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Question for outdoor brewers?

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Hi all,

Did my first full 5 gallon boil Sat but noticed that all kinds of stuff was going in the pot. Looked like pollen, small flying creatures, dust. I kept scooping it out at the very begining while getting to my boil but after I added the malt extract......not sure what was left in the pot. How do you outside brewers protect your wort while boiling? Is there maybe a screen or something I could put on top of the pot while it boil? please advice....thank you!!!

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I brew mine in the garage which is protected somewhat from the wind. I've never had to scoop anything out of the boil. Is there any way that you can get it out of the wind a little bit? Maybe that would help some.

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Not really, dont have a garage. Sucks because I just bought a 9 gallon brew pot. Maybe I can create some kind of a screen?

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You might need to be careful with the screen. It may allow the condensation to gather then drip back into the pot, which would allow the DMS back in also...I think. Someone else may correct me on this.

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I recommend placing a fairly fine screen mesh over the top hole of the fermenter when you're going to pour your wort in. any bugs will filter out, and you don't have to worry about DMS condensing back into your wort during the boil.

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I just keep on brewing. If it goes in on the boil side I don't worry AT ALL. I have boiled leaves, bugs, cat and dog hair and who knows what else.
I try to be careful after the boil, but have still had things go it that I did not want. Swatted a fly in the air only to see him land in the chilled wort, fished him out and fermented on.

Looked over in to the pot two batches ago and noted something on the surface of the chilling wort. Oh yeah, it's the height of the pollen season fool, maybe you should put the lid on. That is the IPA I'm dry hopping in the keg. Every batch has made great beer.

So do what you can to protect it? Just try not worry too much about it. Beer is pretty resilient stuff.

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I was wondering the same thing since I am heading outside for my next brew. The pollen levels here in Louisville are INSANE so I will be in the garage with hopes to prevent some of the junk from getting into my brew. And I will also be practicing the old RDWHAHB method

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Just keep on brewing..................... just look at all the free protein, vitamins & other nutrients you are getting. Just think of all the money you are saving by not going to the health food store. Use a kettle screen to keep out all the exoskeletons ETC.
--Bob

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I just brew, add a wee bit of Irish Moss, give it a good swirl, let it sit for a bit, and generally, the siphon will not pick up the "extra" when I transfew to the fermenter.

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Than you guys........i feel much better now. Especially knowing that someone had a fly in their wort. I guess I will try my best to keep crap out but will try not to stress too much. Im going to google kettle screen.........not sure what that is.

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I try and brew on days with low or no wind, but that's not always possible. Best you can do is to cover up with tin foil or some such when you're chilling the wort and it gets below 160*. Keep the dog poop/dead critter bucket as far away as possible. FWIW, I don't think I've had any infections since brewing outside, despite a few unwanted flying guests, and I definitely had a couple brewing inside. And don't brew under trees. That's a biggie.

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Depending on what the fly landed on before the wort, it just adds flavors, should be ok... LOL :gulp:

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"BlackDuck" post=369701 said:

You might need to be careful with the screen. It may allow the condensation to gather then drip back into the pot, which would allow the DMS back in also...I think. Someone else may correct me on this.

I know you can't put a lid on because of DMS but it suprises me that just a little condensation from a screen would do that.

I wonder if you made a screen that was cone shaped so it was up above the wort if that would prevent condensation?

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Got one I did in Oct or Nov called Yellow Leaf Hefe...for a reason!

Just keep on boiling and any of the solid goobers should settle out in the trub!
Keep the siphon above it and you should be fine! :P

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I got me one of these

IMG_7819.jpg

I have gotten bees, leaves, and other stuff out when transferring to my fermenter. And as an added bonus it areates my wort.

IMAG0221.jpg

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"Gymrat" post=369926 said:

I got me one of these

IMG_7819.jpg

I have gotten bees, leaves, and other stuff out when transferring to my fermenter. And as an added bonus it areates my wort.

IMAG0221.jpg


Got one...thanx. Feels good to hear that I am not alone in this.

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What ever falls in the pot means I just need to use that much less yeast nutrients.

Not sure how big they come, but they do have pan screens that are used when frying bacon and other greasy things. I think the one I have is about 16". But, as long as a bird or toad doesnt fall in my pot, Im not all too concerned especially while in the boiling phase.

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The nice thing about boiling is that it really does kill an awful lot of bad organisms. Once the wort cools it's a lot more vulnerable.

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I forgot what show I saw this on. Some college students brewed beer from the nastiest duck pond they could find. The result the best beer they ever drank!!!

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There's a guy on youtube from Sweden or Germany who used water from his pond. I think he called it Pond Ale or something like that. He wasn't very happy with it but said it was still beer.

I don't brew outside but will likely do some in the future when I give 10 gallons at a time a shot. I have a covered patio but am concerned about the 20-30 minutes of cool down. Not worried, just concerned enough that I wouldn't want to do it on a very windy day.

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I brew inside in the winter and outside most of the year. I am debating the building of an electric brewery now. My stove can boil a 12 gallon batch. It is a little scary 14 gallons of wort in the kettle and still needing to top off a bit. Being the only beer drinker in the house I do not dot it very often. Any way I digress I use both a kettle screen & a screen over the fermenter so the occasional chipmunk or squirrel do not make it in there. I brew under a 200+ year old white oak.

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"Inkleg" post=369719 said:

I just keep on brewing. If it goes in on the boil side I don't worry AT ALL. I have boiled leaves, bugs, cat and dog hair and who knows what else.
I try to be careful after the boil, but have still had things go it that I did not want. Swatted a fly in the air only to see him land in the chilled wort, fished him out and fermented on.

