with the lagering. The optimal temp would be 50-55^dF, but you can run it a little cooler. The yeast will lag a bit and it just may need a blanket wrapped around it to get started, but it should ferment out fine in the end. As the ...


2

In a nutshell, if you want to maintain the same level of carbonation when raising temperature, then you'll need to increase the pressure applied. Similarly, when cooling, you'll need to reduce the pressure by venting some of the CO2 in the headspace. Although the CO2 pressure inside the keg will naturally increase with the higher temperature, the rate of ...


2

Its fine. There isn't anything magical going on. Its just cold temps and stuff falling out of solution to make clear beer and let the flavors develop. I find that most of my lagers taste great right out of the fermentor before I lager. If your primary fermentation was done correctly there almost isn't any need for an extended lager period on flavor. So ...


1

Well I for one would never bottle before a week is through. I leave my brews in primary for 3 weeks. Not because it needs to ferment longer but because the beer needs to condition on the yeast. While your beer may be (and most likely will be) done fermenting after 4-6 days, to round out the flavor I would let it sit at least two weeks. Kit instructions ...


1

The purpose of lowering the temperature slowly is to avoid shocking the yeast, which might hibernate and fall out of solution. You want the yeast still (a little) active for the lagering phase. "Cold crashing", on the other hand, involves dropping the temperature dramatically to encourage the yeast to flocculate. I'm not a lager expert, but 1 degree / day ...


1

Any reduction in temperature will create a negative pressure (compared to what was before) in the fermentation vessel. The air lock is designed to work in a one-way fashion, so the only real risk is contamination of your fermentation chamber with air-lock fluid. Use a vodka in the airlock instead of starsan. In the extremely rare event that you generate ...


1

Are you sure there isn't another issue here as to why you're getting off flavors? I've lagered in my primary for 3 weeks before without experiencing any diacetyl. If anything I would think letting your brew rest on the yeast cake would help clear out even more diacetyl. From what I understand, autolysis takes at least a month to occur, even longer at ...


1

The Ranco and Johnson controllers are both solid controllers, and they will work just fine. I know guys that have used both of them, and the only thing I would recommend is that you buy a controller that will work for you as you make changes to your system. To that end, here are a couple recommendations: Buy dual stage - You may not be concerned about ...


1

Two weeks ago I was in exactly the same place you were. I bought the Ranco model, just haven't bought my freezer yet (gotta clear space in the garage first). I'm also considering a thermowell. My criteria were that the controller needed a full range of brewing temps (~32-80F, which some cheap home aquarium models don't), that I could change it from heating ...


1

I use this analog thermostat from Johnson with my keezer. (No affiliation with Rebel. Just like them personally.) Doesn't require any splicing/wiring. Very convenient. Just need to run the temperature probe into the freezer somehow. (I have a collar on mine, so it works perfectly.)


1

I use a Love TS-13010. The price has gone up a bit, but you may be able to find a deal on the eBay. I wired it into an electrical box so I can just plug any devices I want temperature controlled into it. Then you don't have to ruin the wiring in your freezer, and you can convince your wife that you can still use it to store meat :) Here's how mine is ...


1

It sounds like you've done everything correctly - maybe you just had the wrong expectation for the kit? I looked up the recipe and plugged the ingredients into my beer calculator, and assuming the can of amber extract was 4 lb LME, it should put you right in the middle of the range for an Oktoberfest - 10 SRM, and nice maltiness. Also, I'm seeing that the ...


1

During the winter you could try keeping the carboy outside (in your garage) inside another larger container filled with water (as the other answer suggests). Then, assuming the average temperature in your garage is below lagering temperature this time of year, use an aquarium heater or two to try to bring the temperature up to ~50 degrees (or whatever your ...



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