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Cold crashing - what it is, and why do you care?

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@RickBeer, @MRB Josh R, @MRB Tim, @MRB Josh B

 

@Jdub

I would like to cold crash my Tangerine Hoppy IPA starting this Sunday after 3 weeks in the fermenter but . . . .

 

It is in the 2G tall fermenter, not my LBK.  I have a minfridge I can cold crash LBKs in but it is not large enough for the 2G tall fermenter.

 

I could:

 

- transfer from the 2G to a sanitized LBK using a bottling wand to reduce aeration and then cold crash in the LBK; OR

 

- use ice packs and artificial ice in a keg cooler jacket to try to cold crash the brew in the tall 2G fermenter for 3 days.  But I don't think I will be able to get temp down low enough; OR

 

- not cold crash.

 

I welcome thoughts on this!  Thanks!  

IMG_2779.jpg

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24 minutes ago, KaijuBrew said:

@RickBeer, @MRB Josh R, @MRB Tim, @MRB Josh B

 

@Jdub

I would like to cold crash my Tangerine Hoppy IPA starting this Sunday after 3 weeks in the fermenter but . . . .

 

It is in the 2G tall fermenter, not my LBK.  I have a minfridge I can cold crash LBKs in but it is not large enough for the 2G tall fermenter.

 

I could:

 

- transfer from the 2G to a sanitized LBK using a bottling wand to reduce aeration and then cold crash in the LBK; OR

 

- use ice packs and artificial ice in a keg cooler jacket to try to cold crash the brew in the tall 2G fermenter for 3 days.  But I don't think I will be able to get temp down low enough; OR

 

- not cold crash.

 

I welcome thoughts on this!  Thanks!  

 

 

Just don't cold-crash. It's not required. In fact, I almost never do it.

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11 minutes ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

Just don't cold-crash. It's not required. In fact, I almost never do it.

 

Okay - I do have a black IPA and a Salty Dog Gose in LBKs that I plan to cold crash.

 

That is one downside of the 2G Fermenter - hard to temp control and cold crash.

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On 5/6/2018 at 11:53 AM, KaijuBrew said:

Black IPA is all nice and cold crashed for 3 days.

 

Should I cold crash my Salty Dog Grapefruit Gose or just bottle it too?

 

In the end, I just bottled it without cold crashing.  It had an intriguing flavor with the citrusy grapefruit.  Much better than the commercial raspberry gose sample I tried at my local growler / many beers on tap shop.  I think I just like citrus as a flavor.

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On 5/3/2018 at 5:30 PM, KaijuBrew said:

@RickBeer, @MRB Josh R, @MRB Tim, @MRB Josh B

 

@Jdub

I would like to cold crash my Tangerine Hoppy IPA starting this Sunday after 3 weeks in the fermenter but . . . .

 

It is in the 2G tall fermenter, not my LBK.  I have a minfridge I can cold crash LBKs in but it is not large enough for the 2G tall fermenter.

 

I could:

 

- transfer from the 2G to a sanitized LBK using a bottling wand to reduce aeration and then cold crash in the LBK; OR

 

- use ice packs and artificial ice in a keg cooler jacket to try to cold crash the brew in the tall 2G fermenter for 3 days.  But I don't think I will be able to get temp down low enough; OR

 

- not cold crash.

 

I welcome thoughts on this!  Thanks!  

IMG_2779.jpg

 

I have a slightly taller dorm fridge I can take shelves out of, it works for the above fermenter if I very carefully remove the krausen extension ring. You don't need the extension ring past high krausen anyhow.

 

 

 

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Should I cold crash beer that has pureed fruit like my Pumpkin Rising beer?  Would it remove the pumpkin flavor?  I have cold crashed it but havent bottled yet.  There is a 2" thick layer on the bottom, imagine a lot of the pureed pumpkin is in the trub.

 

Let me know, I dont mind letting it warm up to 68 before bottling.  Effort isn't large, need to delicious tasting fall beer is.

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6 minutes ago, BradsBeer said:

Should I cold crash beer that has pureed fruit like my Pumpkin Rising beer? 

 

Definitely. I always cold crash, but I *really* always cold crash fruit beers, and let them sit for 48 hours in the fridge with the spigot end of the fermenter propped up a bit. Fruit beers have tons of sediment, in my experience. Note that I typically don't use hop sacks for my fruit, your mileage may vary if you do

 

7 minutes ago, BradsBeer said:

Would it remove the pumpkin flavor? 

 

I have yet to experience a loss in flavor or aroma from cold crashing. If anything, it improves this by making it less yeasty, I think. 

 

7 minutes ago, BradsBeer said:

I dont mind letting it warm up to 68 before bottling.

 

If you let it warm up, it un-cold-crashes the beer and the trub starts floating around again. Better to do it while it's still cold. 

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On 1/31/2015 at 9:18 AM, RickBeer said:

Cold crashing is a simple method that accomplishes 2 purposes.  First, it allows the trub (layer of dead yeast and byproducts on the bottom of the LBK) to compact.  Why is that good?  Because more beer comes out of the spigot before the trub SLOWLY makes its way to the spigot.  Second, cold crashing allows the beer to clarify, as particles fall out of suspension and settle to the bottom.  I personally don't care about clear beer, but I do want to get every drop out of the LBK.  If you're making a wheat beer, the second goal probably isn't something you want to have happen.  

 

How do you cold crash?  Well, it's very difficult so I'll lay out the steps below.  Please study them carefully before undertaking this difficult task.

 

I don't know, Rick, this sounds pretty tough.  Getting from counter to the fridge, w/o wanting to sneak a taste, might be pretty difficult...

