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Old 10-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Question on Cold-Crashing and Kegging

Hi all. I recently brewed a Cincinnati Pale Ale from How to Brew, using WLP001.

I currently at day 11 of fermentation with days 2-4 very active. Everything has been at temp (69-72F) and fermentation has slowed.

I would like to transfer to secondary (keg) soon. However, the yeast has not precipitated as I want it to.

Can I cold crash down to 40F for a few days to clear out, then transfer to the keg, and warm back up to fermentation temps (70-72F)?

Also, when is a good time to begin the carbonation process? Any recommended pressures for this style?

As always, thanks for the help guys.

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Leave it in primary until it stabilizes. I'm not getting into the yes/no secondary thing. If you transfer to the keg and then cold crash and use it as a serving vessel after treating is as a secondary all that gunk is going to be in the keg with it. My advice is if you really want to go to a secondary to cold crash use a carboy. Then transfer to the keg after cold crashing.

Why would you want to warm it to fermentation temps after cold crasing?

You can begin carbing as soon as you put it in the keg. I like to go 30psi over night and then turn it down to 12psi to serve. But it will be different depending on the length and ID of you serving line.

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Old 10-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #3
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Leave it in primary until it stabilizes. I'm not getting into the yes/no secondary thing. If you transfer to the keg and then cold crash and use it as a serving vessel after treating is as a secondary all that gunk is going to be in the keg with it. My advice is if you really want to go to a secondary to cold crash use a carboy. Then transfer to the keg after cold crashing.

Why would you want to warm it to fermentation temps after cold crasing?

You can begin carbing as soon as you put it in the keg. I like to go 30psi over night and then turn it down to 12psi to serve. But it will be different depending on the length and ID of you serving line.
I meant cold crash in primary, then siphon to the keg.

Also is there a best practice or calculation for PSI\Timing?

As for the warm temp, I guess I have been reading more stuff that focuses on bottling rather than kegging.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by muhteeus View Post
Hi all. I recently brewed a Cincinnati Pale Ale from How to Brew, using WLP001.

I currently at day 11 of fermentation with days 2-4 very active. Everything has been at temp (69-72F) and fermentation has slowed.

I would like to transfer to secondary (keg) soon. However, the yeast has not precipitated as I want it to.

Can I cold crash down to 40F for a few days to clear out, then transfer to the keg, and warm back up to fermentation temps (70-72F)?

Also, when is a good time to begin the carbonation process? Any recommended pressures for this style?

As always, thanks for the help guys.
When you say "fermentation has slowed", how do you know? Answer: the only way to "know" is to take a specific gravity reading, wait a couple of days, and take another to see if the sg is still falling.

Also, did you use Irish Moss or Whirlfoc or whatever? This helps getting clearer beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D View Post
Leave it in primary until it stabilizes. I'm not getting into the yes/no secondary thing. If you transfer to the keg and then cold crash and use it as a serving vessel after treating is as a secondary all that gunk is going to be in the keg with it. My advice is if you really want to go to a secondary to cold crash use a carboy. Then transfer to the keg after cold crashing.

Why would you want to warm it to fermentation temps after cold crasing?

You can begin carbing as soon as you put it in the keg. I like to go 30psi over night and then turn it down to 12psi to serve. But it will be different depending on the length and ID of you serving line.
I cold crash in the keg all the time. I "secondary" in kegs almost all the time. (The only exception are things like fruit beers, e.g. cherry wheat.) A sanitary stainless steel keg is an awesome environment to further condition beer as you can have with a layer of co2 at whatever temperature you want.

However, I agree, the OP should let the thing sit longer in the primary. Give it time. This is one area in life where it pays to be lazy. I typically let my batches sit at least two weeks after brew day before I get around to racking.

What's nice about cold crash "in the keg" is that you can get the temperature low and really clear the beer. A cold crash at 32-35 degrees will drop the gunk and you can be carbonating it at the same time if desired. Then, just dispense a couple of pints and it will get the remaining gunk out.

If the beer was really bad with hop gunk when you rack to the keg, there is a slight chance of blocking the beverage line, which is not fun.

FWIW, I've had bunches and bunches of complements on the clarity of my beer done this way.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
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So, I take a couple SG readings over the next 4 or so days and see if fermentation has ceased.

Siphon to keg, cold crash for about 2-3 weeks and force-carb overnight at the end of week 3? I haven't read up too much on force carbing, but I don't think that will be an issue.

I can avoid most of the hop gunk when I siphon as most of it is on the bottom and liquid surface of the fermenter.

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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So, I take a couple SG readings over the next 4 or so days and see if fermentation has ceased.

Siphon to keg, cold crash for about 2-3 weeks and force-carb overnight at the end of week 3? I haven't read up too much on force carbing, but I don't think that will be an issue.

I can avoid most of the hop gunk when I siphon as most of it is on the bottom and liquid surface of the fermenter.
1. Make sure that fermentation has ceased via SG reading.
2. Combine #1 with being lazy. Go do something else that keeps you from doing #1 for a couple weeks after brewing. My trick is to have no place to put it, i.e. keezer full, refrigerator where I do my cold crash full, and too much other stuff to do.
[At this point, the beer will have further conditioned and gunk fallen to bottom.]
3.Rack to sanitized keg. Avoid the yeast at the bottom and the gunk stuck to the sides.
4.Ensure keg doesn't have any oxygen by adding co2, vent, add co2, vent, add co2.
5.Cold crash, ensure co2 layer remains by adding co2 after keg cools or keep under desired co2 target psi. In other words, you can combine the cold crash with carbonation. Or not...just make sure there is a enough co2 pressure to keep sealed.
6.Wait a while (a few days at least). Draw off a couple of pints. Continue with carbonation.
7.Move to serving keezer with proper temperature for beer style. After carbonation is complete, start drinking.

Note: Sometimes I just cold crash in the keezer as it is cold enough as I tend to keep the beer cold and just let it warm up after I serve it. (You don't want to freeze the beer but lower 30's clears it better than if it were in the 40's.)
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Last n brews in 2014: (P=Primary) (K=Keg) (B=Keg->Bottle)
6/13: Rolling Rock (P), 6/09: Yooper's Pale Ale (P), 5/27: Coumbus IPA (P), 5/17: Victory Hop Devil (K), 5/15: Summit MO SMASH (K), 5/12: Sierra Nevada Celebration (K), 5/03: Schwartzbeir (K),4/10: Birch Beer (Soda) (K), 3/31: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (K), 3/25: Belgian Ale (SWMBO slayer) (B), 3/21: mrbowenz English IPA (B), 3/17: Mirror Pond Ale (K), 3/17: Blue Moon's "Old Country Cousin" (B), 3/15: Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (B),

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Old 10-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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The lazy thing works for me... I planned on transferring this much earlier, but it hasn't cleared... hence me gleaning your info.

It will all work out... thanks for the sound advice.

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