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Old 01-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #1
DonutBrew
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Default Brewing with a friend

I've been brewing by myself for a while, and I'd like for it to be a more socially-engaging activity. I also have a friend who'd like to learn some things too and who'd like to be involved. I'm wondering, how do you guys divide up the labor and not get in each other's way when brewing with a buddy? I would love for this to work out well and not just give him jobs like, "here, hold this." Any suggestions?

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Old 01-02-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Layout the gear and ingredients. Explain briefly what each item is an how it's used. Then start the process and walk them through it.

If you're brewing AG, it might be a good idea to do an extract batch first.

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Old 01-02-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Ive been brewing with my buddy since we started brewing with our first extract batches. We kinda made out a plan and split up the responsibilities such as cleaning, getting the water started, and keeping track of hop additions. Laying out all of the ingredients and equipment helps a lot too since you can point out what needs to be added/used if you cant get to it.

Also, if you give them a beer to drink during the whole thing then that can keep them occupied too

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Old 01-02-2010, 11:28 PM   #4
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Let him do everything... seriously. Lay it out and tell him what to do and when to do it. Once he's comfortable I'm sure you will work out a way so each of you is involved equally. But letting him do everything for a few batches will get him familiar with the process.

Having said that... standing by watching a process that was a one man show will be hard. Very very hard... like teaching my 15 year to adjust the valves on my '70 VW bug. Its easy to do and he is as mechanically inclined as any grown man I know, but hard to stand and watch.

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Old 01-03-2010, 12:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by DonutBrew View Post
I would love for this to work out well and not just give him jobs like, "here, hold this." Any suggestions?
Won't touch that with a 10 foot pole!


LOL
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:35 AM   #6
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Other than making starters, I've always brewed with someone else. There's a lot to do...someone can watch the pot for hot break while the other person gets the hops / next extract addition / oxygen stone ready. There is plenty of cleaning, of course, and hauling carboys down into the basement, notes to take, beers to pour, etc.

It's nice to have help lifting heavy kettles. I have to move the boil pot off the stove over to the sink without getting the chiller lines tangled in my feet; one guy carries the pot while the other one moves the hoses. If you were mashing with a gravity rig, something is probably going to have to get moved (hot water, or a mash tun, or a boil pot). Sure, a person *can* lift 50 lbs themselves, but why risk the hernia if someone else is around?

I've also found bottling to go much more smoothly with two people, one to fill and the other to cap. This will minimize the time the bottles are exposed to air as well.

Having a third person means you get extra help with dishes (one washes, one dries, one puts away) or bottling (one guy fills, one guy caps, one person rinses/dries/stores bottle), or most importantly someone to watch the grill.

I've had two or three people show up as the third guy often enough that they could brew on their own, which is cool if one of the first-stringers can't make it on a given day. We also have a rule that if you want us to make beer for you, you have to show up and you *will* be put to work.

Finally, if you have help you can make more beer at a time. We had three kettles boiling one day (two on the stove, one outside on a turkey fryer) and I'm glad I had a crew of five. It was busy, but we made 15 gallons of beer in the time it normally takes to do five.

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Old 01-03-2010, 03:16 AM   #7
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I've taught people before, but prefer the ZEN of solo brewing.
Do two batches - one for him to take home one for you. Then take turns bottling batches at each other's houses.
First batch you demonstrate with him being the flunky - second batch bark orders while he brews and help where needed.

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Old 01-03-2010, 02:17 PM   #8
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Won't touch that with a 10 foot pole!


LOL
a 10 foot pole?! Impressive.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:22 PM   #9
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Having a third person means you get extra help with dishes (one washes, one dries, one puts away) or bottling (one guy fills, one guy caps, one person rinses/dries/stores bottle), or most importantly someone to watch the grill.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwoopty View Post
Also, if you give them a beer to drink during the whole thing then that can keep them occupied too
I like the way you guys think! Seriously though, thanks for the suggestions. I guess there is a lot that I can do to break it up. I generally lose sight of how long things take in the first place, and no matter how many times I brew, I always underestimate the time it takes by like 2-3X, but i suppose that's another problem altogether
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