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Old 02-16-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
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Default Storing equipment in garage

My wife and I moved into a town house in VT almost a year ago. We have two full baths, and the one downstairs I've taken over as my storage room. I do all-grain and keg so I have a lot of equipment. I have a tote with most of my stuff thrown in there. Could I store all of this in the garage if it gets 10-30 degrees at night without negative effects? Would things rust, or get moist, or a thermometer shatter from the temperature swings?

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Yes, and No.

I'd only suggest you keep the liquids indoors.

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #3
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I can't answer your question, but I do feel your pain. I live in a very small house, townhouse-like. I haven't gotten into kegging yet, and I'm already squeezed for space with all of my AG and bottling equip.

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #4
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If there's no liquid in your plastic fermenters they won't crack. People use thermometers out doors year round so that's not an issue.

The biggest thing to remember to do is to make sure everything is dry. If you have a wort chiller make sure you blow out all the water in it if you are going to store it in the freezing cold.

Or else you will be posting something like this;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decojuicer View Post
While I was cooling the wort down to pitch the yeast, I went to start dumping the sanitizer out of my carboy and my ale pale. I happened to walk by the kitchen door and look out side to see me brew kettle over flowing all over the porch. I raced outside, and sure enough, my brew kettle was flooding. I yanked the wort chiller out, and sure enough there was a split in the bottom most coil. Needless to say, I wasn't happy at all. I threw the wort chiller across the back yard and yelled a certain 4 letter word. I went in and grabbed a hydrometer and took a reading...1.005. A whole freakin 10 gallon batch of beer ruined. Twenty-three pounds of grain and 3 ounces of hops poured out it the grass.
If you have a compressor, that's a good way to do it, if you use an o2 bottle w/airstone, you can use that to blow out the chiller.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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I keep all my stuff in the garage and have for awhile. I keep all my grain (and all ingredients) pretty well sealed up. Other than that, everything has been fine. You thermometers will have no problem.

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Old 02-16-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
Yes, and No.

I'd only suggest you keep the liquids indoors.
Yeah, I figured I'd still leave the Starsan and stuff inside.

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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If there's no liquid in your plastic fermenters they won't crack. People use thermometers out doors year round so that's not an issue.

The biggest thing to remember to do is to make sure everything is dry. If you have a wort chiller make sure you blow out all the water in it if you are going to store it in the freezing cold.

Or else you will be posting something like this;



If you have a compressor, that's a good way to do it, if you use an o2 bottle w/airstone, you can use that to blow out the chiller.
Yeah that wouldn't be good. Copper is not cheap! Do you think condensation would form on the metal things like the brew pot?
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snail View Post
My wife and I moved into a town house in VT almost a year ago. We have two full baths, and the one downstairs I've taken over as my storage room. I do all-grain and keg so I have a lot of equipment. I have a tote with most of my stuff thrown in there. Could I store all of this in the garage if it gets 10-30 degrees at night without negative effects? Would things rust, or get moist, or a thermometer shatter from the temperature swings?
I forgot my march pump mounted in a tool box in the garage on a shelf during a cold snap and while the pump was drained there was enough residual moisture to freeze the ball valves on the pump outlets and quick disconnects on the hoses which were in the toolbox. I brought everything in the house and ran them under hot water and got all back in order but I was lucky not to have damaged the pump
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:00 PM   #8
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I feel your pain. I too live in a town house here in colorado. We have a small one car garage that three of us have gear in. Not sure what the height is in your garage but a loft might be the ticket. I built a plywood sheet sized loft. We have fairly high ceiling in the garage. I made the lowest point about 7 feet. Giving me about 3 feet of space on the shelf to the ceiling. I can get a ton of gear up there. I live with the owner of the house so he was just stoked I could do it. He paid for the lumber. Only took a few hours to build.

Oh yeah. As for the cold. Like everyone else has said. Make sure your gear is as dry as possible. The only thing that concerns me in my setup is my chiller. I use a diaphragm pump with my chiller. I just make sure I pump as much air through it as possible. It has not been a problem yet.

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Old 02-16-2010, 10:03 PM   #9
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I keep all of my stuff in the garage and its a disorganized mess. The biggest issue that I have is trying to FIND everything when it comes time to brew. But even then, this is a minor inconvenience.

I keep all of my liquids inside as its usually too cool to keep them in my fermentation cabinet (in the garage as well) around this time of year.

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Old 02-16-2010, 11:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeMama View Post
I keep all of my stuff in the garage and its a disorganized mess. The biggest issue that I have is trying to FIND everything when it comes time to brew. But even then, this is a minor inconvenience.
This is precisely why I've resisted moving stuff into the garage; it would get spread out and it would be a major PITA to carry everything upstairs to brew. This has not made SWMBO happy, so it's going to happen eventually, but for now, I've taken over the dining room for storage.

Quote:
I keep all of my liquids inside as its usually too cool to keep them in my fermentation cabinet (in the garage as well) around this time of year.
Due to where I live, this isn't a problem for me... which means one less excuse for why the stuff has to stay upstairs.
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