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Old 01-31-2011, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default steeping grains in the snow...

well, not really IN the snow... kidding.

after extensive brewing in southern california i am now doing my brewing in massachusetts. i know, i know, why did i move

anyhow, i have previously, for 5 gallon batches, usually used a boil volume of about 3.5 gallons as this is about as much as i could get to a rolling boil on the stove. so i would normally bag up my steeping grains, flame out around 170, then let them steep for 20-30 minutes and then yada yada...

i am now forced to brew outside, in the snow. the good news is that i now will be brewing with my awesome new burner and converted keg, in which i would like to use a boil volume of close to the final 5 gallons.

so here is my question: being outside in the 5 degree temperature, it seems like this initial 5 gallons of steeping water is going to get cold really quickly and most likely have an adverse effect on the grains. but maybe i'm wrong... so should i instead just go with my traditional 3.5 gallons and grains in the house and then transfer the water to the keg and top off? or would i be ok just doing the entire process, with 5 gallons, outside?

thanks for the help guys and gals.

erik

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:42 PM   #2
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Describe your "equipment", that would be helpful.

Whoa, never mind ! Seeing you are from SoCal you might take that the wrong way.

Your "equipment" needs to be described as in the stuff you use to brew with, like brew kettles and MLT's and such.

Whew, Close call, but we can help. And pardon my moment of high school humor.

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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Just keep the water around 170. At 5 degrees outside you probably won't be turning off the fire to keep it there though. Just turn it down to maintain temp.

Edit: I'm assuming this is extract brewing.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:10 AM   #4
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indeed all, it is extract. and i like the 'equipment' quip! nice! you know how we do it in cali...

i'm just using a converted keg as my brew vessel on what i believe is a bayou classic sp-14 burner. nothing fancy; wort is just going to get dumped into the 6.5 gal. carboid for primary and probably will not do a secondary.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:11 AM   #5
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Welcome to MA...you could not pay me to move to Cali (I just heard a Tool Aenima reference in my head)!

If you bump up to a full 5G boil (or the 6.5 you just snuck in after my post), you will have a lot of Mass (ha, pun intended) and the temp should stay pretty close to 170* for steeping over only 20 to 30 minutes, especially if you keep the keggle lid on and toss a sleeping bag or something else over it.

You might have to light the burner once to keep the temp up but it should not be that big of a deal (make sure you pull the sleeping bag before firing up)!

I brewed two batches just inside the garage with the doors open last week...it's not so bad, but being from Cali, you'll need some time to acclimate! Ha!

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:22 AM   #6
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yes, well had wife and job not dragged me here then... %$*#@ massachusetts! thanks for all of your input.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:31 AM   #7
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Welcome i guess ur now a masshole! Ive found that a wind screen (a 16 inch pice of sheet metal arond the burner)saved me a s##t load of propane.

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:33 AM   #8
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sorry, but on a somewhat unrelated note to brewing in mass: i live in beverly and didn't even think to get a water quality report from the city. any of you mass brewers run into any issues where you needed to apply additives etc.? this hasn't been an issue where i used to brew but here not so sure.

thanks again!

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:12 AM   #9
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I brewed the other night in 20f and it can get cold quick. I used a similar setup and you want to make sure you keep some heat on it. I steeped between 155-165 for 25 min with some flame on.
I did a 3.5 gl boil so hopefully it was OK.
good luck

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:50 AM   #10
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thanks all. i will now go samply some of my first mass batch. the hopes are not high...

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