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Old 08-03-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
seanppp
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Default Cold crash primary???

I have sort of a two-part question.

How about cold crashing the primary for 1 or 2 days instead of using a secondary, then bottling/kegging the cold beer strait off of that settled trub? Is this ever done? Is there a point to a secondary other than settling?

If it would be better to transfer, can I just cold crash my secondary immediately upon racking? Or is there a benefit to the secondary spending some amount of time at room temperature?

I figure for my IPAs the younger they are the better with regard to hop flavor/aroma, and getting them kegged/bottled more or less immediately after hitting my FG would help with that.

What do you think?

Sean

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Old 08-03-2013, 02:39 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by seanppp View Post
I have sort of a two-part question.

How about cold crashing the primary for 1 or 2 days instead of using a secondary, then bottling/kegging the cold beer strait off of that settled trub? Is this ever done? Is there a point to a secondary other than settling?

If it would be better to transfer, can I just cold crash my secondary immediately upon racking? Or is there a benefit to the secondary spending some amount of time at room temperature?

I figure for my IPAs the younger they are the better with regard to hop flavor/aroma, and getting them kegged/bottled more or less immediately after hitting my FG would help with that.

What do you think?

Sean
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Old 08-03-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Wow! Really? That is excellent! Thanks so much.

In the case of bottling, should I reserve a half gallon or so that I don't crash? Maybe put it in a 1 gallon carboy or something, then add that to my bottling bucket with the crashed beer in order avoid too long of a carbonation time?

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:05 AM   #4
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Wow! Really? That is excellent! Thanks so much.

In the case of bottling, should I reserve a half gallon or so that I don't crash? Maybe put it in a 1 gallon carboy or something, then add that to my bottling bucket with the crashed beer in order avoid too long of a carbonation time?
Nah. Should have plenty of yeast in suspension still. I keg though, it's been a while since I've bottled. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info for ya. 3 weeks at room temp and then 48 hours in the fridge has always yielded the best results with bottling for me.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:17 AM   #5
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I typically crash my ales to 40F in the primary around day 17. Around day 20, I pull the primary from the fridge and transfer to the bottling bucket, add the priming sugar and bottle while the beer is still cold. No need to add more yeast. There will be plenty to carb the beer. I tried to speed things up at one point, and while the beer itself was usually ready sooner, I often got unreliable carbonation levels - usually overcarbed. The schedule above gives me pretty consistent results.

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:24 AM   #6
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Crashing 1-2 days won't do much.

After fermenting is done, cold crash the whole primary 5-7 days at 35-36*F (if you can) before racking it (cold, do not let it warm up) into the bottling bucket.

When you add the priming solution to the cold beer, use a sanitized spoon to give it a very gentle stir so as to get the sugar evenly distributed. There will be plenty of yeast left to do the work of carbing and you only add an extra day or so (while the beer warms up in the bottles).

An extra benefit of cold crashing is a thinner yeast trub layer in the bottom of each bottle.
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:27 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, everybody.

Why are you guys keeping it in the primary so long? Shouldn't it be done after 6 days or so?

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Old 08-03-2013, 03:34 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, everybody. Why are you guys keeping it in the primary so long? Shouldn't it be done after 6 days or so?
First, I never secondary. Ever. Only if I brewed a RIS would I consider it, for bulk aging, but I don't particularly fancy that style. For nearly all of my ales, I pitch at 66, ferment at 67-68 for 3-4 days, let it rise to 70ish for another week, cold crash to 33 for 3-4 days, then keg. This is very similar to how many breweries do it, fwiw.

Use your secondary for hard cider
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies, everybody.

Why are you guys keeping it in the primary so long? Shouldn't it be done after 6 days or so?
Sometimes you can hit your expected FG that early, sometimes not.

You ought to confirm that with consecutive gravity readings to know for sure. However, once you hit FG you ought to give it a few more days on the yeast cake (and bump the temp up 3-5*F) to allow the yeast to clean up the normal by-products of fermentation. No need to rush it and get a less-than-ideal result.
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Old 08-03-2013, 04:14 AM   #10
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Brulosopher's advice is pretty solid. Depending on your yeast, you may not need the warm up period. I ferment at 68°, let it ferment nearly all the way out, until it hits 1.020 or lower, then I dry hop if that's applicable. I typically use fermentis s04, us05, wyeast 1968 ESB, wyeast 1056, and wyeast 2526 Kölsch. Once it has hit it's terminal gravity or what I would deem good enough to be terminal gravity, or has sat on dry hops for at least 5, cold crash, keg, done. In my experience, some yeast flocs hard enough, if it sits a little longer, that nearly eliminates the need to cold crash.

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