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Old 01-12-2013, 08:46 PM   #1
CButterworth
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Default cold crash in primary

I have an extract version of Theakston's Best Bitter in the primary right now, after only 48 hours, fermentation has begun to ease off. I had thought about racking into a secondary, but probably won't.

I was thinking maybe of trying to cold crash the beer between week 1 and week 2 and doing it in the primary. I could set my keezer for 35F and cold crash for maybe three days.

On a practical note though: I'll have to lift my five gallon fermenter into the chest keezer, then lift it out again and onto the counter top after cold crashing.

My question is will moving the fermenter after cold crashing will resuspend the fine particulates, or are they pretty stable once out of suspension?

Thanks,
Charlie

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Old 01-12-2013, 09:12 PM   #2
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It will be okay. I carry mine in from the garage after cold crashing.

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:38 PM   #3
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First thing you need to do is figure out of the batch is done fermenting, the only way to do this is by taking a hydrometer sample. After beer has completed fermenting, (hydrometer reading has stayed the same for 3 days) Then you can cold crash it. You want to wait 3 days or so to make sure the yeast has eaten up all the residues(I forget what these are called) left in the beer.

Once fermentation is complete, you can cold crash(also known as lagering) down to 0 and leave as long as you'd like. Coldcrashing, will drop all the yeast out of suspension round out the beer also add smoothness. Coldcrashing/lagering can be applied to beer using lager or ale type yeast.

From reading the "yeast book" they recommend to start slightly under your target fermenting temp, (for ales 65ish, lagers 47ish) for first few days, then slowly ramp up to 68/50. When gravity is within 20% of completing, allow yeast to warm up to room temp to maximize attenuation for a few days.


One common misconception is that the temp has to be decreased slowly when lagering/cold crashing. From my opinion, and the opinion of "brew strong" the radio show, there is no need to ramp down slowly since all of the yeast action is completed. Just simply crash as long and low as you can without freezing it.

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
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Thanks,

with regards to fermentation, I was expecting to begin taking gravity readings after a week fermentation. Once it has settled (or darned close to it), my plan is to bring the fermentor out of the basement so it can warm up to room temp (approx 67F), although I do have a base warming plate.

From there, I was planning on around a week following fermentation for cleaning up (d-rest isn't it?) to smooth out the flavors and try to reduce diacetyls, etc. Maybe I'll add some gelatin a couple of days prior to the cold crash.

Depending upon the weather, I may cold crash in the garage, although my keezer could be more reliable given the Denver temp swings.

Either way, if the cold crash isn't very effective, I'll likely not be too worried (as long as I don't freeze the beer), after all many good English bitters are not crystal clear anyway.

Charlie

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Old 01-13-2013, 12:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CButterworth View Post
I have an extract version of Theakston's Best Bitter in the primary right now, after only 48 hours, fermentation has begun to ease off. I had thought about racking into a secondary, but probably won't.

I was thinking maybe of trying to cold crash the beer between week 1 and week 2 and doing it in the primary. I could set my keezer for 35F and cold crash for maybe three days.

On a practical note though: I'll have to lift my five gallon fermenter into the chest keezer, then lift it out again and onto the counter top after cold crashing.

My question is will moving the fermenter after cold crashing will resuspend the fine particulates, or are they pretty stable once out of suspension?

Thanks,
Charlie
You would be better to wait until week 2 or even 3 to cold crash. You don't want to stop the fermentation until the yeast are done or they will start up again in the bottles and give you bottle bombs.

Once the yeast have clumped up and flocculated they don't mix very easily again. I've carried my fermenter up stairs to bottle and the yeast stays at the bottom like it should.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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I have a quick question about cold crash will there be enough yeast left in the beer to bottle condition I was planing on cold crash but am worried it won't carbonate enough

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