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Brewing in cold weather

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Rockindaddy

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We had a nice snow last night which I had anticipated in order to brew today. Some things I noticed that were definite advantages:

1) Easier to cool the wort down after boil with available snow!
2) Less chance of infection with freezing temperatures. (I think)
3) Was able to cool down my yeast starter faster.
4) Everything seemed to go faster with the cold weather.
5) Had fun watching football while brewing!

All in all it was a great day!

BTW: I was brewing a Brown Christmas Ale. Used 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of ground clove at 10 minutes left in the boil. I took a sip after my gravity reading and it tasted a little strong on the cinnamon. I'm hoping that dissipates after the fermenting.

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Hackwood

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I too am enjoying the cooler weather. I'm in Phoenix so no threat or benefit of snow, but when using an immersion chiller and your ground water is 80-90degrees it takes time and an ice bath....... I brewed last night and easily shaved and hour off brew time with having the cooler weather and water.
 

And1129

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I brewed outside in the rain last Tuesday! It didn't help me out very much, in fact I think it rained into my sparge water, but I felt very dedicated to my hobby!
 

timrox1212

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Gotta love the weather here in Michigan. Going to be brewing outside on Friday and it will be in the 30's. Going to be fun! Gives me more reason to sample some older brews while brewing.
 

paperairplane

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takes longer to get the water up to temp, but chilling with 40* hose water definitely speeds things up - down to 11F tonight here in WV
 

Arrheinous

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Just make sure any plate chiller hoses remain dry and empty outside while you wait 60 minutes for the boil to finish in 20 degree weather. :drunk:
 

seph

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Yeah, I love winter brewing. Last winter, several times I had the fortune to have feet of snow piled up outside my basement door to drop my boil kettle into. It doesn't take long for it to sink down in and start cooling off. It can really make up for the time lost in getting the water/wort up to temp.
 

Grannyknot

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So, on a related topic, we were standing outside brewing in the 24* temps yesterday and there was some debate about how colder weather effected boil off rates. I assumed colder temps would lead to more volume boiling off. My friend argued that it didn't matter. Anyone have the answer?
 

plumber_bob

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I brewed yesterday, 34 - 36* outside. As long as the wind stays down I don't do too bad.

Had to make an aluminum foil lid for the HLT and BK. Took a bit longer for the heat ups. But the speed in cool down made up for it.

I plan on more brewing during the nice days that are above 32*, than last year around this time. Last year I waited for 40+ temps before I'd brew. Pipeline ran dry a few times, and that sucked. :(

pb
 

Arrheinous

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So, on a related topic, we were standing outside brewing in the 24* temps yesterday and there was some debate about how colder weather effected boil off rates. I assumed colder temps would lead to more volume boiling off. My friend argued that it didn't matter. Anyone have the answer?
Typical boil-off rate has been 1.33 gal/hr. Yesterday was definitely 2 gal/hr so I'd have to say you get a boost.
 

jeff13

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Warmer air can hold more water vapor because of a lower atmospheric vapor pressure. Thus the transition of liquid to gas is easier in hot weather that is dry. If it a hot humid day compared to a cold dry day, the hot day still should evaporate water easier. It may look like more is evaporating on a cold day because the temperature causes the water vapor to condense almost instantly like when you can see your breath on a cold day. The time it takes to reach a boil can overcome the temperature dependent rate of evaporation and is probably the reason for more boil off.
 

Homercidal

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Brewed in the garage on Saturday. Temps went from 25F in the morning down to less than 22F. And it was BLOWING.

Luckily I am now boiling on electricity, so we kept the door shut. We decided to pass up on the chill due to the freezing temps and the frozen hose, and I just left the kettles in the garage to chill. Probably would have done better placing them outside in the wind, but I didn't want the lids to blow away!

All in all not a bad brewday. Next batch will probably be indoors though.
 

Hello

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Well, if the weather forecast remains the same then I'll be brewing in cold weather come Thursday. If the wind isn't bad I'll brew on my deck but if it is, I'll have to brew just inside my garage. :D

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WI_Wino

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I brewed last night (setup is basic propane burner in garage). Usually it takes me about 20-25 minutes to chill down a 5 gallon batch to 60 F with a 3/8" - 25' immersion chiller using my well water. I typically let the run off go down the driveway. Well it was -6 F last night and the wife would have been PO'ed if I made the driveway into a skating rink. I figured it was cold enough to let nature do the cooling. Wrong. Took over an hour to chill. I went out often to stir and stir and stir. It was melting the snow and warming up the blacktop so I kept moving it around, looks like an alien landing site outside the garage. So now I need to get a longer hose and have the run off go to the lawn. Then deal with a frozen hose afterwards. Grr...
 

justkev52

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So, on a related topic, we were standing outside brewing in the 24* temps yesterday and there was some debate about how colder weather effected boil off rates. I assumed colder temps would lead to more volume boiling off. My friend argued that it didn't matter. Anyone have the answer?
I set my boil off to 1.5 gallons per hour in the winter. 1 gallon per hour in the summer. It will definitely boil off more in the winter.
 

Arrheinous

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I brewed last night (setup is basic propane burner in garage). Usually it takes me about 20-25 minutes to chill down a 5 gallon batch to 60 F with a 3/8" - 25' immersion chiller using my well water. I typically let the run off go down the driveway. Well it was -6 F last night and the wife would have been PO'ed if I made the driveway into a skating rink. I figured it was cold enough to let nature do the cooling. Wrong. Took over an hour to chill. I went out often to stir and stir and stir. It was melting the snow and warming up the blacktop so I kept moving it around, looks like an alien landing site outside the garage. So now I need to get a longer hose and have the run off go to the lawn. Then deal with a frozen hose afterwards. Grr...
I did the same thing when I brewed outdoors last month.

The cold's trying too hard to kill you to also chill down the wort at the same time.
 
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