Author Topic: cold crash....freeze??  (Read 4310 times)

Offline DrewG

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cold crash....freeze??
« on: February 27, 2012, 05:04:33 PM »
Getting ready to bottle up an IPA, 15 days in the fermentor, its done but I thought Id cold crash it to get it to clear prior to bottling. Lacking a fridge and seeing as howits february and I live in Michigan, I put a black t-shirt over it and set it outside this morning. Checked on it when I got home this evening, and it hasnt cleared much at all and the temp of the carboy is about 40f. Its supposed to drop down to 22f tonight and Im worried it could freeze. Is that likely? If i t does how bad is that for my beer? Im bottle conditioning so I cant really afford to kill my yeast etc. Any input greatly appreciated.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 10:56:40 PM »
What kind of fermenter are you talking about?  I hope it's not a carboy!

I would bring it in rather than let it freeze, if the garage will stay even a little warmer it might not freeze at all depending on how strong it is and how long the temperature takes to drop.  Although at 22F, overnight night not be long enough for it to freeze solid.

For what it's worth, a 10% ABV solution will freeze at 25F - it's not quite linear, but it gets you in the ballpark.  The other things in the beer (residual sugar, proteins, etc) will also alter the freezing point somewhat.
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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 11:49:47 PM »
If it does freeze you can always add more yeast at bottling time. It won't hurt the beer. unless it's in a carboy and freezes enough to shatter. :-[
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Offline bluesman

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 07:15:20 AM »
It depends on how cold it gets and that can be risky. I would leave it out for a shorter time if possible. Most ale yeast will start dropping out quickly at or below 50F, so as long as you get it below that you'll be in good shape.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 08:06:47 AM »
I ended up leaving it out all night. Fell asleep, woke up around 4am, crapped my pants a bit and ran out to check on it. I had wrapped a big comforter around it earlier and it seems to have prevented any freezing at all. Brought it in and it was at 34f (40f 8 hours earlier, so it only lost 6 degrees with the outside ambient temp at 18f this morning). None the worse for wear, but I really don't notice any dramatic clearing effect either.

How much effect does this technique have on final beer clarity, and how suitable is it for bottle conditioned beers vs force carbed keg beers (in respect to yeast health etc)

Thanks again for your advice and opinions.


*Disclaimer: No beer, carboys or brewers were harmed during this experiment*
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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 08:25:27 AM »
I think you just made Icehouse.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 10:57:37 AM »
I never really pay attention to how long it takes to clear, but I get it under 40 for a few days and it is usually bright.  With all of the moving around of the beer you're doing, you might not be helping.  I would find a cold spot where it won't freeze and leave it there for a few days.

Crash cooling to sediment the yeast is suitable for both kegging and bottle conditioning.
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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 11:07:28 AM »
I never really pay attention to how long it takes to clear, but I get it under 40 for a few days and it is usually bright.  With all of the moving around of the beer you're doing, you might not be helping.  I would find a cold spot where it won't freeze and leave it there for a few days.

Crash cooling to sediment the yeast is suitable for both kegging and bottle conditioning.

I would add that you might want to find a cold spot where the sun does not shine. even with a black tshirt over it you might get some skunking as it is doubtfull that the tshirt is 100% UV protective.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 11:10:15 AM »
I never really pay attention to how long it takes to clear, but I get it under 40 for a few days and it is usually bright.  With all of the moving around of the beer you're doing, you might not be helping.  I would find a cold spot where it won't freeze and leave it there for a few days.

Crash cooling to sediment the yeast is suitable for both kegging and bottle conditioning.

I would add that you might want to find a cold spot where the sun does not shine. even with a black tshirt over it you might get some skunking as it is doubtfull that the tshirt is 100% UV protective.
Yeah, t-shirts aren't as UV protective as you might think.  I was thinking a garage or something like that.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 03:11:38 PM »
So, after subjecting my carboy and beer to below freezing temps and fussing over clarity etc, I go to transfer to my bottling bucket last night and flame the lip of the carboy prior to taking a gravity sample and racking over. What I didn't account for was (Im assuming this is the reason) the carboy was still pretty cool from being outside the night before. Flamed it for a couple seconds and the lip blew right off it.

*Such a dumb-ass*
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 03:14:35 PM »
Ugh, sorry dude.  I don't bother sanitizing the lip when I go to take a sample or rack, I sanitize the stuff going in but don't worry about anything else.
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Offline DrewG

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 03:21:05 PM »
Chalk it up to another learning experience. Sometimes they're rewarding, sometimes they lunch a new carboy.
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Offline bo

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 03:42:52 PM »
I quit flaming as well. Just wipe it with paper towel soaked in StarSan and wait a minute or so.

Offline oscarvan

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 07:26:50 PM »
I would add that you might want to find a cold spot where the sun does not shine.

You want him to put his beer where? Sorry, couldn't resist.  :D
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Offline erockrph

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Re: cold crash....freeze??
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2012, 08:01:54 AM »
I quit flaming as well. Just wipe it with paper towel soaked in StarSan and wait a minute or so.

Yeah, I keep a 1-quart spray bottle of StarSan around for just this purpose. If I'm really being paranoid about sanitation I wear vinyl gloves and spray them with Star-San before I handle things that will be touching wort/beer. But that's just habit for me from spending so much time in the IV room.
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