View Full Version : Cold Crashing

09-05-2016, 10:17 AM
What exactly is cold crashing?
Is it what it sounds like, put mead in the fridge and wait until the sediment drops? If so would this be a suitable way to clear a JAOM or other meads made with bread yeast?

09-05-2016, 11:15 AM
I asked Google the same thing and got 1,200,000 results (0.66 seconds) :)

09-05-2016, 11:26 AM
Hi Wildphil, I am sure that many will disagree with what I am about to say but here goes. Wine makers conventionally "cold crash" to prevent tartaric acid crystals dropping out of suspension when wine is chilled. The wine maker will chill the wine and allow the crystals to form and then rack the wine off the crystals. Brewers "cold crash" to help the yeast drop out of suspension and so clear their brews. Since beer is routinely bottled three weeks after the yeast is pitched and since many beer yeasts do not flocculate well this may make good sense. But I have heard from people I consider really good professional wine makers (in the Finger Lakes ) that they routinely cold crash their ciders, meads and wines to stop fermentation. They cold crash for weeks using VERY cold temperatures (below the freezing point of water) and then rack their wines off the yeast that drops out of suspension repeating this process several times. This they say in fact halts fermentation in midstream and they can then produce a wine with residual sweetness without any need to stabilize or back sweeten. So, there seems to be three different uses of the term "cold crash". The first to prevent tartaric acid crystalizing, the second, to clarify beer quickly, and the third, to stop fermentation.
As to modifying JAOM... That is a very different question. The irony is that JAOM makes use of the underlying science of fermentation in a wholly integrated way but it does so in ways that seem very counter-intuitive. You make one small change and the whole edifice is likely to fail. So, for example, the idea that you wait for the fruit to drop to the bottom is (I think) based on the idea that the yeast is no longer producing enough CO2 gas to keep that fruit suspended. If you work to make the fruit and other particles drop out of suspension too soon then you may be inhibiting the yeast from completing what it must do if the JAOM is to be successful. But this is your JAOM.

09-05-2016, 11:29 AM
Great points for sure. With a JOAM all bets are off if you deviate from the script.

09-05-2016, 07:14 PM
I certainly don't disagree with anything bernardsmith said!

My question to you, WildPhil, is if this is your first JAOM or your 50th? Depending on your answer, I would advise to either stick with the recipe exactly and don't mess around (1st attempt) or do whatever the heck you want! (50th...or even third) :)

JAOM will usually go completely clear all on its own with no need to cold crash in about 90 to 100 days.