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Old 09-20-2007, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default New brew schedule... or how to brew with toddlers! (input/advice sought!)

Okay. So, I have been having a real hard time brewing for a while. I did one extract batch recently as a "quick and easy" brew. Tweren't really all that much of a tme saver of AG. I figured I would stick with extract for a while to get back me sea legs, err, sorry pirate day yesterday and all.


But,

I have at least 40 lbs. of MO sitting there and I do not wnt it to go bad. So, I need a new schedule.

Weekends are pretty much out. That is my work time and I need to use it as such. I find it mostly impossible to brew weekdays with my son. He is 2.5 and VERY active. Actively getting into mischief if I do not pay a lot of attention. Evening is out too. I tried it once. Mashed in when my wife got home. Was up until 1. I cannot do that anymore.

So, here is my current plan. Anybody else with little ones care to chime in tips tricks or ideas please do.

I am thinking that if I can mash/sparge in the afternoon when my son is napping and prepare for the boil. Then let it sit a few hours (3-4) and do the boil in the evening. Hopefully I won't be up all night. I was thinking mash early AM and then let it sit 'til afternoon. Problem is once you've got the boil going you pretty much have to follow through to pitching and I cannot do that in an 1.5-2 hours (nap duration)

It is pretty tough to split things up, I cannot really think of a good way. I was thinking mash one day, boil the next. However I imagine tht could lead to contaminaton funkiness. Any help here folk? Any ideas, plans I am over looking? I would love to be able to get a good system down so I can brew a couple times a month (or more!!!)

Grrrrrr. It is frustrating to be thinking about brewing and not be able to do it.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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My last brew, I collected the evening before and boiled in the morning - no problems. Keep it covered just to be safe, but really anything that's there is going to be eliminated by the boil.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:12 AM   #3
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Did you keep it in the fridge or anything? Also, I imagine you definately need to make sure you did a mash-out so the enzymes are stopped. I am not very good at controlling my mash temps yet.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:14 AM   #4
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Hire a babysitter.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwj
My last brew, I collected the evening before and boiled in the morning - no problems. Keep it covered just to be safe, but really anything that's there is going to be eliminated by the boil.
I've done it too, but you still need to worry about anything that is produced while it is sitting. You wouldn't want to do this with a really light flavored beer. If you are going to let it sit over night I'd say cool it down as low as possible.

I have a 1 year old, I do night brews on the weekend (10pm to 7am) and then nap when I can the next day.

If you're doing extract you can really speed things up by doing late extract additions and late hopping. You can effectively limit your boil to 20 minutes. I just did a pale ale this way, see how it comes out.

No decoctions for you.
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Old 09-21-2007, 12:45 AM   #6
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Where do you mash/boil? I am fortunate to be able to do mine in the kitchen.

The last brew day I went ahead and started heating strike water and sanitized everything while le child (also 2.5) was up and about (@1130am). I know putting 6 gallons on the stove is going to take a while to get up to temp, so I didn't have to watch over it like a hawk. Sanitizing just is in a bucket which I can either stick up on the counter out of reach, or outside.

Right as the temp came up on the water, I mashed in (~12:30)...that's what? 10 min max? I just made sure my daughter was next to me, playing with her dolls or the magnets on the fridge.

That leaves an hour to just hang with her while I mash. Once the mash was done and it required my attention, it was naptime (1:30).

During her 2 hour nap, I collected runnings (45 min), boiled (1 hr), and started the immersion chiller. As the wort was coming to a boil, I aliquoted my hops, etc.

when she got up, I got her a snack of crackers (no cooking required), which gets her to sit still. Chilling took about 30 min. Then just racked into carboy and pitched.

I'm lucky as she loves to clean, so she thought that was fun and jumped in and helped.

It can be done!

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef
...which gets her to sit still...

Ah, there in lies a big difference. My son NEVER sits still. He is either asleep, or moving!

Yeah, I have tried it before but it is really frustrating and usually ends up with him breaking, spilling, or getting into something he should not or hurting himself!


I have been brewing outside with a propane burner. Definately not safe having him around that. My stove sucks. Can't handle a rolling boil.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knights of Gambrinus
Ah, there in lies a big difference. My son NEVER sits still. He is either asleep, or moving!

Yeah, I have tried it before but it is really frustrating and usually ends up with him breaking, spilling, or getting into something he should not or hurting himself!


I have been brewing outside with a propane burner. Definately not safe having him around that. My stove sucks. Can't handle a rolling boil.
Bring him over. Our sons can be idiots together and we'll brew.
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Old 09-21-2007, 01:49 AM   #9
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That's why I still use extract with steeping grains. I start at 10 p.m. Saturday night and finish at 1 a.m. My little man is up with the sun.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:03 AM   #10
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Trade your son for a conical and a kegerator

Kidding of course! I have a 3 year old son and a 1 year old daughter and I stick to drinking beer when they're around. Brewing is out of the question. Even if I could do it, I wouldn't enjoy it. They are just too demanding. Luckily, neither my wife or I work weekends so I can reserve saturday mornings for brewing in exchange for Sunday morning of shopping for SWMBO.

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