Author Topic: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?  (Read 2872 times)

Offline Scott Tankersley

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Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« on: November 30, 2019, 06:24:43 PM »
I'm fairly new to extract homebrewing. Can I brew beer outdoors in cold weather and have good wort?
Scott Tankersley

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2019, 06:49:31 PM »
I'm fairly new to extract homebrewing. Can I brew beer outdoors in cold weather and have good wort?

Yes you can.

Wind can be a problem with gas burners, so a windshield can help keep the heat going to the kettle.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2019, 06:50:50 PM »
As long as it’s not too cold for you, it will probably be fine to brew outside in cold weather.
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Offline baltocharlie

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2019, 08:10:16 PM »
One thing to keep in mind is freezing hoses for chilling your beer.  I keep my chiller and hoses inside until it is time to use them. Also make sure your outside faucet is not frozen and water turned on.  I have brewed in temps in the upper teens, it wasn't pleasant. I find mid 20's and above is good if there is no wind.  75F is preferred though:)

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2019, 08:37:51 PM »
When I brewed outside in the cold, I’d set up a pop up shelter and install side screens to cut the wind. Hovering around the boil kettle was nice. Amazing how fast the chiller worked.


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Offline Scott Tankersley

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 10:38:24 AM »
I'm brand new to this forum and don't yet know how to properly respond and thank people for answering my questions or comments. So thanks to one and all for your answers and your help.eventually I will learn.
Scott Tankersley

Offline Kevin

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 03:16:45 PM »
I used to watch the weather forecasts for the coldest day I could find to brew outdoors. I believe the coldest I got was 15° F with 8" of snow on the ground. It was fun back then but not so much any more.
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Offline mtsoxfan

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2019, 04:59:27 PM »
Just brewed an English Old Ale this morning. 18* when I started at 6:30. I brew in garage right by the door, but door is open so I don't expire to the propane….  As long as you dress for it, it's fine. Water spilled on driveway froze, Spray nozzle on hose froze, but that was easy fix. I use thick rubber gloves when dealing with water, keeps hands dry and warm.

Offline dls5492

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2019, 10:18:25 PM »
I brew in my garage when it is cold. I set up a portable heater. Between that and the propane burner the temperature in the garage is fine. I do find that loss more during the boil when it's cold as compared to the summer time.
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Offline Barbarian Brewer

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2019, 12:36:04 AM »
I use a piece of leftover sheet metal from a bathroom remodel as a windscreen.  It's L-shaped so it blocks wind from two sides and is stabilized with cinder blocks.  It keeps the flame from blowing out and cuts down on propane cost a bit.  As far as propane usage, when I first started brewing outdoors I was concerned I'd go through a ton more propane due to cold.  While I'm sure I do use more propane in the winter than in the summer, it's not so significant that I notice. 
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Offline joe_meadmaker

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2019, 01:47:37 AM »
I brew in my garage when it is cold. I set up a portable heater. Between that and the propane burner the temperature in the garage is fine. I do find that loss more during the boil when it's cold as compared to the summer time.

+1 to this.  Although I don't use an additional heater because my garage is small so the propane burner keeps it plenty warm.  I brew in my garage in the summer too. :)

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2019, 11:30:24 AM »
I collect the water in buckets and clean with it, so my routine isn’t a whole lot different in winter, but rather than pouring out the spent water onto the driveway, I haul it to the grass (or snowbank, if there are snow piles) to dump it.

I did just buy an all in one product for indoor electric brewing, so that will be nice to use going forward.

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2019, 12:00:16 PM »
My burner stand is round, so I use 10 in. aluminum flashing (for roof valleys) as my wind shields.  Cut to the right size and pop riveted to form a circle.  It's cheap, light weight and simple.

The lowest the temp ever was while I brewed in the garage was low single digits. 

I now have a basement room with a walkout patio.  Heat water and boil outside.  Mash, sparge and chill inside.  It is way more comfortable than in the garage.

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Offline Jarrod Huff

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2019, 02:05:57 PM »
Winter brewing can be tough, and I consider myself only a casual brewer (kids and all). As others have said, I found my boil off rate to be a bit higher and a wind shield is a must. I use a low end turkey fryer burner that goes out a lot, not sure if this is a problem with the higher end burners. Best thing about it is cooling takes about 10 minutes instead of 30! If there is snow, just pack it up around the kettle. Or, just do a small batch or continue on with partial boils and extract on the stove when it gets REALLY cold.


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Offline goose

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Re: Brewing outdoor in cold weather?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2019, 02:34:30 PM »
Back in the days before we built a new garage addition (roughly 15 years ago), I used to brew outside in my barn.  It is about 200 feet from the house and I had to haul brewing water out to the barn, brew the beer, run a hose 200 feet from the house to the barn to chill the wort, haul the wort back inside inside to my fermmenter in my basement, and clean up the system with cold water (a real PITA to do).

It can be done and you can make good beer brewing outside.  That said, I am glad not to have to haul all this stuff to and from the barn anymore and I it is great to have hot and cold running water in my "in the house" brewery to clean equipment.
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