Author Topic: Is -20 too cold to brew?  (Read 1101 times)

Offline barliman

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Is -20 too cold to brew?
« on: January 06, 2014, 02:31:09 PM »
It's up to -14 outside, and 9 degrees in my garage since the burner has been going. I am brewing Denny's BVIP and have named it Polar Vortex in honor of the weather phenomenon that has given us this fine day.

What temperature is too cold for you to brew?

J


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Online erockrph

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 02:35:51 PM »
What temperature is too cold for you to brew?

If it's cold enough to require pants, it's too cold to brew :)

Thankfully I brew indoors, so I don't have that problem. I'm sure my neighbors are thankful, too.
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Online Steve in TX

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 02:40:20 PM »
... I'm sure my neighbors are thankful, too.

My neighbors don't mind, though there was this one guy that asked if I was cooking meth.

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 03:03:05 PM »
I have brewed at 0 deg F but I don't plan to ever try it again.  Too painful, too problematic with the cooling hoses and just a general pain in the tushy.

Of course I have to add "brewing after an ice storm" to my should-not-do-list now too.  I fell on the ice while moving my boil kettle off the burner on the Friday before Christmas.  Drove my right knee straight down into the concrete (210 lbs of me and 50 lbs of boiling wort).  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get back up after the fall.  I froze to the ice covered ground and didn't have my cell phone with me to be able to call anyone for help.  It has taken 2+ weeks to get back to, mostly, normal.

On the upside, I didn't spill a single drop of wort and the beer, now named "Knee Breaker Wheat", is in the keg and carbing nicely.

Be careful out there.

Paul
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 03:11:42 PM »
I have brewed at 0 deg F but I don't plan to ever try it again.



+1.  Not brewing in this BS.  I'll brew this Saturday morning when it's 15 or 20F.  I prefer my nether regions NOT frozen solid.     :)
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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 03:29:24 PM »
I have brewed at 0 deg F but I don't plan to ever try it again.  Too painful, too problematic with the cooling hoses and just a general pain in the tushy.

Of course I have to add "brewing after an ice storm" to my should-not-do-list now too.  I fell on the ice while moving my boil kettle off the burner on the Friday before Christmas.  Drove my right knee straight down into the concrete (210 lbs of me and 50 lbs of boiling wort).  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get back up after the fall.  I froze to the ice covered ground and didn't have my cell phone with me to be able to call anyone for help.  It has taken 2+ weeks to get back to, mostly, normal.

On the upside, I didn't spill a single drop of wort and the beer, now named "Knee Breaker Wheat", is in the keg and carbing nicely.

Be careful out there.

Paul

yikes Paul! that's scary. Glad you are on the mend!
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

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Offline duboman

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 03:35:32 PM »
For the sake of my own sanity I just don't brew when temps are below 32F, I've done a few batches when colder but it's just not worth it to me anymore.

Glad to hear you survived the fall and mending well, cold wether brewing can be a challenge and brings its own set of risks to the table....
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Offline chumley

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2014, 04:19:53 PM »
I brewed once when it was -10°F. The garage filled with an incredible fog. I shut off the burner, cover the BK, and the next morning the wort was a perfect 50°F for pitching lager yeast (no running a chiller in that temperature).

I have to admit, that was 10 years ago, and now I am like Denny.....I can wait until the temps get about 32°.

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2014, 04:28:03 PM »
I BIAB on the stove top in winter. My wife enjoys the malty aroma and the extra heat and humidity are welcome. 

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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2014, 05:05:15 PM »
Smaller batches and stove in kitchen for me when it's cold. More of a pain to do clean up inside, but gotta keep the pipeline full.
Outside when it's cold is just not enjoyable. Sitting in a chair sipping a beer and contemplating the zen of brewing while you wait for your mash or boil is half the fun.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2014, 06:30:21 PM »
i only needed to brew cold (<20) once to know that really cold weather brewing is not for me. Which makes it easy to just bottle this week when it is -6 right now in the tri-State area and gonna stay pretty darn cold for the next day or 2. The cold weather brew was my first all grain and will be bottled this week at some point. Cant wait to try it after conditioning!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2014, 06:44:08 PM »
I'd rather brew in 20° weather than 100°, but that's just me.

We should reach a consensus on the best temp to brew in.  I vote for 50° 40% humidity wind about 3 mph

Offline majorvices

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2014, 06:53:11 PM »
I've brewed outdoors in snow and ice storms and in cold temps down to 15 degrees. But I don't think I have even ever been in 20 below temp let alone brew in it. I think I'd be inside in front of the fire place with a strong beer or a fine whiskey and a good book.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2014, 07:02:17 PM »
No desire to brew when it's that cold.  I'll just tap in to the inventory.....

Paul, that sounds like quite a bad experience.  Glad you are on the mend.

Dave
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Re: Is -20 too cold to brew?
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2014, 07:11:50 PM »

I'd rather brew in 20° weather than 100°, but that's just me.

We should reach a consensus on the best temp to brew in.  I vote for 50° 40% humidity wind about 3 mph

You nailed it jim. You don't get nearly as many 100°+ days in the NW as we do down here. One summer day I brewed and felt so ill after the fact that I sat neck deep in a pool for an hour.

I only drink ice water when brewing in the summer now. Lots and lots of ice water.