1

The Question
Will cold crashing after a beer is bottled (and waited 2 weeks for the carbonation) give you the same clarity as doing it in the fermenter prior to bottling (assuming you pour your beer carefully given the extra sediment that will exist)? Are there different rules to follow if you bottle cold crash vs fermenter cold crash?

The Background:
I brewed an Irish Ale. Everything turned out great except I wish I tried cold crashing it prior to bottling. I haven't done it before and I am itching to find out how much impact cold crashing has relative to other practices to combating chill haze

The beer is has good clarity (from what I can tell) at room temp but, of course, produces chill haze when refrigerated. I have done some experiments with almost freezing a bottle (carefully) and then refrigerating it. Amazingly, within a day, the beer is noticeably clearer.

For the purposes of keeping the question directly on the Cold Crashing technique, I have produced a good rolling boil, used Irish moss, cooled wort down within 15 minutes using a counter flow chiller, primary fermented for 2 weeks, secondary for 3 weeks and no gelatin (since I would need to cold crash for it to work).

The Disclaimer

  • I have seen this post but didn't did not quite address the question I have above. It did address the question if bottle crashing can be done but didn't describe the effectiveness and differences relative to doing it in the fermenter.
1

If you put your bottled beer in the refrigerator and let it sit, it usually will be crystal clear within a few weeks, even if it starts out with chill haze. I think the only difference between cold crashing before bottling and cold crashing in the bottle would be the amount of sediment you'll end up with in the bottle. When you crash before bottling, you leave most of the yeast and stuff that falls out behind when you rack the beer.

As an aside, I used to have terrible trouble with chill haze until I made two adjustments to my process. First, I switched from Irish moss to Whirlfloc. For whatever reason, the Irish moss just wasn't getting it done for me.

Second, I began adjusting my mash chemistry. Someone was kind enough to make my local water report available online so I can use Brewer's Friend's Mash Chemistry and Brewing Water Calculator to fine-tune my mash. I aim for a 5.4 pH. These adjustments have had a great impact on the quality and clarity of my beer.

  • Just curious...what method do you use to measure the pH (strips, meter). I heard some of the strips out there can give in accurate readings. – hylander0 Dec 12 '14 at 15:39
  • I hate to admit this, but I don't actually test the pH. I just plug in the values from my water report, enter my grain bill, select my target water profile, and tinker with the minerals until everything is in range. You can select the acid you want to add and have it calculate how much you need to get the pH right. (I use an acid blend, and the citric acid value works for me.) The pH meters just seem like they'd be a pain in the butt (storage requirements, calibration, etc.); and, as you said, the strips might not be very accurate. – bughunter Dec 13 '14 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for?Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.