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Brewing Topics => Introductions => Topic started by: DrT on January 12, 2015, 09:37:02 AM

Title: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: DrT on January 12, 2015, 09:37:02 AM
Teaching chemistry at a college in chilly Michigan is a great reason for me to love brewing beer (or at least I tell my wife that)!

Did extract for a couple of years, two partial mashes, and now I've moved on up to all-grain.  Did my first all-grain on Sunday.

Equipment:
10 gallon igloo mash tun with SS mesh hose as inside filter.
8 gallon brew kettle
5 gallon kettle for heating strike/sparge
25' wort chiller
6.5 gallon plastic primary fermentor
7 gallon glass carboy (secondary)
6.5 gallon plastic bottling bucket with spigot

Looking forward to all your collective experiences!

 - Dr. T.
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: Maine Homebrewer on January 12, 2015, 04:27:39 PM
Do you have a basement or some room that gets cold in the winter? If so, then you have an opportunity to make some lager. I'm able to make three or four batches of lager each winter in my basement. Then I make ale in the spring and fall. Summer is too hot to brew.
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: haerbob3 on January 12, 2015, 08:15:49 PM
Where in MI?
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: DrT on January 14, 2015, 09:41:15 AM
I'm in Alma (not too far from smack-dab in the middle), and yes, my basement is cold.  I don't know what temperature, but in my workshop (basement), I'm probably 50 or below - I'll have to check out the temperature.  Never thought to try and lager, there.  I actually have to bring my fermenter up to the 2nd floor of my house to get into the recommended temps the manufacturers suggest for their yeast.  My wife and I keep our house near 63 in the winter.  Although many people tell me this is fine for ales, since fermentation adds heat (up to 5 degrees or so).  I just want to make sure things don't stall before they even get started :-)
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: haerbob3 on January 14, 2015, 10:46:59 AM
A bit south of ya, Clarkston.  I can do lagers all summer in my basement.  I use a patio stone under the bucket.  Even in the summer the temp doesn't get over 55* in the wort.  The concrete floor & the stone draw the heat out.
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: Brewmex41 on January 14, 2015, 11:27:44 AM
Are you racking from your 6.5 gallon primary to your 7 gallon secondary?
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: DrT on January 15, 2015, 05:50:40 AM
Yes, that's been my process so far.

Are you racking from your 6.5 gallon primary to your 7 gallon secondary?
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: Maine Homebrewer on January 15, 2015, 04:16:25 PM
I use five gallon glass carboys for my secondaries. You want as little head space as possible in there since the yeast isn't producing positive pressure anymore. As a chemistry teacher you know that air volume is sensitive to temperature, so changes in room temperature can suck air (and liquid) in through the lock if there is too much head space.  That has the potential to contaminate the brew.

Based upon that I would suggest using the larger container for primary, and the smaller one for secondary.
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: Brewmex41 on January 15, 2015, 06:33:16 PM
I use five gallon glass carboys for my secondaries. You want as little head space as possible in there since the yeast isn't producing positive pressure anymore. As a chemistry teacher you know that air volume is sensitive to temperature, so changes in room temperature can suck air (and liquid) in through the lock if there is too much head space.  That has the potential to contaminate the brew.

Based upon that I would suggest using the larger container for primary, and the smaller one for secondary.

This is why i was asking
Title: Re: It's COLD in Michigan
Post by: DrT on January 30, 2015, 06:12:46 AM
I use five gallon glass carboys for my secondaries. You want as little head space as possible in there since the yeast isn't producing positive pressure anymore. As a chemistry teacher you know that air volume is sensitive to temperature, so changes in room temperature can suck air (and liquid) in through the lock if there is too much head space.  That has the potential to contaminate the brew.

Based upon that I would suggest using the larger container for primary, and the smaller one for secondary.

I can't say I thought of that, but you're right...  I'll give it a whirl.  AND - I should be able to see a pretty spectacular 'show' during active fermentation, while using the glass carboy for cleanup is rather boring  ;)