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GodSpeed005

Cold Crashing Benefits?

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My first batch of American Light was a big hazy. Now, this could be due to a brewing error on my part - but I've been reading a few things here and there that says cold crashing your beer before bottling will help solidify the trub and cause any other proteins that might cause haze to settle, making a cleaner looking beer?

I'm going to be bottling my Oktoberfest Lager after another hydrometer reading this weekend, but was wanting some opinions and advice on "cold crashing". Would my brew benefit in any other way from cold crashing before bottling? And how long? I've seen some suggest 2-3 days, and other suggest a week.

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Your beer will not benefit in any other way since you listed all the benefits already... :)

You've read the posts - some say 2-3 days, some suggest a week as you say. So, posting it again you'll likely get the exact same answers.

Nothing I've read shows any benefit after 2-3 days, and without fruit in it you're likely going to see little benefit except for solidifying the trub.

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Actually there is one benefit you missed.

The beer will be way cooler!
*rimshot*

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If you go commando with the hops, like I do, cold crashing will help drop the hop particles into the trub and in turn not clog the spigot.

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Even if you don't cold crash the beer before bottling, you do plan to refrigerate the beer before drinking it, right? That will have the same effect; the trub will drop to the bottom of your bottles.

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

You can get very clear beer if you carefully pour your beer into a glass before drinking it. The key is to pour slowly and to pour only once, leaving a 1/2 inch or so in the bottle. When you pour, try not to rotate the bottle beyond level. Actually, top of the bottle should be slightly above level.

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"manosteel9423" post=340340 said:

Just make stouts and porters...no need to worry about clarity!! :stout: :pound: :P

I do in the winter. Like good IPA's and Pale Ale's in the summer. ;)

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You're leaving a lot of beer in the bottle if you leave it slightly above level. Personal preferance on the cc. I do it so I have even less trub in the bottle. Less is more better

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"Gary in NJ" post=340338 said:

Even if you don't cold crash the beer before bottling, you do plan to refrigerate the beer before drinking it, right? That will have the same effect; the trub will drop to the bottom of your bottles.

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

You can get very clear beer if you carefully pour your beer into a glass before drinking it. The key is to pour slowly and to pour only once, leaving a 1/2 inch or so in the bottle. When you pour, try not to rotate the bottle beyond level. Actually, top of the bottle should be slightly above level.


Beer definitely conditions a lot better when there's little or no trub in the bottles.

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"Screwy Brewer" post=340347 said:

"Gary in NJ" post=340338 said:

Even if you don't cold crash the beer before bottling, you do plan to refrigerate the beer before drinking it, right? That will have the same effect; the trub will drop to the bottom of your bottles.

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

You can get very clear beer if you carefully pour your beer into a glass before drinking it. The key is to pour slowly and to pour only once, leaving a 1/2 inch or so in the bottle. When you pour, try not to rotate the bottle beyond level. Actually, top of the bottle should be slightly above level.


Beer definitely conditions a lot better when there's little or no trub in the bottles.


So cold crash then bottle?

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I rarely cold crash, and I get extremely clear beer.

I've notice this ever since I started using an auto-siphon to rack to the priming bucket. I used to use a hose and drain from the spigot, but still got trub, and sometimes cloudy beer. I think bottling from the LBK via the spigot causes more trub intrusion, especially in the final bottles.

Just my two cents.

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"Gary in NJ" post=340338 said:

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

This is not a concern. If it were, it wouldn't be such a wide spread practice.
Unless you are lagering for months or filtering the beer you needn't worry about the yeast either sleeping or not having enough of them to do the job.

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"Jimjohson" post=340359 said:

"Screwy Brewer" post=340347 said:

"Gary in NJ" post=340338 said:

Even if you don't cold crash the beer before bottling, you do plan to refrigerate the beer before drinking it, right? That will have the same effect; the trub will drop to the bottom of your bottles.

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

You can get very clear beer if you carefully pour your beer into a glass before drinking it. The key is to pour slowly and to pour only once, leaving a 1/2 inch or so in the bottle. When you pour, try not to rotate the bottle beyond level. Actually, top of the bottle should be slightly above level.


Beer definitely conditions a lot better when there's little or no trub in the bottles.


So cold crash then bottle?


Yup, that's how I dooze it. Yeast and trub are always compacted in the bottom of the fermentor and the beer on top is clear when it goes into the bottling bucket for batch priming. But don't take my word for it, try it for yourself and decide.

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Here's the main reason I don't cold crash...

I ferment in the basement. The refrigerator that I would use for a cold crash is out in the garage. That's a full flight of steps and about a 75' walk with the LBK. That movement is really gonna stir-up the trub from the bottom...it will NEED to be cold crashed after that trip.

