Originally Posted by guldalian
I don't cold crash either. Or fine, or filter. Not saying its bad to do that or trying to deride your process. Just saying whirfloc alone does the trick for me and I don't seem to need any extra steps.
Whirlfloc and cold crashing accomplish two different things on the road to the same goal. One doesn't take the place of the other.
Whirlfloc helps to clump proteins and other small particulates in the boil into bigger particles that will settle to the bottom. The result is more clear wort and less gunk transferred to the bucket.
Post-ferment cold crashing is done primarily to encourage more yeast to drop out of suspension and to firm up the yeast trub layer in the bottom of the fermenter so that it's harder to disturb when moving the bucket/carboy and siphoning. The benefits are more clear beer and less yeast trub in bottle-conditioned beers.