I have been brewing ales for about 6 years and am thinking about trying a lager. I have a basic question about the lager process. I do full volume boils, grow my own starters, keg and have a temp controlled chest freezer that I use for my keg dispensing set up. If I do the primary fermentation at 45 degrees what do I need to do for lagering? Can I go ahead and keg from the primary, store in the kegerator for a few weeks then force carbonate? Or, do I need to let the secondary fermentation vent in a fermenter with an air lock?
I keep it simple. 4 weeks in the primary. Keg and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 months.
Rack your beer into a secondary fermenter, use a bubbler or not, I just cover mine with a foil cup to keep the shit out but it needs to be vented. Start bringing down your fermentation 5 degrees a day until it gets to 45 degrees. Lager for about 6 weeks. If you can, try to get the beer down to 35 degrees. With the last 3 days lower it to 33 degrees and it will clear up the beer. Then you are done, put it in the keg and force carbonate. It need that time off the cake to give you a clean crisp beer and get rid of the bad shit that give you off flavors.
+1 I lager in the keg with the gas on.