Author Topic: cold-weather brewing  (Read 1459 times)

Offline euge

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 04:59:01 PM »
I moved back into the kitchen because it is often too hot outside to brew. I still manage 12 gallon batches on the stove. A bit slower but I got HVAC and a vent hood.

If you are willing to do a concentrated boil extract is great for that- and hop utilization doesn't suffer that much anyway.
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Offline wyobrew

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2014, 05:49:32 AM »
The worst part for me is the clean up. I brew in my heated garage but take the pots outside to empty and wash with the garden hose. I don't have water or a sink in the garage. Really sucks when the weather is cold. What do the rest of you do for clean up?
Kris

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2014, 06:32:55 AM »
I use IC heated water for HLT and MT. I heat water on the burner to clean the BK.

Offline Wheat_Brewer

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 07:58:51 AM »
Having brewed in Minnesota and Colorado I've had some pretty cold brew days. I usually enjoy the snowy days when it's quiet and full of the big snow flakes...but those windy bitter cold ones are a challenge. I stick to 5 gallon brews and stay inside as much as possible. Generally I just suck it up since the propane isn't outside that long (I've never brewed below -10F though), the house blocks the wind, and the snow is superb for crash chilling the wort  ;D
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Offline beerstache

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 02:31:31 PM »
I hear you about this crappy cold weather in Michigan!  I"m from the Traverse City area and it was 20 degrees below zero last night!  I brewed 3 weeks ago in my unheated garage (19 degrees) using BIAB so it cut my time in the cold, but was hard trying to maintain temps... At least using extract it should go fairly quickly.  Dress in layers and take plenty of inside warm-up breaks!  You should try it at least once to challenge yourself ha ha!

Offline Roger Burns

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cold-weather brewing
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2014, 06:03:42 AM »
I brew in my garage in Ann Arbor, MI. It's been bitter cold here, too. I like those hand warmers that you get 8 hours out of. I'm thinking of making a complete jacket out of them if this cold stays on...  -11 yesterday.  Soon. Soon...  Spring will come.
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Offline coolman26

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2014, 08:00:45 AM »
I just bought me a wind/privacy screen to cut down on the wind.  The kind for chain link fence 8' x 50'.  For clean up I ran hot and cold water supply to the outside.  My problem is everything freezes on the deck, so you have to make sure not to spill anything.  Spring is around the corner.  I'm going to hammer out a brew day a few times a week in late March and early April. The snow and temps have been ridiculous.   Next year I'll be inside and all electric!

Offline yeastmaster

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 06:50:47 PM »
I brew in Fairbanks, Alaska, lots of cold weather brewing up here.  Winter is my biggest brewing season because in the summer there is so much other stuff to do it can be hard to find time to brew.  I boil and heat water outside.  I do an infusion mash in a cooler.  I usually carry the hot water inside and mash inside.  I sparge indoors and carry my wort back outside to boil.  After boil I bring the whole batch back in for chilling (37 degree well water  ;D).  I have no problem keeping my boil going at 20 or 25 below temperatures although I do blow through a lot more propane.  The only time I've run into issues with my propane was this winter when I was doing a Barleywine and was doing a 2 hour boil.  The propane tank started to freeze up and I had to swap it out for the one on the grill.

I've got the stainless to start doing 10 or 15 gallon batches but the way I have to carry all those hot liquids around 5 gallon batches are my limit.  I think I'm going to get my large system running for summer brewing.  I have some ideas for enclosing my brew space and getting a portable heater so I can do those large batches outside during the winter but haven't followed through on them yet.....

Offline coolman26

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 07:22:42 AM »
I did the same process.  When I went to 20 gallon batches and a few pumps it made life so much easier.  I'm not fighting 25 below here.  My burners put off enough heat and I brew on the east side of the house.  I'm looking forward to putting up my privacy/windscreen to warm things up.  Plus it will keep all the passing drivers from stopping and checking me out. 

Offline speed

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 08:27:25 AM »
I was taught in pasta making class to always start with cold water to prevent the pickup of mineral deposits in the hot water tank and plumbing. Might be interesting to test both cold and hot supply with ward labs to see if this is true.
When I sent my water report to wards, I pulled the water right out of the kitchen hot tap.we have soft water anyway and the sample was still soft. I'm sure harder water will have different results. By the way my house was built in 1966 and still has the original propane water heater.

Offline Obsidian

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Re: cold-weather brewing
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2014, 06:36:41 PM »
I have had plenty of cold weather brewing here in the Minneapolis area this year.

So I have a nice detached garage that works great when it is not below freezing, but with lots of snow on the ground everything gets interesting.

I'll mirror first of all that if you are going to be outside you need a wind break to use your outdoor burner or brew in little to no wind.

I'll also comment on keeping the propane tank and regulator warm. Either keep them closer to your burner or in a tub of warm water is possible. I don't suggest that unless you are constantly keeping it warmed up. If you think a 100 degree plus water tub will not freeze in single digit or lower temperatures before you know it you will have interesting surprises.

I now will admit I cheat like no other. I have the advantage of a gas stove so I can heat up many gallons of water on the stove inside to strike temps for my igloo cooler for the mash. I also then leave the damn thing in the house. (I don't have too far to move the thing outside to sparge..) I'll heat up the mash out water outside, move the tun outside at the same time and go about my business outside.

One other final observation, if you are really boiling outside  you will have to adjust your recipe or water amount as when its very cold outside I've noticed a increased amount of water loss though boiling.