Why brewing beer in the winter is great!

Home brewing beer this time of year is pretty ideal. When the weather is cold and dry there are many perks to home brewing in your house.

The first perk is the most practical one – brewing in cold weather means that the beer is fermenting in cold weather so you probably will not have to worry about the fermentation temperature getting too warm, like you do in the summer. When I have tried to brew in the summer in my un-air conditioned house the fermentation temperature has gotten too high and the beer has had a buttery flavor from bad compounds that form in that situation. There is an ideal fermentation temperature for yeast, and it is different for each strain of yeast, but usually that range is something like 60 to 72 degrees fahrenheit. It is easy to keep the temperature in this range during the winter.
The second perk to brewing in the winter is the humidity! If you live somewhere that gets really cold and dry during the winter, like the northern plains of the united states, you will appreciate all of that water boiling into the air in your house.
Finally, the third reason it is great to brew in the winter is the free time. If it is frigid cold outside you will not want to be outside throwing a ball around or going for a walk or bike ride, or even doing yard work. You’ll be indoors. Instead of watching tv all winter like everybody else, brew some great beer!
What is your favorite thing about brewing beer in the winter?

Wort Chillers

One of the easiest ways to improve your home brewing supply arsenal is to buy a wort chiller. This allows you to skip the ice bath for some equipment that will cool your wort faster and with lower chance of infecting the beer.

There are three types of wort chillers:

1. Immersion Wort Chiller

Immersion chillers are copper tubing wound into a cylindrical shape. You place the tubing in the wort and run cold water through it, which pulls the heat out of the wort.

2. Counterflow Wort Chiller

Counterflow wort chillers have two sets of tubing, one inside the other. Wort runs through the inside copper tubing and cold water runs through the outside tubing in the opposite direction. This means that the wort it always running past ever-colder water as it passes through the chiller.
These chillers are more difficult to clean than immersion chillers but they are more efficient, so you can cool a larger batch of beer with them in a reasonable amount of time.

3. Plate Wort Chiller

Plate chillers Are probably the most efficient style of chiller. They function like a counterflow chiller, but instead of tubing the chiller is composed of a box with a bunch of little plates inside. Cold water passes by one side of each plate and hot wort passes by the other side. These are the most compact wort chillers and they are every efficient but they are the most difficult to clean.

Do some research about wort chillers. If in doubt, stop by your local home brewing supply store and they will be able to help you find the chiller that is right for you.