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Need homebrew father's advice!

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by nuggetman, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. I have been homebrewing for around four years now and have a baby due in less than a month. My girlfriend has a four year who has been in my life for a while now, but I have still been able to get 1 or 2 batches a month at least brewed. No idea what to expect for the amount of brew time I will have once the baby comes; I am just.looking for any other dads out there who have finagled the ability to brew a satisfactory amount. I beer all grain, but think I will have to brew a few partial mash batches in order to be able to be home and inside and "around". I am totally aware that I sound like a total deadbeat, but it is one of the only selfish concerns I have about this huge life change! Any thoughts or prayers?????
     
  2. It can be done. However some changes need to be made. Before I used to brew at whatever time I wanted. Now with a little one it is strictly AM brewing. I wake up around 5-5:30 ish and start the mash for all grain. Enjoy some coffee and quiet time. By the time they wake I'm about to start the boil and it's easy after that.
     
    nuggetman likes this.
  3. koopa

    koopa Champion (800) New Jersey Apr 20, 2008

    First off, Congratulations!

    Not sure what batch sizes you make, but if you can increase your batch size then you can effectively produce the same (or more) amount of beer and brew less often. Might cut into your "variety" a bit but you can always offset that drawback by doing different treatments (dry hopping, flavor extracts, fruits, spices, etc) to each carboy.
     
    nuggetman likes this.
  4. Same here. Get a early start and prep what you can ahead of time. The wife always appreciates a heads up on brew days too. My kid is about 9 weeks old and I already got 4 brew days in. (The 5th is in planning).
     
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  5. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (445) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    You forgot different strains of yeast and partigyling :)
     
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  6. I grind & prep water the night before. My mashes are planned for 60 mins, but sometimes I only do 30, sometimes I've done almost 3 hours because of life (I have three awesome girls: 6, 3 & 1). I make sure I have two hours (nap time often) for boil, cooling & pitch. It can be done.

    I also brew in spurts now, based upon when I have free time. Right now every carboy is full. It can be done. You just need to make it work. FYI I've also done nighttime brews, starting around dinner (mash) and boil begins around bedtime. Done & put away by 11.

    EDIT: Also it was WAY easier to brew with one than two and with two than three. There's more going on. I still brew at least 10-12 batches a year, but it's easier in the summer and yes warn your girlfriend about brew days. My wife isn't a fan of them necessarily but isn't stressed when she knows about them.
     
    nuggetman likes this.
  7. TheMonkfish

    TheMonkfish Initiate (0) Chad Jan 8, 2012

    Foghats on the upcoming new addition!

    Another vote for getting an early start. I've been setting the alarm for 4:00 AM to get things started. It actually works out great for me because I don't miss much of the kids day, don't load too much on my better half and can actually take a nap for about 45 minutes after I'm happy with my mash temps.

    Like others I set up just about everything the night before (mill grains, set up the burner/folding table, measure boil hops and water adjustments, etc) in the AM it's just a matter of getting tap water hot and getting that boiling to preheat the MLT.
     
    nuggetman likes this.
  8. Comgratulations.

    We just found out that we will have a little one at the end of Aug-ish. Thanks for the thread.

    I am going to assume I will brew more because it is a little cheaper than buying the beer I do now. I could be way off on that, though. We shall see.
     
    nuggetman likes this.
  9. billandsuz

    billandsuz Savant (415) New York Sep 1, 2004

    my kid slept so much for the first few months it wasn't much of a bother. lots of luck after the first 12 months though. anything remotely like a schedule is difficult to maintain. its not as if a baby gives a crap what time of day it is. go ahead and begin your brew day at 7 am. so what? your screwed.

    ok, im kidding. mostly.
    you would be doing well to consider mom more than anything for the next few months. there is not too much a father can do for a while anyway, except help out mom. so my advice is to casually ask what sort of beers she might want to be drinking. if she is breast feeding and off the beer for now then i'm out of ideas. you're on your own.
    congratulations.
     
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  10. Wait and see, and don't stress about it. No two infants are exactly alike; you will quickly learn what time of day might be the best option for brewing activities. Yet, if yours is anything like my newborn (and like those of several others who have already posted) early morning may be the best choice. My newborn is pretty fussy, but I've somehow managed to squeeze in three brew sessions in the last month or so...

    Congrats! And good luck...
     
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  11. Gilmango

    Gilmango Savant (305) California Jul 17, 2007

    Congrats, lots of good advice already. When I do all grain I "put it on the calendar" ahead of time and make 10-15 gallons at a time, different yeasts and/or hops and/or o.g.s keeps variety in tact. Partial mashes I can start heating the water at dinner time, do the mini mash, while we do the bedtime routine, the boil comes when they're in bed.
     
