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Old 11-15-2012, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default Cold Crashing and Bottling

I've had good results cold crashing for two days in a refrigerator before bottling.

There is another technique that is similar that seems to be popular that I am curious about:
1) Cold crash the beer for a week or longer
2) When racking the beer to the bottling bucket, stir up the cake to get more yeast into suspension.

It seems to me that step 2 would defeat the purpose of step 1. I'm curious to try this, but there must be some rationale.

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:08 PM   #2
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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I've cold conditioned a tripel for two weeks in secondary after one week of fermentation. When I moved it to my bottling bucket I primed and then added Champagne yeast to carbonate. I think stirring up the yeast cake would undo your cold crashing but would also not necessarily activate the possibly dormant yeast.

It's only been a few days since I bottled my tripel so I checked one and there was small amount of carbonation. I then moved the bottles into my garage fridge for cold-conditioning. I'm following the Westmalle schedule for fermentation.

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Old 11-23-2012, 03:43 PM   #4
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Rousing the yeast would defeat the purpose of cold crashing if you're trying to clear the beer. I don't think the yeast would go dormant unless it was aging for more than a few months. I have bottled lagers aged 3 months at 40 degrees with no carbonation problems.

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Old 11-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #5
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Rousing the yeast is not the same thing as "whipping all the yeast back into solution." It can be as simple as running the autosphon along the bottom once to kick up some yeast as it's racking over. A little bit goes into the bottling bucket along with the beer. Plenty to do the job, but not enough to "defeat the purpose" of cold crashing. I do it all the time with the beer I leave in primary for a month or more, since the trub layer is pretty tight. If yo run it once you usually get about 30 seconds or less of cloudy flow going across before it's clear again.

I do that and I still get clear beer, with little or no bottle sediment after carbing and conditioning. I'm hardly defeating the purpose of the time spent clearing. Just making sure there's enough to do the job.

It's really no different than the folks who are adding a package of champagne yeast at bottling, like mentioned above. It's probably the same amount in solution, maybe even less.

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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I agree that whipping all the yeast back into solution would defeated the purpose of cold crashing. Would there be any advantage to cold crashing for a week and then rousing some yeast when bottling instead of just crashing for two days and not intentionally rousing any yeast? In my home refrigerator spaces is at a premium, so unless there was a significant advantage to crashing for a week it's just not worth it for me.

If most of the yeast fell out in the first two days, and most of the protein fell out in the subsequent days then I could see an advantage to crashing longer and rousing. Is something like this the case?

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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I agree that whipping all the yeast back into solution would defeated the purpose of cold crashing. Would there be any advantage to cold crashing for a week and then rousing some yeast when bottling instead of just crashing for two days and not intentionally rousing any yeast?
"Rousing the yeast" isn't going to do much, at least not in my opinion. I mean, the yeast on the bottom are the spent and flocculated yeast. There are still billions and billions of yeast in suspension after cold crashing for a couple of weeks. Putting a bit of spent yeast in the bottling bucket isn't going to do much, but it might make you feel better I guess.

Hazes aren't just caused by yeast- there are proteins and yeast as suspended solids and cold crashing causes most suspended solids (but not all) to fall out. If you are having issues with chill haze, a longer cold crash will take care of that as it takes longer to get rid of chill haze than a couple of days normally.

But if you're not bothered by chill haze, a 24-48 hour cold crash is perfect. Or however long it takes to clear the beer.

I normally don't cold crash, as the beer is clear anyway usually when I go to keg.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the information Yooper. My beer is very clear unless I am using a low flocculation yeast. It sounds like my processes will not benefit from a longer crash.

I agree about having plenty of yeast in suspension. I bottled a Sasion (with WLP566) a couple of days ago and there were 33 billion cells per liter. The wine that I have clearing now in my basement is at 20 billion cells per liter. The WLP004, however, is a different story. After a 24 hour crash there were only about 1 billion cells in suspension. But if I racked it off the top the little bit of yeast that does get sucked off the top would make it adequate for bottling.

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Old 11-24-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodlandBrew View Post
Thanks for the information Yooper. My beer is very clear unless I am using a low flocculation yeast. It sounds like my processes will not benefit from a longer crash.

I agree about having plenty of yeast in suspension. I bottled a Sasion (with WLP566) a couple of days ago and there were 33 billion cells per liter. The wine that I have clearing now in my basement is at 20 billion cells per liter. The WLP004, however, is a different story. After a 24 hour crash there were only about 1 billion cells in suspension. But if I racked it off the top the little bit of yeast that does get sucked off the top would make it adequate for bottling.
How do you determine the number of cells per liter?
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