Keeping the other half happy

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

sspilecki

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
8
Reaction score
11
Not making a hellacious mess is important to keeping a happy home especially when your significant other is not a beer drinker. A couple of tips:

1) They make throw away drop cloths for inside house painting. One side is plastic and the other side is an absorbent layer. It makes a great protection for the floor when transferring wort to the fermenting bucket and all the stuff having to do with bottling. Whatever spills gets absorbed and can't bleed through. I have used one for several batches but you can do whatever works best for you. They are pretty big so you can cut it up or you can double up for instance.

2) Pig Watering pans. Yes, you heard me. Pig watering pans come in a variety of sizes. The biggest holds a gallonish and is about 14" diameter and 1"to 1-1/2" deep of formed steel. Why is this important Stan? you may ask... because you can sit a 5 gallon bucket in it in case your fermentation gets out of hand on a warm day and it will not spill on the floor. PLUS!!! it is great to bottle in, in case you look away for a split second and overflow. (if you have cleaned it as well as your bottles before you start you can pour any overflow back into a bottle as well.

What are your special practices, tips, thoughts on keeping things clean and happy in your brewing household?
 

crazyjake19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
210
Reaction score
207
Location
Upstate NY
The #1 thing for me to keep the wife happy was setting up a room in the basement strictly for brewing. All the mess and smell is out of the kitchen, and I also don't need to carry stuff up and down the basement stairs. The only thing I still occasionally do in the kitchen is a yeast starter which I can boil while I'm making dinner.

My wife is not a beer drinker, but loves hard cider, so I keep her supplied with delicious hard ciders (which I enjoy as well)
 

jrgtr42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
1,723
Reaction score
995
Location
Metrowest, Massachusets.
It;s a fine line between getting brewing done without being invisible all day.
Since "all this" has been going on, ||I've been out of my main gig, and working part time elsewhere.
So now it comes to getting the "honey-do" list done while brewing.
 

crazyjake19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
210
Reaction score
207
Location
Upstate NY
It;s a fine line between getting brewing done without being invisible all day.
Since "all this" has been going on, ||I've been out of my main gig, and working part time elsewhere.
So now it comes to getting the "honey-do" list done while brewing.
Also a good point! Plenty of time to get some household chores done during the mash or boil. The only time I'm really "babysitting" my brew is during chilling and transferring to the fermenter.

I typically start my brew days early in the morning (5-6am) which also helps since most of the brew day is done before the wife gets up, plus I still have most of the day ahead of me. But occasionally (like today) I'll have a spur of the moment afternoon brew session.
 

seatazzz

Well-Known Bloviator & Pontificator
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
2,958
Reaction score
4,513
Location
Seattle
Cleaning up after a brewday is very important in our house, which is quite small; I brew in the garage, and the door from the garage to the house stays open to facilitate cats who have a box out here. Also, if you've ever smelled wet spent grain after forgetting about it for a couple of days, you know why it's important to get rid of it quickly!

Another point I would make, for a happy spouse/happy life; discuss ALL purchases for the brewery, be they large or small, before the money even has an inkling of leaving the account. This of course is important in ALL aspects of a successful relationship; but the quickest way for your partner to resent your hobby/obsession is by being sneaky about it. My husband does not participate in brewing, and has a very rudimentary understanding of the process. I buy grain & hops in bulk, re-use yeast as far as I can, and work hard to keep my brewing within the household budget. Conversely, I only ask that he lets me know before he goes and buys new golf clubs or bowling balls (his own personal hobby/obsession).

Further to that, if your spouse/SO has their own hobby/obsession, show interest in it! You may not want to participate, but showing enthusiasm for whatever tickles their fancy should have a reciprocal effect on their support of your brewing. Everyone's happy! For a small example, we went on a mutual shopping trip the other day where I bought several skeins of a rather pricey yarn to knit a new blanket for the couch; the cost was justified because I'm making it in the colors of our favorite sports teams.
 

Velnerj

Simul justus et potator
Joined
Jul 27, 2017
Messages
466
Reaction score
746
Location
Czech Republic
Looks for ways to shorten your process to make the brew day shorter. Short and Shoddy? I am looking into an all in one brewing system so that my brew day doesn't require as much attention during the process and I can still get precision results.

Not only does waking up early help but so does prepping the night before. This can cut some time from your brew day.

My wife used to hate bottling day because it took so long, I got a kegerator and she's been happy with that. Rarely drinks beer but likes to have sparkling water on tap. The kegerator started hidden away in the storage room and now it sits in our living room/kitchen :)

In terms of finances I put a little away each month for brewing ingredients + equipment (about $40) because I only brew 4/5 times a year I can usually buy whatever I want and it doesn't affect our living budget as long as it comes out of my savings account. Souse is happy with this.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
1,913
Location
Torrance
Communication, advance-planning, cleanliness, and involving the rest of the house to the extent that they are willing.

