Cold Crashing... How too..

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

r8rphan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
59
Location
Shingletown
So, this is the first batch I've done using my new fermentation chamber.. It's awesome.. Temp locked right at 65 degrees the whole time... And I love that the blow off gasses are contained in the freezer so that when I open it once a day to take a peek, I'm hit with a serious blast of sweet beer gas...

Anyways, I was just realizing that I can use this thing for cold crashing, if I'm understanding things correctly...

As I understand it, the purpose of cold crashing is to rapidly drop the yeast and other suspended stuff out of the beer to help clarify it...

So, since I'm planning on transferring to keg tomorrow, is it just a simple matter of resetting the temp on the fermentation chamber controller to 40 degrees (or?) tonight and then transferring tomorrow afternoon?

Or is there a certain amount of time it has to sit at temperature, or does it have to be brought down in stages, or what?

Thanks,
Mark :mug:
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,834
Reaction score
18,202
Location
Stow, MA
"Crash" pretty much means "as quick as it can be chilled".

The closer you can get to 32°F the more effective the "cold crash" will be. That said I don't want to stress the heck out of my ferm fridges so I set mine for 34°F (as measured with the Ranco external controller's probe pressed up against the carboy and insulated with a piece of inch-thick closed cell foam).

My ales typically run for two weeks of fermentation before I cold crash them. I set the fridge for 34°F and after 3-4 days all the trub, dry-hop pellet mush and virtually all of the yeast and chill haze particles have packed it in on the bottom of the carboy(s) and the brew(s) are ready to rack to kegs.

Cheers!
 

Nohup

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
99
Reaction score
3
Location
Lake Saint Louis
I do a cold crash for pretty much everything.
It does an amazing job clarifying the beer and makes racking easier, because the yeast-cake gets much more compact in the fermenter.

Something to think about is suck-back.
The cooling beer pulls in air through the airlock, so if you leave that on, you'll have a few ounces of fluid get into your fermenter. (maybe more with a blow-off tube)
I pull off the airlock when I crash, and wrap the top up with some star-san sprayed tinfoil.
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,834
Reaction score
18,202
Location
Stow, MA
[...]Something to think about is suck-back.
The cooling beer pulls in air through the airlock, so if you leave that on, you'll have a few ounces of fluid get into your fermenter. (maybe more with a blow-off tube)
I pull off the airlock when I crash, and wrap the top up with some star-san sprayed tinfoil.
This is a good point - and the reason why when I remove my 1" ID blow-off tube after the vigorous primary fermentation phase has ended I always install a fermentation lock filled with cheap unflavored vodka.

I think the "suck-back" phenomenon might be less of an issue with multi-chamber S-type locks than the three-piece locks I use, but as I've never used the former I'm not certain about that...

Cheers!
 

aomagman78

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2011
Messages
113
Reaction score
2
Location
Columbia
In the S-type airlocks you don't get 'total suck back'. That is, the liquid will only enter your carboy in the case of very fast sucking. Under normal conditions bubbles will pass through in the same way they pass out of the airlock. So I don't think this is as much of a concern, but replacing it with vodka isn't a bad idea.
 

drocu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester
Something to think about is suck-back.
The cooling beer pulls in air through the airlock, so if you leave that on, you'll have a few ounces of fluid get into your fermenter. (maybe more with a blow-off tube)
I pull off the airlock when I crash, and wrap the top up with some star-san sprayed tinfoil.
Yeah, I always top off my 3-piece airlocks with vodka when I put them in to cold crash (which is anywhere from 34-40 degrees F). I usually check them again once they cool down to ensure that all of the vodka hasn't been sucked into the fermenter.

I'm not entirely sure that cold crashing is any better if you leave it longer but I'd shoot for 1-2 days at least. And I highly recommend it because it does a fantastic job clearing beer; that and a long primary (3-4 wks).
 

cossacks19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
121
Reaction score
4
I have a quick question, I just finished my first batch (extract). It's been in the primary for a few days now, after a full week I was thinking about moving it to a secondary and leaving for 2 more weeks. Then cold crashing. But is the secondary necessary if I'm am going to cold crash? Or should I just leave is in the primary for another week and then cold crash.
 
OP
R

r8rphan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
59
Location
Shingletown
Thanks for the replies...

Now I'm 'really' loving this Fermentation Chamber..

I brewed a batch of Bee Cave IPA, and screwed the mash up.. It came out way low (either that or I diluted the sampling), so I'm not gonna let this sit in ferment that long, but instead opt to just get another brew going.. This is gonna be some very bitter light IPA.. LOL

I am going out of town this weekend (KC @ Raiders game.. Yay!) and was gonna try and brew before I went , thus transfer the beer to kegs today (it's day 10), mash this afternoon, and brew tomorrow.. But I'm running out of time now for other things.. So in light of the suggestions to let it cold crash for a couple days minimum, I guess I'll wait till I get back, and then cold crash it...

Hopefully, it's drinkable... I guess I can always 'blend' it with something else if it's too bitter...

Great tip about the suck back.. didn't think of that... I have both types of airlocks.. I'll pull my 1" blow off tubes and fill the S type airlocks with vodka...
 
