Dad to be=brewing lots of beer now

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RoseburgBrewer

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I've got a boy due in a month!!! I realize I'm going to have very little time to brew for awhile so I am brewing the last of 30 gallons this weekend. I figure 30 gallons will get me through the winter (hopefully).

After I finish up this weekend I will still have one more keg to fill. The big question is "what to brew?". I would like to brew something that will age well since I will go through 30 gallons before I get to this one. Any suggestions? What is a good beer style to brew and age? I should mention I have access to a lagering cooler so the beer will stay at a constant 34ish. I'm not big into big malty bombs like Russian Imperial Stout so I'm thinking about a tripel or a saison. Will saisons lager well? Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

sptaylor70

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Saisons don't really lager so much since they're ales. Not that you couldn't try it. Might turn out great, but farmhouse ales are meant to be drunk young.

You might consider a sour ale, like a Berliner Weisse, Gueuze, Lambic, or Flanders Red, that would need to sit awhile to mature. They'd be very nice, come the spring/summer. Or a barleywine or Oud Bruin, to be ready next winter. A double IPA would need time to mature, as well.

In the shorter term, you could try a Maerzen(1), Irish Red(2), or Dortmunder(3) to lager for early spring.

(1) Like Yooper's Maerzen/Oktoberfest.
(2) Like Saccharomyces's Irish Red. Maybe brew with a fruity lager yeast, like Wyeast 2000 Budvar, 2001 Urquell, 2042 Carlsberg, or 2112 Anchor.
(3) Like Poobah58's Mead Lane Dortmunder. I brewed it last spring, but cheated and used altbier yeast. It was very nice.
 

igotsand

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First off congrats!
Its the best feeling in the world!
Just had my first baby last week...get some sleep now!
So in preparation, I made myself a 17 gallon double ipa to carry me through the first couple of weeks..that's my vote. 8.5% and heavy on galaxy and Amarillo, its a crowd favorite with the family(me)!

I get 6 weeks off work paid, so I can brew whenever I want...
Got a bag of 2row, and a bag of b pils so Im ready to brew anything at anytime. .
 

Calichusetts

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I experimented with aging saisons and found great results...just make sure they are higher in ABV. And yes...BREW NOW! I used to brew at least once a week and maybe twice...now I'm lucky if its every three weeks and always inconvenient...start at 7pm, finish around midnight, or start at 5 am.

What you brew depends on what you like...I love barleywines and American strongs so that immediately jumped out to me. You can age them for years and they constantly improve. Stouts work fine and any high ABV Belgian will also work. Of course traditional lagers will also last the winter.
 

brewmcq

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Congrats on the wee bairn to be!

Here's some advice... having a kid (or two) added to your household doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy... it just means you have to plan ahead a little bit more, that's all.

Once baby is home and the excitement has dwindled down a little bit, the reality of having a newborn quickly kicks in. Impossibly long nights, lots of diaper changes, you name it... it's a ton of (usually quite gratifying) work, a labor of love.

However, you have to *make* time to do things. You could be like my ex-wife and get absolutely nothing done "because of the baby", or you could be like me who would come home from work, tend the kid, clean the house and build a woodshed...

I promise.. it's not the end of your life. I'd wager you'll find time to brew in no time with little to no problem. Besides, you can always feed/burp/change/play with/rock it to sleep while you're mashing, or once your boil is chugging along. \m/
 

Zamial

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I brewed up a barley wine 1 week before the boy was born. It is almost 6 months old now. :) I like this style because it can be bitter and hoppy young and the fades to a balanced big beer (if you brewed it right!).

A few weeks later we celebrated big brew day and I did a no boil, no sparge, partygle Berliner weiss and an imperial Berliner. I used 2 different yeast strains (both wheat) and have 2 radically different brews! The boy was with me all day.

I also have embraced meads and wines pretty hard recently and while I am not a huge wine drinker I have found that I do enjoy a glass from time to time and the wife/company also enjoys something other than beer.

If I had the ability to lager I would look into a clone on My Antonia. The bottle I had was REALLY great! Another great lager idea if you like smoked beers is to have a smoked lager or smoked and oaked. http://www.schlenkerla.de/rauchbier/sorten/sortene.html I would use some Briess smoked malt instead of Rauch malt, I have had better luck with Briess.

Anyways congrats on your brewery expansion. A brewer's assistant is always needed! :)
 

philosofool

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Given the season when you will be drinking it, I would go with dubbel or dark belgian strong rather than trippel.


If you want to do something else that ages well, why not try a sticke (strong version of alt bier), which is traditionally around 6 to 7 percent, OG 1.065. It's malt oriented, but finishes dry and should be medium bodied with IBUs that make a bitter beer. And it should age wonderfully.
 

TheZymurgist

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Congrats on the wee bairn to be!

Here's some advice... having a kid (or two) added to your household doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy... it just means you have to plan ahead a little bit more, that's all.

Once baby is home and the excitement has dwindled down a little bit, the reality of having a newborn quickly kicks in. Impossibly long nights, lots of diaper changes, you name it... it's a ton of (usually quite gratifying) work, a labor of love.

However, you have to *make* time to do things. You could be like my ex-wife and get absolutely nothing done "because of the baby", or you could be like me who would come home from work, tend the kid, clean the house and build a woodshed...

I promise.. it's not the end of your life. I'd wager you'll find time to brew in no time with little to no problem. Besides, you can always feed/burp/change/play with/rock it to sleep while you're mashing, or once your boil is chugging along. \m/
^This. We just had our first in April, and I've brewed three times since then. However, I ALWAYS check with the wife to make sure she's ok, and doesn't need me to do anything. If I'm brewing and she's feeling overwhelmed, there's something wrong. I don't want my hobbies to become a reason for resentment. There have been plenty of times when you'll feel like you have no time for anything except tending to the baby, but those times pass.

