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Old 10-07-2010, 04:28 AM   #1
jfr1111
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Default Brewing outside in winter

Canadian Tire has their turkey fryer at 59$ right now: 58k BTU and 30qt pot. It's tempting, but I do not have a garage. I do have a little tool shed, but it's one of those crappy vinyl and plastic ones and I also have a bunch of paint and assorted crap in there (ie. lawnmower). Too much stuff to move and nowhere to put it Plus, you know, open flame in tiny enclosed space with boiling liquid...

I do have a nice patio outside wich is somewhat sheltered from the wind, but... it's outside and temps can get down to 0 Celcius in November. -20 in Januray is a regular occurence.

Will I still be able to brew outside ? I figure that wort cooling will be a breeze (throw in snowbank, come back 2 hours later), but can I get a good roaring boil or will I spend 40$ of propane every brew ? The cold fingers and feet I can manage since I like to be outside, I'm just worried about the logistics and the cost

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Old 10-07-2010, 04:54 AM   #2
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I don't think it'll be a problem. I'm from northern Illinois and we get fairly cold weather too. I brew in a heated garage, but I've done it outside. As long as you're shielded from the wind, you should be okay.

I'm not sure about sticking beer in a snowbank though. Two hours is way too long to chill a beer. I tried it once and it took about 6 hours to cool the beer. The problem is...the snow is cold, but it also insulates the kettle once it gets hot enough to melt and freezes again. Before I had a wort chiller, I used to fill a tub of water and throw snow in it to cool the water down. That worked great...but the snowbank sucked.

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Old 10-07-2010, 05:35 AM   #3
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+1 on the tub of water with snow added. I tried the snow bank once and quickly realized that snow is a great insulator Get a rubber maid tote, put some water in, stick the pot in the water, and shovel snow into the water as needed.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:16 PM   #4
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I live in Quebec as well (Gatineau) and I am facing the exact same problem. I am trying to get as many brews in as possible right now before the cold sets in. After it gets too cold I was thinking of doing a few festa brews to hold me over until the spring. Festa Brews are pre-made all grain wort that you just add yeast to so you don't have to make your own wort. Depending on where you are in Quebec you can get them in the Montreal area.

http://www.magnotta.com/Festabrew/Wort_B.aspx

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:37 PM   #5
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Great question. I live in Northern Ontario as was furiously trying to brew as much as possible to get me through the winter. I was thinking of sticking with extract through the winter and brewing on the stove if need be.

As to that Turkey Fryer at Canadian Tire. If it's the one I think you are talking about, I heard it has a 10min. timer that shuts off, and you have to keep restarting it. Just check before you grab it.. I'm considering the same one as I'm borrowing a fryer from my dad, but the wort is making a mess of it so I'd like to get my own.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:43 PM   #6
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I actually have the CT turkey fryer and it does have a 20min timer on it so you have to remember to reset the timer or the flame goes out.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varroa View Post
I actually have the CT turkey fryer and it does have a 20min timer on it so you have to remember to reset the timer or the flame goes out.

Thanks for the clarification. Do you like it? Is it hot enough for home brewing?

I'm wondering too, it looks like you can remove the cage on top of the burner? My only thought is if someone wanted to upgrade to a bigger pot/keggle, etc.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
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I never bothered to install the cage, it looked like it was more hassle then it was worth (the burner and stand needs to be assembled). It boils a 4 gallon batch pretty fast (10 - 15 mins max) so it is plenty fast. The pot is OK but nothing special, it is made from aluminium and is pretty thin. For my first kit I can't complain but I am already looking at upgrading the pot in the near future.

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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OK cool. Well I might just have to pick one up.

I'm assuming you can control the amount of heat?

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Old 10-07-2010, 12:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elproducto View Post
OK cool. Well I might just have to pick one up.

I'm assuming you can control the amount of heat?
Yes, it has a full regulator on the hose at the tank end. You can go from a full 6 inch jet flame to a small cigarette lighter flame.
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