Cold crashing starters - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Cold crashing starters

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2009, 08:36 PM   #1
Tonedef131
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Fort Wayne
Posts: 1,891
Liked 30 Times on 15 Posts



I make starter for essentially every beer I use liquid yeast in. I have noticed that when I am making a smaller starter (around 1L) the night before brew day and pitch the whole thing right off of the stir plate that I end up with activity usually within a couple of hours. Now when I cold crash them I don't expect them to be as active when pitched, but I am also wondering if the yeast are going into more of a hibernation and becoming permanently less active.

For example, I made a 2L starter of Wyeast American Lager and fermented it at 60F. After 2 or 3 days when it was completely finished fermenting I put it into a 40F fridge and let the yeast drop out of suspension. Then on Brew day I decanted the beer off and pitched the slurry into 48F wort and have kept it there since. Is this an alright practice or is the 20F drop from the stir-plate to the fridge enough to cause them to put up a protein coat and not be as active when added to the wort? It is fermenting so I know they are alright, but I am just looking for the best method to keep the yeast viable when decanting is in order. Should I be dropping the yeast temp at a slower speed such as the standard 3-5F a day or is it okay for starters to be cold crashed?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 01:59 AM   #2
PseudoChef
 
PseudoChef's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2007
West Chicago 'Burbs, IL
Posts: 3,406
Liked 110 Times on 81 Posts


Do you (or anyone else) think an 8 degree differential between the yeast temp at 40 versus the wort temp at 48 is enough to cause a significant lag?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 02:12 AM   #3
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
Do you (or anyone else) think an 8 degree differential between the yeast temp at 40 versus the wort temp at 48 is enough to cause a significant lag?
In practice, I'd say no... but that's just my experience. It might cause a slight shock and possibly off flavors, but if you're not having problems..

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #4
menschmaschine
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Delaware
Posts: 3,272
Liked 41 Times on 33 Posts


I don't know about the protein coat thing, but I can say that lager yeasts need a couple days of cold-crashing to come out of suspension. Not sure how long you crashed them, but if you crashed them ~24 hrs before pitching, there will still be a ton of yeast in suspension and if you decant the starter beer, you're losing all that yeast and it will result in a longer lag time than you expected.

I don't see a problem with cold crashing starters... especially with lager yeast.
__________________
END TRANSMISSION

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


I see a problem with cold crashing ale yeast. When you pitch yeast, you want the temperature of the slurry to be as close as possible to the wort. In the case the OP mentioned, we were talking like 4F. But 30F is going to be a big deal.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
menschmaschine
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Delaware
Posts: 3,272
Liked 41 Times on 33 Posts


Any cold-crashed starters would surely be warmed up close to the same temperature as the wort before pitching, n'est ce pas?
__________________
END TRANSMISSION

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 09:11 PM   #7
Tonedef131
Recipes 
 
Feb 2008
Fort Wayne
Posts: 1,891
Liked 30 Times on 15 Posts


With ale yeast I will often pitch the starter when active, but if I do cold crash it I will decant and let the slurry sit at room temp while I brew to warm it up. As for lager I will cold crash and pitch at about 40F into a 46F wort, I never thought this to be too drastic of a temp increase. I actually figured they would like warming up a few degrees like that to wake them up.

As for cold crashing lagers I always give them at least 3 days to fully floc out. I guess my concerns with yeast going semi-permanently dormant after cold crashing are unfounded and I glad to hear so.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k View Post
I see a problem with cold crashing ale yeast. When you pitch yeast, you want the temperature of the slurry to be as close as possible to the wort. In the case the OP mentioned, we were talking like 4F. But 30F is going to be a big deal.
Ah, but what about just good old fashioned common sense? White Labs and Wyeast recommend their smack packs be brought to room temperature before pitching; why should we assume any different with cold-crashed, decanted starters?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
z987k
 
z987k's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Feb 2007
Anchorage
Posts: 3,518
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by flyangler18 View Post
Ah, but what about just good old fashioned common sense? White Labs and Wyeast recommend their smack packs be brought to room temperature before pitching; why should we assume any different with cold-crashed, decanted starters?
Exactly.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2009, 12:33 PM   #10
SpanishCastleAle
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Central Florida
Posts: 4,345
Liked 36 Times on 36 Posts


I don't cold-crash either one...I just let them go until they're done (ale starters @ ~70 F and lager starters at ~60 F) and decant the liquid and pitch the slurry (I pitch ales @ 68-70 F and lagers @ 58-60 F). The decanted liquid is clear so I assume I'm not throwing out too much yeast.

It's prob not accomplishing anything but I actually use my primary lager fridge as an intermediate for the smack packs/vials. They never go from the 40 F fridge to room temp...always to the 50 F first.

Seems within a reasonable range yeast are fairly forgiving and the beer will usually still turn out as decent beer. I used to make teeny-weeny 2 cup starters from the Wyeast Propagator packs (the small 25 billion cell count packs) and many beers still finished dry (but prob not as good as they could have been).
__________________
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cold Crashing???? Stoopidwon Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 106 04-27-2016 04:32 PM
Cold crashing/cold aging Big10Seaner Bottling/Kegging 4 08-05-2009 07:32 PM
Cold Crashing batfishdog37 General Techniques 2 05-01-2009 07:10 PM
Cold crashing outside Soulive General Techniques 13 01-18-2008 04:10 PM
Starters: COld Crashing and Discarding the Liquid Before Pitching... Evan! General Techniques 8 07-18-2007 10:09 PM


Forum Jump