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Cold conditioning  ales



I try to cold condition my Ales for 2 weeks at around 45 degrees before bottling or kegging. How long can you cold condition without worring about how much yeast is left in suspension ? I have done this on my last 3 batches with good results but I did notice on my last batch that it took longer to carb.(4 weeks and it is just now starting to carb)


I have never done this.  I just keep mine at the fermentation temp.

Did you you notice any diff. in flavor?



It's hard to say if cold conditioning improves the taste very much. I can say that my brews taste much smoother than when I didnt cold condition but that could be caused as much by improving my brew procedures. My personal opinion is that it does improve flavor and I now do it on all my ales except wheat. It will definitely improve beer clarity. Also, I bottle or keg direct from refridge with no warm-up. I think its another of many small steps to improve my beers.


Staff member
Grandmaster Brewer
Apr 5, 2003
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Cold conditioning helps to precipitate out both tannins and yeast in the beer.  Both can create off flavors, so in general cold conditioning will improve the flavor of your beer.  

I really noticed the difference when I went to kegged beers, since I store three kegs in the fridge at all times.  I usually will carbonate and store the kegs in the fridge, so they are essentially cold conditioned from the time of bottling.

What I noticed was that even some of the beers I had intended to keep cloudy (such as Wit and Weizens) would clear much more quickly than I had intended in a cold keg.  However, most of my friends love to pour a crystal clear beer so they did not complain much.


tony legge

Brad, I can only hold 2 kegs in my keggerator, but have noticed the longer in keg the better the taste, although I can only get a keg to last about 2 weeks. I have had a beer that was kept in the fridge for 3 months and it had improved 1000%, and it wasn't bad going into the fridge.


"Cold conditioning" is just lagering, which will do nothing but improve your brews. I made a kolsch and kept it in the fridge for a month before I bottled, turned out awsome!  ;D


will cold conditioning your secondary have any effect on how long it will take to carbonate the bottles.


I have noticed that it does take longer to carbonate with cold conditioning. I usually allow about 4 weeks at room temp before drinking.


If  you have a beer with an off flavor you might be surprized how much a cold condition will help to fix the problem. I have seen an intentional cyclical fluctuation in temps do great things for otherwise poor beer. For the minimal effort the results can be very dramatic. Better beer is always better beer than just good beer; Right?