Author Topic: Garage Brewing & Water  (Read 1745 times)

Offline jwaldner

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Garage Brewing & Water
« on: September 01, 2010, 07:58:04 PM »
I'm switching over from brewing in my basement with an immersion heater to brewing out in the garage with LP gas. However, there's no water out in the garage except what I use from my hose outside. Unfortunately, I live in a climate where I won't be able to use my hose in the winter.

How do other brewers work around this problem of brewing and chilling their wort without easy access to a water source?

Cheers,

Jay

Offline wingnut

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2010, 08:49:36 PM »
Welcome to the great outdoors!!!

One of the beauties of the garage is that you can hose down everything, or at least spill a bit, and there is no real issues.

However, you seem to think that in the winter time, you will be without water due to your climate.... however, I think you are incorrect.

I live in Michigan, and I brew A LOT during the winter, and I use an imersion chiller.   The key with the hose is to drain it.  Essentially, you do not turn the water on until you are ready to run water thorugh your chiller, and when you are done, remove the hose from the chiller and disconnect it at the spigot, and lay it out on the driveway   Most drive ways are not perfectly flat, and slope away from the house in some fashion.  You can make use of that to let gravity drain your hose.  Then just coil it up and either keep it in the basement, or hang it in the garage.    However, you may wish to attach a hose to the outlet of your chiller to direct that water into a snow bank and not the driveway... otherwise you may wind up with an ice rink for a driveway.  Same rules for draining that hose applies, however, I just have a long piece of tubing I clamp to the end of my chiller to direct it to a snow bank.

However, any thoughts of puting hose water into your kettles for anything other than cleaning, is a bad idea.   Most garden hoses tend to emit a foul flavor to the water that you do not want in your beer.  If you wish to use the spigot for a water source for the kettles, however, you can adapt some tubing or buy some RV hose that are white... I understand that those do not give off the flavor that garden hoses do.

Good luck!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2010, 10:50:59 PM »
I use a food grade hose year-round and get water from my outside spigot.  Despite our relatively mild winters, it actually does get down below 20F here sometimes so in the winter we disconnect the hoses, drain them, move them to the shed, and put covers over the spigots.

When I want to brew I just connect my food grade hose to the spigot and away I go.  My hoses all get drained and stored at the end of every brew session, so there's really no difference in the process for me in summer vs. winter.

If you live somewhere so cold that you usually turn the water off to the outside spigot, you can turn it back on for your brew session.  As long as you remember to turn it off and drain the pipes when you're done it'll be fine.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline ajk

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 05:21:39 AM »
I think it depends on your plumbing.  I live in Indianapolis, where it gets nowhere near as cold as Michigan, yet my outdoor spigot has frozen several times, even with the hose detached.  Five minutes with a hair dryer takes care of it, though.

Offline tygo

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 05:24:52 AM »
One attempt at brewing in freezing weather convinced me to find an alternative solution to the garden hose for chilling.  I throw a couple of gallons of water in a cooler along with a pile of snow (or regular ice if snow's not available), sit a sump pump in there, and recirculate the cold water through my IC.

I just put hose fittings on a couple 1/2 in lengths of tubing to hook everything up.  In the winter I can chill from boiling to pitching in about 15 minutes.  In the summer it takes considerably longer but still within about half an hour.  Also saves a ton of water.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 05:29:03 AM »
I shut off and drain my outdoor spigots when winter approaches so they won't freeze.  I then turn it on when I'm brewing, but shut them off and drain them when I'm done.  It's not a big issue with me because I won't brew if it's so cold that the hose will freeze that quickly.

If it's really cold, I setup in the kitchen but still heat water and boil outside ( 5 gallon batches, cooler mashtun ).  Then I just hook the IC up to the kitchen faucet.
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Offline dhacker

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 05:32:06 AM »
I use a food grade hose year-round and get water from my outside spigot.  Despite our relatively mild winters, it actually does get down below 20F here sometimes so in the winter we disconnect the hoses, drain them, move them to the shed, and put covers over the spigots.

