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What if I can't lager my lager?

So I bought the Bavarian Helles but life got in the way and I started it a month or two later than intended. I have no temp controlled fridge, wanted to use the winter cold garage. Spent primary at 52-55F (in the basement + water bath ) according to fermometer for about 5-7 days until the bubbling slowed. I raised it to the low 60s for 3 days for a diacetyl rest and the bubbling nearly stopped so I racked to secondary… Then we started getting some unseasonably warm weather. It’s been in the garage in a waterbath with ice in it, but the best I can do is 52F :frowning:

The sample I took when I racked tasted…well…not horrible. Good malt flavor, bitterness…no blatant sulfur. Just doesn’t taste all there…something isn’t quite as clean as I feel it should be.

The warm weather may pass but I’m unlikely to get the temps in the 30s that I want. I guess just chalk it up to experience…

It will be fine. Just put it in bottles or kegs and refrigerate. I usually do my lagers on a 3–4 week cycle, fine them, and keg. I think time plays a small part in everything, but that time is best spent cold. Even without time, the beer is very good. The only lager I have had that really benefited from lagering time was a Bohemian Pils I brewed. I routinely have my Helles on tap a month from brew day and always enjoy it.

Yep - I agree - maybe not ideal, but I don’t see a “big” problem here. Bottle it or keg it at about 3-4 weeks from your brew date. Put it in a fridge for 8 weeks, and I think you will be very pleased.

A big part of lagering is just the extended storage. I put a helles in the garage for 8wks , never got below 55F. Tastes great.

That is good to hear! I got lucky, the warm weather broke. Now the carboy is up on a chair instead on the floor and it is in the low 40s. Looking quite clear already and now I’ll be able to rack into the bottling bucket without lifting and sloshing the carboy.

Counting down the weeks to try my first lager :smiley:

+1! 8-10 weeks lagering makes a HUGE difference. You can keg of bottle the beer and let 'em sit for 8-10 weeks and you’ll be good to go. You don’t have to bulk lager to lager. Lagering in the bottle works just fine too. It’s all about an extended amount of time at low temps… like in the mid to low 30’s

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