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Jerik

Cold Crash Length

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Hey everyone!

So I finally broke down and tried cold crashing for the first time. Most people say a couple of days is good, and i think i had mine in there for about 5 days, it was busy week and I forgot too bottle. It was amazingly clear and I'm happy with the results.

I'm just wondering whats the maximum amount of time a beer should/could be left in the fridge before it starts affecting the quality. I ask just in case something comes up, an wanna be comfortable with leaving it in there.

Ahhh, just talking about it makes me wanna crack one open! Patience!

Thanks!

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3 days seems to be the norm but really dont know what the max is. im sure someone with more experiance will chime in on this.

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I've been poking around here myself and can't really seem to get a solid answer on the length of time to cold crash, either. Seems like 2 or 3 days is about right. Maybe we'll get lucky and someone will show up with a more definitive answer to the time question.

I just cold crashed my very first batch ever, in the LBK, for 2 to 3 days in fridge. Someone told me that I could expect my yeast to flocculate during the cold crash. Now I'm really worried.

Whatever that is, it doesn't sound good. I hope I didn't ruin the whole batch. Drinking beer never really gave me gas before, but if this batch actually does flocculate, I may be in trouble.

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I believe flocculate is just a fancy way of saying some of the yeast will drop out of suspension during the cold crashing process.

Don't worry enough stay around to help carb your beer.

Cold crashing would not give you gas :)

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Generally speaking...cold crashing occurs when you've reached the end of your fermentation and at this point what you're doing is getting things to settle out of suspension.

I would agree that about 3 days is fine. You're certainly not going to kill your beer with 5 days. But I'd suggest that if you start getting to a week or two - why? Once your beer has fermented, it wants to be in the bottle. It wants to carb.

Put it like this...you and the wife plan on taking a trip to the North Pole for 3 days. Fine. It's cold as ****, but hey, it's a vacation. On the third day, you're due to return to Southern California and live your happy little life. Plane delays cause you to stay 4 feet deep in snow for another 2 days. Fine, I'll deal with it. I'm annoyed, but i'll deal with it. When you start talking about Delta going bankrupt and you're stuck in the North Pole indefinitely...annoyed becomes pissed and nothing around you is going to be happy either.

Don't piss beer off.

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Ha, I've been cold crashing my Oktoberfest/Marzen lagers at 34F for 2 weeks now already and plan to keep them in there for at least another four weeks before bottling. On the other end of the spectrum my Sierra Nevada clone went into the refrigerator at 2:00 AM this morning and we'll be drinking them with dinner tonight, they were already crystal clear before they went in to cold crash.

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I've been cold crashing for 1 1/2 days for the past year with good results. So if I'm going to bottle Friday night, I move the LBK to the fridge Thursday morning.

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In theory you can go weeks or even two months or so.

As Screwy alluded to, lagers go into basically an extended cold crash before bottling and they still carb just fine. There's debate/discussion around using an LBK for an extended cold crash/lagering due to the fact that they are not airtight.

Cold crashing settles the larger particles and proteins out and SOME of the yeast, but not all of it. If it did, we wouldn't be able to bottle prime or do lagers at all without adding yeast back into the mix.

So what's the OPTIMAL amount of time to crash? Brewer's ChoiceTM.

Yeah, I say that a lot but it really is.
24 hours will make a difference versus not cold crashing at all.
48 hours will do more than 24.
Etc.

Personally, unless I plan on doing an actual lager, I go anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours as my 'norm' - but a lot depends on my brewing schedule.

If I put a keg in to cold crash and then couldn't bottle for 2 weeks or so would I lose any sleep? Nope.

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Kealia wrote:

So what's the OPTIMAL amount of time to crash? Brewer's ChoiceTM.

Yeah, I say that a lot but it really is.
24 hours will make a difference versus not cold crashing at all.
48 hours will do more than 24.
Etc.

Personally, unless I plan on doing an actual lager, I go anywhere from 24 hours to 72 hours as my 'norm' - but a lot depends on my brewing schedule.

If I put a keg in to cold crash and then couldn't bottle for 2 weeks or so would I lose any sleep? Nope.

+ yupyup

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So just to make sure I'm understanding this right (no matter how much I think I do, I often don't) if you fermented the wort in the LBK for 3 weeks, and then stuck LBK in fridge for 2 weeks, you could take it out of fridge and bottle it up with some priming sugar and the yeast will still be fine to carb it and then condition it in the bottles and all is good? Is that what I'm hearing?

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Yes, but you'll want to carb at room temp, 68 degrees or so. The yeast will wake up and do it's job.

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And when you take LBK out of fridge, do you transfer the beer from LBK to bottles while still cold, or let it come to room temp first? I guess this question applies to any time period of cold crashing, be it a few days or a few weeks. I cold crashed my very first batch this week for 2 1/2 days, then bottled it cold and then stored at room temp. Hoping I got it right.

It's not that I don't read the threads. I read so much that I get all the information swimming in my head confused. Does that make any sense?

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Joechianti wrote:

I cold crashed my very first batch this week for 2 1/2 days, then bottled it cold and then stored at room temp. Hoping I got it right.

You got it right. :gulp:

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cwolfley said:

never mind
forgot what i was going to say

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think we all have moments like that. They come more and more often as time goes on.

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really new brewer here,so does cold crashing just clear the beer up or does it do something else? im becoming obsessed with the home brew process and im getting all kinds of info off here.i just want to brew a decent beer that i can be proud of.

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From one new brewer to another, welcome aboard!

Besides clearing the beer by causing the suspended stuff to settle to the bottom, the colder temp also makes all that sediment at bottom (trub) more solid, so that it isn't so easily swirled back into the liquid when bottling.

I learned that right here. You're in good hands.

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jr,

Another related tip I learned here, in case you haven't run across it yet:

If you raise up the spigot end of the LBK a little bit (most people use a CD jewel case), the trub will form on a little downhill slope, away from the spigot.

That helps keep the trub from getting into your spigot and clogging it up, as well as getting into your bottles.

I've been using this trick and am very happy with the way it works.

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Joechianti wrote:

jr,

Another related tip I learned here, in case you haven't run across it yet:

If you raise up the spigot end of the LBK a little bit (most people use a CD jewel case), the trub will form on a little downhill slope, away from the spigot.

I use the lids from the HME, myself. ;)

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