That is a really sweet fermenting chamber. I just bougt a 5cu ft chest freezer with an external digital Johnson controller. The controller just came today so it is not hooked up yet. I bought these things trying to get my ale fermenting temps down. I would like to make a lager,I never made one. Any recommendations on a first lager to brew? I was thinking an all grain German Octoberfest. Are lagers easy to screw up?
Provided you have a means to control temperature and pitch adequate yeast (lagers need more than ales), lagers aren’t any more difficult than ales. They do take more patience, and they can scare you because lager’s can taste and smell really funky before they’re done.
Since I already had temp control stuff, the only thing I needed to add to my gear to make lagers was a one gallon jug to ferment big starters in.
Octoberfest is a fine first lager, and now is the perfect time to brew one, you have time to do a traditional long lagering period before its octoberfest time.
Thanks for the good info. I am planning on brewing a raspberry American wheat the second week in April. As soon as the primary would be freed up, I believe I will have a go at the Octoberfest. What do you think, four weeks in the primary then keg? Or could I go maybe even eight weeks before kegging? Would you rack a lager to a secondary or just keep it in the primary?
[quote=“Bier brauer”]That is a really sweet fermenting chamber. I just bougt a 5cu ft chest freezer with an external digital Johnson controller. The controller just came today so it is not hooked up yet. I bought these things trying to get my ale fermenting temps down. I would like to make a lager,I never made one. Any recommendations on a first lager to brew? I was thinking an all grain German Octoberfest. Are lagers easy to screw up?
Okfest was my first and it was delicious, but let me kindly point you in the direction of:
I was at a local watering hole last fall. I had a Pilsner that I think it was brewed by Harpoon, but please don’t hold me to that. But after having a few of those I thought man I would like to brew that, but I have no clue what kind it was and the bartender was no help. I went back a few months after that just to have a few more, but they didn’t have it on tap or bottles. But yep, a pilsner will be on the list. I’ll just have to make it an American Pilsner.
4 weeks in primary is probably enough, but don’t get in a hurry. The beer sets the time, not the calendar. I always give it AT LEAST a week beyond when I think its done. Often more. Usually warm it up toward the end for a diacetyl rest also.
I go straight from primary to keg, and lager in the keg. Lagering is just cold storage, and the only thing that makes it any different from any other kegged beer is it requires me to turn my kegerator down lower than I typically would for ales. It also requires me to exercise restraint and not take too many “samples” before its done lagering. As to when lagering is done, that is a matter of personal preference but I try to give it at least a month.
I think I will have the restraint to keep it lagering for a long time. I have a Belgian triple that has been sitting in my workshop for a real long time. I’m planning on putting it on tap in June. That will be eight months conditioning. So far so good, I’m not tempted to tap it early. There are so many other brews to be brewed while I wait.
Thanks. Seems to be done fermenting, but I’m in no rush. It’s in my 52º basement and will soon be transferred to my detached garage for lager season. (4 weeks of lows of low 30s highs of mid 40s.)