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Old 08-07-2007, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Cold conditioning - worth it?

Hi all, I've been reading about cold-conditioning and how it will improve the clarity of the beer, etc.... I have an extra fridge in my basement where I've currently got a lager in the secondary at 34 degrees. I also have an IPA that just entered the secondary and is not at final gravity yet.

My question is, is it worth it to cold-condition the IPA after final gravity is achieved? I have room for the carboy in the fridge next to the lager, and I assume it's okay to do this before bottling? After bottling, should I have the bottles at cellar temp (about 70 degrees) or put em right back in the fridge, assuming I cold-condition the carboy?

And last question, how long would you cold-condition an IPA?

Thanks.

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Old 08-07-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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I can answer the bottling part---no need to immediately refrigerate even though you cold conditioned the beer. Once everything drops out of suspension in cold conditioning, it will stay out of suspension. Assuming you gently siphon when bottling (or by other means do not disturb the trub) then you should have a beer of good clarity that you can cellar to age and only fridge when ready to drink. Cheers, sounds like you have a nice setup!

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Old 08-07-2007, 05:35 PM   #3
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Sounds good. What's the normal time for cold conditioning an IPA? Two weeks or so?

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Old 08-07-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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I defer to those with more experience. I don't cold-condition anything. Clarity is not important to me, just my thang. I like a hearty, chunky, hazy, unfiltered mess of a beer! I want dinner and drinks all in one bottle.

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Primary: empty like Bush's head.
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Conditioning: Eurotrash ale
Drinking: Simi Cider; Home Rule Hefe
Coming Attractions: DC High Property Tax Bitter; Old Throbbinghead

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Old 08-07-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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Two things you can do to get crystal clear beer without a filtration system:

1) Cold condition your secondary (like you’re talking about) for 2 - 3 weeks.
B) When you rack to the secondary, dissolve 2 Teaspoons of unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of very warm water to completely dissolve and add it to the secondary.

Gelatin Finings sold by the HBS are the same thing as you buy in the grocery store. This will help to attract and pull down the solids that want to remain in suspension. It made a world of difference for my beers.

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Old 08-07-2007, 06:20 PM   #6
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If I do that with my beers, will it effect my ability to carbonate the beer in the bottle ?

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Old 08-07-2007, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutilated1
If I do that with my beers, will it effect my ability to carbonate the beer in the bottle ?
In a nutshell, with Ale yeasts what happens is they slow down as you drop the temperature which can translate to really long carbonation times. I suggest holding the bottled beer @ ferment temperature (or slightly higher) for 10 days (or more depending on the vigour of the yeast) and then into the cold condition.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
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I personally put my bottles in the fridge for about a week before drinking. However, my beers have already been in bottles for a month plus by the time they reach the fridge.

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Old 08-08-2007, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
In a nutshell, with Ale yeasts what happens is they slow down as you drop the temperature which can translate to really long carbonation times. I suggest holding the bottled beer @ ferment temperature (or slightly higher) for 10 days (or more depending on the vigour of the yeast) and then into the cold condition.
I'm confused now.... are you saying NOT to condition the beer in the secondary because this will increase carbonation time? OR, can I cold condition in the secondary, then bottle and leave the bottles in the basement like I normally do to carbonate? Or should I only cold condition AFTER carbonation is complete?
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockout
I'm confused now.... are you saying NOT to condition the beer in the secondary because this will increase carbonation time? OR, can I cold condition in the secondary, then bottle and leave the bottles in the basement like I normally do to carbonate? Or should I only cold condition AFTER carbonation is complete?
If I were to bottle again here’s what I would do:

Go ahead and cold condition the secondary for 10-14 days. This will cause a lot more clearing than at room temperature. It will also pull a lot more yeast out of suspension (good because the beer is clearer…bad because you need adequate yeast to carb those bottles). Once you’re ready to bottle, rack from the secondary to your bottling bucket and when you get close to the bottom of the secondary, get that racking cane to suck up some yeast sediment (there will be plenty). Maybe suck up the equivalent of ¼ of a beer bottles worth.

This will give you a controlled amount of yeast to convert the (corn) sugar you’re going to add to CO2. There will always be “some” yeast in suspension, even after a cold chilling, but this way you get.

The cold chill will also help to pull some other solids and proteins out so your beer will clarify better in the bottles.
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