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Hi everyone,

I have read a few topics on here about cold crash for hops and I am a bit confused. I only brew pale ales at the moment as they are my favourite.

firstly, is it worth doing at all?

Secondly, if you are cold crashing the hops at the start of the brewing process, what temperature should you bring it down to?

thirdly, If you need to bring it down to a certain temperature is the quicker the better?

 

cheers in advance

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Hi @Bingilbeer

I cold crash almost all of my beers these days.  It helps with clarity.  It helps hop matter and yeast to sink to the bottom of the fermenter.

  1. I think it is worth doing
  2. Not sure about this question. However, dry hopping is not done at the start of the brewing process.  I usually dry hop close to or when fermentation is over.  I remove my dry hops after three days and then start the cold crash.  There are lots of different options for this though. 
  3. For ales I drop from about 20°C to 10°C over 12 hours, then drop to 1°C for 4 or 5 days.  For lagers I drop them about 3°C every 12 hours until the brew is down to 1°C.

I usually add finings:  Isinglass once it is down to 1°C and the next day I add Polyclar.

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Hi Shamus,

On the second one I am following a Coopers recipe and it states to boil the hops for 5 mins then cool down in ice cold water before adding to the wort. Is this old crashing or do I have the terminology wrong? 

Cheers For the info.

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36 minutes ago, Bingilbeer said:

On the second one I am following a Coopers recipe and it states to boil the hops for 5 mins then cool down in ice cold water before adding to the wort. Is this old crashing or do I have the terminology wrong? 

No, that is a hop boil, prior to fermentation. Cold crashing is cooling the wort to 1C, after fermentation has finished.

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Cheers Lab cat, realised my mistake when I read Shamus’s reply. 
So when you do a hop boil is it critical to bring it down to temperature ASAP?

still got a lot to learn. definitely enjoying brewing my own beer.

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9 minutes ago, Bingilbeer said:

So when you do a hop boil is it critical to bring it down to temperature ASAP?

Depends on what you're wanting from the hops. A short 5-10m boil extracts flavour and add some bitterness. Longer boils add more bitterness. Turning off the heat lets it steep flavour. If you cool it right down, you'll stop the process. Different hops lend themselves better to boil or steeping, and personal preference also dictates this. This is where you'll need to experiment, as we all do, to get the ideal profile we want.

Dry hopping is throwing some hops in after 4-5 days ferment, to add some flavour and aroma. Both methods are worthwhile with kits, as many can be a little bland without them, and we're all used to hoppier beers than mass produced tap beer these day.

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So getting back to your original questions, now that you have clarified the question.

  1. A hop boil is worth doing.  You will add some bitterness to your beers.  It just adds to the variety you can brew.
  2. Cooling the hop boil stops the extraction of bitterness.  You only have to get it below around 70°C to stop the extraction.  As long as you can get it low enough that when you add the liquid to your fermenter, the wort does not end up too warm.
  3. The time to cool it down is just about limiting bitterness extraction, as noted above.  A few extra minutes is not going to make a massive difference.  The boiled wort in a pot placed into a sink with some cold tap water will cool the wort enough in about 15 minutes.  I change out the water a couple of times, to speed up the cooling.  This is to stop my hop boil from warming up my overall wort too much.

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