Author Topic: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.  (Read 960 times)

Offline war2112

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« on: July 06, 2016, 09:18:34 PM »
Hello all,

I am into my 10th 5-gallon batch of home brew. So far I have had very good to excellent results save for 2 of the 10.

My 2nd was an IPA brewed with a VERY outdated can of pre-hopped LME and it showed. It was drinkable but was a little off. My 4th was a Belgian Wit that frankly just did not turn out all that well. Perhaps a little too estery or just a little thin. Not sure. Thankfully I have had no infections as I am extremely sanitary.

I have brewed a very, verygood California Common, and a couple of quite good APA's, a good stout and a good Kolsch. I have repeated a couple of those.

I brew extract with steeping grains and my temp control is the whole fermenter in a water bath, wet t-shirt and ice bottle routine. I am able to keep ferm temps in the low to middle 60's this way but that is as good as I can do with this set-up.

I use no fining agents of any kind nor do I cold crash. I get very clear beer. Very clear. My fermentations last anywhere from 9-16 days before bottling.

So my question is this, and I am not being a smart ass, but why all the fuss over Irish Moss, gelatin and in particular cold-crashing? I simply do not see the need. If I am getting clear beer then why the bother?

I understand if one is dry-hopping or adding other post-primary stuff like fruit or whatnot then it would be needed but it seems like everybody cold crashes and even those that are able to ferment at lower temps then I can reach.

Like I said, not being a smart ass but I am just wondering.



Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 10:00:29 PM »
When your beer is ready to drink and in the fridge at, say, 35-38F, do you get any chill haze that goes away when the beer warms up in the glass?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19920
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 10:00:41 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2016, 10:03:36 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.


This.
Jon H.

Offline war2112

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2016, 11:35:22 PM »
When your beer is ready to drink and in the fridge at, say, 35-38F, do you get any chill haze that goes away when the beer warms up in the glass?

No, none at all. Beer is very clear before it even goes into the fridge.

Offline war2112

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2016, 11:38:28 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.


This.

Thanks, guys. I suspected as much. So when I do get into all-grain, I can expect the need to cold crash? And if so, any way that can be done without a chest freezer? Can I add a lot of ice in my bathtub and sink the fermenter in there? Or will that not be enough?

Thanks again.

Offline war2112

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 11:46:07 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.


This.

Hey, HoosierBrew, do you ever go to the Friday night clubs at Great Fermentations? I am going to the one in Avon this Friday night. I went last time and had fun. I am bringing one of those California Commons plus a Kolsch and also an APA.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2016, 11:47:28 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.


This.

Thanks, guys. I suspected as much. So when I do get into all-grain, I can expect the need to cold crash? And if so, any way that can be done without a chest freezer? Can I add a lot of ice in my bathtub and sink the fermenter in there? Or will that not be enough?

Thanks again.


Crashing definitely helps but (regardless of if you keg or bottle) just getting the beer cold helps - as in the serving temp of the fridge or kegerator as opposed to true crashing temps at or near 32F. Also , leaving the beer in primary for an extra week or two after fermentation will give more of the yeast time to drop out.
Jon H.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2016, 11:50:49 PM »
Hey, HoosierBrew, do you ever go to the Friday night clubs at Great Fermentations? I am going to the one in Avon this Friday night. I went last time and had fun. I am bringing one of those California Commons plus a Kolsch and also an APA.


I've been many times to the one on 65th (Indy location). Thing is, I live in New Palestine which is all the way across Indy from Avon. I get to the downtown one in 25 mins vs a solid hour to Avon. If you ever happen to get to the Indy location, let me know and I'll meet ya there !
Jon H.

Offline war2112

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2016, 11:55:36 PM »
Hey, HoosierBrew, do you ever go to the Friday night clubs at Great Fermentations? I am going to the one in Avon this Friday night. I went last time and had fun. I am bringing one of those California Commons plus a Kolsch and also an APA.


I've been many times to the one on 65th (Indy location). Thing is, I live in New Palestine which is all the way across Indy from Avon. I get to the downtown one in 25 mins vs a solid hour to Avon. If you ever happen to get to the Indy location, let me know and I'll meet ya there !

Will do. Be good to meet another Hoosier brewer plus you can taste my brew and give me advice. I am having a good time with this and Anita (I bet you know her) has given good feedback. She told me I was brewing good beer.

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2016, 11:58:08 PM »
Hey, HoosierBrew, do you ever go to the Friday night clubs at Great Fermentations? I am going to the one in Avon this Friday night. I went last time and had fun. I am bringing one of those California Commons plus a Kolsch and also an APA.


I've been many times to the one on 65th (Indy location). Thing is, I live in New Palestine which is all the way across Indy from Avon. I get to the downtown one in 25 mins vs a solid hour to Avon. If you ever happen to get to the Indy location, let me know and I'll meet ya there !

Will do. Be good to meet another Hoosier brewer plus you can taste my brew and give me advice. I am having a good time with this and Anita (I bet you know her) has given good feedback. She told me I was brewing good beer.


Awesome! Yeah, Anita is just terrific. I've been buying stuff from her for a couple decades.
Jon H.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2016, 05:54:26 PM »
When your beer is ready to drink and in the fridge at, say, 35-38F, do you get any chill haze that goes away when the beer warms up in the glass?

No, none at all. Beer is very clear before it even goes into the fridge.
Beer can be clear going into the fridge.  It's in the fridge that proteins come out of solution and cause haze.  Then go back into solution as the beer warms up in the glass.  But the extract you use may have already cleared out those proteins.   
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Fining agents, cold-crashing, etc.
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 06:25:36 PM »
When you use extract, a lot of what finings do has already been done, reducing the need for them.


This.

Thanks, guys. I suspected as much. So when I do get into all-grain, I can expect the need to cold crash? And if so, any way that can be done without a chest freezer? Can I add a lot of ice in my bathtub and sink the fermenter in there? Or will that not be enough?

Thanks again.
It looks like you have done a good job of refining your basic brewing process by starting with extract brewing.  That's the way to go.  The only exception might be brewing lagers if you like them.  If you do, your next equipment upgrade could be a temp controlled frementation chamber.  A chest freezer would be good but an old refridgerater works well and can be cheaply had.  You can find good controllers online for under $50.

I brewed extract for a year before I made the jump to all-grain.  Like you, I brewed some very good extract beers.  But when I made the jump to all-grain, my beers got even better and I mean noticeably better.  There is an equipment investment but it's worth it.  You should look forward to making the jump with eager anticipation.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.