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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through November 18, 2004 * Lagering: The Red Green Way < Previous Next >

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R. M. Zelayeta
New Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 8
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 11:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A student, I have neither the space nor the funds for proper temperature control. An abundance of encouragement to think "creatively" and no shortage of lagering temps outside my apartment door has me wondering whether I can simply place a cardboard box over my 5 gal. lagering carboy and leave it outside--about 1hr of direct sunlight daily. I understand sheds are used in a similar manner; so long as I keep my lager out of freezing temps, any reason why a box won't do? I imagine it's the airlock freezing that I have to pay attention to?

Has anyone done anything similar to this? Should I plaster the carboy, the box, and my entire front stoop with duct tape just to be certain my stick is on the ice?

Full OGs and complete FGs, all
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 215
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've been thinking about this in my garage this winter as well, but I hadn't thought about the airlock freezing. I usually use vodka in the airlock anyway, so it probably wouldn't be a problem. I'm still concerned about temperature stability.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For one thing, you want to avoid direct sunlight at all costs; as little as 5 minutes exposure can skunk your beer. Secondly, lagering is all about avoiding temperature swings. Ideally you don't want more than about a 2 degree F change in temperature over the course of the day. That's pretty hard to achieve in the great outdoors.

I suppose I could envision an insulated box with a temperature controller and fan, connected to a window via insulated dryer vent hose, for example. But what happens on those days when even in the great white north the air temperature climbs into the 40s F in the sun?
 

R. M. Zelayeta
New Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 10
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 01:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George,

Oh course! Vodka is the answer. You have no reason to worry about freezing vodka--my lovely and gracious gargoyle keeps it in the freezer for months at a time.

Bill,

Seems I should employ the cold weather to do the same ole, same ole...Kolsh and Steam. Life could be worse. Yum.

Thanks both
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 670
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 01:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"I am a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." Red Green

Dan Listermann
 

Brewmasher
Junior Member
Username: Brewmasher

Post Number: 65
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 03:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have heard of putting fermentors in a water bath to slow down temp flux. A cheap aquarium heater keeps it from freezing.If you can be reasonably sure the temp won't get above 40F for very long, you should be safe.

I'd give it a try come January.
Ordering a Bud Lite at a Brewpub is like going to the Mustang Ranch and paying $1000 to have sex with your wife!
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3802
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 06:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do what Brewmasher is talking about...works really well for me.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1174
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2004 - 09:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Chumley, I keep forgetting to ask if you ever did your lagering in the mine shaft this summer? Not exactly Red Green but close enough.
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2451
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I never did, Vance. One of the impetus to brew at the adit and lager inside was to beat the heat here in town, but we had a real cool, wet summer (unlike the last four years, when the temps regularly topped 100F). That, and too much backpacking and fishing. Maybe next year.

Since my lagering fridge can only hold three kegs, I have a keg of cream ale cold-conditioning in my detached unheated garage right now. With a current steady weather pattern of 45F day/25F night, I figure it's doing okay (or it may be on its way to becoming a beersicle ).