I try to plan brewdays a week to a month in advance. To speed it up, I usually prep the water and grain the night before and start heating the strike water well before anyone wakes up in the house. By the time I am ready to boil and open the garage door to let out the steam, it won't disturb anyone. Speaking of which, after I dropped a grain bag into the wot and sprayed the kitchen including the ceiling with hot sugary liquid, I moved outside to a patio and subsequently to the garage where I can just push cleaning liquids along the concrete and down the driveway if I spill badly. Getting my son to help me out in brewing or bottling keeps him out of my wife's hair, and that's a win-win as well.

Oh yeah, the budget. I have been selling off items from a previous hobby to finance this one, so as long as I keep it a zero-effect on the checkbook, there is no push back. Since it turns out I am bringing more money in selling off old stuff than I am buying, it actually increases the peace, as well.
 

rgregoryirving

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
83
Reaction score
23
Location
Bloomfield
Pre-programming an electric unit to have strike water start heating before I wake up has been key. There is nothing like being able to wake up at 5 or 6am and head straight to the basement for mash-in...this has really helped to shorten my brew days. Shorter brew days = happier spouse.
 

jrgtr42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
1,723
Reaction score
995
Location
Metrowest, Massachusets.
Pre-programming an electric unit to have strike water start heating before I wake up has been key. There is nothing like being able to wake up at 5 or 6am and head straight to the basement for mash-in...this has really helped to shorten my brew days. Shorter brew days = happier spouse.
can't argue there - though my induction burner will get it up to temp in maybe 20 minutes. Just about enough time to mill grains (if |I don't do it ahead of time) and get my mash tun set up. Not to mention running up and down the stairs a few times grabbing things I need to brew, but don't hvae a dedicated one yet.
 

JaggersBrewingCo

Active Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
44
Once switching over to all grain and going outside that helped. Now I try and keep thing as short and simple as I can . Wake up before everyone and knock out a few things, feed the kids and such during mash in. Because I no chill often at flame out kettle comes inside and we go shopping or whatever. Trying to have everything and I mean everything ready the night before. I often get the water salts ready a day or two ahead of time.
 

Knightshade

Which way is up again??
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
898
Reaction score
947
Location
SoCal
Man…my wife is so easy going, it is ridiculous. I figure if I did it more often, it would be a problem, but my occasional brewdays means that she gets to do whatever she wants w/o me getting in her way so she’s super happy. And that usually only means cooking, baking or sewing so all’s freekin great, especially if it is the first two.

Although, moving the operation out to the garage was definitely a good move. (Thank you Foundry!) Between my monopolizing of the entire kitchen, the mash (grape nuts smell that nobody in the house likes), the boil w/hops (that smells wonderful daddy/honey 🤢🤢🤮) I wasn’t endearing myself to anybody else in the house.

Now…I’m in the garage, they know what I’m doing and if they don’t like the smell, they should have stayed the heck out!
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,253
Reaction score
2,943
Location
Bedford
Divorce after 25 years was painful and costly. Having my own house and being able to brew what I want when I want to is PRICELESS.
But I still don't like to make more than a mess when I don't have to:
--I've simplified/downsized my brewing process and now have less opportunities to generate spills.
--Put a rectangular brownie pan in the sink and it provides a flat area to place bottles when bottling, anything spilled goes down the drain.
--Dumping wine juice or wort from bucket/kettle to carboy is a messy process, best done outside.
--PBW water used for cleaning fermenters gets a second use to clean toilets and anything else that needs cleaning, so a lot of cleaning gets done on brew days.
 

Beermeister32

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
872
Reaction score
1,299
Location
Southern California
1. If you are going to mess up the kitchen, always leave it in better condition and cleaner than when you started.

2. Better yet, wait until spouse is completely GONE for a while.

3. Cash helps. Give spouse a fistful of cash to go blow if said spouse will clear out for the day!
 

Shenanigans

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2013
Messages
1,079
Reaction score
221
Location
Germany but from Ireland
My other half used to be an Air Hostess on long distance flights.
So was away on average 3 to 4 days at a time.
I used to hope and pray that the away days fell on the weekend so I could brew. :mischievous:

Now she has a different job and wants to go on excursions every weekend so I have little or no chance of brewing from May through October.:mad:
Only a few weeks to go though :thumbsup:
 

mbronkalla

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
10
Reaction score
9
Show a second use for the brew gear. It works great for canning. Boiling the jars outside on high output burner goes faster and does not steam up the house. Brew kettle can also be used for sauces (no more boil overs). My wife is completely won over with the "outdoor" canning. Minimal mess in the kitchen, house is not all hot and steamy... However beware of gluten retention contamination if cooking in the brew kettle - I now have 29 jars of tomato sauce my daughter cant eat (celiac disease and she was in pain after the first meal with it) . It was visibly clean but still enough had clung on.
 

