Recently, some friends of mine invited me to a brewing event. It was scheduled for January 2nd and that time of year in the midwest, the weather can be a bit of a crap shoot. Last year, it was 70 degrees on New Years weekend. However, this year I awoke to single digit temperatures.
I confirmed that they were still planning on brewing the beer (they brew outdoors in the garage) and made the trek to the event. It was kind of like going to a football tailgate party without a football game (or deer camp for city boys, as a friend of mine put it). There were lots of guys hanging out, BBQing, smoking cigars, and enjoying the fruits of previous brew days. But it was COLD! It never got above 15 degrees all day and we kept the garage at a toasty 25-30 degrees with the help of a propane heater and the burners under the brew kettle.
I don't know much about brewing beer (my partner is the beer guy, I'm the BBQ guy), but this was an impressive setup. Most homebrewers brew beer in batches of about 5 gallons or so. These guys have been doing this for awhile and they've built their own brewing aparatus that will brew 25 gallons per batch.
When I arrived, the wort was just about done. It didn't take long to cool it down given the temperatures outside.
They poured the beer into carbouys to age and it was all over but the clean up.
Hopefully, I'll get an invitation to one of the brew days when it's a little warmer. I'm not much for being outside for this long in the cold, unless I'm tending my BBQ pit. ;-)