Cold Crashing for Clear Beer: Effective but Expensive

image from instructables.com This is something I haven’t done, due to cost, but I’m jealous of people who do it. From what I’ve read, it probably works. Cold crashing. After your beer is done fermenting, throw it in a fridge for a few days. It will settle and clear. Then bottle it. Beautiful. Clear, Crisp.

If you care about a clear beer, there are other, less expensive ways to do it. First, and most obvious, you could pour the beer gently into the glass, leaving out the last half inch. You’ll notice that all the sediment falls to the bottom of your bottles. That works just fine, although it doesn’t travel well. Secondly, if you don’t like it in the bottles in the first place, you could let your beer sit in the fermenter longer – eventually, the shit will all settle to the bottom. But you don’t want to wait much longer than a month or so. Especially for dry hopped IPAs (think fresh hop taste, not a dead hop taste). Third, you could try gelatin (I’m experimenting with this now). Fourth, in the winter, you could use your basement to cold crash.

Next Step: Fermentation Chamber
Now the real solution to all of this nonsense is to kill two birds with one stone and build a temperature controlled fermentation chamber – essentially a large mini-fridge with a temperature controller and a heating source. A temperature-controlled box. You ferment the beer at exactly the temp you want (say, 70 degrees for an IPA), you dry hop for a couple days,  you crank it down to 30 degrees and add gelatin – all in the same place. Wait a few days. Bottle it – all in the same place! This is my end game. Very simple but very expensive; also, fermentation chambers aren’t really on the market. Can you build shit? Me neither. Eventually, a few years from now, I will cave in to this idea. From a simplicity and quality standpoint, it just makes sense. No more running your beer to different locations in your home. No more wrapping with blankets or heating pads. A perfectly fermented beer that is clear.

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