Cold crashing - when to use

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Mark Farrall, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Cold crashing was one of those things I started doing early on and I haven't got around to questioning why to do it. Now that I'm kegging a few batches it's striking me as redundant, at least for kegging. Why would I cold crash when I'm just going to chuck the keg in the kegerator and crash it some more. Less trub into the keg? I suppose so, but I'm not that fussed how much of the first few pours I lose to too much sediment.

    There's also a bunch of people talking about how evil it is from an oxidation point of view. While some of this sounds a bit hysterical (or maybe some of the lengths people go to avoiding it) I'm sure I'd prefer to avoid it if it doesn't have a lot of value.

    So maybe it's got a role in keeping the beer as clean as possible when I'm bottling (and with the beers I brew I'll always be bottling a fair amount of my brews). But again, a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle sounds like a lesser evil than extra oxidation.

    What do people think? Is it still something worth doing? Or just in some situations?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Cold crashing will definitely NOT increase oxidation. Reason: Chemical reactions, and oxidation is one, happen slower at cold temperatures. As to whether cold crashing is useful or not, in the scenario you describe, it isn't. You are "cold crashing" by cold storing the kegs. I see it as a form of short-period lagering and as such, not evil. It's also not necessary: The same beer will clear at room temperature, maybe a bit slower, but it will clear. I also see it as a potential for off-flavors if you're crashing out the yeast before they're done. All that said, and obviously from what I said, I don't normally cold crash.
     
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  3. vthokiedsp

    vthokiedsp Member

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    i don't cold crash as a separate step. In other words, I rack directly from my primary to my keg, added gelatin, seal, clear headspace w/ co2, and place in kegerator for 24 to 48 hours before beginning carbonation in earnest (i burst carbonate). when i think carbonation is complete, i pull off about 12 oz of liquid which is usually a gelatin blob w/ additional gunk that settled out and whatever beer/sanitizer was in the line.

    personally, i avoid excess transfers unless they're absolutely needed, hence my direct rack to keg for cold crashing in the serving keg.
     
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  4. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I cold crash the fermenter for 3-4 days to compact and settle out, then transfer the clear-er beer to the keg
     
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  5. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I cold crash every beer, unless it’s a bottle conditioned beer. If you have a good transfer procedure, it’s unlikely to oxidize any different than transferring to a keg without crashing first. I crash ales 2-7 days, lagers 2-3 weeks. Clarifiers work best near 32F. I used to transfer lagers to secondary, but lately I avoid transferring unless I have to. Most home brewers have a tendency to be a little careless when transferring beer and that’s when oxygen takes its toll on the beer.
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I can cold-crash my Unitank but can't really cold-crash my 10 gallon batches in my 14 gal Chapman fermenter. I like dropping as much as possible and getting CO2 in suspension faster with the cold-crashing. The beers that I can't don't exhibit any real problems, though. Just takes a little longer to burst carb and they don't clear as fast. Not strictly necessary but slightly quicker route to the end result for me.
     
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  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the same boat as Mark I just cold crash every beer just because it's habit I suppose and part of my process. I guess it does drop any sediment quick compacts the trub and makes for clean transfers into keg and quick carbonation because the beer is already cold. Actually the cold crash I do at 0c sometimes below is colder than keggerator set at 4c.
    Must admit I've never just tranfered to the keg and crashed in the keggerator...
     
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  8. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I generally cold crash everything and gelatin fine it after 24 hours or so of crashing.
     
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  9. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Great thread, another question on topic, if you cold crash and intend to save the yeast cake, how would it be affected as in comparison to room temp transfer?
    I like the cold crash, so it settles trub and yeast. What does it do to the yeast?
     
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  10. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Just my two cent hypothesis, but I would think that sluicing up the remaining Trub will assure you get all the yeast, even the finishing yeast that does the final cleanup. And since the Trub/yeast will be “cold”, it’ll be an easy transfer right into the fridge.
     
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  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It makes the yeast go dormant - that's why it settles! Cold crashing in primary? Shouldn't affect the yeast at all, in fact, it may preserve some viability due to the low temperature.
     
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  12. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    That is my thought. That is why I do it. Was just wondering if they react to waking up as i do on a Saturday morning.:confused::mad:
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Really it doesn't do anything to the yeast.
     
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Do the same thing to a starter.
     
  15. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    This is what I do, except for the adding gelatin part. I never use gelatin. In my system, I get a good hot break and cold break, and always have clear beer after fermentation (except in certain styles like some wheat beers).
    Cold crashing happens when I put my 66 degree beer into the keg and into the kegerator. I put the gas on it, set it at 30 psi for 36 hours, then purge and reset to 12 psi (my normal setting for many beers). At 48 hours, I pour out about 4 ounces of yeasty sludge, then clear beer after that.
     
  16. GrimBeaver

    GrimBeaver New Member

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    IMO if you are kegging and the kegs will not be moved once put into the kegerator it is a waste of time. First half pour gets tossed. The rest is fine and only gets clearer over time. Move a keg though and depending on the beer and how much is left in the keg you might get some really cloudy pours till it resettles. Made that mistake once :(
     
  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah except if its a Neipa :p.
     

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