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Secondary/Lagering- Can I do it in an fridge w/o modifiying

I have an märzen beer and the directions say after primary is done, to transfer to a clean carboy and lower the temp 1-3 degrees until it reaches 35-45F. A few questions I am hoping to get answers for:

  1. Is this possible in a new (ish) fridge I have in the garage? Can I just turn it as warm as it gets and then slowly bring down the temp?
  2. Should the 5 gallon carboy I am going to put this in have an airlock?
  3. Do I actually keep it in the fridge for 3-4weeks?

Thanks for any help!

Welcome to NB’s forum… It’s a great hobby!
I have the big foam plug from our host that replaces the air locker… I put the carboy in the fridge… Don’t monkey with the temp… How can you tell if the fermenting is done?

Welcome to the forum! Märzen isn’t my favorite style so good choice.

  1. as long as the beer has finished fermentation you can go ahead and cold crash it without having to worry about dropping temps a few degrees per day.
  2. you’ll want to place something in the neck of the carboy. Cold crashing creates a vacuum so if you use an airlock air and/or your fluid will get sucked back into your carboy. After racking to your secondary use several layers of plastic wrap fixed with a rubber band. Don’t make it tight as the vacuum could tear it.
  3. the longer you lager it the better. In time the trub and yeast will settle out as well as any Polyphenols and tannins.

You didn’t mention how you’ll be packaging the beer so I’m assuming you’ll be bottling. If bottling you could go ahead and bottle condition now and once carbonated place the bottles in the fridge. This would eliminate any concerns of oxidation created by a vacuum. If your kegging, use the keg as a ‘secondary’ and lager in the keg.


Thanks for this!
So am I understanding you correctly in that I can finish primary then move it into a bottling bucket, add priming sugar to the bottling bucket and then bottle my märzen in to bottles and THEN cold crash the bottles in a fridge??
Therefore skipping the part of putting my carboy in the fridge for 3-4 weeks?
Also… very impressed with the quickness and depth of responses on this forum!! Thank you!

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Yes, bottle and then bottle condition as usual, 2 -3 weeks or so at warm room temp, THEN cold crash the bottles(lager) for 3-4 weeks or more.


Well… we are practicing staying away from peeps… In the physical world… doesn’t mean we can’t chum up on here!! Our motivation is to have any/all the Brewers that come here looking for info, to get that, and to make great beer so you hang around! We get tired of quarreling amongst ourselves… :joy::mask: Oops forgot my mask.

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