Cold crash before bottling, question.

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Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby Mr Squiffy » Sat Apr 15, 2017 09:06

You guys that cold crash your beer, what's your process up to bottling or kegging?
I have cold crashed my latest brew for a couple of days but am not sure whether to bottle it cold or warm it back up first. :hmm:

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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby pittsy » Sat Apr 15, 2017 09:25

It will make no difference whatever the beer temperature when bottling , just get the beer room temp for carbonation . The main reason for cold crashing is to drop out more particles and excess yeast . Lagering is cold crashing but for an extended period .
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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby Kyle_T » Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:19

I don't cold crash any of my beers due to them being casked but you can bottle and condition them cold, however it does take longer, the end result I find is a softer carbonation over those conditioned at room temperature or force carbonated.

There is a bit of knack to it mind, getting the yeast to stop just shy of the FG in the right place takes some practice and a series of cooling steps at the end of fermentation plus additional fining if you want it to clear quickly, but it will clear naturally with time.

The bonus is you do not need to prime every bottle as the residual yeast is slowly consumed to the FG and results in a more stable product without compromising on body or over carbonation from using additional simple sugars.

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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby HTH1975 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:12

I cold crash for at least a week, just because I'm in no hurry and I get a nice clear beer every time.

I then leave the bottles at room temperature.

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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby Kev888 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 16:52

If chilling, I tend to let it reach FG first, then chill to as near 0c as I can get it for a few days or so (if it doesn't get so cold, then much longer). Then keg, and let it warm up to room temperature (it will expand as it warms but no kegs that i've used so far have had a problem with that). Those who add finings often do so whilst still cold (in FV or occasionally keg), because chill haze will then be present, and so available for the finings to capture. The subsequent warming to room temperature is important if you carb naturally (though even if not, IMO the beer matures faster than when cold). But if you force-carbonate then it can just be raised to cellar temperatures (or whatever you store it at) if preferred.

There are those who chill a point or two 'before' FG, so that when the beer warms up in the keg the tail end of fermentation resumes, and carbonates the beer without priming. Which is very neat... if you can reliably predict what FG will be (e.g. by experience and consistent practices, or fermenting a sample warmer/faster than the main batch to see where it finishes). If you can't/don't predict FG correctly then it may be safer, and certainly more consistent, to let it finish in the FV and then prime separately with a measured/controlled quantity of sugars.

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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby Mr Squiffy » Sat Apr 15, 2017 19:07

Thanks guys, I'll bottle it cold. The reason for the question is I tend not to cold crash, on the two previous occasions I have done the first time I bottled it cold and obviously got a lot of condensation on the bottles so the second time I warmed it up first. TBH I'm not convinced either time I got a clearer beer.
I have brewed a Porter with some cacao nibs and some cold brew coffee and it's murky as he'll, muddy like a hot chocolate drink so I thought I would see if cold crashing would help clear it a bit, time will tell. :scratch:

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Re: Cold crash before bottling, question.

Postby Kev888 » Sat Apr 15, 2017 20:31

The main value (for me) of chilling is to get the chill haze out should you wish - but it should help with other stuff too... If not then it may not be cold enough to work quickly - even a few degrees warmer than zero can really reduce the rate at which it works. Or there may be hazes which don't fall out quickly - such as from non-flocculant yeast strains, oats or massive dry hops, in which case finings (or an intermediate bright tank or keg) may be needed to bottle clearer beer.

It may be worth checking your process too, particularly that you aren't over (or badly) sparging, that the boil is a good strong one, and that you are getting good hot and cold breaks. If there is insufficient calcium present, things don't clear as well either.

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