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Old 12-06-2008, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default Frozen Primary

What if a pail freezes after most fermentation is complete, say at cold crash-real cold crash?

I need to haul a chest freezer to the basement, so until I can, I'm crashing in the garage. Fermentation temp control isn't a real issue-I can use the basement for that.

I am guessing that this is just a temporary problem, until it thaws, but I don't know for sure-has this ever happened to anyone?

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Old 12-06-2008, 06:29 PM   #2
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What do you mean "almost" complete? I wouldn't do anything if it's still fermenting. When it's done go ahead and cold crash it.

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Old 12-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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You've missed the point of my question completely.

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:16 PM   #4
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You might crack your pail and when it thaws, you will have beer all over.

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:17 PM   #5
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Then why don't you explain further because I would agree with Brewsmith. If cold crash before fermentation is complete you going to stop the fermentation. If ice crystals begin to form your going to burst the yeast cells.

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Old 12-07-2008, 02:23 PM   #6
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If a primary freezes during cold crashing, as long as fermentation is complete, the only thing you need to worry about is yeast viability if you're bottling... that and make sure your fermenter doesn't crack with the expansion. I don't know if a bucket will crack, but I've had 2 Better Bottles completely freeze because I cold crashed and, like an idiot, didn't put the temperature probe in the chest freezer (freezer ran continuously for 24 hrs). The BBs, although temporarily warped, held up fine and I just thawed them and added yeast at bottling time. It was one of my tastiest beers ever.

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Old 12-07-2008, 04:04 PM   #7
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It only freezes in my garage when it is the coldest part of winter-a few days to maybe a week in January. I am leaving a brewing pail on a table in the middle of an insulated, roughly 28'-ish square garage. I've got a nice appliance dolly to move it, through the entire house, around a tight 180, and then down walled stairs. I think the end of year get-togethers will be easiest for getting some strength over to move my freezer.

I am kegging, and beer goes straight from the pail into a serving keg. In summer I was fermenting for two weeks and then setting the Ranco to 38*, but because it may be colder in there then just sitting on table in the middle of garage, I was just going to let it be out there for another week.

I didn't think the yeast would necessarily die if frozen for a short time, but it's been a week in the basement and I plan on putting it into a keg next weekend. I just wondered if it ever happened to anyone else, at what age and how long, and how the beer turned out. I didn't recall a thread like that anywhere-just 'ice beer'.

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Old 12-08-2008, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
If a primary freezes during cold crashing, as long as fermentation is complete, the only thing you need to worry about is yeast viability if you're bottling... that and make sure your fermenter doesn't crack with the expansion. I don't know if a bucket will crack, but I've had 2 Better Bottles completely freeze because I cold crashed and, like an idiot, didn't put the temperature probe in the chest freezer (freezer ran continuously for 24 hrs). The BBs, although temporarily warped, held up fine and I just thawed them and added yeast at bottling time. It was one of my tastiest beers ever.
I did the same in a glass carboy. I hope my batch turns out well.
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