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Cold weather brewing

Anyone have any advice for brewing outside in the cold? We have a 3 keggle system and can’t brew inside, besides trying to block the wind and covering the kegs with a warm blanket, are there any hardy outdoor brewers willing to pass on some knowledge?

Move to a warmer area…

I live in NMN and my last brewing day was -5F out. I refuse to brew outside in the winter. If you need to, you may want to consider brewing in the garage, or in a shed with the doors open.

Bundle up, keep warm, consider mashing inside.

MN here as well. +1 to the mashing in doors if possible. We have a 10Gallon cooler for a mashtun and while it takes longer to heat up the water on the stove top the time indoors is well worth it. Also figure out a way to make it work in the garage; it’s better in there with no wind and the burners give off some heat.

I have yet to try this but in an episode of Northern Brewers BrewingTV one of the guys just took some hot wort out and then mixed in some scotch to drink. They said it was good and was better than drinking a cold beer in cold weather.

Drink heavily, stand close/over your kettle, and a torpedo heater never hurts. I sometimes have issues with my CFChiller freezing, but most times the hot wort thaws 'er out. I need to get my butt in gear and get going on my St. Patty’s Day beers.

Garage brew.

Yeah brew in the garage. Im in Sacramento California so the coldest it gets here is like 40 maybe mid 30’s F. Nowhere near you Minnesota brewers, but its still cold enough to ruin mash temps. I mash inside and boil in the garage. You could always get a space heater?

Garage with good ventilation (carbon monoxide poisoning is no fun).

Draw off a little nice hot wort, add a little bourbon, to help keep warm.

If you use brewing software like Beersmith and cooler mash and lauter tuns, be sure to adjust your equipment temperature to the ambient temperature. It will make a big difference in your water temperatures.

Wear jeans instead of shorts, sneakers instead of sandals, and keep a hoodie handy just in case the temp before sunrise is <60F. And watch out for the occasional hungry and persistent bee.

I do everything I can indoors and just boil outside (not everyone has a garage). I’m just not making beer if its really cold. I would just do an extract indoors if the bitter cold sticks around a while and wanted to brew.

+1 on the mash inside. I mass and spage inside then drag the kettle out to our porch to boil. i dont have a garage so i usually try and make a wind break out of 1 of the cars if possible. as for chilling i use a sump pump in a 5 gal pail to power my immersion chiller. just add icicles and snow lol! i try to just do partial mashes in the winter that way i can stay inside the whole time!

I also mash inside then run my wert out to the keggle on my patio. To block the wind I invested in several cement pavers to buil a wind wall. so far the only part that sucks is chilling the wert but its only 10 minnutes of suffering before im at pitching temp. for this I recomend a down parka and think worlds deadliest catch lol! I also live in unfavorable brewing conditions where the temps can get as low as -35 it just takes some creativity and the need to want to do it. also if you have allot of snow you can build a wind wall and cover the top with a tarp. with this set up it feels like 40 degrees warmer in the shelter. just make sure the back side slants up enough to allow the steam to escape. hope tht helps.

I love brewing outside, hot or cold. Lots of beer, radio’s loud and a big cigar.

I just brew on the stove. No igloo building for me, although if i wanted too, i couldn’t as it hasn’t snowed worth a damn this year.

This has been the most mild winter for Nebraska, I have been able to brew in the 30-40s. I have a small garage and I worry about CO so I brew outside. I watched the episode with Hot Scotchies but did not have scotch. So I made a Hot Amaretto. It was de-lish.

I have some 2 gallon pails from the gas station “bakery” that I partially fill to make ice. Add this to the 5 gallon pail for cooling power.

When I do winter brews like I will tomorrow, I bring all of the hoses for the wort chiller inside the house so that they stay defrosted. Nothing worse than frozen hosen. Oh, and make sure the outlet from the chiller hose doesn’t flood the driveway and make a skating rink. :roll:

I’m in Wisconsin and it’s been right around 2 F. When it’s this cold, I pretty much only do extracts and I boil in my breezeway with a man door cracked, tank outside the door. Sometimes I fire up that torpedo heater (propane fired) and life is good. She eats gas tho(kicks out 150,000 btu), so usage is limited. Sometimes the burner heat is enough to get me thru. I find long johns and two pairs of socks to be a great help. And ya, I’m ready for spring!

I brew in the garage with the door half open.

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