Author Topic: Cold crash vs Secondary  (Read 1001 times)

Online flbrewer

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Cold crash vs Secondary
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:46:59 AM »
Which makes the beer clearer? Is doing secondary worth it compared to potential oxygen introduction?


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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 09:51:23 AM »
for clearing a beer? I don't think secondary is worth the risk, or more accurately I don't think it's worth the trouble. once the beer is in a bottle or keg you are essentially performing a secondary, just in a way that will limit o2 contact.

cold crash as well as you can and transfer off the yeast and trub carefully and you'll get plenty clear beer.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 10:25:14 AM »
for clearing a beer? I don't think secondary is worth the risk, or more accurately I don't think it's worth the trouble. once the beer is in a bottle or keg you are essentially performing a secondary, just in a way that will limit o2 contact.

cold crash as well as you can and then transfer off the yeast and trub carefully and you'll get plenty clear beer.

In that order is all I would add or rather emphasize about what Mort said.  Seems like a lot of folks in a recent thread talked about "crash cooling" after the beer had been kegged which in my mind misses the point.  I crash cool to floc and settle the yeast, then transfer to the keg for lagering. In my experience, crash cooling helps to produce a beer that is more clear in shorter amount of time. 
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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 10:26:08 AM »
for clearing a beer? I don't think secondary is worth the risk, or more accurately I don't think it's worth the trouble. once the beer is in a bottle or keg you are essentially performing a secondary, just in a way that will limit o2 contact.

cold crash as well as you can and then transfer off the yeast and trub carefully and you'll get plenty clear beer.

In that order is all I would add or rather emphasize about what Mort said.  Seems like a lot of folks in a recent thread talked about "crash cooling" after the beer had been kegged which in my mind misses the point.  I crash cool to floc and settle the yeast, then transfer to the keg for lagering. In my experience, crash cooling helps to produce a beer that is more clear in shorter amount of time. 

+1
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Offline scottNU

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 01:57:52 PM »
I crash cool to floc and settle the yeast, then transfer to the keg for lagering.

Pinksi, I have a related question.  I assume when you lager in the keg, you are using the keg in a fully "closed" set up.  I mean that you haven't replaced the cap with something that would allow venting, similar to a airlock used for a primary fermenter.  I believe that at this point the beer has reached, or nearly reached FG, so the likelihood of building extreme CO2 pressure is quite low.  And the keg is a better pressure vessel than a carboy or bucket and one can always vent the keg if worried. 

Hmm, looks like I have talked myself out of the concern, but I have never lagered in a keg and thought it would be easy enough to ask.  Thanks.

Offline Pinski

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 02:04:41 PM »
I crash cool to floc and settle the yeast, then transfer to the keg for lagering.

Pinksi, I have a related question.  I assume when you lager in the keg, you are using the keg in a fully "closed" set up.  I mean that you haven't replaced the cap with something that would allow venting, similar to a airlock used for a primary fermenter.  I believe that at this point the beer has reached, or nearly reached FG, so the likelihood of building extreme CO2 pressure is quite low.  And the keg is a better pressure vessel than a carboy or bucket and one can always vent the keg if worried. 

Hmm, looks like I have talked myself out of the concern, but I have never lagered in a keg and thought it would be easy enough to ask.  Thanks.
Yep, that pretty well sums it up. Always ask, we're all here to talk about beer. 
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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 04:55:14 PM »
scottNU - A corny is arguably the perfect lager vessel. No air sucked in whatsoever. Be sure your beer has hit terminal gravity and there won't be a pressure buildup. A corny can tolerate a lot of it if it did build up.
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Offline scottNU

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 07:06:55 AM »
Perfect!  Thanks folks.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2014, 07:32:49 AM »
Secondary means secondary fermentation vessel. So unless you are doing a second fermentation, like on fruit or something, I'd skip that. like to expose my beer to as little O2 and wild bugs as possible. If I want to lager, age, chill, whatever, I think it's best to do that in the serving vessel. Keg or bottle...
Cold crash, in my opinion, is a great way to assist in getting particles to settle out a little quicker. But like was said before, that's after its all done fermenting

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2014, 08:12:55 AM »
Here's the only problem with secondary: oxidation. Contamination shouldn't be an issue if you are sanitary. But oxidation, even if it doesn't ruin a beer, changes a beer. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a secondary (or make shift Bright Beer Tanks) as long as you rid the o2 and transfer to an o2 free environment. If you can't do that it is definitely not worth the risk.

On the commercial level when I brew I dump yeast via a conical then fine and mix the fining agent either by whirl pool via pump and racking arm or "large" co2 bubbles. Then dump again after a couple days and rack to BBT and fine again. Then dump and the beer is clear.

On homebrew level I ferment in 15 gallon sankes. When fermentation is finished I rack to another 15 gallon o2 purged sanke and fine in there. Before racking I just blow out the yeast in the tube. Then I carb in that BBT and then purge yeast once more and run that bright beer off into kegs.

So, if you are going for bright beer you can see that kegging and using Co2 makes like a lot easier along with a good fining agent. Best bet if you are going to use a secondary is to purge that vessel with Co2. Otherwise I wouldn't do it unless you really "refermented" in that vessel to scrub o2.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 05:03:22 AM »
Major - when you run the carbed beer off into kegs from the bright beer tank at the homebrew level, do you use a spunding valve or what?  I have some carbed beer in cornies that I want to push under CO2 from keg to keg, but don't want to risk excessive foaming and any loss of carbonation (taking them to a Super Bowl party).
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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2014, 05:50:38 AM »
Yeah, something like a spunding valve or restrictor on "gas in" where you can slowly bleed off the pressure (on corny keg I have done it through a long piece of small diameter bev tubing). You'll need to pressurize the awaiting keg to 10 psi and run the beer off into it @ 12. Should be minimal foaming.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2014, 12:27:25 PM »

Yeah, something like a spunding valve or restrictor on "gas in" where you can slowly bleed off the pressure (on corny keg I have done it through a long piece of small diameter bev tubing). You'll need to pressurize the awaiting keg to 10 psi and run the beer off into it @ 12. Should be minimal foaming.


That will be easy.  Thanks for the advice.
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Offline rjberry

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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 01:28:15 PM »
Here's the only problem with secondary: oxidation. Contamination shouldn't be an issue if you are sanitary. But oxidation, even if it doesn't ruin a beer, changes a beer. There's absolutely nothing wrong with using a secondary (or make shift Bright Beer Tanks) as long as you rid the o2 and transfer to an o2 free environment. If you can't do that it is definitely not worth the risk.

On the commercial level when I brew I dump yeast via a conical then fine and mix the fining agent either by whirl pool via pump and racking arm or "large" co2 bubbles. Then dump again after a couple days and rack to BBT and fine again. Then dump and the beer is clear.

On homebrew level I ferment in 15 gallon sankes. When fermentation is finished I rack to another 15 gallon o2 purged sanke and fine in there. Before racking I just blow out the yeast in the tube. Then I carb in that BBT and then purge yeast once more and run that bright beer off into kegs.

So, if you are going for bright beer you can see that kegging and using Co2 makes like a lot easier along with a good fining agent. Best bet if you are going to use a secondary is to purge that vessel with Co2. Otherwise I wouldn't do it unless you really "refermented" in that vessel to scrub o2.

Thanks for the info.......however, reading this makes me feel like a caveman in my processes.  It just goes to show the difference in making a good homebrew and a great, consistent craft brew.
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Re: Cold crash vs Secondary
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2014, 01:45:58 PM »
You shouldn't feel that way. Some of the best beers I have enjoyed have been homebrews.
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