Cold China Brew - Tips for Cold Weather Brewing - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Cold China Brew - Tips for Cold Weather Brewing

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-08-2013, 11:20 PM   #1
beerspitnight
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
Beijing, China
Posts: 316
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts



Hi Folks,
We are almost all set to brew an American stout on Friday night. It is really cold here in Beijing and we'll be brewing outside. High temps for the day are 37f and lows of 15f. I suspect it will be be below freezing when we brew, so I am looking for some suggestions to make sure the process works as it is supposed to.
We brew 10 gallon all grain batches.

Possible Issues:

Frozen water in the hose that we use for the wort chiller and for cleanup.
Solution: I bought a new hose and will keep it inside until it is time to cool down the wort.

Cold Gas Tank - we brewed a couple of weeks ago in the cold, and we lost pressure on the gas tank due to the cold.
Possible Solution:I will keep the tank inside until it is time to turn on the burner, but is there anything else that I can do to ensure that the tank doesn't get "too cold"?

Mashing - We kept temps sorta consistant the last time we brewed in the cold, but it will be even colder on Friday night. Any ideas on ensuring that our mash temps remain consistant? We have a digital thermometer that is connected to a logging program on the laptop (via usb), so we are able to constantly monitor temps.

Cold Brewers - solution = a fire pit in the back yard.

Does anyone see any additional issues that we might have to deal with during the brew?

Thanks!
__________________
Dirty City Brewing Collective
"American Beer with Socialist Characteristics"
Primary 1 - Year of the Snake Stout
Primary 2 - Liam's Celebration Rye Ale 2013
Keg 1 -American XXXXXIPA- Keg 2 -Honey Porter Keg 3 - Sanitizer
On Deck Black IPA -

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #2
BorealBrewer
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 255
Liked 52 Times on 39 Posts


Never brewed outside in the cold with propane, but as a proud Manitoban, I've grilled enough meat below zero I may be able to help...

Be very careful with a propane tank indoors - they vent if they got warm, and then you've got propane drifting around inside...not fun.

Icefishing, I use a tub of warm (20C, not hot water!) to warm up the tank and keep it warm as I grill.

You could always use the firepit that's keeping you warm to keep some water warm for the propane tank.

Have fun! Don't let winter grind you down!
__________________
Boreal Brewer

-"Son, you can't sing or dance, I don't like your writing, and you can't draw a picture to save your life. But you make a fine beer!" An 80 year old friend

2
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
duboman
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts


Put the tank in a large bucket of hot water and keep it warm

Wrap blankets around the mash tun to minimize heat loss

Get a good bottle of schnapps to keep YOU warm!
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Put the tank in a large bucket of hot water and keep it warm

Wrap blankets around the mash tun to minimize heat loss

Get a good bottle of schnapps to keep YOU warm!
^^^^ plus add some really hot water to your mash tun to pre heat it. then pour it out just before u mash
__________________
Good people drink good beer - Hunter S. Thompson
Duct tape. The handyman's secret weapon - Red Green

Naughty Kitty Brewing EST 1993
Primary 1 - Saison
Primary 2 - Centennial IPA
Primary 3 -
Secondary 1 -
Secondary 2 -
Bottled - Nogginfogger DIPA, Feral Red Ale

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2013, 11:59 PM   #5
mikescooling
 
mikescooling's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2012
Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,988
Liked 266 Times on 201 Posts


You use more gas when it's cold (I take the tanks inside to warm up) and also run the burners hotter and if it's windy, you have to set up a wind block. Use lids for the pots, wok lids fit keegle's great.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 12:05 AM   #6
Doc_Trax
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Posts: 8

Can you have your mashtun inside out of the cold? That would probably work much better.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 12:44 AM   #7
beerspitnight
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
Beijing, China
Posts: 316
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_Trax View Post
Can you have your mashtun inside out of the cold? That would probably work much better.
Thanks for all the advice, people! I'll have to find some type of blanket to use as I don't reckon my wife will be keen with us using one of her blankets!
Pre-heating the mash tun is a good idea as well. We usually add a bit of hot water to warm it up, we'll use more next time.

And we don't use propane over here - it is liquid gas, but point taken! Into a warm water bath it will go!

Thanks folks!
__________________
Dirty City Brewing Collective
"American Beer with Socialist Characteristics"
Primary 1 - Year of the Snake Stout
Primary 2 - Liam's Celebration Rye Ale 2013
Keg 1 -American XXXXXIPA- Keg 2 -Honey Porter Keg 3 - Sanitizer
On Deck Black IPA -

BorealBrewer Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 12:54 AM   #8
BorealBrewer
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 255
Liked 52 Times on 39 Posts


More out of curiosity - what kind of liquid gas are you burning?

As I said, mostly curious, but I've used enough different camp stoves in the cold to possibly have a trick or two to share, if I know what fuel you're burning.
__________________
Boreal Brewer

-"Son, you can't sing or dance, I don't like your writing, and you can't draw a picture to save your life. But you make a fine beer!" An 80 year old friend

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 12:57 AM   #9
aiptasia
 
aiptasia's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Them Scary Woods, FL
Posts: 3,487
Liked 542 Times on 479 Posts


Good luck, hope the pipes don't freeze.
__________________
Paranormal Brewing
Beer so good, it's frightening.

2014: Seven Heavens Series One: Vilon, Mystic Melomel, Skeeter Pee.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2013, 12:58 AM   #10
remandsager
 
remandsager's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Philomath, OR
Posts: 65
Liked 14 Times on 10 Posts


Insulation - of whatever kind (blanket, etc...) around what needs to stay warm... Mash tun, propane tank, people, etc...

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cold Weather Brewing Tips amishland All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 01-09-2010 11:20 PM
Cold weather brewing is... Zacharomyces General Beer Discussion 10 01-06-2010 07:12 PM
Brewing in Cold Weather permo General Techniques 13 10-20-2009 10:32 PM
Brewing outside in cold weather hopsoda General Techniques 4 01-21-2009 07:49 PM
Brewing in this cold weather is... Bulls Beers General Beer Discussion 6 11-11-2007 10:12 PM


Forum Jump