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Old 03-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default cold crashing

Can someone explain why one would cold crash your beer and when.
Thanks!

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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If you have a lot of yeast still in suspension, clouding up your beer. Some yeasts don't flocculate out that well and need encouragement.

To cold crash, place your beer in a fridge or drop freezer with an external temperature controller and drop the temperature down to 40 degrees for a few days prior to when you plan to bottle the beer. This encourages yeast to go dormant, floc out of solution and settle to the bottom of the fermenter onto the trub. It's not always necessary to do this but some yeasts seem to require a little wrangling to get the beer to clear up.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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I'm cold crashing an ipa right now to get the dry hops to sink to the bottom of the fermenter before i bottle. Cold crashing also helps compact the yeast cake and trub which helps keep them out of your bottles.

I'm cold crashing in my swamp cooler with 1gal blocks of ice.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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I have a beer c/c now too, any ill effects if it happen to freeze? ( not freeze solid, but slushy/frozen)?

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:00 PM   #5
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A week before kegging, I move the carboy into my fridge. 2 days later, I hit it with a 1/2 tablespoon of gelatin dissolved in a cup of 150° F water. 5 days later, I rack into a keg and begin carbing.

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Old 03-15-2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have a converted freezer I use as a chamber, and I drop my temp down to ~30. With the added alcohol in there, no fear of freezing. Beware of suckback and prepare for it. Takes about 2-3 days and that trub in the bottom is rock solid. Added benefit is the beer is already cold so that is a head start on force carbing.

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
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Can i prime and bottle while still cold, or do i need to let the beer get to room temp?

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Old 03-15-2013, 10:55 PM   #8
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you can prime and bottle with it cold just store the bottles at 70 after you bottle.

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Old 03-15-2013, 11:21 PM   #9
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I experimented with cold crashing and found that 1/4tsp per gallon in ~150F water works well (a bit hotter than the hottest tap water). It is critical that you 1) get the beer cold for >24hrs before adding the gelatin, and 2) actually get the gelatin to dissolve before adding it to the beer. This latter bit can be harder than it seems because the gelatin turns translucent once it is wet.

If you cold crash and are relying on bottle conditioning, the longer you cold crash, the longer it will take for your beer to carb. Without cold crashing, it usually takes me 2 weeks for beers to be fully carbed. With cold crashing, it takes 3 to even 4 weeks for beers to be fully carbed. So, just be patient.

That said, if you are bottle conditioning, I suggest skipping the cold crashing step and using whirlfloc in every boil instead. Roughly the same thing (cold crash) happens when you store your carbed bottles in the fridge and because you are bottle conditioning, there is no way to avoid having crud in the bottom of bottles anyway. IMHO...

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Old 03-16-2013, 12:16 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info. I did buy some Irish moss for my next batch, is that just as good as whirlflock? What about combining that with a cold crash? Doubly clear? And of course, thanks again for the great info and speedy replies, much appreciated!

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