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Old 09-29-2009, 03:49 PM   #1
theganda
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Default Brewing in the Winter

How do you guys brew in the winter and most specifically how do you cool your wort in the winter? Our hose will be shut off in the next two weeks but I don't want to shelve the hobby for 5 months. Is there a way to hook up an IC to a sink, or do you winter brewers just plunk it in the snow and let nature help you out? (No cheeky comments from anyone living in CA or FL please!!!)

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Old 09-29-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Last year I brewed in the garage and it was a bit chilly at times, but the turkey fryer helped out. I boiled up the wort and then brought it into the kitchen to run through the CFC. Except for the very dead of winter (Jan-March) I could easily use the outside faucet if I desired. I just have to make sure to shut the water off in the basement, and drain the outside spigot so that it's not frozen solid when I want to use it. Then remember to do it again when I'm done.

Except I forgot I don't have an inside shutoff valve anymore... I guess I have some plumbing to do.

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
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I brew in the kitchen, winter is the preferred time to brew. No worries about cranking the A/C to battle the heat and humidity from the pots of water.

There is a sink adapter for a garden hose thread, it is what I use for my IC every time I brew. Our basement utility sink has this attached all the time. Most HW stores should carry this item. Just make sure your sink faucet can accept it.

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:29 PM   #4
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I've got a utility sink in the garage which I connect to year-round. There have been discussions on cooling wort in snow banks and those lake breezes should speed the process. I think the lake breezes in the winter were the worst part of my childhood in Illinois, I still have skin damage from frost-bite 50 years later.

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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One thing that I am thinking about doing this winter is installing QDs under the sink for my CFC chiller. That way I can just pop the hose on the QD, turn the valve and voila! Cold chilling water! No adapters to unscrew and bugger with, and I can use the sink at the same time! It's under the sink where the pipes are, and where nobody can see it. Just have to install an inline T and a QD and valve.

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:57 PM   #6
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I recently replaced my central AC. As a value added service I had the plumber sweat a tee off both the incoming and outgoing water lines from the water heater in the garage closet. Now I have both hot and cold water service within feet of brewery space. For the actual lines, we used PEX. Cheap and easy.

I also tee'd off the main line gas service for the heater (prior too any step downs) for a natural gas line to my brewery.

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Old 09-29-2009, 04:59 PM   #7
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I brew in the garage year-round. To cool wort, I use a 50' IC with a big pail/bucket with a pond pump to recirculate. In the Winter I dump some snow in the bucket every few minutes. If no snow, ground water is still plenty cool enough.

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Old 09-29-2009, 06:05 PM   #8
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+1. I do the same. Rubbermaid tote and old pond pump connected to immersion chiller. Run water back to the tote. Add snow as it mets. 10 - 15 minutes to under 100 F.


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Originally Posted by velotech View Post
I brew in the garage year-round. To cool wort, I use a 50' IC with a big pail/bucket with a pond pump to recirculate. In the Winter I dump some snow in the bucket every few minutes. If no snow, ground water is still plenty cool enough.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:44 PM   #9
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I used a snow bank outside my back door last year...I suppose I can do that again this year...

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Old 09-29-2009, 08:52 PM   #10
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There is no such thing as winter here so I brew outside. I may move to the garage if it is windy day though.

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