Is 3 week cold crash excessive?

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JCasey1992

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Fermentation has just finished on my Belgian golden strong and it is now time to cold crash. The recipe I'm following recommend doing so for three weeks. To me this seems excessive. Can someone please tell me if this is necessary or if I can go with my usual 48 hours? I really don't want to tie up a fermenter for very long as I need to prepare for a family reunion.

Here's a link to the recipe. http://www.greatfermentations.com/belgian-golden-strong-recipe/

Cheers!
Casey
 

doug293cz

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Cold crashing for three weeks IS excessive, and can cause oxidation of your beer if you don't have your fermenter configured to prevent air suck-back when cold crashing. The headspace gas pressure drops as the temperature drops, so air will suck-back thru an airlock during cold crashing. Also, as the beer cools it will absorb more CO2 from the headspace (over time) which will cause even more air suck-back. Best to get your cold crash done quickly. I usually shoot for ~48 hrs.

Brew on :mug:
 
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JCasey1992

JCasey1992

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Cold crashing for three weeks IS excessive, and can cause oxidation of your beer if you don't have your fermenter configured to prevent air suck-back when cold crashing. The headspace gas pressure drops as the temperature drops, so air will suck-back thru an airlock during cold crashing. Also, as the beer cools it will absorb more CO2 from the headspace (over time) which will cause even more air suck-back. Best to get your cold crash done quickly. I usually shoot for ~48 hrs.

Brew on :mug:
Thank you. I will limit the cold crash to 48 hours.

By the way, it was you who recommended champagne yeast to rescue this beer from a stuck fermentation. Thanks! It worked wonders!

20180519_181006.jpeg
 

doug293cz

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Thank you. I will limit the cold crash to 48 hours.

By the way, it was you who recommended champagne yeast to rescue this beer from a stuck fermentation. Thanks! It worked wonders!
Glad it worked, and glad I could help

Brew on :mug:
 

NTexBrewer

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I’ll offer the counter point. The recipe is calling for an extended lagering. This will help the beer clarify and mellow.

So if you don’t want to Lager the beer, I would at least use gelatin fining to help clarify the beer.

If you are bottle conditioning the beer, you can also Lager the beer in the bottle after it has carbonated. If kegging you can Lager in the keg.
 

doug293cz

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I’ll offer the counter point. The recipe is calling for an extended lagering. This will help the beer clarify and mellow.

So if you don’t want to Lager the beer, I would at least use gelatin fining to help clarify the beer.

If you are bottle conditioning the beer, you can also Lager the beer in the bottle after it has carbonated. If kegging you can Lager in the keg.
Bolded text is the correct way to do lagering, rather than extended cold crashing in the fermenter. The exception is if you have a way to prevent O2 from entering the fermenter headspace, which can be done, but is non-trivial (and easy to come up with "solutions" that don't work.)

Brew on :mug:
 

Bassman2003

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The extended cold crash approach comes from not wanting to kill the yeast activity for natural carbonation. A quick drop will put them to sleep. There is no benefit from longer times to get the beer down to temp if you are force carbing. Cold crashing is different from lagering imho.
 
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JCasey1992

JCasey1992

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The extended cold crash approach comes from not wanting to kill the yeast activity for natural carbonation. A quick drop will put them to sleep. There is no benefit from longer times to get the beer down to temp if you are force carbing. Cold crashing is different from lagering imho.
I mostly keg but am planning on bottle conditioning this one. I was planning on pitching a Belgian yeast in order to carbonate. I assume that would work?
 

day_trippr

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It's clear the author of the linked recipe was going for lagering, but traditionally one does not precede that with what most consider a cold-crash (ie: a best-effort get 'er bone cold quickly). Instead one drops a degree or two per day to avoid stunning the yeast into immediate slumber in the presumption that awake yeast will continue doing Good Things for the beer all the way to just about freezing.

I'd consider this a faux pas on the recipe author's part and best ignored...

Cheers!
 

Bassman2003

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You o
I mostly keg but am planning on bottle conditioning this one. I was planning on pitching a Belgian yeast in order to carbonate. I assume that would work?
What is your procedure going to be? The Belgians add extra yeast because they often centrifuge the fermentation yeast away.
 
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JCasey1992

JCasey1992

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You o


What is your procedure going to be? The Belgians add extra yeast because they often centrifuge the fermentation yeast away.
I was planning on adding some S-33 and boiled priming sugar to my bottling bucket after clarifying in the cold crash, and then bottling from there.

Let me know if you need any more info.
 
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JCasey1992

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I was also planning on carbonating at room temp for a few weeks and aging in the fridge for a few months until it's ready to drink.

Anything you'd do different?
 

Bassman2003

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It seems odd to me to cold crash then raise back up to bottle condition. Probably better to cold crash after the bottle conditioning is finished.
 
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JCasey1992

JCasey1992

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It seems odd to me to cold crash then raise back up to bottle condition. Probably better to cold crash after the bottle conditioning is finished.
Sounds good. I transferred to a bottling bucket today. Unfortunately, I had put the bucket in the fridge initially. Fortunately, it had only been in there for an hour or so. I imagine that this isn't too long to do any damage. Unless I hear otherwise, I'll bottle tomorrow and cold crash the bottles following carbonation.
 

doug293cz

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It seems odd to me to cold crash then raise back up to bottle condition. Probably better to cold crash after the bottle conditioning is finished.
Cold crash prior to bottle conditioning (and possibly bottle lagering) is intended to minimize the amount of suspended particulates in the beer prior to packaging. It can reduce the thickness of the trub layer on the bottom of the bottles. Everything I have read says there is enough yeast left after a cold crash to bottle condition without problems.

Brew on :mug:
 

Bassman2003

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I always thought it was best to not warm up beer after it has been chilled. I do not know for sure but it seems a centrifuge step would take place at the same temps as fermentation.
 

doug293cz

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Not a lot of home brewers have (or could afford) a centrifuge. Lots of home brewers cold crash and then bottle condition without apparent issues.

It's best not to keep the beer warm any longer than necessary, since oxidation, and other staling reactions occur much faster at room temp vs. 35 - 40°F.

Brew on :mug:
 

NGD

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It can reduce the thickness of the trub layer on the bottom of the bottles. Everything I have read says there is enough yeast left after a cold crash to bottle condition without problems.

Brew on :mug:
Like many I’ve never had an issue with the standard 48hr crash, with or without gelatin. Theres always enough yeast left in suspension to carb. Probably doesnt hurt to add a small amount for a big brew like a golden strong just to play it safe.

@JCasey1992 One thing I’m sure you’ve already covered but figured it wouldnt hurt to mention. If you go on the higher end of the recommended carbonation range, make sure you have the thicker bottles. The first Golden Strong I made I almost carbed at 3.7 and just happen to read up on bottle tolerances. Glad I didnt make that mistake.

Happy brewing
 

Bassman2003

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I never had much luck with carbonation when I bottled, and that was without a cold crash. So I am not the best to be remarking on the topic! Kegging has been great for the consistency.
 
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