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Can I cold crash outside, in the cold, in winter?

cold crashing beer outside

Cold crashing.

It's a great way to make your beer to stand to attention and free itself of the particles that make your beer cloudy.

Many brewers cold crash in a fridge for a day or three.

But what if you have no beer fridge but only the cold?

Can you cold crash outside, overnight if it's cold?


Well, yes you can but your results may vary.

Generally speaking, cold crashing can take up to 24 - 48 hours to be effective to precipitate out the unwanted proteins so one night in the cold of winter might only get you 12 hours (say 7 pm - 7am) but that's assuming New Zealand conditions.

If you're in America, Canada or the Baltic states or the like, it's damn cold with all that snow so yes, you can cold crash outside for a couple of days and the job will be done but as we said, results may vary.

You may want to crash at night and then place the fermenter somewhere out of the sunlight during the day and then have another crack the second night. Be careful to not disturb the trub too much as you are trying to clear the beer, not stir everything up.

Can it be too cold to crash outside?


The colder the better and it will help precipitate out more yeast, however, you don't want to freeze your beer as that's kind of a disastrous result. So, if you are confident the overnight temperature won't go below freezing point (32F or 0C),  you should be OK. 

The amount of alcohol in your beer will play a factor as well - higher strength ABV beers can resist colder temps a little more but it's not necessary for cold crashing.

Can I just leave my beer in the shed for a week?


You sure can. Brewing is a timing game, so giving your beer an extra week in a cold shed will help lager it and let the yeast do its job. 

Remember you can also add finings shortly before bottling to help clear your beer.

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