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Old 10-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #1
Thile
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Sep 2010
Jackson, MS
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Been reading up on here today about the whole primary vs secondary thing, but haven't really seen much on this. I don't have good fermentation control yet, but can handle my primary fermentation phase pretty well with just a swamp cooler, I think. But that's my first planned up grade - fermentation control.

Anyway, my question is, for how short a period would Cold-Crashing be useful? Could I try and do one relatively quickly given my current operating conditions - 18 hours or so?

I've never done that before so am looking for some possible pointers...

Also, I'll double check but it seemed like the Whirlpool FAQ had broken links for the pictures?

 
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
phatuna
 
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Mar 2009
San Diego
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I'm not positive that I understand your question, are you asking at what point during the process should one cold crash?

People typically cold crash their primary about 24 hours prior to bottling. Bottling is typically done 3-8 weeks after you begin fermenting.

 
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:35 PM   #3
tunoffun
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Oct 2010
AZ
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ditto phatuna. I'm not sure what you're asking.

IF you are asking if 18 hours is enough time to cold crash AFTER fermention is complete in order to clarify the beer (which is pretty much the reason to cold-crash)... then no. Not really. How long depends on many variables, like what you're trying to clear (yeast, chill-haze, both), the yeast flocculation characteristics, the temp, whether you used finings or not, etc. But regardless... you're looking at days, absolute minimum. Not hours.

 
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #4
Thile
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Sep 2010
Jackson, MS
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Yes that is what I am asking - is 18 hours enough time to clarify by cold crashing post fermentation?

I think I am going to have an extra day but thought I had saw someone say they did it for 24-hours, but wasn't sure what the minimum timeframe was... I was going to try for around 42 or so based upon what kind of timeframe I have at this point. Have to invest in that soon, I guess, if cold-crashing is that important for better beer too? (Mainly I want the fermentation control so I can control primary fermentation better w/o the swamp cooler)

I will have this one in primary for about a month, OG 1086 Old Ale.

 
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:22 PM   #5
tunoffun
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Oct 2010
AZ
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Ok, well, first off, there is no 'minimum', 'maximum', or 'required'. As I said above, it all depends on plenty of factors. The yeast don't get cold, take a vote, and decide to all drop to the bottom at once. Same with haze-causing proteins. In general.. the longer you leave your beer condition (cold or not), the more it's going to clear. It's up to you to decide when the law of diminishing returns applies, based on your variables, wants, and needs.

As far as cold-conditioning being required for better beer... I don't necessarily think so. From a taste perspective, it may help some styles. Then again it may not. From a clarity perspective, I believe it certainly helps hasten the process - but it's not necessarily required (an exception to this might be the issue of chill-haze and its removal, but this is mainly a cosmetic issue).

 
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Old 10-25-2010, 10:41 PM   #6
Thile
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Sep 2010
Jackson, MS
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I guess at the crux of it I wasn't sure if it would be worth my while to try to cold-condition for 20 hours, or even for 44 or so. I think I'll end up trying it for 44 to see if I can tell much difference, but may not have been worth it to try for just 20 or so.

Thanks for the feedback - yeah I'm used to approaching this as a recipe so far, do this, add that, wait for X amount of time and what not. Am fermenting a black IPA that I expected to ferment like mad and it is, but haven't needed the blow-off hose. Who knows!

 
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