Alternatives to cold crashing?

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SnupDave

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So, I'm new to brewing, and have been reading a lot here on HBT, and am in the process of reading "Strong Waters" by Scott Mansfield. I don't actually have sufficient equipment to actually brew anything at home yet, I am notably missing a temperature controlled fermenting chest or beer-specific refrigerator.
As I was reading about some of the fining agents, and how they do what they do, it occurred to me that Isinglass (which supposedly removes yeast from the wort) could be used as an alternative to cold crashing (which is used to make the yeast stop actively fermenting).

My question is, is anything I've said so far wrong? If so, what? I certainly don't mean to be stating anything as fact, I just want to try to think outside of the box and discuss things to reach a fuller understanding of how this all works. Any information about this process would be helpful.
 

liquiditynerd

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I must say my first response was going to be a smart a remark. However, I would say a couple of things in response. The first is that you can stop fermentation with other means, racking ( removing the wort from the bulk of the yeast) may or may not work depending on yeast population, adding campden tabs ( basically killing off yeat cells), and finally the smart a remark freeze crash, just put it in the freezer.

Why i stopped and replied to your question? Do not let equipment stop you from brewing. You can researh a vast amount of information from alot of very smart folks (here an else where) that will explain everything from basic brewing to getting by with whatever you can find. Check out the Wiki section and keep reading. When you need help you'll find a bunch of people here to help, good luck and plz just start f****** brewing. You'll be happy you did
 

squeekybobo

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liquiditynerd said:
Check out the Wiki section and keep reading. When you need help you'll find a bunch of people here to help, good luck and plz just start f****** brewing. You'll be happy you did
+1. No matter how much you research, you're going to be frazzled and fearing you screwed up your first batch, whether its extract or all grain. Get up on that horse and ride!
 
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SnupDave

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It was my understanding that campden tablets prevented yeast from fermenting by raising the pH, but as it slowly worked its way back down to status quo (a process that I don't quite understand, how could *anything* be changing in there if there's no active fermentation? What's the driving force behind the change?) then the yeast can begin doing their thing again.

I figure being patient BEFORE I brew will set a good precedent so that I can be patient WHILE I brew, as well. That's the theory, anyway.
 

RM-MN

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Why do you want the yeast to stop fermenting? I let my brews have time enough in the fermenter that the yeast stop because they have nothing left to ferment. When the ferment it over, the excess yeast settles out and the beer clears up on its own. Time is your friend, not your enemy (except for the first batch when you want to start drinking your own beer way before it is ready to drink). I can have very clear beer without adding anything to it.
 

RM-MN

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You really only need the temperature controlled refrigerator if you insist on making lagers. Ales can be made without any refrigeration or perhaps rudimentary cooling in the hot months. Most ales should ferment just fine in the low to mid 60F range and that temp only needs to be maintained for a few days before they can be warmed to room temp (72F?).
 
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SnupDave

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Why do you want the yeast to stop fermenting?
I'm not planning on doing this on a regular basis, or anything. But cold crashing is something that people do, on occasion. It's just one of the many techniques used by people who know what they're doing to manipulate the final product.

I'd like to know how to be similarly in control of that final product. I'd like to understand as many options as possible. I'd like as many avenues open to me as possible, to give me access to a wide range of possible solutions for potential problems.

I obviously have nothing against fermentation, it's just that I want to know what effects different things have.
 

terrapinj

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cold crashing doesn't alter/manipulate the final product, it just helps speed up the process of clearing the beer and dropping yeast and anything else in suspension - time will do the same thing with the only difference being more sediment in the bottle or keg

you don't want to stop the yeast from fermenting prematurely aside from some cases of ciders etc where you want to retain more residual sweetness

even after the yeast quit consuming sugars they are cleaning up after themselves

cold crashing is done right before packaging well after fermentation is done
 

ArrogantDusty

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just start f****** brewing. You'll be happy you did - should be someone's signature for sure.
 

RmikeVT

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Bottle the beer, let it carb up at room temperature and then put the bottles in the fridge for a week or two. That will effectively 'cold crash' them.

Ryan
 

Captain Damage

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Your information of the purpose of cold crashing seems to be in error. I'm not familiar with "Strong Waters," but I don't recognize the title as any of the often-cited homebrewing manuals. Virtually all beers are fermented until they're done; i.e., all fermentable sugar has been consumed by the yeast, at which point the yeast will become dormant and begin to fall out of suspension. Cold crashing helps to speed this up by causing some proteins to coagulate into heavier particles which fall out of suspension more quickly. This is further sped up by the use of agents such as isinglass and gelatin which bind to these proteins and yeast cells making them clump into even heavier particles. But the beer will usually clear up pretty well on it's own given time.

When I do cold crash (I usually don't) I put my carboy in a big bucket with a lot of ice and keep the ice fresh for a few days in a row. That usually does the trick.

