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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Cold crash and dry hopping
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Old 03-23-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
Bryan_85
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Default Cold crash and dry hopping

Hi all -
I have a double IPA fermenting now, and I'm hoping for a little advice on the final steps, especially in regard to cold crashing.

My current plan:
-bottle after 3 weeks time (if the gravity readings are stable; too early?)
-dry hop 1 week from bottling
-cold crash 2-3 (?) days at the end

I've never crashed a beer down before (new to brewing), but I'm curious to try it. Is a IIPA a type of beer that benefits from it (my thought was that it would minimize the qty. hop pellet particles that get racked into the bottling bucket)?

I don't have a separate fridge to crash in, so is it even feasible to crash in a standard kitchen fridge (space providing)? I ask that question because perhaps sudden changes in temp (consistent with using the kitchen fridge) would be bad for the final product. If so, then should the wort be brought back to room-temp prior to bottling? Would crashing the beer affect the dry hopping in any way?

I attached a picture of the wort now. On the surface there are some solids that I assume will drop out before bottling - especially if I do end up crashing it. Btw, any guess as to what this should get down to? It started out 1.082, but I added TS to dry it out (about 8% of total grain weight). That was on day 3 and at that point it was down to about 1.027. I mashed ~149 and used S33.

cheers!

img_20140323_125816_395.jpg  
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:34 PM   #2
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Standard fridge is fine, just slightly higher than ideal temperature.

I would be cautious about cold crashing 2XIPA with that much head space though due to oxidation risks. Beta acids in hops are highly oxidizable.

Cold crashing will suck air into the container as the headspace air condenses from cooling. This will attach to the floating hop particles which will sink into the beer eventually pulling oxygen with them.


FG would depend on the recipe and the amount of non-fermentables used. Example: I think crystal malt does not ferment fully, but still adds to gravity.

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Old 03-25-2014, 12:14 AM   #3
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Thanks grathan.

Is the general consensus, then, to skip the cold crash?

Does anyone have a good link to help me understand how the temperature affects the the beer when crashing it? Eg X happens at 35 degrees, but not at 40 degrees.

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Old 03-25-2014, 01:26 AM   #4
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Mostly what happens is the yeast drop out of suspension. The temperature at which they drop is most likely yeast variety dependent. Though I know from experience that my starters tend to drop clear at 40 degrees within 2 days time with most ale strains.


Note that this will also happen in the beer bottle/keg anyways once they hit the fridge.


If you find that your bottles have more sediment than you would prefer. I would encourage to not only cold crash, but also employ gelatin as a fining at the same time. The beer turns clear fairly rapidly. And not only does the yeast settle but some of the proteins get removed as well resulting in a clear beer. I would say that a cold-crashed gelatin-fined beer would mimic the effects of 2 weeks time of aging at 40*F.


But as I said, I wouldn't cold crash any IPAs, especially double IPA with that headspace in the bucket.

One thing you might try in the future is to use a seconday fermenter that matches your finished batch size. So if you typically get 3 gallons from your bucket, buy a 3 gallon secondary fermenter. Then you don't have any headspace left to worry about.



While hop particles will generally drop within a week. Sometimes they do not. You may have to genetly swirl the bucket to persuade them. Also consider using a filter over the racking cane such as a boiled grain sack or even a nylon women's stocking.

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Old 03-25-2014, 05:14 AM   #5
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I brewed a pale ale and my beer is currently cold crashing in the fridge, first time cold crashing as well. I fermented in primary for a week, racked to my secondary where I dry hopped for 7 days and then stuck it in my fridge. I put a thermometer there as well just to see how cold my fridge was. Read somewhere around 28F and thought it would be alright but noticed that after the 5th day my beer was starting to freeze so I turned the power down a bit and it is currently sitting at around 32F and noticed my beer defrosted a bit. I'm waiting on a keg to rack and carbonate which should arrive tomorrow, missed ups today Tomorrow will be the 7th day cold crashing, read multiple sources that said you should cold crash for a minimum of a week so that's what I decided to do but I'm sure a lot of it was opinion based much like a lot of things in home brewing. Oh by the way I put my hops in a bag and they fell straight down after 24 hours. So I would say experiment and find out what works best for you. My beer will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and I'm dying to try it out just because this was an experimental recipe and my first all grain brew. Check out my threads if you'd like. I've posted pictures of the whole process. Best of luck to you.


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Old 03-25-2014, 05:30 AM   #6
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Maybe I'm going against the grain but I cold crash everything 3-4 days, Especially IPA's or anything dryhopped. As I've been told and can vouch for myself, Hoppy beers are best fresh. Odds of It being around long enough to see any effects of oxidization seem pretty slim.

I'm interested to see how it turns out with s33. I've never had any luck with that yeast, keep us posted!

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Old 03-25-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aavila890 View Post
I brewed a pale ale and my beer is currently cold crashing in the fridge, first time cold crashing as well. I fermented in primary for a week, racked to my secondary where I dry hopped for 7 days and then stuck it in my fridge. I put a thermometer there as well just to see how cold my fridge was. Read somewhere around 28F and thought it would be alright but noticed that after the 5th day my beer was starting to freeze so I turned the power down a bit and it is currently sitting at around 32F and noticed my beer defrosted a bit. I'm waiting on a keg to rack and carbonate which should arrive tomorrow, missed ups today Tomorrow will be the 7th day cold crashing, read multiple sources that said you should cold crash for a minimum of a week so that's what I decided to do but I'm sure a lot of it was opinion based much like a lot of things in home brewing. Oh by the way I put my hops in a bag and they fell straight down after 24 hours. So I would say experiment and find out what works best for you. My beer will be 3 weeks old tomorrow and I'm dying to try it out just because this was an experimental recipe and my first all grain brew. Check out my threads if you'd like. I've posted pictures of the whole process. Best of luck to you.


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32 is a bit on the cold side IMO. I regularly crash at 38 and it works just fine.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #8
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32 degrees is a safe place. For clearing your beer, the colder without freezing the better.

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