Then again, every baby is different, and we know ours has been extremely easy. She was sleeping through the night within the first few months, and she hasn't been colicky at all. Take every bit of advice with a grain of sale, and prepare for the worst. That way, you may be pleasantly surprised.
 

BeerMeDuffMan

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Congrats friend! I was in the same boat back in May when my baby girl was born. Figuring I wouldn't have much time to brew for the next few months I planned out a seasonal drinking schedule. I brewed up a honey double IPA for late spring, early summer. The next day I brewed up a ginger wheat which I'm drinking now. The last two brews needed some aging, which is perfect. I just bottled a bourbon barrel breakfast stout with coffee and in the next two months or so I'll be bottling a Quad. I figure I have plenty enough to last me at least until her 1st birthday, just incase I don't have a chance to brew before then.
Also, for a personal touch, I've started making meads on a year by year basis with the idea that one bottle from each batch will be stowed away to be given as a present for when each of the kids reach 21.
 
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RoseburgBrewer

RoseburgBrewer

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with the idea that one bottle from each batch will be stowed away to be given as a present for when each of the kids reach 21.[/QUOTE]

Good luck with the 21 years thing. Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement to continue to brew after the kiddo. I plan on not slowing down with the brewing too much (a batch a month), but wasn't sure what the first 6mos had in store so figured I better plan ahead.

I like the stickle idea and the belgian double, may have to look into those. I guess I didn't clarify very well about the saison, can I brew and ferment one and then store it in a lager cooler until I need it? I guess with it being a saison I don't need to worry about it getting too warm while in storage. I've gotten comments after entering a saison about it "needing more time to age" so I think I can let it age right? I guess I'm leaning toward a saison (as long as it ages well) because it will be ready for spring/summer in 6 months. But if they don't age well then the stickle or dubbel sound good....I already have 10G of lager done and in the lager cooler.

Again thanks for the advice guys (and gals?), I think from what I've gathered from yall and others is enjoy the baby but don't let the new one change my ways too much.
 

philosofool

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I won't offer a bunch of advice about how your going to manage everything while being a parent.

I will tell you how I have managed brewing and being a parent: I've invested in ways to make the whole process faster; I used to brew in the morning and afternoon, now I brew after my kid is asleep. My best all-grain brew time since having a son is 3:45 minutes (5 gallons, 60 minute boil.) To get this good time, I sat down and figured out how much time I was spending at each step and hoew I could reduce that time, if at all. Mashing and boiling are pretty much fixed parts of the process, but everything else is just time. Heating, chilling, cleaning, and so forth can all be sped up or done consecutively with the mash and the boil.

A plate chiller is your friend; I cut about 30 minutes out of my brew day by getting one (you are basically chilling during the phase that used to be extracting after chilling.) I don't have a heat stick (yet) but that's another thing that I'm planning to add. I put the first four gallons of runnings on the burner and start it heating while I'm still sparging the last 2.75 gallons. The lid stays on my pot until everything is almost boiling. I have a check list of everything that I can clean while I'm boiling my wort, and I have a check list to make sure that I do everything during the boil that I need to so that I can chill and pitch as soon as I knock out the flame. (Did you know that surgeons use check lists? They do. Why? Because no matter how good your memory is, a good check lists is better.) I watch my pot carefully so that I add my 60 minute hop addition as soon as I've reached a rolling boiling.

If you make your process like clockwork, you will save yourself a lot of time, and probably your wife will be more supportive of brewing when you make sure that it doesn't cut into your responsibilities.
 
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RoseburgBrewer

RoseburgBrewer

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I won't offer a bunch of advice about how your going to manage everything while being a parent.

I will tell you how I have managed brewing and being a parent: I've invested in ways to make the whole process faster; I used to brew in the morning and afternoon, now I brew after my kid is asleep. My best all-grain brew time since having a son is 3:45 minutes (5 gallons, 60 minute boil.) To get this good time, I sat down and figured out how much time I was spending at each step and hoew I could reduce that time, if at all. Mashing and boiling are pretty much fixed parts of the process, but everything else is just time. Heating, chilling, cleaning, and so forth can all be sped up or done consecutively with the mash and the boil.

A plate chiller is your friend; I cut about 30 minutes out of my brew day by getting one (you are basically chilling during the phase that used to be extracting after chilling.) I don't have a heat stick (yet) but that's another thing that I'm planning to add. I put the first four gallons of runnings on the burner and start it heating while I'm still sparging the last 2.75 gallons. The lid stays on my pot until everything is almost boiling. I have a check list of everything that I can clean while I'm boiling my wort, and I have a check list to make sure that I do everything during the boil that I need to so that I can chill and pitch as soon as I knock out the flame. (Did you know that surgeons use check lists? They do. Why? Because no matter how good your memory is, a good check lists is better.) I watch my pot carefully so that I add my 60 minute hop addition as soon as I've reached a rolling boiling.

If you make your process like clockwork, you will save yourself a lot of time, and probably your wife will be more supportive of brewing when you make sure that it doesn't cut into your responsibilities.
wow!!! sounds like you have it down. Thanks for the tips.
 

ncorroy

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I have a two-month old son, and found that partial mashes are a good compromise. I can do up to about 5# of grains on the stove top, and use my oven on low setting for the mash. This at least allows to you be available for baby duty if something comes up.

I agree with others here who've made the point that a baby does not need to end your hobbies, it just requires a little bit more planning than before. It really isn't that difficult, just remember to give your swmbo some free time too.

I recently bought an entire kegging setup reeeeally cheap from a guy who was giving it up because his wife was pregnant. When he saw the car seat in the back of my car, I could see the "maybe I shouldn't be selling this" look on his face. I made a fast exit.
 
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