OP
R

r8rphan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
59
Location
Shingletown
I have a quick question, I just finished my first batch (extract). It's been in the primary for a few days now, after a full week I was thinking about moving it to a secondary and leaving for 2 more weeks. Then cold crashing. But is the secondary necessary if I'm am going to cold crash? Or should I just leave is in the primary for another week and then cold crash.
I've never used a secondary... Tried it once (using a corny as a secondary) and didn't see the point in it... I sometimes leave the beer sitting on the yeast for a month... Usually before the beer is half consumed (it will have then been under pressure and at temp for a good two weeks, usually more), it gets crystal clear with little or no chill haze or floaties...

I was thinking of doing a two stage transfer at one point so that I could filter during the transfer from the first keg to the second.. But if this cold crash method works out, I won't have to bother...
 

drocu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester
I have a quick question, I just finished my first batch (extract). It's been in the primary for a few days now, after a full week I was thinking about moving it to a secondary and leaving for 2 more weeks. Then cold crashing. But is the secondary necessary if I'm am going to cold crash? Or should I just leave is in the primary for another week and then cold crash.
There are a lot of threads on HBT regarding whether to secondary or not. It sounds like many people skip it these days. For example if you want to dry hop, most people will just do a 3-4 week primary and dry hop in the primary. But if you're going to be using oak, fruit, liquor, etc., most people will rack into a secondary before using these additives to get the beer off the yeast. That seems to be the general consensus as far as I can tell.

Personally, I have only 2 brew buckets so I'll rack to secondary to free up room for the next batch. Otherwise, I skip it and don't really think it's worth it since a long primary and cold crashing will clear up beer quite well on its own.
 
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
62,016
Reaction score
6,916
How to Cold Crash

Step 1 - Put fermenter in Fridge.


If you have any questions regarding this service document, please contact your local customer service agent. Thank You.
 

turkeyjerky214

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
422
Reaction score
10
Location
Westminster
Dumb question, after cold crashing and kegging, is it okay to let it come back up to room temperature? I've usually got two or three full kegs on reserve, and I only have room in my keezer for one extra keg.
 

cossacks19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Messages
121
Reaction score
4
drocu said:
There are a lot of threads on HBT regarding whether to secondary or not. It sounds like many people skip it these days. For example if you want to dry hop, most people will just do a 3-4 week primary and dry hop in the primary. But if you're going to be using oak, fruit, liquor, etc., most people will rack into a secondary before using these additives to get the beer off the yeast. That seems to be the general consensus as far as I can tell.

Personally, I have only 2 brew buckets so I'll rack to secondary to free up room for the next batch. Otherwise, I skip it and don't really think it's worth it since a long primary and cold crashing will clear up beer quite well on its own.
Awesome thank you this is what I was looking for...just to clear something else up though. A secondary is only useful if you want a clearer beer right? Is there any advantage to getting the beer off the yeast? What I mean is after a few weeks in a primary are you running a risk of getting some off flavors?
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,834
Reaction score
18,202
Location
Stow, MA
Oh boy, here we go...

[Cue lurking shark sound effects from JAWS]

Cheers! ;)
 

drocu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 16, 2011
Messages
285
Reaction score
2
Location
Rochester
Honestly, I'm no expert. I'm pretty lazy and am trying to keep brewing fun and easy so I try not to complicate things, hence why I skip secondaries usually. I'd suggest you read up on some of the other threads where you'll find some better answers.

I will say that I don't think I have seen any experiments done to really prove which is better, secondary or a long primary. Most of it is just based on opinion or individual experiences, like most things on HBT.
 
OP
R

r8rphan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,104
Reaction score
59
Location
Shingletown
Honestly, I'm no expert. I'm pretty lazy and am trying to keep brewing fun and easy so I try not to complicate things, hence why I skip secondaries usually.
Right there with ya man!

And I've also found that most 'improvements' to my methods or equipment that result in 'easier and less complicated' typically also result in 'better beer'...
:mug:
 

Brewdude78

New Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Hickory
I got a Cream Ale in the frig cold crashing at 33F. Been there for 2 days and chill haze does want to go away. I used minute rice in the mash; could that have something to do with it?
 

day_trippr

Covid-19 Vaccine Effectivity Test Subject
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
35,834
Reaction score
18,202
Location
Stow, MA
I got a Cream Ale in the frig cold crashing at 33F. Been there for 2 days and chill haze does want to go away. I used minute rice in the mash; could that have something to do with it?
In my experience, two days isn't long enough to drop chill haze to the bottom of a 5+ gallon batch. I let a batch chill for four days, sometimes longer, depending on the type of brew (lighter color = longer).

Don't know about the rice thing...

Cheers!
 

muthafuggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
185
Reaction score
12
Just my .02 on cold crashing, but I always use gelatin when I cold crash. 24-48 hours at 33-36 degrees and you're laughing. Crystal clear beer, no chill haze.
 

samc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
5,366
Reaction score
76
Location
Portland OR
I got a Cream Ale in the frig cold crashing at 33F. Been there for 2 days and chill haze does want to go away. I used minute rice in the mash; could that have something to do with it?
My Cream Ale with Rice/Corn did not clear from cold crashing. I don't use Gelatin, but it finally cleared after a few weeks of sitting in the keg at serving temps. It tasted much better after two months in the keg.
 

Brewdude78

New Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Hickory
update: dropped the temp down to around 30f and cold haze started to settle. I guess it took a colder temp to settle the starch when using minute rice.
 

jphebbie2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
89
Reaction score
8
Location
Aspen
Anyone have experience with yeast harvesting/washing after cold crashing in primary? I usually rack to a keg then cold crash and use the dip tube to drain off the rest of the trub that results from the crash.
Thanks
Jp
 
Top