Author Topic: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?  (Read 20983 times)

Offline Mofo

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Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« on: October 28, 2015, 12:30:08 AM »
Now that I'm fermenting in a dedicated fridge I'm considering cold crashing for the first time. I've looked at past threads here about the benefits (perceived benefits?) of doing so, and when and how to do it. I've also re-read the pertinent parts of White and Zainasheff's Yeast. I'm still on the fence.

First, I'm bottling a US-05 pale ale. Am I correct to assume that if I crash the finished beer to 4C (39F) the yeast will remain active enough carbonate bottles? It will just take longer?

Second, what's the difference between cold crashing before bottling vs bottling at fermentation temp 19C (66F) then socking the bottled beer in the fridge?

Bottlers, what method do you use to cold crash?
bottled: Wee Heavy, Belgian Wit
fermenting: Imperial IPA, Citra Pale Ale

Offline TAHammerton

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2015, 09:50:27 PM »
If you are going to prime and carbonate in the bottle I personally would not cold crash as it will take a very long time to carbonate or sometimes never. Cold crashing works best for forced carbonation in my opinion.
I keg now and cold crash every time and bottle from keg if I need to.  I would not recommend bottling  from keg as it is a pain in the arse and very messy due to enviable foaming.
My recommendation is to pime and keep bottles at near 70F for 2 weeks to ensure carbonation and then put in fridge.
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Offline Oginme

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2015, 07:07:27 AM »
I generally cold crash for 3 to 4 days before bottling.  Exceptions include wheat and rye beers and those I make with highly flocculant yeasts.  My beers typically carb up in the bottle fully at about 2 to 3 weeks.  I get a very thin coating of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. 

Typically, I will bring the temperature from mid to upper 60's down to around 40F in about 2 days, then leave it at that temperature for the 3 to 4 days quoted above.

It gives me brighter ales and really helps with appearance for those low SRM brews.
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Offline Mofo

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2015, 11:10:04 PM »
I generally cold crash for 3 to 4 days before bottling.  Exceptions include wheat and rye beers and those I make with highly flocculant yeasts.  My beers typically carb up in the bottle fully at about 2 to 3 weeks.  I get a very thin coating of yeast on the bottom of the bottle. 

Typically, I will bring the temperature from mid to upper 60's down to around 40F in about 2 days, then leave it at that temperature for the 3 to 4 days quoted above.

Oginme, are you priming your bottles at around 40F and still getting full carbonation in 2 to 3 weeks? Are you keeping them at that temp during conditioning?

I'd been leaning towards TA's suggestion to not crash. But I might experiment: try crashing, priming at the low temp, then socking half the bottles in fridge and letting the others slowly warm to room temp to kick start the yeast.   
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 11:33:38 PM by Mofo »
bottled: Wee Heavy, Belgian Wit
fermenting: Imperial IPA, Citra Pale Ale

Offline antiphile

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2015, 12:17:46 AM »
I'll openly admit I'm quite surprised at some of the hesitation to cold crash when bottle fermenting. With well over 100 brews done this way, I've never noticed any problems with enough yeast remaining in solution to properly carbonate (even with highly flocculant yeast strains). My standard practice with ales is to crash at 0C (32F) for between 7 and 10 days; Lagers and pilsners get 3 weeks at 0C.

Cheers

Offline jtoots

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2015, 06:00:44 AM »
I'll openly admit I'm quite surprised at some of the hesitation to cold crash when bottle fermenting. With well over 100 brews done this way, I've never noticed any problems with enough yeast remaining in solution to properly carbonate (even with highly flocculant yeast strains). My standard practice with ales is to crash at 0C (32F) for between 7 and 10 days; Lagers and pilsners get 3 weeks at 0C.

Cheers

This is before bottling, correct?  I'm inclined to lean this way because each bottle will have much less yeast at the bottom at the end of the day.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2015, 10:11:48 AM »
I should have been more clear on my procedure beyond the cold crashing info.  I will blame it on jet lag and a bad internet connection here in China.

I bring the carboy up to the kitchen the night before I bottle.  It warms up to room temperature which is usually around 60F during the brewing time of the year (fall-winter-early spring).

I keep it at this temperature to bottle and then condition before going back into the cellar (<50F) for cool storage.  At 60F, most of the brews condition in about 2 weeks.  Higher alcohol recipes sometimes need a third week, but I will stick a bottle in the refrigerator for a couple of days near the end of the conditioning time and test.  I usually mark the last bottle filled and capped for this purpose as it is more likely to have extra exposure to air.

