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Old 02-26-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
Moneyjacket
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Default Cold Crashing

The thing I'm curious about is whether cold crashing is simply to keep things from settling in the bottom of the keg. I don't have enough room in the kegerator to cold crash carboys, and kegs won't stay sealed since the beer will suck in all of the co2. Does cold crashing need to occur before carbonation? I let my last beer just sit in the keg connected to 30 lbs of co2 for a few days and it came out pretty clear, but I've seen clearer. I've been thinking about using gelatin. I would prefer to add the gelatin while kegging and then put it right in the fridge under 20 or 30 lbs of co2. I don't mind sucking up some crap from the bottom on the first few poors.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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I'm considering aging my beer in a keg. Most breweries I went to will tend to let beer sit in fermentation till it is done fermenting, then transfer to conditioning tanks. The tanks are kept refrigerated, and many in a horizontal position (less distance for yeast and sediment to fall). I'm considering doing something similar and getting a regulated chest freezer to throw kegs in horizontally for aging for a week or so. Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put pressure on it if you need pressure to seal. Alternatively, toss a little KY jelly on the seals and that should keep the keg sealed without pressure.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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Yeah I need to add a chest freezer to my brewery one of these days, then I will crash cool in the carboy. But until then all I have is a kegerator full of corny's. If I keep the kegs under pressure to stay sealed, they will become carbonated and I'm wondering if the carbonation screws up crash cooling. I also wonder if carbonation would affect how the gelatin works. It seems like everyone here does their crash cooling and what not in the carboy but I haven't found the reason why.

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Old 02-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
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I have seen other people post on here I think who tried adding gelatin in the keg but weren't happy with the results.

Personally, I cold crash by sticking the fermenter in an igloo cooler with ice bottles that I pull from my freezer, and filling up the rest of the space with water. The first day I swap out bottles a few times to get the temperature down, but once it's down there it is fairly low maintenance.

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Old 02-27-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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I saw that a bunch of people on the northernbrewer site put gelatin into the serving keg while carbing. I guess it's suggested that you get the beer down to at least serving temperature or preferably colder before you add the gelatin, then using the shake force carbing method mixes the gelatin in sufficiently. I think I'm going to give that a try.

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Old 02-27-2011, 01:11 AM   #6
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I'm fairly mixed with gelatin. I've cold crashed with and without and both ways have gotten me nice clear beers. The key thing really is aging. If you are going to age your beer for a couple weeks in the cold, then gelatin isn't really going to add any extra. It may help a bit if you are only going to crash for a few days. I'd say play around and see what works for you. I'm personally going to just age in cold kegs horizontally as soon as fermentation is done. Timing depends on style.

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:16 AM   #7
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I don't understand why your aging it horizontal. Am I missing something? Your going to have to stand the corny back up to serve and it(sediment) will have to settle again.

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Old 02-27-2011, 05:47 AM   #8
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Horizontal means sediment has less distance to fall. I don't plan on serving from that keg. Once ready, I will carefully rack it into a separate serving keg.

EDIT: As a note, I decided to do this more recently after seeing a couple breweries that do their beer conditioning this way as well. Of course they put theirs through filtration first, but they end up aging their beers in large conditioning tanks placed horizontally for the reason I gave above. I'm thinking of getting an upright freezer with a temp controller to do this myself with larger amounts of kegs since I'm brewing a lot.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:05 AM   #9
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horizontal is lesss distance to fall but if you are using a corney keg you are going to have to stand it up. The dip tube is in the midddle of the bottom. No matter how slowly you move that keg you are going to have sediment floating to the bottom. Breweries that settle kegs on their side usually have a bung on the side of the keg that is facing up. Therefore the opposite side becomes the bottom. You don't find many kegs like this nowdays. I would cut the did tube in the corney about an inch from the bottom and stand it straight up.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:17 AM   #10
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People cold crash after primary is done in the carboy to settle as much yeast to the bottom of the carbor as possible. It also condenses the yeast in the carboy.

This means that when you're siphoning to your keg or conditioning tank, you are sucking up less yeast and you can siphon closer to the yeast cake without sucking up the yeast cake.

I also don't see what conditioning horizontally would do unless you serve horizontally. If you move it upright everything that settled on the side of the keg will get thrown back into the suspension and will then settle to the bottom.

Was the brewery you saw conditioning in wood barrels? That would make sense to get more surface contact with the wood.

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