Author Topic: Frigid Weather Brewing  (Read 4573 times)

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2011, 02:21:55 PM »
But that's coming from me in Colorado where it's 40+  ;D

You must be in the part of Colorado that's basically Kansas. ;)

Maybe 40+ degrees is a nice trade off for being "basically Kansas".

Sorry, I couldn't stop myself.

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Offline beerrat

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2011, 09:47:18 AM »
I have brewed in the elements a lot - snow, wind, cold.  But I took the easy route yesterday when was doing an all grain black IPA.  I brewed inside and not in the 18f, albeit sunny weather.

My rationale:  besides wimping out a bit, I thought it was silly not to capture heat and humidity output inside house instead of both just going into cold air outside.  I'm running a humidifier inside along with normal house heating, why not recapure brew outputs like a brewery would do?  With wind, even with a wind screen around pot, more propane would be needed then normal.  Why battle elements when not necessary.

My 10gal brew pot fits on the electric stove and heats up fine.  I'm not convinced heating the 7 gal took any longer inside then my gas set up outside fighting wind and teen temps.  I may have lost some time chilling, but only took 25 minutes inside with IC and 48f tap water.  Bonus was easier recovery of waste hot H2O for cleanup and excess to washing machine.

Of course, this works out given I have room on my stove.

Yes, I'm a frugal bastard :-)

Offline hokerer

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2011, 10:15:00 AM »
My 10gal brew pot fits on the electric stove and heats up fine. 

That's gotta be one heck of an electric stove.  Do all the neighbors lights dim when you fire that thing up?
Joe

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2011, 01:26:33 PM »
So after seeing a weather report on Friday night saying the wind chill was going to be -13 F on Sunday, I bagged it this weekend.  So Sunday comes and it is a calm, not so frigid ( about 20 F ) day.

#&$%^#@# weatherman!!!!!

It did get down to -10F last night.  This morning I did the trick where you throw hot water in the air and it turns to snow instantly...pretty cool ( no pun intended ).

Oh well...maybe next weekend.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2011, 02:01:14 PM »
I can brew inside my garage, with the door open a bit, HLT and RIMS mash are electric, but I have to clean up outside although I have warm water from the utility sink.  Anyone know where to get insulated waterproof brewing gloves?
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Offline beerrat

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2011, 02:08:28 PM »

That's gotta be one heck of an electric stove.  Do all the neighbors lights dim when you fire that thing up?

:-)  Just a standard Kenmore glass topped one.  In good weather, the gas burner is faster.  I'm only heating 7 gallons .

I have just enough clearance for the brew pot below the microwave.

Offline akr71

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2011, 08:35:33 AM »
On the up side you don't have to worry too much about a wort chiller!  Mother nature is taking care of that for you. 

+1  Try and find bacteria and other critters floating around in sub 0 temps!  A longer than usuall chill probably has minimal effect.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2011, 08:51:09 AM »
Quote
Anyone know where to get insulated waterproof brewing gloves?

Home Depot has orange waterproof gloves with a fuzzy inside, you can wear the thin fabric ones inside them........

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Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2011, 12:25:27 PM »
But that's coming from me in Colorado where it's 40+  ;D

You must be in the part of Colorado that's basically Kansas. ;)

Hey you moved to the windward side of the range, we chose the leeward side. Yeah it's prone
to drought, mostly tan all year. But I makes for a fantastic ski day when you can come down
the hill and golf or bar-b-que in shorts. Been there done that... ;)
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline lazydog79

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #39 on: January 30, 2011, 09:18:57 PM »
I'm in central IL and brew outdoors too.  Usually, I get my last brew in around Turkey day and then shut down until April or so.  The winter months seem to bee too danged busy anyway.  This year though, I had one batch I had been trying to squeeze into the end of '10 that I didn't get done.  Family activities, work, and mostly weather kept pushing me around.  IL's winter got off to an early start this year  :P  Finally, Saturday, I had room in the schedule and the weather wasn't too bad - high in the low 30's.  Like several others have said, I move into the garage when the weather isn't the best.  The only real side affect I notice is a little more boil off than usual due to the dry air.  I take the extra step to wrap my MLT in a blanket when it's colder.  The upside, I don't need ice for my chiller - I just shoveled snow in the bucket!   8)  I was thinking during my brew this weekend that I must have hit some sort of brewing-induced psychosis - standing there in a parka and snow boots brewing in January in IL   ::)  Good thing I got it in, though - 12 in.  :o forecast for Tuesday - yipee !

