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Old 01-29-2013, 01:40 AM   #1
Thunder_Chicken
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Default Cold Crashing in Primary?

I am new to the forum and am just getting back into home brewing after about 10 years.

I am starting out with a 1-gallon Brooklyn Brew Shop "Everyday IPA" kit:

http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn_Brew_Shop_Everyday_IPA_Instructions.pdf

Yeah, yeah, I'm not brewing 5-gallons like the big boys anymore but I don't have the space (not yet, anyway).

This was my first grain mash and I think it went well. The instructions indicate a 2-week primary and bottle priming. I have read some people recommend "cold crashing" the primary (refrigerating it) prior to bottling in order to improve clarity. I have also read that the recommended 2-weeks is just to allow for time for settling after most of the fermentation has taken place.

Assuming cold-crashing is actually useful, could the 2-week primary include a few days of cold-crashing at the end to enhance clarifying, or would that potentially cut into completing the fermentation or affect bottle priming? I know that generally longer is better when coming to brewing quality, but I am also trying to balance that with a reasonable production rate (per the recipe I am looking at ~ten 12 oz. beers per fortnight). Thoughts on how I might improve quality without extending the batch time would be welcome.

Thanks all!

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #2
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Cold crashing for a couple of days within the 2 week primary will be fine. That's more or less what I do. It won't affect fermentation as fermentation will be done by then. The last 2 or 3 days would be sufficient to cold crash.

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Old 01-29-2013, 02:55 AM   #3
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Assuming fermentation is done cold crashing won't hurt. Make sure it is done though; if it's still creeping down those last few gravity points cold crashing absolutely will interfere with the ferment.

Welcome back to brewing!!

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Some of this has to do with style. I like my IPA's young to preserve the flavor and aroma hops. Almost any other style I won't even look at for 3 weeks but my IPA's get dry hopped, cold crashed, and served as soon as possible. Assuming you treated your beer with respect (proper temperature control, pitched enough healthy yeast, provided sufficient oxygen, etc.) if you have reached Final Gravity, cold crash away my friend.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:18 AM   #5
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Thanks! It's fun to be back. I have a few friends that homebrew and I just had to get back into it.

I'll need to pick up a hydrometer. Thanks for the sanity check.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:25 AM   #6
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@DerekJ - I think I did good on all points. The nice thing about the small batch size is that temperature control was rock-solid on a gas stove, and I could cool the wort fast without too much sloshing. I *did* aerate the heck out of it once it was cooled and I pitched the yeast, and it certainly seemed happy enough. I think I did all the right things from what I remember from the old days.

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Old 01-29-2013, 03:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunder_Chicken View Post
@DerekJ - I think I did good on all points. The nice thing about the small batch size is that temperature control was rock-solid on a gas stove, and I could cool the wort fast without too much sloshing. I *did* aerate the heck out of it once it was cooled and I pitched the yeast, and it certainly seemed happy enough. I think I did all the right things from what I remember from the old days.
That sounds good. Did you control your fermentation temperature too?
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:37 AM   #8
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It's been fermenting in the kitchen which has been pretty stable from 68 - 72F. I put the glass carboy in the box that came with the kit to insulate it and keep light off of it. I haven't done anything crazy to control temp other than set the room thermostat and keep it out of the light.

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