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Dave T

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cold crashing - the name to me seems like a fast quench down to 35f or so after fermenting, before putting in bottling jug and bottles. Is that actually what it means, or can I just stick the fermenter in a refrigerator for a day?

Carbonation drops - (think that’s what they’re called) - pros / cons to boiling some priming sugar and mixing in before bottling?
 

Lefou

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There's a definite difference between cold crashing and lagering, but you can cold crash a brew for as long as you like - as long as your purpose for doing so is achieved.

I rarely cold crash my beer immediately after fermentation because I want the yeast to stay active. Temperature associated hazing and cloudiness really isn't a personal issue in my case because a highly clarified beer isn't one of my big priorities. There are several ways to clarify beer without affecting your yeast with temperature issues.

Now on to the carbing drops. (Personal experience, YMMV).
I've moved past bucket priming and carbonation drops. I put cubes of table sugar directly in the bottle and use a bottling wand with tubing attached to the bucket spigot. For me, this reduces cost on carbo drops and reduces the chance of partially carbed bottles an incompletely mixed sugar solution might cause. With less mixing in the bottling bucket comes less chance of oxidation and contamination, but that's pretty much an arguable point, because your equipment has a lot to do with influencing your methods.
 

ncbrewer

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Now on to the carbing drops. (Personal experience, YMMV).
I've moved past bucket priming and carbonation drops. I put cubes of table sugar directly in the bottle and use a bottling wand with tubing attached to the bucket spigot. For me, this reduces cost on carbo drops and reduces the chance of partially carbed bottles an incompletely mixed sugar solution might cause. With less mixing in the bottling bucket comes less chance of oxidation and contamination, but that's pretty much an arguable point, because your equipment has a lot to do with influencing your methods.
I have exactly the same concerns, but I concluded the opposite. (It's brewing, after all.) I add sugar solution to the bucket, then siphon into it - entering at the bottom on a tangent. I stir gently to make sure it's mixed, but it's never a problem when I forget to stir. I don't necessarily trust the sugar to be free of microbes, so I don't like to add it without being dissolved and boiled. It's all about trade-off's and compromises. Your choice.
 

AZBeer

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I cold crash most of my beers, and fine with gelatin. Just cause really...clear beer is cool I guess. (not trying to be a smartass, I really don't have a good answer, it's just become part of my process.)

Agree with Lefou on the sugar cubes. I use Domino and C&H cubes depending on what I want in terms of carb. The domino cubes are smaller. I used the carb drops with my first kit I brewed, and it never carbed up. YMMV, but I never used those again after that. Disclaimer...I am doing smaller batches, 1.25g to 3g. If I were doing larger batches I would probably use a bottling bucket.
 

Lefou

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Why I'm not so picky about microbes on dry sugar cubes - or in properly boiled, hopped wort treated with CaCl2. Good sanitation and minimal aeration will go a long way toward preventing acetobacter infections.
Lactic infections, on the other hand ....
Boiling your sugar in water definitely doesn't hurt ...and wash yer freekin' hands frequently. :)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-salt-and-sugar-pre/
 
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RM-MN

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I have exactly the same concerns, but I concluded the opposite. (It's brewing, after all.) I add sugar solution to the bucket, then siphon into it - entering at the bottom on a tangent. I stir gently to make sure it's mixed, but it's never a problem when I forget to stir. I don't necessarily trust the sugar to be free of microbes, so I don't like to add it without being dissolved and boiled. It's all about trade-off's and compromises. Your choice.
Keep at it and sooner or later when you forget to stir it will be a problem. I think I will have a problem with a batch I just bottled because I poured the last half bottle into a glass and refrigerated it to drink later and that sample was awfully sweet considering that the FG was at 1.012.
 

ncbrewer

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One other reason I prefer to batch prime - It seems to me the perceived carbonation level is very sensitive to a small change in priming sugar. To me, 2.0 volumes is almost flat, while 2.5 seems normal - and a good part of the CO2 volumes is already present in the beer from fermentation. Priming sugar tabs can't be fine tuned very well.
 

TGFV

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Have been doing bucket priming for ever now but am switching to cubes for my regularly primed ales (2.5 V) and then keeping at bucket for lesser primed ales (my extra wee heavy and braggots)

Dry sugar is essentially unable to have microbes survive for long on them, as long as they are kept dry and the lid closed your safe (probably a higher chance of improperly cleaned bottling bucket then perfectly stored cubes causing s problem)
 

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