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Offline antiphile

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2015, 04:24:28 PM »
Tootsie: I wasn't very clear either, and can't even blame jet lag. Yep, the described method covers the period before bottling.

Oginme: Slightly differently to your method, when the cold crash is completed, I bottle immediately without deliberately allowing the beer temp to rise. In truth, with the bottling time, all is bottled and sealed before it gets to 40 or 42F. Then they are stored in a place that is pretty stable at 65 to 70F.

Cheers

Offline Roadrocket

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2015, 04:22:08 AM »
I crash for about 7 to 10 days before bottling and I have never had problems with carbonation. After bottling I store the bottles at room temperature for two weeks or more until they're carbonated and put them in the fridge before drinking.
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Offline Mofo

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2015, 11:24:42 AM »
Seven days at 0C it is then. And I won't bother bringing the fermentor to room temp before bottling. I will, however, sock half the bottles in the fridge and keep the other half at room temp (if only because the fridge won't fit all the bottles). We'll see what difference there is with carbonation time.

Thanks All for your input!

I should have been more clear on my procedure beyond the cold crashing info.  I will blame it on jet lag and a bad internet connection here in China.

Oginme, where are you in China, if you're still here? Anywhere near Xiamen?
bottled: Wee Heavy, Belgian Wit
fermenting: Imperial IPA, Citra Pale Ale

Offline BundyPhil

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2015, 09:49:41 PM »
Sorry for my intrusion. I'm a first time brewer & have been reading this post with interest. I have accidentally chilled my beer to a point where it nearly froze. (this was after fermentation & I had just added some wort for the secondary fermentation to start). Have I lost the brew now or can I save it by re-hydrating more yeast and adding that to the beer?

Sorry again for my noobish questions :-[

Offline jtoots

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2015, 05:28:37 AM »
Sorry for my intrusion. I'm a first time brewer & have been reading this post with interest. I have accidentally chilled my beer to a point where it nearly froze. (this was after fermentation & I had just added some wort for the secondary fermentation to start). Have I lost the brew now or can I save it by re-hydrating more yeast and adding that to the beer?

Sorry again for my noobish questions :-[

No worries Phil, that's why we're here!  First off, your beer is fine.  I'm curious why you added more wort for secondary, I've never done this.  Were you planning on adding more yeast ignoring this temp issue you had?  If enough yeast made it into secondary, I'm thinking once it warms enough it'll take care of business, but low confidence on this answer because I've never added more wort to an already-been-brewed batch.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2015, 08:34:05 AM »

Quote

Oginme, where are you in China, if you're still here? Anywhere near Xiamen?

Alas, just reached Hong Kong and flying out tomorrow AM.  I started out in Hong Kong then went mainland with stops in Fushan, Dongguan, and Shenzhen before flying to Sechuan to visit a factory in Leshan.   Took an extra hour or two to visit the Leshan Giant Sitting Budda.  Wonderful site.  Then, because I can never sit still, back to Shenzhen, over to Hong Kong for a couple of appointments before heading up to Huizhou for a day.  Now totally dragged out and lacking sleep, I'm ready to head back home.
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Offline BundyPhil

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2015, 01:11:31 PM »
Sorry for my intrusion. I'm a first time brewer & have been reading this post with interest. I have accidentally chilled my beer to a point where it nearly froze. (this was after fermentation & I had just added some wort for the secondary fermentation to start). Have I lost the brew now or can I save it by re-hydrating more yeast and adding that to the beer?

Sorry again for my noobish questions :-[

No worries Phil, that's why we're here!  First off, your beer is fine.  I'm curious why you added more wort for secondary, I've never done this.  Were you planning on adding more yeast ignoring this temp issue you had?  If enough yeast made it into secondary, I'm thinking once it warms enough it'll take care of business, but low confidence on this answer because I've never added more wort to an already-been-brewed batch.
The additional wort I added to the beer was instead of sugar to restart the yeast for carbonation. The thought was there would be some yeast still alive after primary fermentation & this additional sugar in the wort would restart it. Then I was going to bottle 2 days after adding the wort. I've seen no activity in the beer today to say the yeast survived, so I was going to add more yeast, wait to see some sign of life, then bottle.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: Bottlers, do you cold crash or no?
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2015, 05:20:14 PM »
Unless you're doing a lambic or something, the only secondary fermentation that should occur should be in the bottles.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2015, 05:28:12 PM by Maine Homebrewer »
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