Pseudo cold crash

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I'm about to dry hop an IPA in my fermenter and was wondering about getting the hop material out of suspension faster. I know this would normally be done by cold crashing, but I don't have any way to limit the amount of oxygen sucked in during that (no co2 canister and I didn't fill a balloon during this batch). I was wondering if lowering the temperature at all caused suck back. Does air get sucked back in even if the internal temperature drops by 1 degree? Also, does any lower temperature promote a quicker drop in particles suspended in the beer or does that really need to be near freezing temps? Or, is all of this a function of the beer's current temperature (like dropping from 55 to 50 isn't a big deal but dropping from 65 to 50 would be)?
 

Golddiggie

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Give it a bit of time and the hop matter will settle to the bottom of the fermenter. Just be sure to get your transfer done before 2 weeks after the hops went into the pool.
I'd never use a balloon on a fermenter to 'capture CO2' or for any other reason. The stuff inside the balloon is bad news, especially for your beer. At least that's what I recall. I've never done it, never needed to and never will.
Seems like you need to get/build either a fermentation chamber or get a glycol chiller. I've used the former for fermentation temperature control and will be using the latter to cold crash and carbonate in fermenter starting the next batch. Maybe keep fermenting temperatures within line as well (will see what the yeast does).
 
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Seems like you need to get/build either a fermentation chamber or get a glycol chiller. I've used the former for fermentation temperature control and will be using the latter to cold crash and carbonate in fermenter starting the next batch. Maybe keep fermenting temperatures within line as well (will see what the yeast does).
I should have been clearer: I do have a fermentation chamber (chest freezer with inkbird 308). This is the second batch that I've used it on, and the first one came out so much better than anything I made previously! So I have the ability to cold crash, but I know I shouldn't without being able to limit the air suck back.
 

seilenos

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Any lowering of temperature will cause the beer to contracting resulting in a lowering of the pressure in the vessel. If you have a bubbler or a blow off this will result in suck back unless precaution is taken.

Since I currently ferment in plastic buckets that have some "give", when I cold crash I replace the three-piece airlock with a short hose connected to a carbonation cap. From my extra CO2 bottle I put about +1 psi into the fermenter (which sorta self regulates in that excess gas pushes past the hose seal in the bucket lid). I do this when I first put the fermenter in the chamber and then two more times over the next day. By that time the beer will be at temp and won't suck anything more. I can replace the hose with a bubbler just to keep things out.

I still don't have a low oxygen way to rack to my kegs, though.
 
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If you're worried about whats inside a balloon use a non coated surgical glove flipped inside out looks funny but it works. Zip tie around the neck of the glove on an empty air lock.
 

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I should have been clearer: I do have a fermentation chamber (chest freezer with inkbird 308). This is the second batch that I've used it on, and the first one came out so much better than anything I made previously! So I have the ability to cold crash, but I know I shouldn't without being able to limit the air suck back.
What are you fermenting IN?
 

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Your Flex is rated to 2psi (working pressure). So you could seal it up and hit it with a little CO2 before cold crashing. Well, you COULD if you had a way to seal the fermenter. Since it appears to not have any way to seal up the port used for an airlock. Unless you have a bung that will work for that (and not get sucked in due to vacuum).

You can also get the 3 port lid and convert that Flex to the Flex+ for pretty short money (just over $100). That would also increase the pressure tolerance rating to 15psi for your fermenter.
 

trongo

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Any lowering of temperature will cause the beer to contracting resulting in a lowering of the pressure in the vessel. If you have a bubbler or a blow off this will result in suck back unless precaution is taken.

Since I currently ferment in plastic buckets that have some "give", when I cold crash I replace the three-piece airlock with a short hose connected to a carbonation cap. From my extra CO2 bottle I put about +1 psi into the fermenter (which sorta self regulates in that excess gas pushes past the hose seal in the bucket lid). I do this when I first put the fermenter in the chamber and then two more times over the next day. By that time the beer will be at temp and won't suck anything more. I can replace the hose with a bubbler just to keep things out.

I still don't have a low oxygen way to rack to my kegs, though.
If you have kegs, I wander why you don't just ferment, cold crash, force carb and tap from it.
I have done this for the last 3 years and just love it. By the way, I pour red hot wort into my keg, cool down to pitch in a swimming pool, pitch and ferment in the pool under 15psi pressure (using a SPUNDit spunding valve). The keg has a floating dip tube (FLOTit) so I can tap directly from it right after cold crashing.
IMHO, this is the best way to brew beer all things considered. The beer is always good because of perfect controls of Sanitation, Temperature, Oxygen, Pressure & Light. I call this STOPLit brewing!
 

