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I am enjoying being a brewer, I can make beer.

So, now I am trying to refine some of the processes. I generally make IPA's and have been using Wyeast American Ale II yeast. Once fermentation is done (~5-7 days), how long should I let it sit for the yeast to clean itself up? At this time of year I can cold crash w/o fining to clear things up a bit @ about 35F for a few days. Does this seem ok?

Also, I may be switching to US-05 dry yeast, any variation to the process using this yeast? Thanks.

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Thanks, if not cold crashing, how long should it sit for the yeast to finish its work? –  Quentin Feb 12 at 20:12
    
Cold crashing does not really have to do with how long it should sit. You cold crash when it's done fermenting or it's reached your desired FG. If not cold crashing, you bottle or keg when it's done. Same time. Depends on the beer, but for IPAs 5-7% ABV, two weeks fermenting and two weeks conditioning is generally enough in my experience. Three-four weeks conditioning is often better (so five-six weeks total). The only way you know for sure if fermentation is complete is with gravity readings (e.g. two hydrometer readings 24+ hrs apart and it stays the same). Or if you hit your target FG. –  paul Feb 12 at 22:59
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II is has a flocculation level of medium.

You can get certainly clear beer from this yeast, you just need to give the yeast time to settle out. Cold crashing is a great way to do accelerate this process, 35F is fine, as close to freezing without freezing - how low you can go depends on how accurate your temp control is. Use a thermowell to get your temp control probe as close to the beer as possible. Give it as much time as you're comfortable with - a week should be enough, two is better. If you are planning to keg, this helps also, as the remaining sediment and yeast will get sucked out of the dip tube on the bottom of the keg. The first few pints will be more cloudy and bitter but after that it gets a lot clearer.

US-05 (a.k.a. Chico yeast, California Ale yeast WLP001, American Ale 1056) is also a medium flocculation yeast. So no variation needed.

There are of course, highly flocculant strains that are worth experimenting with to see the difference, for example, several of the British strains (like Wyeast London ESB 1968).

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