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Old 07-10-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
methane's Avatar
Apr 2009
Posts: 50

So, A brew-club at my work recently did a brew, and while I wasn't there for it, I found out that they had some wort-cooling issues. Running to the store for more ice, etc.
Anyway, They brewed from an extract kit. I believe that at some point in the past someone told me that with extract kits, getting a fast cold-break is not as important as with all-grain kits. And even if it was bad, that shouldn't effect taste, but might make effect the beer's longevity, right?

Anyone care to comment on the imporance of a cold break for extract brewing vs. full-grain?


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Old 07-10-2009, 04:33 PM   #2
Schnitzengiggle's Avatar
Feb 2009
Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,560
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Definition: Cold break is when protein in boiled wort coagulates and falls out of solution. This happens during the rapid cooling from boiling to fermentation temperature.

The main reason is for beer clarity, it will help to prevent chill haze.

Here is an excerpt from John Palmer's How to Brew:
Rapid cooling also forms the Cold Break. This is composed of another group of proteins that need to be thermally shocked into precipitating out of the wort. Slow cooling will not affect them. Cold break, or rather the lack of it, is the cause of Chill Haze. When a beer is chilled for drinking, these proteins partially precipitate forming a haze. As the beer warms up, the proteins re-dissolve. Only by rapid chilling from near-boiling to room temperature will the Cold Break proteins permanently precipitate and not cause Chill Haze. Chill haze is usually regarded as a cosmetic problem. You cannot taste it. However, chill haze indicates that there is an appreciable level of cold-break-type protein in the beer, which has been linked to long-term stability problems. Hazy beer tends to become stale sooner than non-hazy beer. The following are a few preferred methods for cooling the wort.
As Palmer states "Long-Term" storage problems, which means you will more than likely be drinking your beer before you run into any issues froma poor cold break.

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Old 07-10-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
Jul 2008
Posts: 471

^ what he said.

When I first started I use to sweat the chilling it fast thing... not becuaase of cold break etc... but eventually just gave up stressing over it.

I drop a wort chiller (entry level model from morebeer) into the kettle 15minutes before the end and it STILL takes 30 minutes to cool the wort to pitching temps... if not just above it.

As long as they arent opeing the lid and letting someone cough in it.. it should be fine.

No need to drive up the cost by buying ice..... just cool water... drain it when hot, add more cool water to the sink... repeat till done.

or have everyone pitch in for a cheap wort chiller.

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Old 01-12-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
Jan 2011
Athens, GA
Posts: 1

I have not been able to find out what happens to the proteins or tannins after they 'precipitate' in the cold break. I have read that if you do not do the cold break fast enough then these proteins will become suspended later when you chill it and cause the beer to be hazy, then if you heat it back up they will dissolve again. However, if you do do it correctly can they still be somehow reformed such that they cause chill haze again? My guess is that they settle to the bottom, but if that is the case then would racking from the bottom of the kettle or fermenter pull them out again in a way that they could be resuspended. Does special care need to be taken to avoid this or will it happen naturally, or am I wrong about them just dropping to the bottom?


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