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Old 02-03-2014, 07:55 PM   #1
Nov 2013
Arlington, VA
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I've done some searches and reading on the topic, but haven't found anything directly on point. I've been fermenting my ales at room temperature (68 to 70 degrees) for two weeks and then kegging them at 40 degrees. When I keg, I rack with a siphon and leave the trub behind.

How is cold crashing different from transferring to a keg at 40 degrees? Doesn't the yeast settle out the same either way?

Or does the fact that the dip tube draws from the bottom of the keg obviate any filtering done by the cold crashing?

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #2
Sep 2013
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Think some people cut or bend the tubes up a bit to avoid the yeast bottom. I think, and prob wrong, but when you cold crash the keg you leave even more yeast behind... Clearer beer? Then when you transfer to the keg the yeast are in suspension and don't create more or die? Just a guess... I just go right to the keg after my weeks. First pour might have a little and just toss, good from there on out.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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Dec 2012
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The difference is that, if you cold crash the primary prior to racking to the keg, you leave much more of the suspended stuff behind in the fermenter bucket/carboy. It also firms up the trub layer so that you're less likely to suck it up in your siphon. It's simply a part of leaving behind as much unwanted gunk as you can through each step of the process.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
Feb 2012
Colorado Springs, CO
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You are essentially cold crashing in the keg for the first couple weeks it is in the fridge.
For those who bottle, the cold crash in the fermentor will prevent most of the trub and yeast from the bottle.

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:06 PM   #5
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Jun 2012
Newberg, Oregon
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It depends what your trying to do, if your trying to get crystal clear beer from the get go, chill it then keg it.

If you really dont care, just keg it. Sure the first pint i pull might be gunky, just toss it and pull another.

Honestly i'd rather get as much beer into my keg as possible even if that means pulling a bit of trub off the bottom. I can always dump from the keg anyways...ive found atleast on all of my kegs that even with the dip tube at the bottom, when i open it up to clean it after its tapped there's some gunk at the bottom that never gets sucked up the tube.

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
Jan 2013
Pullman, WA
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The goal of cold crashing is to keep the trub/yeast/sediment out of the keg. Thus cold crashing can't really be done in a keg. At least that's the way I understand it. I bottle so, IMO, it is REALLY REALLY important to cold crash in order to keep as much crud out of the bottle(s) as possible.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:41 PM   #7
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Dec 2012
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Cold crashing is done before transferring to bottling bucket or keg.
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Old 02-05-2014, 01:54 AM   #8
Sep 2012
Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Cold crashing is just cooling your beer to cause suspended material to drop out of suspension. You can do it to anything (this does not only apply to beer). For instance, if you cold crash the atmosphere with a cold front, you precipitate water. It's called rain.

So yes, you ARE doing it in the keg. Some might say it is a fool's errand because you don't keep anything out of the keg. But as others have mentioned you pull it with the first pint anyway, so who cares.

The main reason to cold crash (at least in my mind) is to clear your beer. This will happen whether in primary, secondary, a keg, or even a bottle. It happens whether the beer is carbonated or not.

And before anybody asks, it only drops FLOCCULATED yeast out of suspension. There will still be PLENTY of yeast left in suspension to bottle carb.

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Old 02-05-2014, 03:26 AM   #9
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Jan 2014
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Jumping in here. I have never cold crshed before. You just stick the fermenter in the fridge for a couple days before bottling? I use 1 gal. Carboys

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Old 02-05-2014, 03:45 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jCOSbrew View Post
You are essentially cold crashing in the keg for the first couple weeks it is in the fridge.
For those who bottle, the cold crash in the fermentor will prevent most of the trub and yeast from the bottle.
Agreed. I don't cold crash before kegging, and I have a very small amount of sediment in my kegs. It's a very small amount- maybe 1/8 cup? but I never measured it.

I suppose I could get even less sediment in the keg if I chilled it first, but it would mean hauling it (moving it) into the kegerator, then back out to where I can rack, then rack into the keg and moving it back into the kegerator.

I don't see much of an advantage to cold crashing for people who keg if they have good fermentation practices. For bottling, I suppose you could avoid some excess yeast sediment, but I don't cold crash when I bottle either and it's been fine.
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