Cold Weather Brewing

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Cold Weather Brewing

Postby billd220 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:32 pm

Here is a question for all of you in Northern climates.

Im about to start my 5th brew...All of the others I've made have been either in the spring, summer or fall when it was warm enough outside to boil outside. Now its cold but I don't want that to stop me.

I have an electric glass top stove, but I've read its best to not boil on an electric stove because it burns the wort. I also know that using a propane burner inside is not safe. What do all of you do when you want to brew in the cold temperatures? (its supposed to be about 15 deg. F this weekend)

Any feedback would be appreciated.
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What I do ...

Postby billvelek » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:41 pm

To conserve propane (which is more expensive than natural gas), I use my natural gas stove in my kitchen to bring my wort very close to boiling. I also happen to have a large piece of spare plywood that I brace to form a windbreak, however, I have heard of serious brewers who actually fabricate something to surround their outdoor burners. I also put a lid on my pot and check it occasionally as it approaches boil, and then I slide it off so that about 75% of the pot is still covered. I have heard of brewers who have insulated their kettles by wrapping different fire-resistant things around the kettle, but I've never tried that. Actually, I don't recall ever brewing outside when it was below freezing, so my hat is off to you. With a high enough capacity burner, you'll probably still be alright, but might burn up a lot of propane. Let us know how it turns out.

Cheers.

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electric stove no problem

Postby warthog » Fri Jan 26, 2007 1:51 pm

i have brewed many a batch on my electric stove (also a glass top). absolutely no issues if you do all grain. the scorching is a problem when you are doing extract. the concentrated extract sinks to the bottom and can burn there before it completely dissolves. there are a couple of ways to deal with this. one is to stir a lot until the syrup dissolves, or pre-warm and pre-dilute the extract before adding it to the boil. i have done both, and have had no problems with scorching/caramelization.
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Postby Swany » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:23 pm

I brew partial mash on my glass top electric stove with no problems. With liquid extract I soak the container in hot water in the sink while I am steeping the grain. After I am finished mashing I add the warmed extract and dissolve it in the wort before bringing up the temp for boiling. I have never had a scorching issue using this method.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:44 am

I've brewed on my deck in temps down to 10*F. If it gets any colder I move the brewstand into the garage, if possible. It's really just a matter of your own personal comfort. I've read of brewers brewing outside in sub zero weather, so the actual temp isn't that big a factor. As Bill mentioned wind could be a problem. You need to shield the kettle as well as the burner. Depending on how many BTU's your burner puts out the wind blowing on the kettle could really tax its ability to keep a decent boil going.
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