Cold-crashing the Scottie
Fermentation finally cooled off on the Scottie this past weekend. It had been almost three solid weeks since brew day. I guess this is just a characteristic of the Edinburgh Scottish yeast strain? Anyone else out there experience long fermentations with this yeast? Is it because they recommend fermenting with this yeast at 60-65* (as I did)? Somebody clue me in please.
I took a hydrometer reading Saturday and it came in at 7.25-7.5 brix, which equates to 1.012-1.014 FG, the target FG for this recipe. Once I transferred to secondary, I decided to experiment with the practice of “cold-crashing.” Cold-crashing is where you bring the recently fermented beer down to near-freezing temperatures in the secondary fermenter in order to cause a greater amount of yeast cells to shutdown and drop out of solution. The more yeast you can get to flocculate and drop to the bottom of the fermenter, the clearer your finished-product will be.
Though “clear” isn’t necessarily a defining characteristic of a dark beer, it should be clear to the extent you could see through it when you hold it up to the light. What I mean by this is that dark beer shouldn’t necessarily be hazy. A lack of haze is what I’m going for here.
I had the batch out in the garage for the first day of cold-crashing when it was about 25* outside, and there it sat at about 41*. Soon after, the weather turned for the colder and dropped close to zero for many days in a row. I had to move the batch into house, sticking it in a closet located right next to the entrance to the garage. With the drop in temperature outside, I’m actually able to hold the batch at about 39* in the closet.
It is freaking cold outside. Come on, spring! Serenity now!!