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Old 02-07-2014, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default Cold Crashing

I have a batch of Pale Ale that has been fermenting for 16 days. Last night, I transferred to secondary to clean things up a bit and then put the secondary into my refrigerator to cold crash. It's been in there for 24 hours at about 37 degrees.

Is it pointless to transfer to secondary and then cold crash? Or does that help overall.

Also, how long should I cold crash for before I can keg and force carb?


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Old 02-07-2014, 02:10 AM   #2
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It will not hurt anything, but racking to a secondary is not necessary prior to cold crashing. To answer your question, it was not needed. I personally cold crash at minimum 48 hours around 34 degrees. You should be okay at 37 degrees, just give it a day or two more.



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Old 02-07-2014, 02:17 AM   #3
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I used to transfer most all of my beers to a secondary vessel and dry hop, then cold crash there. Now, I'm more concerned with oxidation and potential contamination of my nearly finished beer, so I dry hop and cold crash in the primary. I believe my beer is better as a result of less handling, so I'll continue to do it this way.
Cold crashing for 24-48 hours has always been good enough for me. Usually I'm just trying to get a large quantity of dry hop pellets to the bottom of the fermenter before racking to a keg.

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Old 02-07-2014, 02:24 AM   #4
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Thank you both...one mistake I made last night when transferring to secondary was using a funnel with a screen on it to filter out all the gunk from primary to secondary. I aerated the beer by letting it splash down into my carboy during the transfer. I have done this 2-3 times now and the beer has been fine all in all. I'm still a newbie and just read a blog about the importance of NOT aerating during transfer. Any insight on that? The brew foamed up quite a bit and them settled back down...but like I said, I had no idea that it was bad to do that until last night. I've done it before though and my brew has always tasted delicious...especially since I started kegging it. Thanks again


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Old 02-07-2014, 02:49 AM   #5
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Yea, pouring nearly finished beer from one vessel to another isn't a good idea There's nothing wrong with using a secondary fermenter. Siphoning instead of pouring is the recommended method.

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Old 02-07-2014, 02:58 AM   #6
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Thanks, I did siphon it, just didn't put the tube on the bottom of the carboy to make it a smooth transition...basically it splashed around a lot while it dropped from top of carboy to bottom of carboy


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Old 02-07-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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In that instance I'd say that you are getting lucky and it's certainly not a Best Practice to do it that way. Going forward, take what you've learned and you'll likely appreciate the end result even more.

And don't worry, once you nail this part down you'll realize how much more there is still to learn and master

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Old 02-07-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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1. Yes, a secondary is unnecessary.

2. You oxidized your beer significantly. It won't ruin it, but drink it fast. In the future, if you're more careful during transferring and avoid such splashing, you'll notice a substantial improvement in your beer's flavour.

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Old 02-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #9
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1) You need a longer bit of tubing to reach the bottom and coil a little.

2) Oxidizing the beer causes it to go stale faster. If you've been drinking it quickly you may not have noticed it much, especially if you were used to drinking the mass-produced swill from BMC. Give it some time, however, and the wet cardboard flavor will become more pronounced. It's certainly something to avoid doing after you've pitched the yeast and fermentation has begun.

3) The only justifiable reasons to use a secondary in homebrewing are, IMO, a) long-term bulk aging/lagering, b) adding fruit or c) dry hopping if you're going to harvest and reuse the yeast. Unfortunately, some kit sheets still tell you to go one week primary (too short) and two weeks secondary. I sometimes wonder if that's so new brewers will think that they really need to upgrade their starting equipment kit to the pricier deluxe/brewmaster/pro version which includes that big glass carboy.


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