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Not having any cooling mechanism for my fermenter(s), this time of year I can get more favorable temperatures outside than inside.

I'm specifically talking about ciders in glass containers, but I'm also curious about hopped beer in glass and plastic containers. (hops in glass outside is obviously bad due to UV exposure)

Is there any reason I shouldn't ferment outside, or cold crash outside?
At what time in the fermentation process do I need to worry about temperature swings?
UV exposure for hopped and non-hopped fermentations?

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I'd be worried about temperature swings through the whole process. Regardless of fermentable product. – brewchez Aug 17 '12 at 22:27
If the question was instead "Is fermenting outside a bad idea?", the answer would be YES. – hartski Aug 20 '12 at 17:29

if you are comfortable with the temperature variances, then making cider outside should be ok. Although you should cover in a tarpaulin or other thick plastic sheet - the UV radiation may kill the yeast, or at least reduce it's capacity.

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other alternatives are large cardboard boxes, as long as it's in good condition it should be lightproof. – mdma Aug 18 '12 at 18:58

I have a nice sized patio and a very small house with no AC and very old (1947) wall heater. my place is usually very hot or very cold (for us out here in So Cal, very moderate for you northerners :) that said, I ALWAYS ferment outside, but my bucket never sees the sun. I put it in a storage bin from Target filled with water. the water in the bin seems to stay at about 70F no matter what time of year. I have yet to have a complaint about my beer.

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