Did your brewing change after first kid?

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cuse88

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I just recently had my first kid so needless to say finding brewing time is pretty hard ha. I currently am setup for batch sparging but have been thinking maybe I need to downsize and simplify to save time. My biggest things would be to shorten clean up and setup time. So I was thinking of selling of part of my setup and investing in one of brewing systems (Grainfather, BrewBoss etc). All this to save time for family ha.

How has or did your brewing change after kids? Cheers!
 

rokfreek

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Find time to brew is really difficult after having kids. First one is 3 and just had another. I basically have to schedule my brew days a few weeks in advance. Also I started doing brews very early in the morning, usually starting before 6am so that way I can be done by 10-11am and my wife won't feel like she had to do everything for a whole day.

I'm currently batch starting as well. I have 2 burners and kettles so I think I'm going to try to do a BIAB simultaneously with my normal process so I can get 2 done in the same amount of time since finding days to brew is so difficult now.

So far though for 3 years I have been able to keep the keezer full. Congratulations and good luck.
 

milldoggy

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Mine slowed down with 1, even worst at 2. I also cant drink like i used too, my kids get up at 5 am. I do keep my 4 taps flowing. To do so, I get up at 3-4 am, turn on the eherms and go back to sleep for an hour while heating the strike. Done by 11 at the latest.
 

Sammy86

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Mine has slowed down just a wee bit...had my first born in August and didn't get an opportunity to brew until December...like the others I have to plan way in advance and get up early to be done early!

Congrats and good luck!
 

oujens

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I moved from batch sparging to full volume BIAB. Helps me get early morning brew in before the kids get active. Less cleaning and a little shorter brew day. I also just experimented with an overnight mash...mash in after kids are asleep, wake up in the morning and finish it off before breakfast time. Process worked good. It's currently dry hopping but so far haven't noticed anything different from beers I made before.
 

Wagon_6

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I went from a BrewEasy (7+ hour brew day) to a Grainfather (4 hour brew day). With the new Connect Controller, my strike water is ready to rock when i wake up. Little man watches me dough in, then i can monitor everything from my iPad.

I've also leaned a lot of prep work can be done the day/night before. Measure out grains, fill up kettle, add salts/acids, condition/crush grains. Really makes the brew day a lot smoother.
 

bobeer

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Definitely has slowed down. I had my first 2.5 years ago and I just had another one last August. With this second one brewing has been pretty hard to find the time to do. I tried doing 3 gallon stove top batches but I didn't like how fast the keg kicked and I also didn't dig that it was the same amount of clean up for less beer. So I switched to full volume BIAB on the stove. Still doing the 3 gallon batch sizes. The juice was a little more worth the squeeze but I still wanted/needed 5 gallons of beer. I drank less to make the 3 gallons last a bit longer but that was no fun because I found I couldn't share as much as I wanted to with other brewers/people.

So now I do my regular 5 gallon batches on the stove instead of outside on the burner. I find if I sparge at 180 I can reach a boil within 20 minutes which is nice. Finding the time is still a challenge. I like to prep as much as possible by weighing out all my grain and milling the day before and making sure I have pulled all the supplies I'll be needing. I usually start during the kids nap time which is around 1 pm. They sleep until 3-4pm so that gives me a few solid hours to do nothing but brew. (Assuming my honey-do lists are completed...) I also usually detail clean the kitchen while I'm brewing to keep the wife happy.

A few guys in my brew club use the grainfather. They all said you have to take it totally apart to clean it so I'm not sure how much time you'll save just due to that. I've never used one before so I'm unaware on how it works and cleans. That's just what I heard so maybe you can do some homework and see if it's worth the investment.

Now that my youngest is almost 6 months he can sit and play on his own if he's awake while I'm brewing. It's hard to make it happen but if you really want to brew you'll find a way somehow! Good luck and congrats on the addition! :mug:
 

PlexVector

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I used to brew, as well as play racquetball once or twice a week back late 80' early 90's and when my first kid came all came to a halt. Fortunately, my little brother got me back on track several years ago. It also helps having a garage...
 

