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Pinter Tasting Tests: To Cold Crash or Not to Cold Crash

Welcome back to Riaz's Pinter Tasting Tests! For this series of trials, I’ll be brewing 2 of the same Pinter Pack side-by-side in our own controlled environment, changing one key variable to showcase how changes to the brewing process can provide different results.

The Pinter may make things a lot simpler compared to other brewing methods by cutting out tasks such as extensive recipe designing, a full day of brewing prior to adding the yeast, and having to clean several vessels and tools, but different methods can still affect the end result.

In this edition, we’re pointing the microscope at the world of Cold Crashing. The phenomenon follows the way in which commercial brewing methods operate whereby, after fermentation is over, the fermenter’s temperature will be dropped down to chill the beer before moving onto the next steps.

Cold Crashing


Cold Crashing is where you condition your Pinter with the Brewing Dock still attached. It is not an essential step in brewing, however it can improve the quality of your Fresh Beer further.

Cold Crashing is a way of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of a process called flocculation. In flocculation, the yeast used to ferment your beer clumps together. The yeast will floc when it's done its job, when there are no more sugars left to ferment. The majority of the cells will drop to the bottom of the vessel at room temperature, however even more will do so with cold crashing. And it leaves you with a clean, crisp beer for you to enjoy.

So how much of a difference does Cold Crashing actually make? Is it something you should always do if you have the fridge space? We’ve taken a further look into this here.



I brewed two separate Pinters of Weiss Nights, both on Recommended times (5 days Brewing, 7 days Conditioning). Both were brewed so that they finished conditioning on the same day and were tapped at the same time, however the one variable which was changed was that one Pinter had a 5 day Cold Crash and the other didn’t and was undocked and conditioned horizontally right after the Brewing stage was finished. Besides this, no variables were different between the two - both were kept in the same incubator at 68°F and then the same fridge at 35°F.



As you can see by the picture above, there was a slight difference in appearance between the two batches. The Pinter which was Cold Crashed (left) was slightly clearer than the Pinter which wasn’t, although there wasn’t a significant difference!

Flavour and Aroma

Both Pinters of Weiss Nights had plenty of similarities - orange, banana, and clove were very prominent in each. I felt that the Weiss Nights which wasn’t Cold Crashed had a little more to it, however when blindly tasting them, myself and the Brewing Development team weren’t able to pick out the correct sample regularly enough for it to be determined significant. I personally preferred the Cold Crashed Weiss Nights (when tasting each sample in-the-know) as I enjoy the extra crispness that it provides, whereas other colleagues preferred the not Cold Crashed beer.

Why Cold Crashing Matters

So, after comparing two beers back-to-back, would I say that Cold Crashing is an essential step in Pinter brewing? Ultimately I’ve always done so when brewing at home and I’ll continue to do so but it’s definitely more of an optional step. Do I care about the increased clarity in my beer? Not personally, no, but it’s clearly worthwhile if you’re interested in the most photogenic of beers. In terms of the flavor, it’s worth considering that you’ll maybe get a bit more flavor if you don’t Cold Crash, in a similar way to using Minimum times over Recommended times as I mentioned in the Minimum vs Recommended blog, but I would say that (on paper) that’s not necessarily a good thing for each relevant style unless what you’re after is simply more.

Other Considerations


First and foremost, I like to think of Cold Crashing as a way to boost your conditioning. When I’m brewing at home it’s definitely going to have a greater impact to conditioning as, whilst my conditioning temperature is more than good enough in my fridge (around 41°F), it’s not as perfect as what we have at Pinter HQ. What I’m getting at is that having a good conditioning temperature is more important than whether or not you choose to Cold Crash - standard fridge temperature is great but, if you have the chance to condition at 35°F like we do at Pinter HQ, do it.

Second, this will absolutely vary depending on the style and the yeast which is brewed. When testing this with another Pinter Pack, I’d expect it to clear up more than with Rise yeast, which is quite unique in finishing up hazy naturally. It’s part of the beauty with Weiss Nights after all.

Third, back in the days of Pinter 1 and Pinter 2 your Pinter Packs’ yeast wasn't in such great health like they are today. That means that yeast cells didn’t flocculate and sink into the Brewing Dock as easily as they do now at room temperature before you’ve moved your Pinter into the fridge, so Cold Crashing would have had a proportionately stronger effect than it does now.


I’m still on team Cold Crash but I think it’s subjective as to whether it “improves” a beer or not, and an optional step rather than essential. If you care about having that crystal clear pint (for most styles), then do it if you can but, ultimately, having a good Conditioning temperature is what matters most concerning the cooling phase of Pinter brewing. Drop your fridge temperature down if you can but don't let it get below freezing!

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