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Can I secondary a lager at 55?

I’ve got a smoked baltic porter using Bohemian Lager yeast in diacetyl rest after a month at 48F. My only way to do an extended lager at 33F would be to keg it and crank my kegerator down to 33. This would reduce my on-tap beers by 1, and would mean all my on-tap beers would be way cold. What would I lose by keeping the carboy in a swamp cooler at 50 or 55 instead of 33?

Lagering should be done in the 30’s. Loose the tap and deal with colder beer. Pour a pint and let it sit for a minute before you drink it… it will warm up :smiley:

P.S. You don’t have to lager at 33F. You can keep it a little higher. I lager around 35-36F. A little cold for serving temps, but it’s not drastically cold.

[quote=“dobe12”]Lagering should be done in the 30’s. Loose the tap and deal with colder beer. Pour a pint and let it sit for a minute before you drink it… it will warm up :smiley:

P.S. You don’t have to lager at 33F. You can keep it a little higher. I lager around 35-36F. A little cold for serving temps, but it’s not drastically cold.[/quote]

this^^^.

:cheers:

If 55 is what you can achieve, 55 is fine. Remember that in days past, lagering was done in caves. You don’t have real good temp control of a cave.

My basement is generally 45-55 degrees during the winter, I don’t have a fridge dedicated to lagering so if there’s no room in the serving fridge I just let the keg “lager” in the basement until a spot opens up in the fridge. Never really noticed a differnce in taste doing it this way(not that I’ve done any split batch experiments or anything) but they come out tasting nice and clean either way given time whether it be in the fridge or outside the fridge.

This is something I am struggling with as well. Not enough money to invest in another fridge/freezer and not enough dedication to eliminate one keg from my rotation…

So I switched to small batches of lager and grabbed a couple one gallon jugs. They are small enough to sit in my fridge and not take up too much room.

It will never be as crisp at that temp, but that is probably okay for a baltic porter. A traditional lager needs to be stored in the 30s, and the colder, the better the beer will be. I lagered a pils at 40, and it was never as crisp and refreshing as the same beer that was lagered at 34 at my friends house.

I thought ground helped hold temperatures well, and the first lagers were stored in mountain caves so they should be pretty cold.

[quote=“SA Brew”]
I thought ground helped hold temperatures well, and the first lagers were stored in mountain caves so they should be pretty cold.[/quote]

The ground does hold temp well and also acts as insulation, so any underground area, cave, basement etc, is generally going to be much more stable but also more moderate in temperature. Not very likely that any cave is going to be in ther 30’s during the summertime.

I did a bit of research (5 minutes.) It seems that beers were lagered in Alpine caves, and these caves were often built close to a pond or water so that ice could be harvested during the cold months which usually lasted until April. There would also be trees planted in front of the caves to keep the sun out. I know snow stays on top of some mountains all summer so the mountain and foothill temps are probably cooler than our cellar temps here in the states. I can’t imagine brewers transporting their beers too far up hill though. I have never been to Germany so I don’t know how cool it would actually be. I just know my lagers taste better when I lager them at 34 rather than 38.

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