I am planning on cold crashing a beer that I am moving to secondary fermentor and I have a couple of basic questions.
My beer has been in the primary fermenter for 17 days (the SG is finally stable), so I am going to put it in secondary tonight. Do I leave it in secondary for 2 weeks, then cold crash it for 2 days or do I cold crash it for the last 2 days of the 2 weeks? What is the shortest amount of time and the longest amount of time that I want to keep in there?
When I cold crash it, I assume that I take my secondary fermenter (glass carboy) and put it right into my chest freezer. Is that correct? I have a large chest freezer that I keep at 38 degrees for my kegs and there is plenty of room in there - so do I just put it right in there?
When I am done cold crashing it, I then take it out of the chest freezer and syphon it right to a keg, right? No need to let it sit more?
Just rack it to the secondary and let it sit at room temp for 2 weeks then place it in the freezer with your kegs for 2 days then keg it and put it back in the freezer to carbonate.
I’m assuming this isn’t something you can do if you bottle?
[quote=“dustinwwww”]I’m assuming this isn’t something you can do if you bottle?[/quote]No, this is ideal if you bottle - drop the sediment before transferring to the bottling bucket and you’ll end up with a lot less gunk in the bottom of the bottle. A short cold-crash will not reduce the yeast too much to carbonate.
Explain short cold crashing. How short is short and at what temperature?
“Short” is up to maybe a week, but a couple days works well for me. Getting the temp into the 30-35F range is good.
You may also want to hit it with some gelatin for super clear beer. If you search on here there is plenty of info on gelatin finings.
This coupled with cold crashing will help clear chill haze as well as produce a super clear beer. And, yes, there will still be plenty of yeast for bottle conditioning.
I’m definitely interested in trying this next time. So 30-35 degrees for a couple days to a week would be tolerable for the yeast to still carbonate the beer? At what point does the yeast approach a point of being inactive? And when you do this, do you slowly drop it down or just stick it in a fridge/freezer at that temperature and let it do its thing?
I just take the fermenter and put it in the fridge and a week at cold temps will not drop out all the yeast. If you’re worried about it, 1-2 grams of US-05 or S-04 added to the bottling bucket is plenty for normal fermentation (this is the amount that Sierra Nevada adds to their Pale Ale and makes just the lightest dusting on the bottom of the bottle).