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Old 12-03-2013, 02:39 AM   #1
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I was discussing brewing with a friend and we came to something that we disagreed or weren't sure about, and I wanted to ask here. I made a big RIS that started out at 1.117. I tasted it at 1.040 and it tasted amazing. I let it continue to ferment and it went down to 1.026, which I was sad about. I wanted a higher residual sweetness. My buddy said I should have cold crashed it there to keep it that sweet. I told him I wanted to enter this in some upcoming competitions and was concerned that with a cold crashed beer that still had adequate sugar in it, that it could go into a secondary fermentation in the bottle if it warmed and create bottle bombs. He disagreed and said that after cold crash, there is not enough yeast in suspension to worry about. So, what is everybody's experience with this scenario? Any info would be appreciated.

 
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:41 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBBrewer View Post
I was discussing brewing with a friend and we came to something that we disagreed or weren't sure about, and I wanted to ask here. I made a big RIS that started out at 1.117. I tasted it at 1.040 and it tasted amazing. I let it continue to ferment and it went down to 1.026, which I was sad about. I wanted a higher residual sweetness. My buddy said I should have cold crashed it there to keep it that sweet. I told him I wanted to enter this in some upcoming competitions and was concerned that with a cold crashed beer that still had adequate sugar in it, that it could go into a secondary fermentation in the bottle if it warmed and create bottle bombs. He disagreed and said that after cold crash, there is not enough yeast in suspension to worry about. So, what is everybody's experience with this scenario? Any info would be appreciated.
Oh, yes, cold crashing and then warming up can very well mean bottle bombs so it's not a great idea for those who bottle!
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks for the feedback.

 
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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Oh, yes, cold crashing and then warming up can very well mean bottle bombs so it's not a great idea for those who bottle!
+1. You're 100% correct to be concerned about this and your buddy is totally wrong. I cold crash every batch 5-7 days at 35-36*F and can still prime/bottle carb just fine without adding any additional yeast at bottling time.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post

+1. You're 100% correct to be concerned about this and your buddy is totally wrong. I cold crash every batch 5-7 days at 35-36*F and can still prime/bottle carb just fine without adding any additional yeast at bottling time.
This was exactly my reasoning. In the olden days of bottle carbing, I would cold crash for a week or more and would still get carbed within a week to 3. Thanks for confirming what I thought.

 
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:34 PM   #6
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Is there a safe way to stop fermentation to retain that residual sweetness that is desired, short of pasteurization?

 
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBBrewer
Is there a safe way to stop fermentation to retain that residual sweetness that is desired, short of pasteurization?
Short answer, yes.

Long answer, I think you're on the wrong track trying to taste the desired flavor mid ferment and prematurely halt the fermentation. Your beers will come out much better fully attenuated; the answer lies in controlling the fermentability of your wort and bitterness/gravity ratio. It's the malts you choose and UNFERMENTABLE sugars that give body and sweetness, not leftover fermentable sugars. Let your RIS age for a month or two and you may just like it better than the sample you took at 1.040...

 
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Demus View Post
Short answer, yes.

Long answer, I think you're on the wrong track trying to taste the desired flavor mid ferment and prematurely halt the fermentation. Your beers will come out much better fully attenuated; the answer lies in controlling the fermentability of your wort and bitterness/gravity ratio. It's the malts you choose and UNFERMENTABLE sugars that give body and sweetness, not leftover fermentable sugars. Let your RIS age for a month or two and you may just like it better than the sample you took at 1.040...
I agree - you'd want to mash higher instead, closer to the high 150s to get a less fermentable wort with bigger body and sweetness.

And as far as the cold crashing to get it to stop? Think of it this way: when some brewers save their yeast for future batches they will even go as far as to freeze the yeast, and yet with the right temperature, a food source, and time, the yeast cells will eventually wake up and get back to work. Same thing with cold crashing. They'll settle out, but if there's fermentable work still left to do when they warm up, they'll eventually do it.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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I understand the concept of mashing at different temperatures to get the desired body. My question was in regards to how to stop it if it is attenuating more than you would have liked. I spoke to a local commercial brewer about his famous stout and he told me he mashes at 148 and still ends up with a FG or 1.036-1.040. This was what I was trying to replicate, without success. He triple mashes using the first runnings of each batch in the next. I did not do this, just used grain and 2 lbs of extract in a single infusion mash to get my desired gravity 1.117, but it just attenuated more than I would have thought.

 
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBBrewer View Post
I understand the concept of mashing at different temperatures to get the desired body. My question was in regards to how to stop it if it is attenuating more than you would have liked. I spoke to a local commercial brewer about his famous stout and he told me he mashes at 148 and still ends up with a FG or 1.036-1.040. This was what I was trying to replicate, without success. He triple mashes using the first runnings of each batch in the next. I did not do this, just used grain and 2 lbs of extract in a single infusion mash to get my desired gravity 1.117, but it just attenuated more than I would have thought.
Are you using the same strain of yeast as this local brewer or a strain of yeast that attenuates differently? Also his technique of 'triple mashing' might have something to do with it, but who knows?
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