Author Topic: cold crashing  (Read 1069 times)

Offline Nicasio Tom

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cold crashing
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:35:43 PM »
I'm making a Pliny the Elder clone, dry hopped for two weeks. Brad says in a blog "you want to dry hop after you cold crash." But should you cold crash after dry hopping and just before bottling? I thought you would want the hop material to settle out through cold crashing. How important is cold crashing at all?

Offline Oginme

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Re: cold crashing
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 03:56:59 PM »
Addressing your last question first, cold crashing is not critical to most brews.  I was getting brilliantly clear lagers and ales before I started cold crashing.  What it does do is to create an environment where the yeast cells in suspension will want to flock and settle to the bottom of the fermenter.  For me, this ends up with just a very fine layer of yeast on the bottom of my bottles instead of the thin cake of yeast that I used to get early on in my brewing.

Cold crashing to reduce the yeast population also has an impact on the presence of hop oils and aromatic compounds in the finished beer.  Yeast cells will surround themselves with these oils as they settle out of solution and remove them from the finished beer.  Having fewer cells in solution means less of these aromatic compounds from being removed. 

Latest studies find that you get the majority of desirable the flavor and aroma hop compounds in the first couple of days of contact.  After that you tend to lose more of the volatile aromatic compounds and extract some fo the less desirable "grassy" or "vegetative" aromas and flavors.  So cold crashing and then a 2 to 4 day dry hop will accomplish the desirable effects most brewers are seeking.
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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: cold crashing
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 07:15:54 PM »
Oginme, Thanks for this advice. Maybe the "thin cake of yeast" in your bottles (when you weren't cold crashing) was beneficial in that it may have been responsible for more complex conditioning. What you say is somewhat contradictory in that cold crashing might reduce the benefit of hop oils, but also has benefits. Yet when you were getting "brilliantly clear lagers and ales before [you started] cold crashing", that makes me think I may just skip that step. I made pretty good beer without cold crashing, so maybe cold crashing is not all it's cracked up to be.

Offline Oginme

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Re: cold crashing
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2019, 07:29:48 PM »
Not contradictory at all.   The yeast will still settle out of the beer; it just takes a bit longer in the bottle to get there.  I have also found that having more than a thin layer of yeast on the bottom of the bottles usually results in the yeast being more easily disturbed during the pour.
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Offline Nicasio Tom

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Re: cold crashing
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2019, 08:09:07 PM »
Thanks. I guess what I will do with this batch, then, is after the dry-hopping period, gradually cold-crash for a day or so, than warm it up before bottling.