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Old 06-16-2012, 06:15 PM   #1
zentr
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Default Blow off water back into fermenter during cold crash

I may have just learned a hard lesson in cold crashing beer...

I had a blowoff tube going into a bucket of sanitized water. During the initial fermentation, some of the yeast blow off did go down the tube and discolor the tube and water in the bucket some. I just left everything as is, so as not to disturb anything.

I cold crashed my beer down to 38 F, and, as expected, there was suction back into the fermenter. I didn't think it would be enough to suck the water all the way back up. Actually, I'm not sure it did go all the way back up. But when I lifted the hose to empty it, some of the water went into the fermenter. Maybe just a couple tablespoons. Hard to say.

It is a closed system. The water was sanitized. All the light brown stuff in the hose is from the beer yeast (Saccharomyces, of course). There could be other yeast on the surface of the water in the bucket.

I'm thinking that I infected my beer in some way. I guess I can just continue and hope for the best. Next time I will handle the cold crash differently.

I'm bringing the temperature back up to 67 F now for three days of dry hop before I keg.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any suggestions or responses regarding this little mishap? Thanks!

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Old 06-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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Doesnt sound like enough sanitizer got in to do anything. I just have a question on your procedure of cold crashing. Why did you cold crash if you are going to warm it back up to dry hop? Would it have been easier to to dry hop it when its already warm for 3 days then cold crash it before you keg it?

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Old 06-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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That's a fair response. I might change the order of operations next time.

I think I read somewhere about someone else doing it in that order. I read a lot of beer books, magazines, and websites so I don't recall. May have heard it on a podcast. Somehow that got stuck in my head and became my plan.

My logic is that I wanted to dry hop for 3 days, not 6. I have read where people have stated that they get best results when dry hopping for three days (or 3 to 5 days).

I'm going to use nylons to dry hop pellets so that the beer stays relatively clear. I just cleared my beer, I don't want to mess it up with hop debris.

I suppose I could use fishing line attached to dry hop warm for three days, then pull up the hop bags. Then cold crash.

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Old 06-17-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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I've read that a one piece airlock is good for cold crashing. Is this correct?

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Old 06-17-2012, 02:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by threeporks View Post
I've read that a one piece airlock is good for cold crashing. Is this correct?
I dont think it matters I use a 3 piece air lock during cold crashing
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zentr View Post
That's a fair response. I might change the order of operations next time.

I think I read somewhere about someone else doing it in that order. I read a lot of beer books, magazines, and websites so I don't recall. May have heard it on a podcast. Somehow that got stuck in my head and became my plan.

My logic is that I wanted to dry hop for 3 days, not 6. I have read where people have stated that they get best results when dry hopping for three days (or 3 to 5 days).

I'm going to use nylons to dry hop pellets so that the beer stays relatively clear. I just cleared my beer, I don't want to mess it up with hop debris.

I suppose I could use fishing line attached to dry hop warm for three days, then pull up the hop bags. Then cold crash.
I did a new procedure for my hopping and cold crash for this current batch. What I did was clean/sanitize my keg. Racked from primary into the keg. Used nylon to hold the hops i tied one end to the keg handle so the hops would be easier to remove. Sealed the keg dry hopped for 5 days. When it was time to cold crash I popped the top took out the hops, chilled, carbed it. It turned out to be easier with out needing to dirty up another carboy for the dry hop stage.
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Old 06-18-2012, 12:41 PM   #8
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wilserbrewer: I think I may end up using sanitized foil next. Maybe even a rubber band due to the sucking in and the air blowing in my incubator.

threeporks: My concern with airlocks is the sucking in. Many have mentioned that the sanitized water or vodka gets sucked down. If all of it were to get sucked down, oxygen could get in. (Though RandomBeerGuy did state that he uses an airlock).

RandomBeerGuy: That sounds like a good process. The only thing I would be concerned with is any yeast sediment. Isn't the cold crash good for dropping things out and settling to the bottom? I would think one would want to do this before the keg.

I dry hopped three ounces of hops yesterday. I used nylons for the first time. Easy to use. I boiled the heck out of them Saturday and I soaked them in StarSan before using.

Tomorrow night I'll take a gravity reading and taste it. I'll also keg the beer.

I've done a lot of new things with this beer as part of my ongoing drive to improve the beer--water chemistry, yeast nutrients, mashing technique, cold crashing, dry hopping, I'll even be kegging for the first time--so there is room for improvement, but also room for errors. (You can see my brewday notes here for my Free IPA if you want.)

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Old 06-18-2012, 12:54 PM   #9
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I like the foil/rubberband idea, im gonna try that in a couple days.

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Old 06-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zentr View Post
I think I read somewhere about someone else doing it in that order. I read a lot of beer books, magazines, and websites so I don't recall. May have heard it on a podcast. Somehow that got stuck in my head and became my plan.
If I remember right I think Vinny C. from Russian River said that's how they dry hop. The less yeast in suspension, the better the result from dry hopping, or so the story goes.
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