 

post-57583-0-81855400-1424363640_thumb.j

 

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On 9/5/2018 at 5:07 PM, MRB Tim said:

 

If you let it warm up, it un-cold-crashes the beer and the trub starts floating around again. Better to do it while it's still cold. 

 

This makes sense, but...does this affect the carbonation process when conditioning in the bottles?  If the purpose of the crash is to coagulate the yeast and impurities to get them to drop to the bottom of the keg and then keeping it cold while bottling, how much yeast can be left in the clear brew to interact with the sugars in the bottle?  Wouldn't this greatly slow down the carbonation process?

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On 1/31/2015 at 9:11 AM, RickBeer said:

If you think this is cold crashing, please immediately sell your kit on Craigslist and exit the hobby. To find out what cold crashing is, read the next post.
winter.jpg

 

No beer was harmed in the posting of this picture.

 

But...this certainly IS a crash.  A fantastic crash.  And it certainly looks to be pretty da_n cold...

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2 hours ago, Mic Todd said:

 

This makes sense, but...does this affect the carbonation process when conditioning in the bottles?  If the purpose of the crash is to coagulate the yeast and impurities to get them to drop to the bottom of the keg and then keeping it cold while bottling, how much yeast can be left in the clear brew to interact with the sugars in the bottle?  Wouldn't this greatly slow down the carbonation process?

 

Go back and read the first post, after the picture.  It answers your questions.  

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On 1/31/2015 at 9:18 AM, RickBeer said:

1) Does cold crashing kill the yeast?     - No, it just puts them to sleep.

 

2) Does cold crashing impact how my beer will carbonate?    - No.  Yeast wake up and it carbonates fine.

Rick, I had read your post the first time you posted it.  And I believe I thanked you for that.  But if one goes to the web in search,  one will find others who disagree somewhat.  For instance, this from the Home Brewing Store Directory: http://www.homebrewingstoredirectory.com/8-things-you-should-know-about-cold-crashing-beer/

6. Will Bottle Carbonation Take Longer if I Cold Crash My Beer?

Yes. Since cold crashing will remove some (but not all) of the yeast from the beer it will take longer to carbonate the beer in the bottle.

Bottle carbonation is done by yeast consuming the priming sugar that is added to the beer while bottling. The yeast gives off alcohol and carbon dioxide as a result, carbonating the beer. With fewer yeast cells it will take longer for this process to occur. Instead of setting aside the regular two weeks for carbonation you might be waiting three or four weeks, or sometimes even six weeks depending on the beer style.

 

So, you see I was asking other members of this forum the question to see what a majority of brewers (who cold crash) had experienced.  I decided it doesn't matter - I'm going to follow the lead and cold crash for 3 days, then bottle.  I was concerned because my first batch of MRB did not carbonate well, and is rather 'flat' even after 3 weeks in the bottle conditioning.  I followed the instructions as exactly as I could.  That batch was not cold crashed.

 

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Sounds like a very high quality site by the name...

 

4 weeks in the bottle, not 3, at 70 or higher.  Then at least 3 days in the frig.

 

If you spend all your time looking for alternate opinions on all aspects of brewing, you will find them.  Lots of people don't know crap.

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4 hours ago, RickBeer said:

If you spend all your time looking for alternate opinions on all aspects of brewing, you will find them.  Lots of people don't know crap.

 

Well, they didn't claim to be guru's if that's what you mean.

4 weeks, not 3. 70 or higher.  Roger that.

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First, gonna have to agree with @RickBeer that too much research can be a  bad thing with brewing. There's no right or wrong way to make beer, there's just the way that you happen to be partial to. If it ain't broken, don't fix it, ya know? It seems to me that as long as your beer carbonates in "a few weeks" then it's all the same. 

 

17 hours ago, Mic Todd said:

it will take longer to carbonate the beer in the bottle

 

Longer than what? I mean, if they did side-by-side tests, that's one thing, but people going "Well, it'd make sense if...." doesn't prove anything. Plenty of brewing "common knowledge" has been shown to be nonsense. 

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12 hours ago, Mic Todd said:

 

Well, they didn't claim to be guru's if that's what you mean.

 

 

No, what I meant is that the site you reference, homebrewingstoredirectory.com is a blog put together to gain advertising dollars.  A few posts in 2014, then one in 2016, probably because he didn't get the ad revenue he expected.  He also owns https://www.catholicretreats.net   Stop reading blogs written by people simply copying info from elsewhere.  

 

A good source for learning more about brewing would be John Palmer's book, How To Brew (4th edition).  You can read the first edition, from 2000, online for free.  http://www.howtobrew.com/  Or get it from your local library.  

 

John Palmer is a guru.  

 

Much of what's posted here on the forum was figured out by brewers after hundreds of trials.  3-4 was developed by brewers, not by Mr. Beer, when people found that the results from Mr. Beer's earlier versions, brewed for a week and bottled for a week or two (can't recall right now), were crap.  Mr. Beer has since modified it's instructions to follow what we figured out.  

 

I started on this forum in February 2012, and read and read what the experienced brewers (nearly all left a few years ago before Mr. Beer was purchased by Coopers).  Then I started contributing.  Brewed my first batch 6 years ago, and learned and learned along the way.  Still learning today.  Last year I went and got a Certificate in Brewing and Distillation Technology, took 7 college courses (in person, not over the internet).  And I'm still learning today.   

 

I've made mistakes you haven't even thought of making.  I don't get paid for posting here (hint, Tim), my sole purpose in posting is to convey what I've learned to others.  

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I may have found the problem of why my bottles didn't carbonate fully.  Room temperature.  I checked my storage area and it's likely the temps were in the low 60's, maybe a low as 59F for much of the time.  I've moved them to a warmer storage area: 70F if I control it.

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