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I've seen cold crashing presented as a means of clearing beer by knocking much of the yeast out of suspension. But it seems to be a technique that's used by brewers who keg. Is there still enough yeast in suspension after cold crashing to carb beer in bottles? My thought was to bring the bottles back to room temp and then give them whatever time they need.

Context: I don't care at all about clarity. To me, murky beer just means it was made with love. What I would like to do is decrease the amount of yeasty sediment in my bottles ("Careful - don't pour out the crud in the bottom!") Last summer, I happily packed some brew on a river trip, and they all got so shaken up that they just tasted like yeast.

I typically leave my beers in primary for 3 weeks or more, and then rack to a secondary vessel just before bottling.

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Once you have cold crashed there will still be enough yeast to carb up your beer, given enough time.

I suggest leaving your beers in primary for your usual amount of time, but racking to secondary and leaving for a couple of days before you bottle, to allow any sediment kicked up in transfer to settle out.

If you are bottling with a few grams of sugar per bottle and getting anything more than a thin layer of yeast on the bottom of the bottle, you should let the secondary settle a little longer.

I usually bottle my ales to achieve 2-2.2 volumes of CO2, which works out nicely at 5g/liter for priming. This amount has never left anything other than a fine layer of yeast on the bottom of the bottle.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion! I'll give that a try - I'm sure my friends will thank you. – tempest_col Apr 13 '18 at 17:13
  • Please report back on what you did and how it worked out for you. – Mr_road Apr 16 '18 at 7:54
  • It might be a few weeks before I have the time & space for the next brew, but I’ll certainly report how it goes. My current plan is to pull some off to cold crash and comment on differences. Thanks again- – tempest_col Apr 16 '18 at 17:20
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You don't really need to rack to secondary. Just cold crash in your primary fermenter, and then be very careful not to suck up any yeast from the bottom when you transfer to your bottling bucket.

The way I do it is to position my siphon so the bottom is about 2/3 of the way down in my fermentation bucket. That way there's no risk of sucking up yeast. Once the level of the beer gets near the bottom of the siphon, it's clear enough to see the trub at the bottom, so I can safely lower it to about half an inch above the trub. That ensures that I only transfer clear beer to the bottling bucket.

As Mr_road said, there's enough yeast in suspension to carbonate your bottles even after you cold crash. So if you don't suck any trub from your fermenter, your bottles will carbonate well and then have very little sediment.

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Nobody likes unless it's a Brett-conditioned beer, in which case you pour the yeast sediment into a separate shot glass. Yes there is still enough yeast to bottle beer even after a cold-crush. You can even pair cold-crushing with gelatin. Having said that, I've never seen a bottle-conditioned beer without any sedidement at all.

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