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Cold crash before secondary?

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=33310

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Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:22 am
by menace2sobriety
I'm brewing a milk stout and am going to be adding cocoa nibs and toasted coconut. My question is; should I cold crash before doing secondary to remove all the trub? I was gonna do it because I don't want to leave it sitting on the trub and I thought maybe that would help the hop pellets settle out too. I'm afraid hat getting it to cold though would piss off the remaining yeast dudes and they may go on strike and not finish the job. Any thoughts on this?cheers!

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 4:19 pm
by Bugeater
First a definition. A secondary fermentation is normally done towards the end of primary fermentation and involves adding additional fermentables leading to a restart of fermentation.

What homebrewers normally call secondary fermentation is simply moving the finished beer to another container (a bright tank) for clarification and conditioning.

The practice of moving the beer off the trub and yeast (for homebrewers) go back to the days when the quality of the yeast was not as good as it is now. There was always a fear of autolysis (burnt rubber taste due to extended contact with dead yeast) happening if the beer was left on the trub for more than a week or so. Most experienced homebrewers don't bother with a "secondary" and just let the beer ferment out completely in primary. Racking off the yeast too early will sometimes lead to incomplete fermentation, leaving your final gravity a bit high. I'm afraid Charlie Papazian is somewhat to blame since he recommended "one week in primary and two weeks in secondary" in his book Joy of Homebrewing. That is the one piece of brewing advice from Charlie you should ignore.

With your current situation, check your gravity. If you are at your expected final gravity go ahead and cold crash it. If not, let it sit another week or so. Remember, even if you are at your final gravity, and fermentation has stopped, the yeast is not done working. For several days after fermentation stops the yeast will continue cleaning up after themselves, eating up many of the unwanted esters they may have produced during fermentation. You are better off letting the beer sit on the yeast for an extra week or so than to rack it too early.

Good luck!

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:10 pm
by menace2sobriety
Great bugeater thanks for the reply and knowledge throw down! I always learn something new and great here. So can I just throw the rest of the ingredients in in a couple weeks when it finishes then leave for another two weeks? I was afraid having too much yeast would take away from some of the cocoa and coconut flavor.

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 10:16 pm
by mobrewer
For me a secondary refers to the vessel. I as many, don't rack to secondary. When I do it's after fermentation is complete and I just want to help clarify the beer. I don't secondary often, but when I do, I use a secondary vessel as a bright tank

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 1:59 pm
by mike____
mobrewer wrote:For me a secondary refers to the vessel. I as many, don't rack to secondary. When I do it's after fermentation is complete and I just want to help clarify the beer. I don't secondary often, but when I do, I use a secondary vessel as a bright tank

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Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:49 pm
by BDawg
menace2sobriety wrote:Great bugeater thanks for the reply and knowledge throw down! I always learn something new and great here. So can I just throw the rest of the ingredients in in a couple weeks when it finishes then leave for another two weeks? I was afraid having too much yeast would take away from some of the cocoa and coconut flavor.


Either way will work at that point, but if it was me, I'd rack to the bright tank (secondary vessel) and then add the coconut and cacao nibs. The important thing was that you NOT rack off the primary yeast after only a week. The beer needed more time with the full cell count.
If you have co2, you can add additional protection against oxidation by purging the secondary before racking into it. (just blow co2 from your co2 tank down into the vessel and the air being lighter than co2 will be displaced out.)

I'd then give it a few days at warm temps so the remaining yeast cells can chow down on any sugar coming from the coconut. There won't be much but there will be a little. Give it a few days then feel free to cold crash it.

my .02

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:43 pm
by Ozwald
BDawg wrote:my .02


I expect change.

Re: Cold crash before secondary?

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:23 am
by menace2sobriety
Thanks Bdawg. I have not racked off yet. Was gonna wait two weeks then follow bugeaters advice and see where my gravity is and if it is around were it should be then drain off trub and add cocoa nibs and coconut. I was gonna put the cocoa nibs in vodka but what about coconut? Is toasting it good enough? My wife thinks we should freeze it first. Will this work? Thanks for all your guys help hopefully one day I will feel comfortable enough to offer my advice or at least enough trial by error to have some solid knowledge! CHEERS!

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