Beermeister32

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
872
Reaction score
1,299
Location
Southern California
If my wife used my brew kettle for tomato sauce, that would be one of the last acts as my wife. New kettle and new wife! … and not necessarily in that order!
7FB8E9D9-A886-4F99-A436-339C83CE3DE1.gif
 
Last edited:

KBW PilotHouse

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
217
Reaction score
141
Show a second use for the brew gear. It works great for canning. Boiling the jars outside on high output burner goes faster and does not steam up the house. Brew kettle can also be used for sauces (no more boil overs). My wife is completely won over with the "outdoor" canning. Minimal mess in the kitchen, house is not all hot and steamy... However beware of gluten retention contamination if cooking in the brew kettle - I now have 29 jars of tomato sauce my daughter cant eat (celiac disease and she was in pain after the first meal with it) . It was visibly clean but still enough had clung on.
Man…my wife is so easy going, it is ridiculous.
You‘re a lucky man! And so am I….! My wife is totally supportive and has no problems with me brewing, adding equipment or doing “upgrades”…. Until she she’s me looking at fermenters and kettles online - lol. Then she’ll say “ do you really have room for more stuff…? Maybe you should hold off until you have your set-ups the way you want…”.

The one time she was a little adamant was when she saw me getting ready to order more grains. “I’d prefer if you held off on that. You have a lot on-hand that you need to use…” - of course she was right; I was stockpiling 😏

Like mbronkalla I always try to come for another use for as much as possible. My sister showed up and needed to make large amounts of different chili recipes for a party. Out came a few kettles! 😉 The RO system I’m considering….honey we’ll have outstanding drinking water…and if I add minerals for taste…we’ll have the best water ever!!
 

Beermeister32

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Messages
872
Reaction score
1,299
Location
Southern California
I did that. She likes wine. Alot!

She didn’t like my wine though. Not as good as the stuff we get at the store.

So she wouldn’t drink my wine and it sits there for a couple years. I’m not big on wine. I like beer. Ended up dumping.

So obviously I make much better beer than wine. No more wine! BEEEER…!
 

JohnSand

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2013
Messages
5,098
Reaction score
2,473
Location
Long Island NY
I keg when she's out, roll up the kitchen rug, put down an old towel, and the keg goes in a bucket to catch drips.
When I used to bottle, the bucket went on the counter, the dishwasher door was open and I bottled on that to catch drips.
 

AlexKay

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
361
Reaction score
318
Location
South Bend
I brew in the house, and the whole kitchen smells like malt when I’m brewing. My wife, who cannot stand beer, likes the smell of boiling wort, as it turns out. Except when I’m brewing a rauch; then she asks if I’m brewing bacon beer again. Equipment purchases, four freezers in the garage … everything else she’s totally copacetic.

On the other hand, my two kids complain bitterly every time I brew.
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
1,799
Reaction score
1,502
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
I did that. She likes wine. Alot!

She didn’t like my wine though. Not as good as the stuff we get at the store.

So she wouldn’t drink my wine and it sits there for a couple years. I’m not big on wine. I like beer. Ended up dumping.

So obviously I make much better beer than wine. No more wine! BEEEER…!
Oh, I love me some beer, going all the way back to my High School days (which we won't say how many years ago), but my long-deceased Father-in-Law cultivated my interest in wine and got me started in vinting my own nearly 50 years ago. My wife has always had an appreciation, and though we seldom imbibe 'spirits' we often have wine with dinner meals. She'll have a glass before hand, I'll have a beer.

In addition to in-house vinted wines, we have collected quite an assortment of wines from our extensive travels. We've had wines from just about every State in the U.S. that produces wine. Most are at least drinkable, with West Coast Washington, Oregon and California being the obvious best. Florida, Arkansas and Hawaii were the worst. New Mexico and Virginia are surprisingly quaffable, though some local varietals, not so much.

Beer, on the other hand, is pretty much enjoyable everywhere. I can't think of anywhere in the 50 States where I haven't been able to find a beer or beer style that I haven't enjoyed. From Moscow to Buenos Aires to Alaska to the Philippines (and everywhere in between!) Beer has always been there for me.
 

rallenhall

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
22
Reaction score
22
Location
NW Ohio
I'm lucky on many fronts. Wife of 50 years likes beer, as long as it's a pale continental lager (she taught in the Czech Rep. for a year and came home a real pils snob). Happy to keep at least one flavor on tap. I have my own basement brew space with exhaust so spills, cleanup and clutter is totally on me. She says that boiling wort makes the house "smell good." We do share some equipment when it comes time for garden processing and canning, but that has never been an issue. I do make kit wine which we both like ... keep the reds at basement temp in pin-locks with low-pressure picnic taps and she usually just helps herself.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
4,152
Reaction score
4,038
Location
Chicago
My wife likes beer and brews with me sometimes, but she likes hops more than I do. I have an IPA recipe I brew just for her, it's too bitter for my palate. It stays on tap 2, so I call it #2. I can't even drink a whole pint of it. I did try making wine but it wasn't good so we distilled it. Much better now.
 
Top