Author Topic: What's the coldest I can brew?  (Read 3049 times)

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2016, 04:04:19 am »
A couple years ago, we had a hellaciously cold day, and school was cancelled statewide.  The actual air temp was something like 31 below, and the windchill pushed it to 52 below.  I brewed a batch in my garage - an AG Munich Helles.  I called it "Helles Frozen Over".  Indoor mash, water bath for propane, indoor chill by the utility sink.  It was great! 

Final tip - You GOTTA hit up some grilled cheese sammies with tomato soup for lunch!

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1675
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2016, 02:20:57 am »
I brewed a batch a couple years ago when was -2F when we kicked the burner on. It reached a high of 3F that day. It was pretty miserable, but to be honest, I'd rather brew in those temperatures than when it's 100 degrees out. You can brew in those types of extremes in Ohio lol.
Frank

Offline jtoots

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2016, 04:33:12 pm »
I just brewed on Saturday and it was about 20 degrees.  Everything was good until I realized my hose was frozen, then by the time I reconfigured to cut out the hose, my chiller had frozen... Then my Starsan spray bottle... oh, and my deck... things got pretty dicey out there once the sun went down!!

Offline fmader

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1675
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2016, 11:47:20 pm »
I just brewed on Saturday and it was about 20 degrees.  Everything was good until I realized my hose was frozen, then by the time I reconfigured to cut out the hose, my chiller had frozen... Then my Starsan spray bottle... oh, and my deck... things got pretty dicey out there once the sun went down!!

Lol yeah... I've dealt with a frozen hose before. We bring them inside before brewing now.
Frank

Offline HoosierBrew

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 13031
  • Indianapolis,IN
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2016, 11:50:43 pm »
I just brewed on Saturday and it was about 20 degrees.  Everything was good until I realized my hose was frozen, then by the time I reconfigured to cut out the hose, my chiller had frozen... Then my Starsan spray bottle... oh, and my deck... things got pretty dicey out there once the sun went down!!

Lol yeah... I've dealt with a frozen hose before. We bring them inside before brewing now.


Flashbacks of some of my days.  ;D
Jon H.

Offline jimmykx250

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2016, 09:56:29 am »
All the commments regarding hoses and chillers makes me thnkfull i switcched to no chill. So much less to deal with and havent had an infection. I brew in my heated garage so I guess im spoiled.
Jimmykx250

Offline jtoots

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 326
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2016, 02:57:34 pm »
All the commments regarding hoses and chillers makes me thnkfull i switcched to no chill. So much less to deal with and havent had an infection. I brew in my heated garage so I guess im spoiled.

So how do you get it down to (1) a temp low enough that you can transfer? (2) a temp you can aerate? (3) a temp you can pitch yeast?  I'm intrigued!

Offline jimmykx250

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2016, 09:36:32 am »
All the commments regarding hoses and chillers makes me thnkfull i switcched to no chill. So much less to deal with and havent had an infection. I brew in my heated garage so I guess im spoiled.

So how do you get it down to (1) a temp low enough that you can transfer? (2) a temp you can aerate? (3) a temp you can pitch yeast?  I'm intrigued!

Once the boil is complete I transfer directly to my no chill container wait 12 to 24 hours then pitch. Never had any problems doing this. I figure this saves atleast an hour and a s***lload of water and so much hassle
on brew day. Here is  link to the containers and a video of the guy I learned this practice from.
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23285&catid=459
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rh04dELHB5U
Jimmykx250

Offline natebrews

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 484
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2016, 11:27:10 am »
I used the 'no chill' method several times (maybe 15) with that same container after hearing about it on Basic Brewing.  I was surprised by how well it worked, given the historical dogma about slow chilling being terrible.  The thing that I found the most problematic with it was that I couldn't get completely reproducible results.  I think the chilling time would change depending on outside temperature (-20F to +50F) and that would impact the hop character of the beer.  That probably isn't a problem making malty styles, but for pale ales or the like it can move things around a bit.
 
Risk of failure should be no deterrent to trying.

Offline jimmykx250

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 328
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2016, 02:40:03 pm »
I used the 'no chill' method several times (maybe 15) with that same container after hearing about it on Basic Brewing.  I was surprised by how well it worked, given the historical dogma about slow chilling being terrible.  The thing that I found the most problematic with it was that I couldn't get completely reproducible results.  I think the chilling time would change depending on outside temperature (-20F to +50F) and that would impact the hop character of the beer.  That probably isn't a problem making malty styles, but for pale ales or the like it can move things around a bit.
Ive been using the same 2 containers for well over a year! I even bought 2 extra screw on lids and mounted bubblers in them so I can ferment in them. Easy to clean a little pbw and hot water. After washing i store it with a 1/2 gal of star san to keep it bug free. Ive never noticed the reproducible thing however when I re-brew the same beer I always change one variable or another cause im always trying to improve the beer.
 
Jimmykx250

Offline MadJohnShaft

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2016, 12:34:17 pm »
Propane freezes at -44F per Google - I've used my gas grill in winter on the coldest of Chicago days with no problem for 20 years.


I boiled outside on the deck recently when it was very cold - other than about another 3/4 gallon evaporation than usual and having to go outside to stir it worked just fine. Was kind of fun watching the cloud coming off the kettle.

Oh - do not try cooling off the wort in a snow bank - it acts as the world's best insulator and sits hot for hours and hours. I didn't have much luck leaving it out in the wind and cold to cool either, and went back to normal wort chiller inside.

Offline Slowbrew

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2789
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
Re: What's the coldest I can brew?
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2016, 01:19:47 pm »
Propane freezes at -44F per Google - I've used my gas grill in winter on the coldest of Chicago days with no problem for 20 years.


I boiled outside on the deck recently when it was very cold - other than about another 3/4 gallon evaporation than usual and having to go outside to stir it worked just fine. Was kind of fun watching the cloud coming off the kettle.

Oh - do not try cooling off the wort in a snow bank - it acts as the world's best insulator and sits hot for hours and hours. I didn't have much luck leaving it out in the wind and cold to cool either, and went back to normal wort chiller inside.

I do the indoor/outdoor routine every time I brew.  I mash and sparge in my basement workshop and do all the heating outside on the walkout patio.  I chill indoors with an IC.  I used a flat furniture cart to move the kettle around.  It beats standing outside on sub zero weather.

I have frozen the regulator on my propane tank a couple of times though.  You have to keep an eye on things out there.   :)

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?