Offline edward

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2011, 05:27:42 AM »

Was 70 F and perfect yesterday.  Great day for brewing.

Some people don't brew when its too cold, I don't brew when its too hot.  Which in the south is July and August.

Offline Boston Brewer

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2011, 10:37:16 AM »
Last winter I did one brew when it was about 25F + wind. I mashed in the kitchen and did the boil outside -
things went fine until I started up my immersion chiller. Water froze in the hose and there was now way to get the flow going.
There was no snow either so I couldn't just set the pot in the snow to cool.

Ended up lugging 5.5 gal of steaming wort down to the basement, hooked up the washer hose to the chiller and
let it run. It was pretty much my worst brew day ever.

Now, for a variety of reasons, I am considering doing 2.5 / 3 gal batches, which I can do comfortably in my kitchen.
Just have to decide which is worse - dealing with the cold temps or the SWMBO complaining about the smell of hops & grain ...

Come to think of it, either plan has me dealing with cold temps ...






Offline seajellie

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2011, 07:43:32 PM »
dmzlater, you can still do your 5 gallon batches outside without risking your neck with the hot wort carry. I used to do that too, and feel myself very fortunate that I never got hit with a disaster.

Set yourself up with a cheap submersible pond pump. For less than 30$, I got a Sunterra 320GPH model that does the trick of recirculating cold water from a cooler through my standard issue wort chiller. I needed a small section of half-inch ID hose to connect it. Works great outside in the frigid temps. If there's no snow around to chill the water down, I can put the water & cooler outside over night in these temps. The instructions say not to use the pump in temps below... 45 I think? But I've not had a problem so far (ten batches) despite dumping loads of snow into the cooler. Maybe the key is that the pump is nice and warm inside the house before use, and isn't submerged in the cold water for more than an hour.

I'll also use a block of sterile ice in the kettle if need be. Also, if I keep my garden hose inside the house, I find I can use it to feed the initial chill until the outdoor temps hit 10.

A post from euge got me thinking; he puts his wort chiller in at flame out. So adapting that trick, I pre-sterilize it in a spare kettle with a bit of boiling water, then let it freeze up outside in the garage. At flame out, it goes in and drops temps a lot.

Additionally, if you aerate your wort outside using a sterile filter, you can really drop the temps fast once in the fermenter.

At the least if you can't do all these tricks, some combination of them will bring the wort temps down below DMS threshold (140) and skin melting threshold (don't know and don't want to find out) before your carry down the steps!

All in all I love brewing in the cold; so much easier to hit lager pitching temps with minimal fuss.

Offline nicneufeld

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2011, 06:09:02 PM »
You must be in the part of Colorado that's basically Kansas. ;)

Every time I drive through Colorado, we hit Denver, and then, from then on, I think, why doesn't Kansas just annex the rest of this and be done with it?

I still brew indoors...never have brewed outside.  5 gallon, all grain brews in a 7.5gal kettle...its modestly taxing on the ole kitchen range but she muscles up to the task like a soldier.  Takes time to bring 6 gallons of wort to a boil from sparge temps, but if I start early on a saturday I can be done by noon.

The closest I get to this sort of insane dedication is in smoking and grilling during the winter months.  There's no bringing that indoors!

Offline ndcube

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Re: Frigid Weather Brewing
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2011, 06:28:33 AM »
I brew outside in the winter.

1) Keep the propane in a tub of water.
2) Keep a skirt around the burner to keep wind out.
3) Towls on top of the mash cooler.
4) Hot water handy to unthaw the valve on the cooler (only happened a couple times in 0F weather)
5) Have to carry the pot inside to chill (but I do that even when it's warm).