Special Hops

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I brew less often but do double batches. Virtually the same amount of time. Also I do early morning brews as others have said. Finishing up around 11:00 or noon.
 

boutanhourbrewing

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I have two little ones, and my brewing has slowed down. The main issue for me was that it was hard for me to be outside with a propane burner for 4-5 hours on the weekend. I decided to jump to electric brewing...but with two little ones, my budget is a bit constrained. I know the minute I say electric brewing and 120 volt, 14 people will reply that 240 volt is better (I don't disagree), but we move a lot so 240 isn't in the cards. I need the flexibility of 120volts. I bought one of Bobby's Hot Rods (worth its weight in gold BTW!), and decided on a 2000 watt element. All I had to do was rewire one of the GFCI outlets in my kitchen to handle 20 amps. (Yes I know 240 volt would be faster, but I wrapped my kettle in a bunch of old towels, and I had a perfectly fine boil). This past weekend I brewed in the house (5 gallon All Grain batch) using the same process I normally use outside, using Bobby's Hot Rod instead of propane. I brewed while the little ones played and watched Finding Dory. Total success, and a solution to my issue. Hope it helps.
 

crammer

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I now mash, lauter and boil after the kids go to bed. I cover and place the kettle in the garage and let it cool overnight. The next day, I rack to the primary, pitch the yeast and clean up.
 

thebeardsmen

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Biggest thing for me is planning. Need to make sure all "chores" are done first. I also start early and do full volume BIAB. Most brews are cleaned up within 4 hours.

That being said, as they get older I've been trying to incorporate them into the process. I brewed last week and my 6yr old can't wait to "make beer" again. :mug:
 

jjw5015

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I've actually started brewing more in the year since we had ours. Since Friday nights are now spent at home, that has become my brew time. Everything is set up the night before, I heat up my water on the way in the door after work. Say hello to the family, mash in then it's dinner time and i'm free for an hour. Finish everything else up once she's asleep at 7, and i'm usually done by 10. I don't tie up any time on the weekend and SWMBO likes watching tv friday nights, so it's a perfect arrangement. I've brewed 4 out of the last 5 Fridays. Only missed a week bc i'm out of keg space.
 

HausBrauerei_Harvey

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I have two kids, 2 and 4. I put some info in a post last summer about how I've had success with overnight mashing to shave a few hours time off the daylight commitment to brewing. I can dough in fri night, then start the boil btw 7 and 8AM and be done with 10 gallons and cleaned up by lunchtime. I dont do this every time now but I still use it regularly.

Also I found after kid #1 that 10 gallon batches are really a timesaver, you get two kegs and the extra time is not much more than that to brew a 5 gallon batch. There are some really creative and fun things you can do to make two different beers from the same 10 gallon boil as well. I can give some input here if desired.

Also I've done the occasional 5 gallon no-chill brew a handful of times, I can brew 5 gallons in about 3-3.5 hours on a friday night, and just chill overnight in the boil kettle with the lid on.

It's tough to brew with little kids, but dont get discouraged, find a method that works best with your available time. Having a supportive SWMBO helps a lot as well.
 

glick

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nope, but it sure did after the second!!
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Brewing after the first kid didn't change much, especially when he was immobile or just starting to walk. It wasn't until he could open doors and wander around by the brew kettles that I had to really make changes. Now, that's partly due to the fact that my ex-wife would be able to handle him while I brewed, so it became my "alone" time.

When he really started getting to about 2 years old it changed, and partly because that's when kid #2 came along. Once you have multiple and once they decide they want to be part of the process--but aren't old enough to be safe around the process--then it gets really hard. Then you have to schedule brew days around times that you KNOW you have no childcare responsibility, and finding 5+ hours for a brew session becomes really hard. At that point I started doing night brews because I could be at least a little bit present with the kids around dinnertime while I was doing things like heating strike water, and only missed a short period of time because they'd be in bed at 8 and I'd start brewing around 6:30-7ish. But then I'd be brewing until midnight, which wears on you after a while.

I would say that my brewing has gotten quite a lot easier after my first divorce though ;) :D
 

bleme

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I started brewing when my kids were 2 and 5 and never had a problem. At the time, I was brewing with a friend so brew day was a monthly "event". Our families would all get together and with 2 of us brewing, 1 of us could be out helping with the kids or just chatting.

He quit brewing after a year but I kept up the same schedule and seemed to do fine. The problems really started the next year when the kids got more involved in activities like dance and soccer. I've only found time to brew 3 times in the last year and 2 of those were over at a friend's house, brewing a double batch. It doesn't take any extra time to do a double batch, but with another brewer there, it is half the work and the brew day really flies by.

One of those friends has a Grainfather and the last time I was over, we brewed a 10 gallon batch on his propane system at the same time as a 5 gallon batch on the Grainfather. I was very impressed with the Grainfather as it hardly needed any attention at all.
 

Radboud

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I didn't touch my brewing stuff for about a year after my kid was born (although truth be told I also had a slipped disc pinching a nerve in my back which hurt as hell). Me and SWMBO both work fulltime so practically the whole weekend is family time. I now have one day a month that is dedicated to the hobby, this gets me 6 brewing sessions, 6 kegging sessions and some gear building time.
 

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