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Cold Conditioning

Not sure if this has already been posted, so sorry for the repeat if so.

In any case, I brewed a 5 gal batch of Irish Red Ale yesterday and planned to primary ferment for 14 days then dump the trub.

My question is, after the 14 day fermentation, can I move the fermenter to the garage (temperature ranges from 40-50 degrees daily) after the 14 day primary is done and let it condition for another 2 months or so under the garage conditions?

I am fermenting is a plastic conical fermenter and I plan to dump the trub at 14 days and maybe 2 more times after that. Normally I would move to a keg to cold condition in my kegerator, but that space is alreay occupied.

Thanks for the input.

First off, I’d make sure the beer is done fermenting by taking SG readings not just assume it’s done after 14 days. Then give it another 3-4 days after reaching FG for the yeast to cleanup. After that, cold conditioning will be good for the beer.

Thanks mvsawyer. Do you think it would be fine to leave in the fermenter or should I move to the keg to cold condition?

Transfer to the keg and let it condition there.

No reason you can’t leave it in the fermenter if that’s your preference.

You mentioned that the garage temperature fluctuates between 40F and 50F. The temperature swings will cause the gas in the head space to expand and contract, pushing Co2 out on the up swing and sucking O2 in on the down swing. Eventually this would purge the head space of any Co2 leaving your beer exposed to standard atmospheric air, which could lead to oxidation.

The best plan would be to transfer to a keg, purge the head space of any O2, pressure the keg to about 25psi, disconnect the gas and place in the garage to condidtion. You will probably also want check that the keg is still pressurized every couple days.

You mentioned that the garage temperature fluctuates between 40F and 50F. The temperature swings will cause the gas in the head space to expand and contract, pushing Co2 out on the up swing and sucking O2 in on the down swing. Eventually this would purge the head space of any Co2 leaving your beer exposed to standard atmospheric air, which could lead to oxidation.

The best plan would be to transfer to a keg, purge the head space of any O2, pressure the keg to about 25psi, disconnect the gas and place in the garage to condidtion. You will probably also want check that the keg is still pressurized every couple days.[/quote]

I don’t own one so I don’t know, but is that the case the concical doesn’t allow you to seal it up(no airlock)?

BPBCo has an interesting point. 10 degrees is a lot of swing. BPBCo, would that happen with any airlock or blow-off valves?

I’d recommend the conical because most people cold condition to force the yeast and other items to drop to the bottom. Conicals reduce the “contact” with trub- but in our case as homebrewers that isn’t a big deal. For you, kegging would free up the conical for another brew :smiley: . Using the conical would make it easier to remove the trub at the bottom and leave less to clean in the keg later.

Lucky guy, you conical user!

You mentioned that the garage temperature fluctuates between 40F and 50F. The temperature swings will cause the gas in the head space to expand and contract, pushing Co2 out on the up swing and sucking O2 in on the down swing. Eventually this would purge the head space of any Co2 leaving your beer exposed to standard atmospheric air, which could lead to oxidation.

The best plan would be to transfer to a keg, purge the head space of any O2, pressure the keg to about 25psi, disconnect the gas and place in the garage to condidtion. You will probably also want check that the keg is still pressurized every couple days.[/quote]

I don’t own one so I don’t know, but is that the case the concical doesn’t allow you to seal it up(no airlock)?[/quote]

Conicals do have airlocks, but air locks still allow air IN and OUT with pressure changes caused by temp swings.

[quote="gregscsu} Conicals do have airlocks, but air locks still allow air IN and OUT with pressure changes caused by temp swings.[/quote]

Right of course there’s an air lock, what I was wondering is isn’t there a way to seal the concical up (with no air lock in place) for this purpose? For example with a bucket or a carboy you would just pull the airlock/stopper and replace with an undrilled stopper. I’m assuming you must be able to do the equivalent with a concical, but again I’ve never owned one so not sure.

I suppose you could use an undrilled stopper.

I would rather use a keg though.

[quote=“gregscsu”]I suppose you could use an undrilled stopper.

I would rather use a keg though.[/quote]

as would I, just trying to answer the OP’s question who said he doesn’t have keg space available and was asking if he could use his conical

[quote=“BPBCo”][quote=“gregscsu”]I suppose you could use an undrilled stopper.

I would rather use a keg though.[/quote]

as would I, just trying to answer the OP’s question who said he doesn’t have keg space available and was asking if he could use his conical[/quote]
I read it as his kegerator is full, not neccesarily that all his kegs are full.

But either way would work.

[quote="gregscsu} But either way would work.[/quote]

Agreed…sauce on :cheers:

Thanks all for the response(s).

I did not take into account the temp swing. I will bit the bullet and purchase another keg or hurry up and drink my brew that is in there so I can use a regulated temperature environment like the kegerator.

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