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  12. BeerRun13

    BeerRun13 Savant (285) California Jan 14, 2006

    Congrats on the new one! I'll offer what I can...

    I didn't start brewing until my oldest (now almost 8), was probably 6 months old. At that time I was brewing extract in the kitchen and have nothing to compare it to.

    With my second, things did slow down for me a bit, but there were also other factors at play.

    What I have found works best:
    Prep the night before (I've even started doing some overnight mashes). I mean milling, water in tanks, hop additions weighed out, fermenters sanitizing, and the works. I have a couple friends that use electric heat sticks hooked up to a temp controller AND timer, so they can have there strike water at temp when they roll out of bed in the early AM.

    With proper prep, the only thing you realllly need to be focused on is the boil, and even that is iffy once you get past the initial possible boil over and timing your additions.

    I agree with what another has posted, let the wife know in advance when you will have a brew day, and it might alleviate the stress. Another good option that I have pulled is to do a double brewday to minimize the daddy downtime. Just get your second batch mashing as soon as your first boil is ready to go.

    I know someone else mentioned that having people over to assist is a bad idea, but I disagree to a point. My best friends are those I can trust with my kids, and they are all "uncles." If you have good friends, they should be able to assist with your brew, or help by hanging out with the kid while you are focused on the crucial steps in your brew.

    Don't forget, things will be fairly easy before they start crawling, so you have some months there.
     
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  13. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (545) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    Congrats. My #2 showed up 2.5 hours after Christmas, so I'm in the boat w/ you. I will second partigyle batches, double brew days, split batches and the like, much easier to get in 2 brews a month when you are only using one day to do it. I start at 9 am and am done between 3 to 5 pm based on what I brew. Split batch is closer to 3, double or partigyle is closer to 5. I have 2 burners and use my HLT to boil the second batch while the first is ending the boil and chilling. I have done a Scottish Wee Heavy and ESB as a partigyle. I mashed wheat and pale malt for a double batch of wheat, split boils, caravienne in one and tons of Amarillo, oats in the boil for the other w/ coriander and orange peel for a Wit and Gumballhead clone. I am getting ready to brew a double batch of IPA, single boil, split ferment, one with W Yorkshire dry hopped with more Mosaic and some Simcoe and Calypso, second fermenter will get some cold steeped (boiled & chilled) Carafa to go black dry hopped with Simcoe, Chinook, Zeuz, touch of Mosaic, 1056. Two different IPAs, 1 6 hour brew day. Batch sparging helps too. I don't use Pilsner much to avoid 90 minute boils.
     
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  14. Thanks for the advice gentleman! A lot of this will help. I have been brewing with my best friend for four years now, so I will be working on his schedule too...which he has no kids and likes to sleep in! Haha. But I just wanted to know how everyone deals with the trials of being a brew-father!

    I definitely appreciate the support! Cheers to you all!
     
  15. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (445) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    He'll stop sleeping in when you run out of beer. It's nice to have a wingman for when diapers need changed and life happens. He'll have your back on boil overs and late hop additions.
     
  16. I plan on teaching the four year old the art of changing diapers, and I don't think it would be possible for us to run out of beer before the little one is four! Needless to say I have a huge problem with spending my money on beer. Sad its about to end! Luckily brewing it ourselves is a hell of a lot cheaper!
     
  17. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Savant (390) Georgia Apr 13, 2002

    I like to clean and prep the night before, then on brew day it's smooth sailing. Also, now you have an excuse for brewing on the cheap.....yeast harvesting, buying gains in bulk, buying hops in bulk, buying diapers in bulk haha.
     
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  18. How did I miss this..?
    Brewing at 5am?..probably not, but man, we'll work it out. Bring a bassinet over and we'll be good to go!
     
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  19. Long term: Start a ROTH IRA (2), brew when you can, enjoy the moment, pray

    I didn't start brewing until I was over 50...so you are waaay ahead of me.
     
    pointyskull likes this.
  20. Haha. I was wondering why you didn't say anything! The more consistent we are, the better, that way they will be used to it as a reoccuring event! Speaking of which...I need a beer!
     
  21. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Advocate (595) Colorado Jan 20, 2012

    Congrats! Lots of great advice, gotta echo the early start. Also, take advantage of their lack of mobility when they're young. It's when they can walk and get underfoot that causes the biggest issues.
     

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