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Old 05-28-2013, 01:30 AM   #1
ahaley
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Default warm weather brewing?

Ive taken a leave of absence from brewing due to enlistment in the Army and my projected duty station is ft bliss Texas.
I havent read too much on the weather yet because it was a rumor that I was going there, well after reading an email telling me I need to fill out these forms and have them with me it looks pretty real.

The questions.
What do you guys recommend if you live in a warm weather environment?
Buy a fridge for brews, swamp cooler, other cooling devices I dont know about yet, or brew when its cooler?

I currently live in california and brewed a few batches here and there. I'm still very new to the scene just started AG, but im a little nervous about getting back into brewing after taking nearly 1.5 year break.. I'm also a little concerned my, now full time, job will force me to neglect my brews. I know I'm thinking of every worst case but honestly I'm nervous to leave my home state and start a life so far away from family. . :x

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Old 05-28-2013, 01:40 AM   #2
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What do you guys recommend if you live in a warm weather environment?
Buy a fridge for brews, swamp cooler, other cooling devices I dont know about yet, or brew when its cooler?
All of the above, based on your temperment and what you want to shell out for.I am up in snow country and based on my consumption rate I prefer to work with the seasons. My cellar is getting into the upper 60s so ales may not be possible too much longer. The weather in Ft. Bliss may not permit you this luxury unless your quarters are severely air conditioned.

Swamp coolers or even a simple tub of cool water kept in the 60s with an occaisional ice addition will let you brew any sort of ale any time you want. You generally just need to keep the fermenter temps in the 60s for the first 4-5 days, then you can let it clean up at higher temperatures. Lagers need 50F temps and will require a refrigerator to do properly.

Keep cool. I did a year in the AF down in Texas years ago and am glad to be up in the Northeast again.
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Old 05-29-2013, 03:53 PM   #3
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All of the above, based on your temperment and what you want to shell out for.I am up in snow country and based on my consumption rate I prefer to work with the seasons
Thanks for the advice, I figure working with the seasons would be much better for how little my wife and I will drink at first. How was it where you were? Right now I'm in Ft. Eustis virginia and for my weather tolerances Its all sorts of hot and humid! I hate it right now, im not used to any humidity
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, I figure working with the seasons would be much better for how little my wife and I will drink at first. How was it where you were? Right now I'm in Ft. Eustis virginia and for my weather tolerances Its all sorts of hot and humid! I hate it right now, im not used to any humidity
In San Antonio near the Gulf Coast you get plenty of heat and humidity. Up in Wichita Falls it tended to be hotter but dry. I expect over in Ft. Bliss by El Paso you'll get hot and dry in the summer, maybe even comfortable and dry during the rest of the year. I think you'll find it a whole lot more tolerable than Virginia but it will be hot this summer.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:33 PM   #5
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I don't know if you are a wine drinker, but most wines often need to be a bit warmer than beers to ferment. A lot of people make wine when their houses are too warm to ferment anything else.

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Old 05-29-2013, 07:37 PM   #6
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I agree with the systems..fridge, swamp cooler, AC house. I am here at Fort Hood and use a fridge system. Have not had any issues. I was at Ft Lee previously and the humidity there was a lot worse I think. Cant speak on Fort Bliss, but being TX its still going to be hot in the summer. You can always look in the local Craigslist and find a cheap fridge plus a temp controller and you'll be fine.

Good luck with your PCS!

Cheers!

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Old 05-29-2013, 11:31 PM   #7
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I'm of the mind that summer is a fine time to make and drink saisons. Make a big one at the end of the season to age until early next summer. This prevents problems of dry pipelines.

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Old 05-31-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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I'm in Fort Worth, TX and also have problems brewing year round due to the heat. I've got a few suggestions for ya:

- Build an $8 swamp cooler. Grab a big plastic storage container, put your carboy in it, fill 3/4 with cool water. Dunk a towel in the water and wrap it around the carboy. I usually swap frozen 1 liter bottles of water in and out twice per day to keep the water temp cool. I also re-dunk the towel each day to keep it wet. I just brewed a wheat with an ambient temp of 76, and carboy temp was 68 during rapid fermentation. *Note - this is placed in a room with a fan on high. If you aren't placing in a room with a fan, you might consider buying a small fan and pointing it the swamp cooler to keep the cool air circulating off the water.

- Brew with higher temp yeasts. Wheat, Saison, Farmhouse Ales, Belgians. These are all your friends in the summer.

- When we get to August and it's Devil's taint hot for weeks at a time... you can brew the Rye Saison recipe from BYO. It calls for fermentation at 85 degrees. http://byo.com/component/k2/item/2822-saison-a-beer-for-all-seasons

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Old 05-31-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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I live in San Antonio and the heat is really a determining factor in much of my brewing. Even in winter when others are trying to keep their fermentation temps up, I am still trying to keep mine down. When you have to mow your grass in December you know heat is going to be a problem.

I do most of my special, and heavy brews in the winter when I only need to keep the heat down a few degrees. For one short two week to one month period I can actually ferment in my garage with no temperature control. In Summer, I switch to brewing Saisons and Ales that do well with US-05 because I find that I don't need to keep it as low as some of the other ale yeasts. For that reason, I like to make clean lawnmower beers in early summer. However, In another month or month and a half (first of July or so) it will get just too hot to be able to brew outside even in the early morning (I use one or two fryer burners, depending on the batch, and it makes my garage a sauna even in winter). Since I won't do large batches inside, I usually drop off until late September. However, I am working on putting together a small batch system so I can brew in the house during the hottest times.

The biggest problem is going to be fermentation temperature control! Some switch to wine for the summer--I am thinking about trying that this year.

BTW, I use the cheap swamp cooler and it works pretty well. I just have to brew at times when I only need a few degrees change. You may find in Bliss, as I do here that it just won't pull it down more than a few degrees. Texas has more than one climate zone. You will be very dry there. Dallas and Forth Worth are dripping-off-your-sack muggy.

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Old 05-31-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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3711 at 80F makes a hell of a good Saison. Otherwise, I recommend finding a fridge for cheap on Craigslist and hook up a thermostat to it. Fermentation temperature control is one of the most important parts of brewing IMHO, so do it up right...

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