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Old 12-06-2013, 04:09 PM   #1
arborman
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Default How effective is cold crashing?

I am just wrapping up my first batch in my new morebeer heated/cooled conical fermentors. With it, I also have the ability to cold crash down to about 45. They recommend not going more then 2 days at 45 because the cooling fans can overheat.

What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of cold crashing? Is it worth the process? I will crash for 2 days, then transfer to kegs..

I have had issues with cloudy beers in the past.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #2
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Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't (depends if I have room in the fridge normally). I had an RIS that after 3 weeks I transferred to carboy for aging, decided after 2 days to keg instead so I cold crashed for 2 days. Between those 4 days there was a significant fallout (~1/16-1/8"). Did it help clarity? Hard to tell with a jet black stout, but it definitely precipitates particulate faster.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:13 PM   #3
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45 is around your fridge temp, so cold crashing there is not buying you much. A few wxtra weeks in the fridge will likwly do the same.

My last couple of beers have been crystal clear. Better than some off the shelf ales, and equivalent to lagers.

I use irish moss or whirlfloc, I cold crash at 35ish for a day, add geletin finings to the cold wort, cold crash for another 2 to 5 days, bottle.

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Old 12-06-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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One of my favorite pics.

My lastest IPA is just as clear but much darker (C40 steeped)

forumrunner_20131206_121817.jpg

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #5
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When I cold crash I try to get as close to freezing as possible. I have no personal experience on using near freezing temps vs serving temp for cold crashing to compare results with. I have read from others that colder the more effective so I have always just gone for the colder route.

Since you can't get that low, and you have a risk of equipment damage by doing so, you might be better off just cold conditioning in the keg for a week or two instead. Also using things like Whirlfloc and gelatin will obviously also help as mentioned above by Ster.

One last note, generally cloudy beers are just an appearance issue and not a taste issue. However I do agree that presentation is important, especially if you are going to serving to other people (who may or may have a negative perception of homebrew).

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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Cold crashing near freezing greatly improves the clarity of beer in relation to getting yeast etc to fall out. It will not help at all with chill haze. If you can't get below 45 and doing that would risk damaging equipment I would say skip the step.

I typically run my fermentation chamber down to 35 for 2-3 days (allowing a good amount of time for the beer to move from 68 to 35). This will clear it up quite well.

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Old 12-06-2013, 05:33 PM   #7
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It is very effective. Colder the better. I generally crash my beers for 3 days at near freezing.

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Old 12-07-2013, 04:21 AM   #8
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Worth the effort to me. I go 5-7 days at 35-36*F. Nice clarity, firmer yeast cake in bottom of primary, less yeast rub in bottles.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:30 AM   #9
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I have no need. Once primary fermentation is done, I pull them out of the ferm chamber and set them on a table until I'm ready to keg. Unless I'm in a huge hurry, the beer gets plenty of time to drop and clear in the keg.

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Old 12-07-2013, 05:22 AM   #10
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The colder the better, but if you can go quickly from fermentation temps (for ales) to 45 degrees I think it would still be enough of a shock to the yeast to make it worthwhile. Definitely don't put your equipment at risk, though.

What were your problems with "cloudy" beer in the past? If it's just a little chill haze or hop haze, it's not big deal. But if you have yeast in suspension, you can definitely taste it. It's not just cosmetic. Have you tried gelatin or other fining agents?

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