↠ How to 'cold crash' home brew beer

tips on cold crashing beer



Cold crashing home brew tips and tricks


'Cold crashing' is not missing the turn on a cold winter's evening and ending up driving into a snow bank.

It's not feeling horrible from a viral infection.

It's when you make your beer so cold that all the yeast 'leftovers' in your brew fall to the bottom meaning you can bottle or keg your beer, safe in the knowledge there will be little sediment left in the bottles and it will be quite clear.

Cold crashing is a popular alternative to using finings such as gelatin to achieve a clear beer.

For many brewers, a good color beer profile is a badge of honor and it can greatly add to the drinking experience.

Cold crashing is generally done with lagers but can be done with ales.

So how do you cold crash home brew?


What you need is a very cold area.

Maybe you brewed your beer under the kitchen sink and it's ready to bottle condition. Now is the time to cold crash. If it's winter, you're in luck, place the fermenter or carboy in your extremely cold shed for a full 24 hours.

This will cool the beer so that gravity can do its thing and the yeast can clump together (floccuate) and other impurities can fall to the bottom. Leave it for a week at least.

Or, you can do what so many brewers do and place your 23 litre drum in an old but working refrigerator.

The ideal temperature is as close to zero and five degrees centigrade as one can get - without freezing the beer of course!

What's happening during a cold crash is that the yeast and other solids are dropping to the bottom of the barrel and this makes the beer clear.

Different yeasts have different behaviors in the cold.  'Flocculent' yeast strains will drop out in a day or two but for some of those poncy Belgian yeasts, you might be looking closer to a week. That said, many home brewers report that a week of cold crashing achieves the best clarity results.

It will be hard to achieve 100 percent clarity when you cold crash - commercial brewers have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to do that but remember that by properly conditioning your beer in a glass bottle or keg, the fermentation process will continue and there will be increased clarity occurring too.

When do I cold crash?


Begin the process only when you are sure that fermentation is complete. You can use a hydrometer to determine this - make sure you take that first reading!

What is the best temperature to cold crash beer?


There are many opinions out there but the commonly recommended range varies from 33 degrees Fahrenheit to 40 degrees F, with 38 degrees F being a fairly popular temperature point.  40 F is about 4.4. Centigrade.

Just don't freeze your beer. 

What do I do after I have cold crashed?


Keg or bottle in the normal fashions. Try not to stir the trub up!

Does cold crashing affect dry hopping?


It's a fair question given many brewers like to dry hop just prior to bottling. This is when hops are added to the fermenter a day or three prior to the end of fermentation. Most brewers report that dry hopping at the normal time and then cold crashing does not cause a great deal of aroma dissipation.

You could do it the other way too...

Some tips on cold crashing beer

  • Only cold crash when your beer is fully fermented. Crashing causes yeast to fall out of the beer so if done too early, you won't end up with the beer you intended to make.
  • If you keg your brew, you can cold crash right in a keg. Let the keg condition (uncarbonated) for a few days in your 'kegerator' so the yeast flocculates and drops out. Keen brewers can then transfer the batch to a second keg, many most of the sediment is left behind as well.
  • Perhaps somewhat ironically, cold crashing can increase the chances that chill haze will occur. While chill haze is actually prevented earlier in the brewing process if it occurs during the cold crashing stage, a quick application of finings will help. Chill haze will not affect the taste of your beer though you may not like the look of it, especially if it's occurred in a light colored beer. 
  • If you are concerned that hops cause too much sediment, consider using mesh bags.
  • If you are getting serious about cold crashing in a fridge, a temperature controlled one will keep the beer at a consistent level.
  • You do not need to re-pitch yeast for bottling as there will be sufficient yeast left for bottle carbonation. That said, it may take a little more time than usual for carbonation to occur. Results may vary!
There's another means to improve beer clarity.

Cold conditioning or 'lagering' your homebrew


Did you know that the word lager is derived from a German word, lagern?

It means ‘to store’. This should be a strong clue on how to make a good lager or any beer really. The lagering process was born when it was realised that beer left in cold caves turned out pretty good.

Due to lager yeasts operating best at lower temperatures, they actually ferment the beer at a lower rate than compared to ales which often ferment at higher temperatures.

