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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > New brew schedule... or how to brew with toddlers! (input/advice sought!)
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Old 09-21-2007, 02:07 AM   #11
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I find that brewing outside and inviting friends with kids over helps a lot! A buddy of mine, also a homebrewer has a son one year older then mine and they keep each other occupied while we brew and keep an eye on them.

Cheese maybe the next time i am up that way maybe our boys can be idiots together then we can film it and put it on youtube.

Cheers

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knights of Gambrinus
......I was thinking mash one day, boil the next. However I imagine tht could lead to contaminaton funkiness...(
I mash/PM and boil/AM all the time.

Nothing to it. No refrigeration. No special anything except a lid for your boil pot.

Works out real good when I've got "some" spare time in the evening and "some" flex time the next day. My last three brews have been like that.

One hint though, clean thoses grains out that night or be prepared for some SWMBO shellacking.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
how to brew with toddlers! (input/advice sought!)
add them to a mash with a diastatic malt and check for complete conversion after 60 mins. (a single infusion mash is fine)
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:31 AM   #14
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My 3 yr old daughter is pretty good about staying out of trouble and thinks daddy's brewing is neat. She likes tasting the caramel and chocolate malts and helping run the crusher. So she helps me mash in in the evening then I put here to bed and start my first sparge about 8:30. I'm usually cleaned up by 12 but it has stretched to 1 am. By doing it at that time my wife has no complaints about stuff I should be doing instead. That time will probably have to change for winter as day time temps are cold enough but night time will be very uncomfortable.
The mash at nap and boil after bed may be your best solution.
Craig

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:13 PM   #15
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Same issue here, with a ~2 year old girl and a 3 month old baby girl (the latter of which takes my wife's time). We found a "mother's helper", someone about 8 years old that plays with my oldest ($3 per hour and she loves it). This weekend we're going to leave our oldest with my wife's sister for the weekend so I'm free to brew!

But I agree, tough to find the time.

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Old 09-21-2007, 12:33 PM   #16
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Ok, I have been experimenting with what I call 'time challenged brewing'. As has been suggested earlier, split the brew day in half but I'll up the ante.

Night one, ~2.5 hrs....:

1) Mash, vorlauf, lauter and sparge.
2) Put the brew kettle on the stove and raise the wort temperature to 170 °F for about 10 to 15 minutes. This does two things. Assures that you have mashout and will kill off any lactobacter, which is your prime enemy here. I have done experimentation and I can get sour mash (really sour mash) in 24 hours if I want to. You must perform this step.
3)Put the cover on the pot and leave it wherever, and I do mean this as long as it is in a safe place away from kids, pets.... It will probably still be warm when you come home the next day from work, etc.
4)Clean up.

Night two ~2.5 hrs....:

5) Uncover your kettle and bring the wort to a boil (this may take longer than usual because your wort temp will be much lower than usual)
6) Hops
7) Chill
8) Place wort into fermentor
9) Pitch
10) Clean up.

I have done this twice with complete 100% success and not even a hint of souring with the mash.

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:02 PM   #17
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I've got a daughter about your son's age, but I guess I'm not of any help because my wife always helps out on Daddy's brew days.

How tight are your weekends? I've been thinking about mashing in REAL early next time, like 5:00 AM or so, so that I can be cleaned up and done before noon. Not so much for childcare purposes, but so that the whole day isn't wasted and I can keep working on the house. Can you get started way early in the morning and get your wife to watch him? Even if you started mashing at 6:00, you'd be done by noon. Just depends on how tight a schdeule your "work" on the weekends is.

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:07 PM   #18
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With a 3 yr old boy running around, I feel your pain. I brew in the garage though, so we have outside play time. When I need to be really watching the boil, or transfering fluids, I just hand him a bottle of bubbles and Viola...He is busy for atleast 15 min. Since wifey brews too, most of the time we just swap off who is watching him. Really though, for an AG batch, I am only in the garage for mabey 30 min. The rest of the time is spent in the house watching movies or playing with my son. It will make beer wether you are standing next to it or not.

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Old 09-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #19
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Here's another thought, too.

I'll usually mash in in my kitchen, because I don't need my stove to bring the water to a full boil. I don't see why you couldn't heat the strike water, use a digital probe thermometer to be able to keep an eye on the temp, and still watch your son. When the temp hits, mash in, which doesn't take more than a minute or two unless you miss your temps. Then, get your sparge water going while the mash sits there for an hour. Again, that's an activity that doesn't require much oversight other than occassionally popping your head into the kitchen and checking temps.

Time it so you'll be sparging when your wife gets home, and beg and cajole her to take care of baby-duties while you sparge and boil. If you're batch sparging, it shouldn't be more than 2.5 hours between starting the sparge and chiling the wort. Pitch the yeast. At my house, wife is home at 5:00, Cassie's goes up for her bath at 7:30, so 2.5 hours would be perfect. If the timing is right, put your son to bed, come back and clean up.

Basically, half the process should be do-able even with an insane toddler; do that before wife gets home, then do the rest afterwards. But, it depends on how that would fit into your particular schedule.

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Old 09-21-2007, 02:30 PM   #20
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This is all something I am trying to figure out as well. Ive got a 17 month old son and currently do extract / partial mash .... which I can do after work (stove rocks and gets to a full boil quickly). But I am looking into AG and a little concerned about timing ...

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