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Is there a good time of year?

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Tsuyako

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Is there a better time for brewing specific beers durring the year? Like should some be brewed in summer and others brewed in winter?
 

Parker36

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Yes, many people brew certain beers in different seasons or time periods, but with modern cooling/heating and long term storability of ingredients, it is possible to brew virtually any beer in any season.

There are a few reasons for brewing a beer in a certain season (and they all kind of relate to each other). One is for temperature. Many people brew beers that ferment at higher temps in the summer, low ferm temp beer in winter, and in between in fall and spring and for many of us without special rooms for fermentation, we start with the ambient temp in our homes.

Another reason is because many people like to have certain beers in certain seasons and sometimes that means looking down the road a little to know if you want an Oktoberfest, you need to get started now.

Going even further, some of our beers are specific to harvesting seasons - for example fresh hop ales, or various fruit flavored beers.

There is some intersection between these reasons and many lead back to the history of brewing that style. For example some beers may need a long time to age in cool temperatures, so are brewed in fall, then sit for the long cool winter and early spring, then come out as refreshing Pilsners in the early summer.
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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So I do not have room inside my home to do this so I'll need to work in the garage. And there is no temperature control in there. So if I wanted to brew a nutbrown ale then start now or wait until it is warmer?
 

Parker36

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Well it really depends on how warm your garage and what temp you want to ferment at. There are a couple of ways of keeping your beer slightly warmer or slightly cooler than ambient that are fairly cheap and effective.
 

JMSetzler

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Another reason is because many people like to have certain beers in certain seasons and sometimes that means looking down the road a little to know if you want an Oktoberfest, you need to get started now.
+1

I like lighter beers in the warmer times of year... darker and heavier beers in the colder months...
 

Homercidal

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To keep your fermenter warmer, you can place it inside a cooler or plastic tote filled with water, and add a cheap aquarium heater to warm the water, which will warm the wort.
You can also purchase a "Brew Belt" that wraps around the fermenter and keeps it warm.
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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To keep your fermenter warmer, you can place it inside a cooler or plastic tote filled with water, and add a cheap aquarium heater to warm the water, which will warm the wort.
You can also purchase a "Brew Belt" that wraps around the fermenter and keeps it warm.
Wow that's cool! Whichever is cheaper I will do! I can get to -12* F in my garage.
 

llazy_llama

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A brew belt or aquarium heater isn't going to be enough heat. You'll need to experiment with different methods on a carboy filled with water. Try using the tub with multiple heaters... I'm not really sure what to tell you if the room is -12. Best thing would be to bring the carboy inside.
 

lx302

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Wow, -12 F. You going to need a lot of heat.
Ale's ferment between 60-75, so you might want to try a lager if at all.
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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Wow, -12 F. You going to need a lot of heat.
Ale's ferment between 60-75, so you might want to try a lager if at all.
Well we had a really wierd winter here in Seattle. It's not normally that cold. I'm thinking of getting my first batch going in at the end of march begining of april so it wil be warmer then. Wondering if I should still start with a Lager...
 

Bluelinebrewer

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Surely you can find a little bit of space in your house to put a tiny little 5 gallon fermenter...... no?? Sometimes we all have to make sacrifices, throw out some food and make room for the beer....... :)
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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Surely you can find a little bit of space in your house to put a tiny little 5 gallon fermenter...... no?? Sometimes we all have to make sacrifices, throw out some food and make room for the beer....... :)
Keeping it in the garage was not my idea. My mother just doens't want the house smelling like hops for a month or two (or constantly) and since it is her house I must respect that.
 

BierMuncher

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Keeping it in the garage was not my idea. My mother just doens't want the house smelling like hops for a month or two (or constantly) and since it is her house I must respect that.
You'd be lucky if it smelled like hops. More often than not it will smell like a 4-month old corpse crawled in to your house and laid a fresh doog on the carpet.
 
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Tsuyako

Tsuyako

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You'd be lucky if it smelled like hops. More often than not it will smell like a 4-month old corpse crawled in to your house and laid a fresh doog on the carpet.
Then it will most deffinitly not be in the house.
 

EvilTOJ

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Keeping it in the garage was not my idea. My mother just doens't want the house smelling like hops for a month or two (or constantly) and since it is her house I must respect that.
The hops and malt smell will only happen during the boil (if you boil inside). I don't think I've ever had a fermentation 'smell' longer than 3 days, and that was with multiple fermenters in a small bedroom. It's not very pervasive at all. I think it'd be worth asking if you can leave the fermenter in the house (many people use closets as their fermentation chamber) for a batch or two to see how it smells. By then the weather will be warmer and you can leave them in the garage if need be.

-12º? What kind of biological experiments are you people running up there? :D
 

zacster

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You won't smell it. I have a batch in a tiny pantry with the doors closed and you can't tell there's anything in there. I have to put my nose to the airlock to smell it at all.

My kids complain on brew day that the house smells like a brewery, which it does. But even that settles out.

If you want to make a lager without a refrigerator, you have to start when the temps are going to be in the 30s for a few weeks.
 
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