When I want to brew I just connect my food grade hose to the spigot and away I go.  My hoses all get drained and stored at the end of every brew session, so there's really no difference in the process for me in summer vs. winter.

If you live somewhere so cold that you usually turn the water off to the outside spigot, you can turn it back on for your brew session.  As long as you remember to turn it off and drain the pipes when you're done it'll be fine.

+1 . . Same in Tennessee.

Again . . just use the WHITE potable water hose  . . the stuff for RV's.

http://www.amazon.com/Valterra-Products-W01-6300-Pressure-Drinking/dp/B000BGODPQ

Wally World has it, as do many other places. You might even consider an activated charcoal water filter at your brew rig like I have to make sure the water is devoid of any hose by products.
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Offline denny

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 08:47:57 AM »
I put plumbing in my garage.
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 10:20:52 AM »
Do you have an outdoor faucet next to your garage (i.e., running through an interior garage wall)? If so, it should be pretty easy for a plumber to add a faucet inside your garage.

I don't brew in my garage much any more, but I do have a faucet like this and it is a big help.
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Offline etbrew

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 01:23:46 PM »
One attempt at brewing in freezing weather convinced me to find an alternative solution to the garden hose for chilling.  I throw a couple of gallons of water in a cooler along with a pile of snow (or regular ice if snow's not available), sit a sump pump in there, and recirculate the cold water through my IC.

I just put hose fittings on a couple 1/2 in lengths of tubing to hook everything up.  In the winter I can chill from boiling to pitching in about 15 minutes.  In the summer it takes considerably longer but still within about half an hour.  Also saves a ton of water.

I've been thinking about doing that.  Fifteen minutes eh?? How much ice do you use/how big is the cooler?

Offline tygo

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 02:17:10 PM »

I've been thinking about doing that.  Fifteen minutes eh?? How much ice do you use/how big is the cooler?

Just to clarify:  I've chilled it down in 15 minutes when its 20 degrees outside and I have unlimited amounts of snow to use.  Makes it a bit easier.

The time and amount of ice under less than ideal (chilling) conditions varies.  In normal summer heat I probably go through about 40-50 lbs of ice to get it chilled down in half an hour.  And there has been more than one occasion this summer where I quit when I got it to 70F and let it cool the rest of the way down in the basement.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 02:24:05 PM »
One attempt at brewing in freezing weather convinced me to find an alternative solution to the garden hose for chilling.  I throw a couple of gallons of water in a cooler along with a pile of snow (or regular ice if snow's not available), sit a sump pump in there, and recirculate the cold water through my IC.

I just put hose fittings on a couple 1/2 in lengths of tubing to hook everything up.  In the winter I can chill from boiling to pitching in about 15 minutes.  In the summer it takes considerably longer but still within about half an hour.  Also saves a ton of water.

When I used to live in Maine I did something similar to this except I didn't have a recirculating pump I just used about 25 feet of brewing hose and one of my spare bottling buckets.  
I replaced the spigot with a drilled bung and fed some brew hose through the bung and attached a valve to control the flow. I used a block of ice (available at most grocery or convenient stores) and filled with cold water let it sit for a few minutes to stabilize.  
Once I was done brewing I hooked the free end of the hose to the ball valve on my brew pot and let it go by the time the wort reached the fermenter it was at 64 deg.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Garage Brewing & Water
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 02:29:06 PM »
Welcome to the great wide world of brewing. 

I brew in my garage and wish I had a floor drain but....I don't.
So I must revert to dragging in a hose from an outside hose bib for my plate chiller and then drag everything out to be hosed down and cleaned.  I eventually want to install a double basin utility tub.

Brewing in the summer is not too bad but in 24" of snow....well let's just say one must be creative.

The trials and tribulations of Homebrewing.   ;)

Ron Price