This can mean that to get a lager brewed from a kit to be at its best for drinking, you may need to let it ‘lager’ for more weeks than you normally let an ale sit. So hide it in a dark corner of the garden shed during winter.

This will help with your beer clarity too!

If you are doing a boil, chilling your wort can also help remove unwanted items from your beer.

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.

Tags

abv acetaldehyde acid adjuncts advice about beer brewing aeration aeration kit aging air lock alcohol ale ale beer kits alkaline alkaline brewery wash all grain american apera apples attenuation autolysis automatic temperature compensation bacteria baker's yeast baking yeast ball lock ball valve bar keepers friend barley batch prime beer brewing beer capper beer dispenser beer filtration kit system beer gushers beer kit beer kit review beer kits beer lines beer salt beer taps beerstone best brewing equipment biotin bittering BKF black rock bleach blichmann blow off tubing bluelab bohemian pilsner boil in a bag boil over boneface bottle cap bottle caps bottling bottling beer bottling spigot bourbon brettanomyces brew and review brew day brewing beer guide brewing salts brewing spoon brewing sugar brewing thermostat british thermal unit brix brix scale BTU bud light buffer buffer solution burton snatch buyer's guide calcium chloride calcium sulphate calibration calibration probe calibration solution campden tablets capping carbon dioxide carbonation carbonation drops carboy cascade caustic soda chinook chlorine christmas chronicle cider cleaning your equipment clear beer clone recipe cloudy beer cold crashing coldbreak conditioning tablets conductivity conical fermenter contamination coopers copper tun corn sugar cornelius corny keg craft beer creamy beer crown cryo hops cubes danstar nottingham death from above demijohn dextrose distilation DIY DME dry hopping edelmetall brü burner ekuanot electrode enhancer enzyme equipment ester ethanol experiments in beer making faucet fermcap-s fermentables fermentation fermentation system fermenter fermentis fermentor final gravity finings five star floccing foam inhibitor french fresh wort pack fridge fruit fusel alchohol garage project gas burners gelatin gift and present ideas gin ginger beer golden ale golden syrup goldings grain grain mill green bullet grist guinness gypsum hach hacks hallertauer heat pad home brew honey hop schedule hops hops spider how not to brew beer how to brew that first beer how to brew with a beer kit how to grow hops how to make a hop tea how to wash yeast hydrated layer hydrogen sulfide hydrometer IBU ideas idophor infection inkbird instruments isoamyl acetate jelly beans jockey box john palmer jos ruffell juniper keezer keg cooler keg regulators kegco kegerator kegging kegs kettle kombucha krausen lactic acid lager lagering lauter litmus lupulin lupulin powder lupuLN2 making beer malic acid malt malt mill maltodextrin mangrove jack's maple syrup mash mash paddle mash tun mead methanol micro brewing milling milwaukee MW102 mistakes mixing instructions moa mouth feel muntons must nano brewing New Zealand Brewer's Series no rinse nut brown ale oak oak wood chips off flavors original gravity oxygen pacific gem pale ale panhead PBW pear pectine pectolase pete gillespie ph levels ph meter ph pen pH strips ph tester pico brewing pilsner pitching yeast plastic drum poppet valve pot powdered brewing wash precipitated chalk pressure relief valve priming probe problem solving propane and propane accessories pump system purity law re-using yeast recipe record keeping reddit refractometer reinheitsgebot removing beer labels from bottles review rice hulls riwaka rotten eggs saaz saccharomyces cerevisiae sanitization secondary regulator sediment session beer silicon simple tricks for brewing siphon site glass skunked beer small batch brewing soda ash sodium carbonate sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate sodium hydroxide sodium metasilicate sodium percarbonate sour beer sparge spigot spirals spirits spoon spraymalt star san STC-1000 steinlager stella artois steralisation sterilisation sterilization sterliization storage solution stout sucrose sugar supercharger tannins temperature temperature controller thermometer tips for beginners tri-sodium phopsphate tricks and tips trub tubing tui turkey vorlauf water water testing wet cardboard taste wet hopping whirlfloc tablets williamswarn wine winter brewing wood wort wort chiller yeast yeast energizer yeast nutrient yeast starter
Back to Top