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Old 09-26-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
abroch
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Default Apartment Brewing, Is It Possible?

I'm looking for an honest answer on how plausible it is to brew in an apartment.

I live in a 1000 square foot, one bedroom/bath apartment with no balcony. I've had my eye on home brewing for two years now and with my birthday right around the corner I know what I want... but I'm wondering how realistic it is and if I need to wait till I get one of those grown up homes.

I'm thinking of using my very small laundry room, it has room for a carboy or two but that's about it (but then there's the whole thing about the heat off the dryer and how it might ruin the fermentation process). So realistically, is it possible to brew in an apartment... and if I do, is my entire place going to smell like a brew-pub? (I don't mind, but I know my wife will.)

I've read through the forums and I know some people on here brew in their apartment, so any input on how and if I need to buy anything special to aid the whole process will be very helpful!

Thanks!

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #2
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I just brewed my first batch in a 500 sq/ft apartment with a ridiculously small kitchen and "apartment" stove (1/2 the size of a normal stove). While it isn't ideal, there's no reason why you can't do it.

My place had a hint of beer smell while boiling the wort, but i kept my beer in a mini-fridge while fermenting and didn't smell anything.

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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I think my apartment is more like 800 sq feet, and it's tight, but possible. Layout has a lot to do with it, and what else you have going on. What works for one person won't work for all.

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:41 PM   #4
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Answering strictly for myself......hell, no, I would never try to brew if I lived in a place that small. But do I think it's impossible? No, not really. It just means that you're going to have to be very thorough and thoughtful in your planning. It almost certainly means you'll have more work to do, because your processes and methods will be more fragmented, and there will be more "moving stuff around" to do.

I feel for you- I've got a basement and all the room I want to employ in a big garage, so as long as we live here I can brew just about any way I want.

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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i brew in an apartment, but have a small balcony and a decent amount of space.

it is more than doable. especially doing partial-boil extract batches. i started in a smaller place with no outdoor space and made it work just fine.

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:47 PM   #6
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I'm an apartment brewer, in about 1100 sq ft. Obviously, I cook in my kitchen and I have a gas cooktop that puts out decent BTUs. I usually boil 3-gallons and top off with tap water. I ferment in my bedroom, just in a corner behind the door where it is dark and out of the way. I keep all my supplies and equipment in a closet and I store my beer while it is conditioning in bottles on the floor of my closet. I cool my wort in the pot in the bathtub with cold water.

So, quite possible. I wished I was back home and had a house and I would have more crap for sure. A wort chiller would be nice. A bigger sink to wash bottles would be nice. A keg setup would be nice. A refrigerator for temp control and to try lagers would be nice. A .... : )

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! I've made up my mind, I'm going to give it a shot. You only live once and I do love my beer.

I heard of people using a mini-fridge for fermenting and I think it'll work best for me, especially since I'm trying to keep things from getting in the way and I'm really concerned about my laundry room being too warm.

One thing that I am lucky for having is a really large kitchen with a deep double sink.

Rico is right though, I will have a lot of moving around to do. But I guess it's a small price to pay. :-)

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Old 09-26-2009, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abroch View Post
I heard of people using a mini-fridge for fermenting and I think it'll work best for me, especially since I'm trying to keep things from getting in the way and I'm really concerned about my laundry room being too warm.
The Haier NuCool is about the smallest footprint mini fridge I have found that is big enough for fermenting. I have two of them on a rack in the corner of our dining area. They work great for fermenting ales. The jury is still out if they have enough cooling power for lagering.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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YES!

I brew in my apartment. I do partial boil, partial mash recipes mostly and I make really good beer. If you have room for a couple buckets, a pot and 50 beers, you can do it. I know people do all-grain apartment brewing, but for the amount of space I have, I'm happy.

I have a closet where I store all my equipment and conditioning brews. I used to ferment in my room (college apartment, who cares). Now I keep my carboys in the 2nd bathroom or in the closet. For temp control, a rubbermaid bucket with some water in it should suit you fine.

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Old 09-26-2009, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C4PNJ4ZZ View Post
Now I keep my carboys in the 2nd bathroom or in the closet. For temp control, a rubbermaid bucket with some water in it should suit you fine.
I've heard of people also using wet towels. How does the bucket work?
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