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Old 06-26-2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default Cold Crashing

So will somebody please enlighten me. I have heard about cold crashing but don't really understand. How cold do I go? How long do I keep It there? What does it do? Should I be doing it with my fairly big (1.090 OG) very dark porter? I have only been in primary for 16 days but have reached FG of 1.016. This FG is what I usually get with this beer but should I leave it in primary for longer? Sorry for all the noob questions but I think I am getting better. Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-26-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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You should leave most of your beers in primary for 3-4 weeks. I usually skip a secondary unless I'm brewing a beer that needs extended aging. Even then, I sometimes just bottle and age in the bottle.

Now, onto cold crashing. All cold crashing does is drop out anything that's still in suspension. It will compact the yeast bed very nicely so it's easy to rack and you don't suck up a bunch of crap you don't want. It'll leave you with a very clear beer. I usually cold crash for 48 hours before I rack. Just stick it in a fridge an let it sit for a few days.

There's probably no need to cold crash a porter.

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Old 06-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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Cold crashing just means putting your beer someplace cold to help drop yeast and other particles out of suspension. By doing this you typically end up with a clearer beer. Most people just put their bucket, carboy, or keg at fridge temps for a few days.

If your porter has only been in the primary for 16 days I'd let it sit longer before doing anything with it. Maybe another week or two. Bigger beers tend to benefit from a little longer primary and some bulk aging.

But if your porter is already going to be completely opaque you probably won't notice any benefit to cold crashing it.

EDIT: Oops, someone beat me to the punch while I was typing.
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Old 06-26-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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The drop in temperature causes the yeast to go dormant and flocculate. It will also form chill haze which you can drop out with finings (such as gelatin). As pointed out by others I wouldn't do this on a porter. I do use it for all my lagers and light coloured ales.

And yes leave your beer for another 2 weeks at least before racking/bottling/kegging. Your yeast have a lot more to do than just ferment the sugar.

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