Looked over in to the pot two batches ago and noted something on the surface of the chilling wort. Oh yeah, it's the height of the pollen season fool, maybe you should put the lid on. That is the IPA I'm dry hopping in the keg. Every batch has made great beer.

So do what you can to protect it? Just try not worry too much about it. Beer is pretty resilient stuff.

^This^

If it's big enough to fish out, fish it out. If it isn't....boil it!

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What is this DMS stuff? When I boil with my hop spider I have condensation fall back into my pot but no off flavors thus far

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"yankfan9" post=370015 said:

What is this DMS stuff? When I boil with my hop spider I have condensation fall back into my pot but no off flavors thus far

Hopefully you'll get a more thorough and accurate description here, but for now, my simple understanding is that it's a chemical byproduct that's released by the grains when you mash them. If you don't boil the DMS out of your wort after mashing, you'll end up with an unpleasant off flavor. That's about as far as I can sink my teeth into it.

BTW, I can't believe my eyes when I read about all this stuff falling into the brew pot. I thought I was pretty liberal, but I'm just not comfortable with all of that. I think I'd rather struggle to make 2 LBK batches on the stove than to make one 5 gallon batch with the leaves and the bugs and the birds dropping gifts into it. I finally found my weenie threshold.

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"Joechianti" post=370017 said:

"yankfan9" post=370015 said:

What is this DMS stuff? When I boil with my hop spider I have condensation fall back into my pot but no off flavors thus far

Hopefully you'll get a more thorough and accurate description here, but for now, my simple understanding is that it's a chemical byproduct that's released by the grains when you mash them. If you don't boil the DMS out of your wort after mashing, you'll end up with an unpleasant off flavor. That's about as far as I can sink my teeth into it.

BTW, I can't believe my eyes when I read about all this stuff falling into the brew pot. I thought I was pretty liberal, but I'm just not comfortable with all of that. I think I'd rather struggle to make 2 LBK batches on the stove than to make one 5 gallon batch with the leaves and the bugs and the birds dropping gifts into it. I finally found my weenie threshold.


Exactly to both of you!!! Why is a little bit of condensation going to ruin a giant batch of beer?
Someone please tell why you will boil all kinds of stuff but don't want a bit water to fall back in it.
I'm with Joe, I think I'll stay inside if I can't screen out the fly by's and drop ins'.
My brother was on the phone with customer service from our LHBS and he asked something about all the weird questions she got she said she just hung up from a guy who wanted to know if it was okay to drink the beer he just opened that had a worm in it that was still alive; I KID YOU NOT.

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I use a hop spider also and get a little bit of condensation that drips back in....but if you were to cover the entire pot with a mesh screen, you will get a LOT of condensation that will drip back in. A little bit from 3 bolts on the spider won't make a difference.

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I haven't been able to see it in action but somebody I know purchased one of those big awnings you would use for a party from a garage sale. Instead of using the tarp to cover it he bought a couple of rolls of window screen material and just drapes them over the area he cooks in.

He says a couple of bugs still find their way in but it stops most of the stuff like the leaves and twigs.

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OK I was joking a bit but I don't worry too much about pollen, etc. getting into my beer. I brew under an awning so I don't worry about leaves or birds dropping goodies in. If a fly gets in, which it has in the past, I simply scoop it out with a spoon and move on.

As far as condensation, Joe talked about it above. Boiling drives off DMS which leaves a cooked corn taste to your brew. This is desirable is some styles but in most it is considered a flaw and it can be prominent. Boiling drives it off so if you cover your pot while boiling all that DMS gets captured and re-dropped into your beer. If using a hop spider or something similar I wouldn't give it a second thought. the amount that MAY drip back in will quickly be driven off again so I consider that a non-issue. Brewer's ChoiceTM.

(I gotta stick that in there every now and then for WFIKC :P )

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Would covering the pot with cheesecloth work? When I first contemplated my alternatives for a boil venue, that was my thought for an outdoor location.

All in all, though, I'm going to stick with what I've got. The only upside for me would be achieving a faster boil. The downside would be an even tougher trip to the basement carrying a pot of hot wort.

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Same here, Dave. I'm really struggling with evolving to outdoor brewing. Making bigger batches would be wonderful, but I'm weighing the gains of larger batches against all the other concerns, and I'm just not there yet. It's already so hot I don't even want to stand outside, let alone work out there over a boiling kettle. I got no taste for flies, bird droppings, leaves and whatever else falling into my brew pot. I can't see myself going back and forth from the backyard to the kitchen sink for every little thing. Maybe I'm just a weenie, but like you, I'm gonna stand pat on what I got going right now. If I had a basement or an enclosed patio or even available garage space, I would love to set something up. But alas, for now, the kitchen stove and sink is all I got, and I'm gonna make the best of it. I can just dream that someday I have the resources to create a bigger setup.

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I think as long as steam can escape you are fine, so cheese cloth I think would be ok. I've done 3/4th covered pots to maintain boil due to lame heat source, and had no DMS issues.

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Finally figured out what a kettle screen is and think I will purchase one. The bazooka screen on my kettle makes a lot of sense.

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Been closely following the Debris vs DMS Debate (DDD) as I will be doing my first outside batch tomorrow. I've decided to split the baby and will set up under a mosquito net that I bought for my daughter's bed. It will give the operation a Breaking Bad type of feel, thinking about an appropriate soundtrack.

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"try0451" post=370711 said:

Been closely following the Debris vs DMS Debate (DDD) as I will be doing my first outside batch tomorrow. I've decided to split the baby and will set up under a mosquito net that I bought for my daughter's bed. It will give the operation a Breaking Bad type of feel, thinking about an appropriate soundtrack.

Hahahahah!! I want one!!!

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