I think many of us would consider the use of Campden tablets to stop fermentation (except on very rare occasions) to be a sort of adulteration of the beer. Beer at it's best is wholesome and pure, and this is especially true of homebrew. Malt, water, yeast and hops are all you need.

FYI the 1st edition of one of the most cited brewing manuals, John Palmer's How to Brew is available free online here.
 

ReverendBrett

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Stop reading, get out there and brew.

While your beer is fermenting, you'll have plenty of time to read. You'll gain better understanding of what you're reading. You'll learn that there are an enormous number of Advanced Brewing Techniques, none of which are needed to make great beer, but you'll be ready for them when the time comes.
 

lowlife

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Use a highly flocculant yeast, pitch a ton of it. No need to make it cold to drop yeast then.
 

Calichusetts

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So, I'm new to brewing, and have been reading a lot here on HBT, and am in the process of reading "Strong Waters" by Scott Mansfield. I don't actually have sufficient equipment to actually brew anything at home yet, I am notably missing a temperature controlled fermenting chest or beer-specific refrigerator.
Equipment depends on batch size...you can do a 1-2 gallon All grain and probably only use the pots you have at your house. At that size...it will fit in your fridge for cold crashing. I usually cold crash but I have gotten crystal clear beer without it. And like the above poster...after the beer carbs, a few weeks in the fridge will clear up your beer the most it will be.
 

stratslinger

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I'll second (third, fourth?) the notion that cold crashing or adding fininigs, camden tabs (I've never heard reference to camden tabs'r use in beer for that purpose, actually), are used for clearing after fermentation is done - never to stop fermentation prematurely! Stopping fermentation prematurely is actually not a safe thing, since once you bottle, you're going to want to restart a small fermentation again anyway and, if there are too many fermentables left in the beer at that point, you're going to be making up a batch of bottle bombs!

Certainly don't let a lack of a temperature controlled fermentation fridge stop you from brewing. Those are nice to have, but they're something you can add later, once you've gotten started. There are cheaper and easier alternatives in the meantime: find a cool, dark spot in your basement, look into a swamp cooler, ferment with yeast that are more tolerant of higher temperatures, etc.

If the interest is there, get brewing!!!
 

liquiditynerd

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SnupDave, How goes the brewing?

I was in the midst of crashing a porter when I thought about this. Sorry, didnt mean to sound pissy, just wanted to get you stirrin up a wort. So, i reread the OP and thought about you mentioneing finings. if I'm correct your going along the thought pattern of yeast flocculation as occurs with my fav - irish moss. This simply allows the yeast something to "attach" to so that they build up and become heavy enough to fall to the bottom. This doesnt mean the are killed off (well all of them anyway) it just gets them out of the way for siphoning.

I'm crashing my porter because the bucket screen disintergrated while pouring in my wort and it was a mess. I let it fermet out and its good to go, just have to get the junk to the bottom and siphon it off. I rarely use Campden tabs in beer but in winemaking and cider I use them to kill BAD yeast. Theyre not really bad just not part of the recipe. I have BAD yeast in another vial for sours.

Anyway, heres hoping your boiling some LME now and dont have time to read this.

Cheers and welcome to being a homebrewer
 

terrapinj

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liquiditynerd said:
SnupDave, How goes the brewing?

I was in the midst of crashing a porter when I thought about this. Sorry, didnt mean to sound pissy, just wanted to get you stirrin up a wort. So, i reread the OP and thought about you mentioneing finings. if I'm correct your going along the thought pattern of yeast flocculation as occurs with my fav - irish moss. This simply allows the yeast something to "attach" to so that they build up and become heavy enough to fall to the bottom. This doesnt mean the are killed off (well all of them anyway) it just gets them out of the way for siphoning.

I'm crashing my porter because the bucket screen disintergrated while pouring in my wort and it was a mess. I let it fermet out and its good to go, just have to get the junk to the bottom and siphon it off. I rarely use Campden tabs in beer but in winemaking and cider I use them to kill BAD yeast. Theyre not really bad just not part of the recipe. I have BAD yeast in another vial for sours.

Anyway, heres hoping your boiling some LME now and dont have time to read this.

Cheers and welcome to being a homebrewer
Irish moss and whirlfloc are kettle finings they help proteins coagulate and drop out in the kettle but don't have NY impact n yeast floculation
 

Laurel

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Hi Dave -
If you have a portable burner, a bunch of friends are coming by to make a few batches of beer (and to eat pizza and drink beer) and you're welcome to come by and brew with us in a couple weeks. If you don't have a portable burner, you're also welcome to come by and hang out. You do not need a fermentation fridge for ales (I've never used one) and do not need to cold crash. Toss some irish moss or whirlfloc in and you'll get a crystal clear beer anyway.

Let me know if you're interested in coming to check out the brewing process. We're in Bothell.
 
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