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remuS 10-06-2012 05:48 PM

Outside Winter Brewing
 
I'm sure there are similar threads... but its getting cold outside here and Montana. If you're like me, you have no option for shelter when doing 5+ gallon all-grain batches. Here are some lessons I learned last year.

1. Do your mash inside. The obvious being you won't lose your temperature. It may take a bit longer to heat strike/sparge water on the stove, but it beats sitting outside in 0 degree weather.
2. Keep a dry towel near by. You're bound to get a little wet, and nothing is worse then freezing cold hands.
3. Blow out your wort chiller and hoses after use. The hose is a given, but took me a few batches to figure out why my boils stopped completely after inserting wort chiller.
4. At least for me, evaporation rate increased. I had to adjust +1/2 gallon. Fuel usage will also increase.
5. Careful where you run off the water from the wort chiller. Don't want an ice rink in your driveway or sidewalk.
6. Dress warm of course.

What are your outside winter brewing tips?

inhousebrew 10-06-2012 06:58 PM

Hot scotchy! Get a bottle of your favorite scotch, do your mash, add some wort to a small mug while draining into the boil kettle, mix in alcohol, drink your first hot scotchy. I saw it on Brewing TV a while back, sounded nasty but the sweetness and warmth of the wort mixed with scotch is actually great! At least when it's hot, it's pretty foul when it cools down so warm up and drink quick.

Oh yeah, and I know all about winter time up here in MN...

craigger64 10-06-2012 07:10 PM

I LOVE brewing in cold weather! The post-boil wort chills MUCH quicker, and I kind of like bundling up and huddling over the burner to keep warm. Gotta love it!

iaefebs 10-06-2012 07:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by remuS (Post 4475888)
3. Blow out your wort chiller and hoses after use. The hose is a given, but took me a few batches to figure out why my boils stopped completely after inserting wort chiller.

What are your outside winter brewing tips?

# 3 is very important, if you leave any water in your chiller and it freezes it will possibly swell up and split. Next time you use it the chiller water will have an open path to your brew. The best thing is to drain it and store it where it can't freeze.

flanneltrees804 11-06-2012 04:26 AM

I've been thinking about this sort of thing as this winter I am not only brewing outside but storing most of my equipment out in the garage where it only stays about 5* above outside temps. I'm definitely going to need to have a space inside to store things like CFC, water filter, and maybe even the grain mill and control panel. Any problem with letting grain freeze?

mikescooling 11-06-2012 04:53 AM

Take the LP tank inside to warm up the night before.

iaefebs 11-06-2012 05:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by flanneltrees804 (Post 4562588)
I've been thinking about this sort of thing as this winter I am not only brewing outside but storing most of my equipment out in the garage where it only stays about 5* above outside temps. I'm definitely going to need to have a space inside to store things like CFC, water filter, and maybe even the grain mill and control panel. Any problem with letting grain freeze?

When the grain is cold you have to adjust your strike water temperature.

LeverTime 11-06-2012 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikescooling (Post 4562617)
Take the LP tank inside to warm up the night before.

Is this a good idea? My tank has a big warning on it about not storing it indoors.

broadbill 11-06-2012 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeverTime (Post 4563074)
Is this a good idea? My tank has a big warning on it about not storing it indoors.

yep, not a good idea to bring a large pressurized container of very flammable gas into a enclosed space.

Paulgs3 11-06-2012 03:22 PM

I'm ordering a pond pump to run through my CFC. We get decent snow so I can easily feed a bucket.

I also have some thermo blankets I want to use on the mash tun, just wrap that rascal. I do 10 gal batches so I'm not boiling 8 gals on the stove. Go large or go home, especially when its cold out there.

I'm also pondering a propane heater, since I have so many propane tanks as backups. I brew in my garage, so I'll be protected from the wind. But a little warmth never hurt.

I like the scotch idea^^


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