Author Topic: Winter/Garage Brewing  (Read 6470 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2015, 07:43:19 am »
Smaller batches are just not worth it to me until I have a stable of 2.5 gallon kegs. I love the idea of smaller batches and have done some small batches that I bottled, but bottling sucks. Bottling small batches sucks even more.
I used to bottle, then switched to kegs and thought Wow, much easier. Then I went back to bottling after I got into brewing sours. Then I realized, for me, its much easier to control carbonation with bottling. Then I contemplated selling my kegs and kegerator. Then the wife told me she missed having beer on tap. So yesterday we completely tore down the kegerator and cleaned a couple kegs. When we got done she said, "Sorry... I just remember you saying how much easier it was to keg, and thought my suggestion was helping you save time and effort."

The act of kegging 5 gallons is easier than the act of bottling 5 gallons. But cleaning and sanitizing 48 bottles is much easier than completely tearing down a keggerator and cleaning/sanitizing a couple grungy kegs.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2015, 10:13:25 am »

Smaller batches are just not worth it to me until I have a stable of 2.5 gallon kegs. I love the idea of smaller batches and have done some small batches that I bottled, but bottling sucks. Bottling small batches sucks even more.
I used to bottle, then switched to kegs and thought Wow, much easier. Then I went back to bottling after I got into brewing sours. Then I realized, for me, its much easier to control carbonation with bottling. Then I contemplated selling my kegs and kegerator. Then the wife told me she missed having beer on tap. So yesterday we completely tore down the kegerator and cleaned a couple kegs. When we got done she said, "Sorry... I just remember you saying how much easier it was to keg, and thought my suggestion was helping you save time and effort."

The act of kegging 5 gallons is easier than the act of bottling 5 gallons. But cleaning and sanitizing 48 bottles is much easier than completely tearing down a keggerator and cleaning/sanitizing a couple grungy kegs.

For me, Key is never let kegs or any stuff get grungy.


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2015, 10:17:00 am »
For me, Key is never let kegs or any stuff get grungy.

I'm with you, Ken. Kegging got a whole lot easier when I started cleaning kegs and flushing the lines as soon as the kegs kick. Definitely time well spent.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2015, 11:06:04 am »
Oh yeah.  Same goes for cleaning bottles and carboys as well.  Rinse all bottles well IMMEDIATELY upon pouring into your glass, and then bottling day goes way faster.  Do a real nice scrub of your carboy IMMEDIATELY after racking, and don't let it sit for a few hours, or that gunk is really hard to get off.  Similar to kegs when it comes down to cleaning.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2015, 01:01:15 pm »
I agree and normally dont let things sit dirty. Grungy is probably a relative term. In this case I mean used empty that normally has a small pile of trub in the bottom.

At any rate, I still think its easier to clean and sanitize a bottle (one peice) vs a keg  (13 peices) I've not timed myself, but I bet its about a tie, timewise, to properly clean and sanitize a corny as it is to do 2 cases of glass.

Offline toby

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2015, 01:05:36 pm »
The act of kegging 5 gallons is easier than the act of bottling 5 gallons. But cleaning and sanitizing 48 bottles is much easier than completely tearing down a keggerator and cleaning/sanitizing a couple grungy kegs.
The answer is don't let them get grungy.  96 grungy bottles aren't easier to clean than a couple grungy kegs.  In both cases, I rinse them out right after use.  I also tend to give my kegs a 24 hour Oxiclean Free soak in short order after that (I'll use a picnic tap to make sure some goes into the dip tube).  I usually have a keg or two on standby with StarSan in it, and I'll transfer from the out tube on one into the out tube on the other to make sure the dip tube gets sanitized also.

And all that being said, I'm a year round garage brewer.  When we moved into our current house, my wife basically told me to get whatever I needed to brew outside.  I'll brew just inside the garage door in cold or rainy weather, and I'll brew just outside the garage door in regular weather.  I use a box fan when I brew in the garage pointed towards the door to get some exhaust happening.  Granted, living in south Louisiana, our idea of cold is nothing like up north.  Condensation is also not typically an issue since we're already humid.

Offline brewsumore

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2015, 02:30:41 pm »
My individual preference is to brew 10-gal batches, winter, spring, summer, fall.  However I'm lucky enough that there are enough +32F days in winter to wait for one to do what I prefer which is to brew on my covered patio outside.  This way my hoses don't freeze solid, and when I chill with an IC the runoff doesn't turn to ice before it evaporates (usually).

To each his own, but I recognize that it is much more challenging in a more northern/frigid climate, and in that event I would try to adapt by brewing in a garage, even if I needed a space heater and a fan.  Water runoff would seem to pose the biggest problem, so as not to create a skating rink on the lawn and/or driveway.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 02:32:50 pm by brewsumore »

Offline rebuiltcellars

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #52 on: October 02, 2015, 05:59:00 am »
One simple way, if you batch sparge with a cooler mash tun, is to just heat strike/sparge water and do the boil outside, mash and clean inside. Otherwise open door and fan I guess.
This is my method; heat mash liquor on the stove, mash in the sauna, drain to the kettle then carry everything outside to the patio where I'll do a second sparge and start the boil.  Not outdoors long enough to be a pain.  Only issues are the need to manage chilling hoses so they don't freeze solid, and make sure the propane tank valve doesn't ice up.
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Primary: Beer, wine or empty
Secondary: We don't need no stinking secondary
Bottled/Kegged: Beer, wine or empty

evil_morty

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2015, 07:58:32 am »
I've brewed many times in cold temps in my garage.  I know people will freak out but I don't even open the garage door until the boil really gets cranking.  there is a little condensation on the windows but I'm not overly concerned.  I only brew about once a month so it's not like it's constantly damp out there and with the dry winter air things become not damp pretty quick.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2015, 09:02:19 am »

I've brewed many times in cold temps in my garage.  I know people will freak out but I don't even open the garage door until the boil really gets cranking.  there is a little condensation on the windows but I'm not overly concerned.  I only brew about once a month so it's not like it's constantly damp out there and with the dry winter air things become not damp pretty quick.
Carbon monoxide should be your concern, not condensation.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2015, 09:26:25 am »
Carbon monoxide should be your concern, not condensation.

A colorless, odorless gas?  No problem.  It's not like that can KILL you or anything.  Oh, wait...... it CAN kill you.   :o  Oh, okay. 
Dave

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Offline Stevie

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Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2015, 09:36:21 am »
The good news is you can react if you are awake and about your wits enough to realize you are being poisoned. Throw some booze in the mix and who knows.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 09:39:52 am by Steve in TX »

Offline erockrph

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2015, 06:18:23 pm »
Carbon monoxide should be your concern, not condensation.

A colorless, odorless gas?  No problem.  It's not like that can KILL you or anything.  Oh, wait...... it CAN kill you.   :o  Oh, okay.
+1 - I ran my generator inside the garage with the door half open when we lost power in a storm a few years back. Despite having the door from the garage to the house closed it still managed to set off all the CO detectors in the house in short order. That was enough to scare me straight. I'll never run anything in the garage again...
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evil_morty

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Re: Winter/Garage Brewing
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2015, 04:26:35 am »

I've brewed many times in cold temps in my garage.  I know people will freak out but I don't even open the garage door until the boil really gets cranking.  there is a little condensation on the windows but I'm not overly concerned.  I only brew about once a month so it's not like it's constantly damp out there and with the dry winter air things become not damp pretty quick.
Carbon monoxide should be your concern, not condensation.

that's the freaking out I was talking about.  the propane burner shouldn't be dumping CO like crazy.  certainly not like a generator which is def producing quite a bit.  I have yet to have my detector go off.