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Old 01-07-2013, 07:22 PM   #1
dpsimswm
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Default cold weather brewing in garage

Is there a beer I can brew in my garage with temps between 50 and 60 degrees. Could drop even lower.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:26 PM   #2
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I think California Common and Kolsch are fermented in that range. Do you have a tub that will fit your carboy? If so, set up a water bath to help hold a steady temperature, whatever that temperature is.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
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I brew beer in my garage right up until it hits about 20 or maybe a bit lower, depending on my supply.

It's the FERMENTATION that would be a problem...

You have a few choices. There are yeasts that can ferment at about that range, but you would need to keep the temp STEADY. Both ale and lager yeast can ferment there, just go through the yeast manufacturer's descriptions for temp ranges for that particular yeast.

If you do an ale, you might want to rig up a brew belt or some other controlled heat source. For Lagers, 50-55 is a great temp for the initial fermentation. You might need to bring it into the house for 2-3 days for D-rest before lagering.

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #4
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im guessing you meant fermentation part and yes you can make lager at 50-55 but rather big variation could be a problem, 10 degree difference for any beer can give some off flavors or stuck fermentation, you should try to control fermentation tem little better (aquarium heater is one option)

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Old 01-07-2013, 09:21 PM   #5
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I use my garage for lagering. I live in a cold winter climate, so I use a wrap type heater and digital temp controller to keep above freezing. A blanket goes over the fermenter (to help maintain a constant temp and to keep out any ambient natural light). I duct tape the temp probe to the side of the vessel, sometimes insulating it with a wad over kitchen towel over it. Temp set to, say anywhere from 33°F to 40°F, depending on the brew, with an offset of 2F°. Works really well.

The Ranco ETC 111000 digital temperature controller can be had off eBay for around $50. The wrap heater I have costs around $30 from a HBS. The only other thing needed is a cheap short power cord that gets cut in two and installed in the ETC ($5)..... and some duct tape! Probably one of the best pieces of equipment I have. Use it for ales in the basement too, to maintain higher temps.

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Old 01-08-2013, 04:27 PM   #6
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An STC-1000 can be had on Ebay for like $25 and can turn a light bulb on, or some other heating device. All you need is a somewhat insulated small box to put the fermenter in, and make sure your heating device doesn't start a fire.

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Old 01-08-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
An STC-1000 can be had on Ebay for like $25 and can turn a light bulb on, or some other heating device. All you need is a somewhat insulated small box to put the fermenter in, and make sure your heating device doesn't start a fire.
True. I just like the ETC because it's a "finished" box - i.e. not designed for panel mounting like the STC. Plus it offers °F, which the STC does not. Oh and we can support NAFTA with it too (!) - it's "assembled" in Mexico rather than China

I like the Fermwrap because it's alot less likely to burn my house down than a bulb in a confined space of dubious homemade construction. And if it did and I survive, I can sue someone rather than making the next edition of The Darwin Awards (Honorary only, I have kids.)

I must say, at that price, I may pick up a couple of teh STC's to auto control fans on my chicken coops if we have another summer like last year....
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:03 PM   #8
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Brew Belt is a great option to maintain temps. Think light lagers, Dortmunders, etc

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