Is Alt beer conditioning in keg equivalent to the fermenter?

I’ve a German Alt beer that will be 3 weeks along next Sunday. In the past, I’ll cold condition at the 3 week point by dropping the temperature to 45-50F for two weeks, while in the fermenter, then kegging. Could I skip a step and cold condition in the keg rather than the fermenter or is having it on the yeast cake during this time a better choice?

Go ahead and keg it early if it’s done. The only “trouble” with this is that the first couple pints might have a lot of yeast. Also, the beer will taste better with those extra few weeks of age. Whether you age in the keg or in a fermenter is up to you.

I’ve read that wy1007 is a poor flocculater so I think I understand your point Dave. Drop the yeast in the fermenter, not in the keg.

I just used 1007 on my last batch. I’m a very lazy brewer though and left it in primary for like 6 weeks. It’s clear as a bell after all that time. It’s not as bad a flocculator as 2565 – now THAT yeast is a bad flocculator.

Your beer should be much clearer in another week or two. If you want to speed things up, just add gelatin. Microwave 2-3 ounces of water until boiling, bring it out, add one packet of unflavored Knox gelatin, stir to dissolve (it takes several minutes to dissolve it all), then add to your fermenter. After about 48 hours, all the yeast will be settled out. Perfect.

Past 3 years I’ve used 1007 in 7 batches of Alts/Doublealts. Most of the time after 2-3 weeks I’ve racked and cold conditioned for 3 weeks(most of the time + gelatin). Usually racked because I wanted to reuse the yeast cake. Twice I cold conditioned in the primary. No difference in clarity or taste. The one time I did it in the early summer and didn’t cold condition, that one was a little cloudy. Flavor was a little off as well. Could have been a higher than usual fermentation temp. though. For me Alts are a late Fall/ early winter brew.
By the way, for me cold conditioning means temps in the 40’s or lower.

I have not yet tried gelatin, but am a remembering correctly that it’s best used when you chill/cold crash your beer? So adding it to a fermenter would require cold crashing, right?

Yes. You can add it to beer that isn’t cold crashed but it probably won’t work as well.

The idea is to cold crash your beer to get some of the chill haze to form, then use the gelatin to settle it all out. Your beer will likely be crystal clear after that.

In my experience, gelatin works fine regardless of temperature.