When I transfer beer to a slimline for batch priming I stop the flow at the first sign of trub. I do dry hop commando so I'll always have some floaties in my beer, but that stuff settles during conditioning, especially during cold conditioning.

So short of buying a refrigerator for my basement, how do you suggest I make the long and bouncy trip to the garage frig'?

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"Screwy Brewer" post=340453 said:

"Jimjohson" post=340359 said:

"Screwy Brewer" post=340347 said:

"Gary in NJ" post=340338 said:

Even if you don't cold crash the beer before bottling, you do plan to refrigerate the beer before drinking it, right? That will have the same effect; the trub will drop to the bottom of your bottles.

Since you can't eliminate trub (there will always be some at the bottom of a bottle), why chance putting the yeast to sleep from a cold crash?

You can get very clear beer if you carefully pour your beer into a glass before drinking it. The key is to pour slowly and to pour only once, leaving a 1/2 inch or so in the bottle. When you pour, try not to rotate the bottle beyond level. Actually, top of the bottle should be slightly above level.


Beer definitely conditions a lot better when there's little or no trub in the bottles.


So cold crash then bottle?


Yup, that's how I dooze it. Yeast and trub are always compacted in the bottom of the fermentor and the beer on top is clear when it goes into the bottling bucket for batch priming. But don't take my word for it, try it for yourself and decide.

nice weizen glass

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For me the action of cold crashing is to really help those tiny clouds of yeast cells drop out of solution and stick to the bottom of the fermentor. Larger bits of trub, proteins and hop particles do tend to drop out of solution fairly quickly at warmer temperatures, but the colder temperatures work faster to drop the finer yeast cells out of suspension. The other benefit dropping out all that extra yeast gives you is a cleaner tasting beer that is ready for kegging and force carbonating after 3-5 days of cold crashing.

I carry a small container of sanitizer, hoses, spray bottle and kegs out to the garage where my beerfrigerator is located and fill the kegs right there, using the Co2 tank and lines to purge the kegs. When bottling I fill the bottling bucket up in the garage and then carry it downstairs where I boil the priming sugar and bottle. We're brewing beer, we can make it as simple or as complicated as we want, as long as we're happy with the results.

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For me the action of cold crashing is to really help those tiny clouds of yeast cells drop out of solution and stick to the bottom of the fermentor. Larger bits of trub, proteins and hop particles do tend to drop out of solution fairly quickly at warmer temperatures, but the colder temperatures work faster to drop the finer yeast cells out of suspension. The other benefit dropping out all that extra yeast gives you is a cleaner tasting beer.

Could not have said what I believe better than this.

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OK, you've convinced me. I'm going to cold crash my recipe exchange batch (2 more weeks). I'll transfer to the slimline for batch priming right from the refrigerator.

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OK, I'm a believer.

I cold crashed my most recent beer for 3 days and the results were well worth the effort. I tilted the LBK quite a bit while in the refrigerator. While moving the beer into the priming slimline the beer remained very clear. To get the most out of the keg I removed the wood shims when I started sucking air and managed to get quite a bit of clear beer out of the LBK.

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If cold crashing drops yeast out of suspension how does the beer carbonate in the bottles?

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My first batch was Classic American Light, and I put bottles in the refrigerator one at a time at one week intervals, starting (if I remember right) a week after bottling, to see what would happen. The first bottle was hazy, the rest were, as far as I could see, perfectly clear. The flavor of the ones put in last was definitely the best, the first bottle never did clarify, and when I drank it a month or so after it went into the fridge it still wasn't very good. That convinced me that conditioning time makes a big difference. I haven't cold crashed yet, because of limited refrigerator space.

Bingman111 makes a good point--obviously a reasonable amount of yeast remains in the beer or priming would result in sweet but flat beer rather than the carbonated but not especially sweet brews we get. Is it possible that what drops out is not live yeast?

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What drops out is a combination of yeast and trub. I'm sure some live yeast drop out as well. When you bottle the beer it's impossible without a multimillion dollar filtering system to remove all the yeast so some is inevitability going to end up in the bottles.

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@Pspearing, not live yeast, or at least not all of the live yeast drops out during cold crash. Obviously, there's some viable yeast still in suspension, or, as you noted, it wouldn't carbonate at all.

Keep in mind, too, that it probably doesn't take as much yeast to do the job. Compare it to primary fermentation, where you need a lot of yeast because you have a lot of fermentable sugar. And what are you priming with? Not a lot of sugar, when you get right down to it.

In other words, why call out the Coast Guard to fish a Frisbee out of a pond?

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