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Old 01-31-2011, 11:55 AM   #1
Stnovak
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Default Girlfriend of a brewer-to-be. I need your advice!

I am not actually a brewer but my boyfriend has a passion for craft beers and watches brewing shows and all that jazz. I would like to get him a starter kit from a local home brew store as a gift but I am worried about how time consuming the hobby is. He works as a CPA and tax season just started so he is working 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and more than likely will be working this schedule until mid-late April. I would hate to get him a gift that he doesn't have the time for.

So my questions are simple, how time consuming is home brewing and is it something that can be done successfully in sporadic free time?

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:59 AM   #2
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Yes and no. Technically it can be done sporadically, but once he is hooked, all his time will belong to brewing.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
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Ace speaks truth in one sense. For many of us, this has gone from a curiosity to an obsession. In another sense, though, brewing is a great hobby for limited spare time. Brew day should take 3 hours or so, then wait a month, then another hour or so for bottling, and wait another month. if he gets a couple batches started now, he'll have a pleasant reward waiting for him on April 16th.

I think it's a great gift!

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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You sound like a great girlfriend much like my wonderful wife. My wife gave me a begginers kit for christmas and we just bottled our first batch together last week and brewed our second batch on the same day. We had a lot of fun together doing it. It will be fun for you both to spend some quality time together if you get into it like my wife has with me:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/firs...woohoo-220227/

Regarding the time consuming aspect... It does not have to be time consuming. I am on my second batch and I have spend a total of about 6-8 hours over the last month... A couple of hours here and there. The hardest part is all the waiting you have to do for your batches to get ready. I feel like a kid perpetually waiting for Christmas to get here.

Get him the kit. Go to the local brewing supply store with him. Help him pick out the stuff. Help him brew and bottle the stuff. You guys will be spending lots of quality time together. You will have fun, and most of all, in his eyes you will be the greatest girlfriend of all time. Do that, and I see an engagement ring with a giant rock on it in your future.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:13 PM   #5
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Regular extract and grain brews can take 3-4 hours for brew day. Simpler kits take less time, more advanced/all grain takes a lot longer.

I work 6 days a week usually 8-10 hours (often more) and a lot of times I need something to look forward to in order to make me through the week. Brewing is one of those things. Although, with only one day off, sometimes spending it in the kitchen isn't the most ideal thing.

However, I still recommend it!

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:59 PM   #6
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If he will be doing extract batches at first it takes about 3-4 hours from start to finish with clean up. Not bad. I am new and have done three batches and get a little better each time.

If he gets busy and cannot find time to bottle it right away it is fine, just get to it when he can, the beer can sit for quite a while. It did not take me that long to bottle my first batch once I got going.

Read the stickeys at the top of this forum. Tons of good info there. I got some great tips by reading these forums.

Then tell him to learn what RDWHAHB means.

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:08 PM   #7
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While I'll agree with everyone above about the time requirements for an actual brew day, and I assume similar time required for bottling day, if your boyfriend is anything like me, most of his other free time will quickly get consumed reading any websites, message boards, and literature on homebrewing he can find. I'd hazard my example is more the rule around here than the exception, but especially early on, it's easy to get a little carried away with research.

If you decide to go through with it, make sure to get him a copy of How to Brew by Palmer or The Complete Joy of Homebrewing by Papazian - both are very good primers on brewing that also include some more advanced techniques, should he choose to pursue those down the road.

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Old 01-31-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stnovak View Post
I am not actually a brewer but my boyfriend has a passion for craft beers and watches brewing shows and all that jazz. I would like to get him a starter kit from a local home brew store as a gift but I am worried about how time consuming the hobby is. He works as a CPA and tax season just started so he is working 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and more than likely will be working this schedule until mid-late April. I would hate to get him a gift that he doesn't have the time for.

So my questions are simple, how time consuming is home brewing and is it something that can be done successfully in sporadic free time?
Wait until after tax season and give it to him as a gift for all his hard work or something like that.

I personally brew once a weekend and it doesn't take that much time.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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i'd say it's perfect for sporadic free-time, brew on his one day off and he can just wait however long he needs until he gets enough time to transfer or bottle. brewing timelines aren't set in stone by any means. since the average brewday is about an hours worth of work stretched out over 4-5 hours, it doesn't totally consume his entire day-off either, it's a beautiful hobby. hook him up!

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Old 01-31-2011, 02:02 PM   #10
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At this point I brew extract kits with specialty grain steeping / partial-mash and in my experience as a new brewer it takes me at least 5 hours to do it. This includes the time required to get everything organized, the brewing, and the cleanup at the end.

I'm sure it won't take me this long after I learn more and improve my speed and efficiency... but right now I'm at about 5 hours per batch.

I do enjoy it though even though it takes a good amount of my time. It's nice to have a hobby like this where you can enjoy the fruits of your labors at the end.

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