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Outdoor/propane boiling question

As I ponder whether to go propane burner or not in the future I have a question for outdoor/propane brewers.

Does brewing outdoors increase the chance for rogue elements to infect a batch? I know some folks even have outdoor wort chiller setups, which seems to beg the same question.

While I understand cleanliness/sanitation is the constant watchword, is outdoors just as “safe” as indoors - in terms of airborne contamination risks?

I have been told there are more bacteria and mold spores per square foot indoors than there are outdoors. this is because of the confined space and the lack of wind and space to disperse the organisms as they multiply.
so with reasonable care, i don’t worry about infection much, other than the errant bird dropping or pollen particle.
remember the only time your beer can become infected is after the wort cools to 180-120* and below.

100% sanitation is impossible. The trick is to pitch a large cell count of the bacteria (yeast) that you want in the wort.

3K years ago, all brewing was done outdoors. It’s not an issue. Clean/sanitized fermentors are more important.

:cheers:

I’m less concerned about the little things as the larger things. I snagged one of those frying pan screens that was the same diameter as my kettle. The DME gets out, while bugs and leaves stay out.

Edit: Err, DMS. Letting DME out would be less than ideal.

[quote=“pashusa”]I have been told there are more bacteria and mold spores per square foot indoors than there are outdoors. this is because of the confined space and the lack of wind and space to disperse the organisms as they multiply.
so with reasonable care, i don’t worry about infection much, other than the errant bird dropping or pollen particle.
remember the only time your beer can become infected is after the wort cools to 180-120* and below.[/quote]

+1 on all points!

The screens are great, or you can strap a towel over the top of the kettle. Keeps the bird turds out.

I’ve heard there are lots of spores and other stuff, but usually it has to “ride” on dirt or dust. If you have a small amount of dust (and it only matters when you are below pasturization temperatures), then not a lot of worry.

I do wish I could have Star-San misters all throughout my house to kill any airborne stuff. :slight_smile:

I actually think most people introduce infection after primary fermentation than on brew day when their batch is going into the fermenter or cooling. I think this happens to people who like to open up the fermenters and check the beer too much. I learned a lesson in patience this way…

I wouldnt worry about the great outdoors. Its easier to clean up, possibilities for infection arent any worse and a propane burner brings your wort to a boil quicker.

I have made several AG batches outside in my backyard and i would say my back yard has a lot of plants and vegetation. I have never had a single infection, I do everything outside including mashing, lautering, boiling, cooling, and pitching the yeast. I even had a light sprinkle when i was cooling my beer recently and there is nothing wrong with my beer so far. I would suggest if you can find an area outdoors away from trees and plants that are taller than the top of your kettle or invest in a screen. I normally try to find an area that has a natural windbreak so i don’t have to worry about things getting blown in. Importantly as long as nothing falls into your kettle when you are done cooling your beer will be fine.

My outdoor brew setup and my logo… I meant to post these the other day with my reply, but couldn’t get them off my phone until now. My logo isn’t very creatively branded (name+brewery). I’ve been thinking of changing the name to Tailgate Brew, or something like that, in honor of my brewing bench. The bed of my Toyota is quite sticky from the many many gallons of brews that have occurred back there :slight_smile:

@ clifford
That is perhaps the most beautiful thing i have ever seen. Brewing off the back of your Toyota T100? I would love to brew off the back of my 2010 Tacoma, but I baby my truck way too much. Ahaha it is like having a mobile brewery. If I take a road trip and decided to brew on the way i will be thinking of your setup.

[quote=“andjenliang”]@ clifford
That is perhaps the most beautiful thing i have ever seen. Brewing off the back of your Toyota T100? I would love to brew off the back of my 2010 Tacoma, but I baby my truck way too much. Ahaha it is like having a mobile brewery. If I take a road trip and decided to brew on the way i will be thinking of your setup.[/quote]

Thanks :slight_smile: It’s actually a 1984 Toyota 4x4 (think Marty McFly, but one year older). Solid axle, manual lock hubs, and a brewery in the back? Why yes, it is what every boy needs…

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