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12/04/06 01:12 PM  
Can't cold condition...any fermentation tips
Hi All,

A lot of brewers on this forum practice cold conditioning. I don't know if its by style, gravity or what. I do not have the equiptment for cold conditioning (refrigerator/freezer)

Without cold conditioning what are some fermentation tips for a belgian pale, ABV 5.5%, with WY3522 or WLP570

Time in primary, secondary, bulk or bottle condition, temps throughout the process.



12/04/06 03:23 PM  
Re: Can't cold condition...any fermentation tips
I don't have the equipment to cold condition either, and have spent some time considering it. "Brew Like a Monk" makes it clear that just about all Belgian brewers cold-condition for a few weeks, following a 1-2 week primary ferment. The exact reasons were not as clear, I think.

I asked brewers at St. Bernardus and De Dolle why they cold-condition, and I got the impression that the sole purpose in their minds was to speed yeast settling. At St. Bernardus they say they don't condition the dark beers as long as the tripel, because clarity is less important in dark beers anyway. And at De Dolle, Kris Herteleer suggested that isinglass might be an alternative to cold conditioning.

This is not to say that cold conditioning has no other effects, but whatever they are, I bet they are small (at least on the time scale of a few weeks).

Homebrew fermenters are much smaller than pro, and yeast has less distance to drop. So unless for some reason I really needed to get my yeast to flocculate faster (and I was certain that fermentation was really and truly over), I can't think why I'd need to add the complexity of extra equipment, etc. Also, isinglass or some other finings might be a simpler option in that case.

The 3522 is a great flocculator. It so happens I made a 5.5% belgian pale with it recently. I fermented it in the 70s, bottled it straight from the primary after 2 weeks (it was quite clear), and was drinking it 2 weeks after that.

Ross Lunato
12/04/06 08:21 PM  
Re: Can't cold condition...any fermentation tips
I have been playing around with cold conditioning my last few batches and definitely believe it helps with clarifing the beer. Be warned though, cold conditioning is a pain in the ass if you use plastic fermenters. The process of rapidly dropping the temperature of your beer will cause a vacuum to take place within the fermenter and could colapse a plastic bottle/fermenter. Also, I have found out the hard way that if I am bottle conditioning a beer that has in fact been cold condtioned, I need to add fresh yeast at bottling time or else risk flat beer. This has been true with three different yeasts I have used for primary fermentation (WLP500, WY1214, WY3724), including one dry yeast(T-58).
12/05/06 03:35 PM  
Re: Can't cold condition...any fermentation tips
If you keg, you can cold condition the keg. What I do is transfer out of my primary right into the keg after about 10 days - I then either let it sit, keg condition it, or pop it right in the fridge to "cold condition". I usually will let the keg sit in there for two to three weeks and at that time I will pull of a pint which usually contains most of the yeast.

Another way of thinking about this is to just pop you bottles in the fridge after your bottle conditioning is done.

If you are repitching yeast, well that's another whole beast.

12/05/06 03:52 PM  
Re: Can't cold condition...any fermentation tips
Same here, except after the conditioning part I transfer to another (purged) keg. The scmutz is left behind and it never touches air.
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