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Golddiggie

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@trongo IMO/IME, fermenting in serving keg means you'll never have a full keg of actual beer to pull from. I always factor in the amount of space the yeast will occupy at the end in my volume going into fermenter. I then get full keg(s) out of it. I typically get at least 6 gallons out of fermenter either into a single Torpedo keg, or a pair of 3 gallon kegs.

Moving forward I'll be cold crashing and carbonating in the conical fermenter. I'll be transferring part of the batch into serving keg (closed pressure transfer) and then canning the rest directly from conical. I'll also be transferring the wort directly into the [sanitized] conical (via the bottom port). I like being able to pitch the yeast within minutes of filling the fermenter.

Your method might be "the best way to brew beer" for you. But it sure as anything is beyond sub-optimal for ME.
 

trongo

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"I like being able to pitch the yeast within minutes of filling the fermenter" only after some time cooling the wort.
For me, volume of brew is fairly easy to deal with. It's just a matter of container size. STOPL is much harder and more consequential for good beer.
 

seilenos

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If you have kegs, I wander why you don't just ferment, cold crash, force carb and tap from it.
I haven't done this because it would require me to either scale UP to 10 gallons post boil volume, cool, pitch and then spit into two kegs or scale DOWN to 3.5-4 gallons equivalent packaged into a single keg.

Either way is a significant deviation in the amount of finished product that comes out the end of the pipeline and is not something I'm currently looking to modify.
 

trongo

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"I haven't done this because it would require me to either scale UP to 10 gallons post boil volume, cool, pitch and then spit into two kegs or scale DOWN to 3.5-4 gallons equivalent packaged into a single keg."
I understand your brewing way. Just in case you ever want to try my way, the sequence of step is "split into two kegs, cool & pitch." This way you can use the hot wort to sanitize your kegs and cool them in a swimming pool or suitable body of water.
Cheers!
 

seilenos

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I understand your brewing way. Just in case you ever want to try my way, the sequence of step is "split into two kegs, cool & pitch." This way you can use the hot wort to sanitize your kegs and cool them in a swimming pool or suitable body of water.
Cheers!
I had it the other way because I haven't quite gotten to the point of doing starters reliably yet and I didn't want to be doubling up on yeast packets ... hence, single pitch into a single tun of cooled wort.

Building up starters are on my to-do list (probably before fermenting in kegs) so I'd probably have the ability to split and pitch more easily which would then lead to splitting wort, cooling, then pitching.
 

trongo

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I had it the other way because I haven't quite gotten to the point of doing starters reliably yet and I didn't want to be doubling up on yeast packets ... hence, single pitch into a single tun of cooled wort.

Building up starters are on my to-do list (probably before fermenting in kegs) so I'd probably have the ability to split and pitch more easily which would then lead to splitting wort, cooling, then pitching.
By the way, you might enjoy this video released yesterday by eBay. Cheers!
 

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OP, if you have the time, I find a slow drop in temperature can be done without suck back because the beer will still be off gassing a bit of Co2. If you can lower the temp slow enough that the temperature contraction is offset by the Co2 that the wort is producing, you're fine. Just keep an eye on your airlock to confirm there is always positive pressure. I have dropped temps three or four degrees slowly over the course of the day with no suck back issues. Do that a few days in a row, and you can do a cool crash. I find it does help hop particles drop faster, but your mileage may vary. I'm sure a hard cold crash is more effective, but a cool crash works, if it's all you can do without introducing oxygen.
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I don't have the ability to keg right now, and I don't think I'll be able to for a while. I just started brewing from a kit my wife got me last Christmas. I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy it (in fact I didn't think I'd enjoy it at all when I opened the kit). But, here I am with a mill, a fermentation chamber, specific brew kettle, etc. after just a handful of batches (some were even good). I'm sure no one here can relate to that :rolleyes:

So I won't be getting any new (or, even new-to-me) equipment for a while. But I do plan to keg at some point. I don't mind the process of bottling, but I'd like to increase the beer quality and not worry about oxidation of hoppy beers.

Sounds like the safest thing to do for this batch is to just leave it alone. But I'll be looking into how to cold crash in the future. Sounds like a co2 tank is the cheapest way to get it done and still do a hard cold crash.
 

BigDave1303

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If you have kegs, I wander why you don't just ferment, cold crash, force carb and tap from it.
I have done this for the last 3 years and just love it. By the way, I pour red hot wort into my keg, cool down to pitch in a swimming pool, pitch and ferment in the pool under 15psi pressure (using a SPUNDit spunding valve). The keg has a floating dip tube (FLOTit) so I can tap directly from it right after cold crashing.
IMHO, this is the best way to brew beer all things considered. The beer is always good because of perfect controls of Sanitation, Temperature, Oxygen, Pressure & Light. I call this STOPLit brewing!
Love it. Like they say- If it works for you:bigmug:
 

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