Tips on keeping the Mrs. happy

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Boek

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I know many homebrewers who have managed to permanently offend their women with their brewing habits. Something about the smell, the mess, the time, the alcohol and other factors that accompany homebrewing that tend to be a bit of a turnoff.

I am new to this and don't want to go down that lonely road. Any tips?
 

mcarb

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Become completely incompetent at everything else in your home life. Screw it up immensely. But when you brew beer, do it well. She will ask you to brew just to stay out of her hair.

This method has worked well for me. Of course, I figured it out by accident.
 

TyTanium

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Encourage her to find a hobby too.

...and remember it's just a hobby. Be intentional about showing her that she comes first (e.g., work on honeydo list before brewing, don't skip date-night to brew, don't skimp on helping around the house...) If she views it as your escape from real life, she'll grow bitter toward it. If she views it as filling you with passion & excitement, she'll be excited for you, even if she doesn't give a rip about brewing. At least that's my experience.
 

rifraf

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TyTanium said:
Encourage her to find a hobby too.

...and remember it's just a hobby. Be intentional about showing her that she comes first (e.g., work on honeydo list before brewing, don't skip date-night to brew, don't skimp on helping around the house...) If she views it as your escape from real life, she'll grow bitter toward it. If she views it as filling you with passion & excitement, she'll be excited for you, even if she doesn't give a rip about brewing. At least that's my experience.
Me too, I've made a point on brewing weekends to get up and do as much as I can early in the morning while she sleeps in. Usually we take turns walking the dog in the morning on weekends but I've found doing little stuff like this goes a long way. It's also a heck of a lot easier to do it all with out her coming in/out of the kitchen etc but I don't say it that way haha. Sounds much better "I'll wake up early so you don't have to deal with it and I don't waste the whole day". Works great because I usually wake up early on brew day out of excitement anyway! :mug:
 

jfrank85

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Smell and mess are the two biggies. Countered those with on the fly clean up and candles, lots of candles.
 

thepartsmancometh

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I'm lucky, my wife doesn't mind as long as I clean up after myself. Her biggest complaint is when I leave carboys/buckets/ etc. tying up the kitchen counter or bathtub.

She even helps me bottle!

Of course, brewing is normally on Sunday after the housework and whatnot is done
 

tchfunkta

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Rule #1, set firm dates and times for brewing. When she knows I'm brewing, the expectation is set that it's the only thing I will be doing during that time. She used to come down to my garage and see me sitting, listening to music and drinking and thought,"well, I guess he can do other stuff instead of just sitting and getting drunk. Looks like a whole lot of watching" I just educated her on the brewing process and how relaxing is an important aspect:drunk:

Rule #2, about every 4 batches I ask her what fruity concoction she wants for me to brew for her. I brew it, she drinks it over the course of 2 months, we're good.

Rule #3, she never see's any of my brew stuff as getting in the way. I clean it up promptly and try to contain it as much as possible to my brew garage.

Rule #4, Frequently show her my ridiculous graph that shows how much money I have spend all-time on brewing vrs. what I would have spent on commercial brews or brews on tap at a bar. ( It's kind of fun to show that a hobby has saved me well over $5000 over the past 3 years....)


Given these rules, peace is maintained.
 

brewsme

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Do everything out doors. Ever since I've switched to all grain everything I do is out doors and out of the kitchen. She loves my hobby now! :)
 

DonNowlin

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+1 taking the kids during brew day (it teaches them a useful skill too), brewing her fruity beer and doing it all outside.
 

djt17

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I support her hobby (horses) & she supports mine (beer). Easy.
 

Rivenin

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i let her know when i want to brew and make sure we have nothing else to do, and i usually wake up early and clean up as i go... only thing she has complaints on is when i'm done with cleanup and leave it for a few hours to dry, but it's mostly crap givings.
other then that, i do major cleaning the night before, usually try and make her breakfast and make dinner that night as well (which i also clean up haha)

she honestly enjoys the process... as long as i don't get too out of hand talking about it, i try and keep it to a minimum of "be back in a bit, gotta go sparge" or "strike water is heating".

and i dont complain when she starts talking about hair color or new makeup :cross:
 

bmick

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There are a few things I do to make this work, and we live in a 700 sq ft apt with no outdoor space, so it's WORK.

One, my SWMBO is awesome. So get one of those.

Secondly, the real thing is the time. 4 hours is my usual runtime for a standard gravity, 60 min boil. So I try to rise early on weekends and have it all wrapped up before noon while she sleeps in, then make sure the kitchen gets a very, very thorough cleaning after brewing. Nobody likes a messy kitchen.

Also, SWMBO likes certain beers, like RIS, Quads, and Trippels, so there are always some of those in the pipe. I like them too, which helps.

Lastly, It's a hobby. Treat it as such. Meaning make sure it's not higher on the priority list than things that should really matter, like family/SWMBO time, work, and drinking. :mug:
 

zacster

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I always point out that the kitchen is cleaner after I brew than it ever otherwise is. Sanitized too.

She enjoys the beer as much as I do.

Make beer that she likes too.

Point out that at least you're home and not out drinking, and likely to stay home to drink your own beer.

Get her drunk too.
 

WoolyBooger

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Just invite her to help. My wife isn't exactly a beer connoisseur but she enjoys helping on brew day. But then again she goes fly fishing with me too... So maybe she is just awesome!

Seriously though, she will be more excited about the beer if she helped make it. And she will probably be less annoyed by the mess if she helped make it! Win - win.
 

WoolyBooger

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I forgot to mention that my wife also uses some of my spent grains to make delicious homemade bread. Win - win - win!
 

WestCoastHopper

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I schedule brew days up to a month ahead in her calendar, and take our oldest child outside with me. Everyone wins. The boy plays "trucks", the wife gets a bit of a break, and I get a brew.
 

Nightstalker

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Also dont clean your brewing equipment better than you do the dishes. At least dont let her see you doing a better job on the brewing equipment. Next time you leave a touch of caked on spaghetti sauce on the plate, she will remind you of how your were breaking a sweat to get that "glass jar thing" squeaky clean. And it came out spotless so why not these dishes ;)
 

beerspitnight

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I am usually "able" to brew once a month. We brew at my buddy's place, although next year (August) I am moving out to suburbia where we will brew as we will have more room, so perhaps these aspects of how to keep the Mrs. happy while brewing will shift.

1. Start early - a 8am or 9am start time works best as we will be done by 2pm at the latest.
2. Take the boy with me. Although now that he is mobile, we try to have one of my buddy's girlfriends over so they can keep play with him.
3. Suggest that she go and get her nails done and have lunch with her friends.
4. Don't come home drunk.
 

Rivenin

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beerspitnight said:
I am usually "able" to brew once a month. We brew at my buddy's place, although next year (August) I am moving out to suburbia where we will brew as we will have more room, so perhaps these aspects of how to keep the Mrs. happy while brewing will shift.

1. Start early - a 8am or 9am start time works best as we will be done by 2pm at the latest.
2. Take the boy with me. Although now that he is mobile, we try to have one of my buddy's girlfriends over so they can keep play with him.
3. Suggest that she go and get her nails done and have lunch with her friends.
4. Don't come home drunk.
Number 4... live by that, going out and having fun with friends is one thing. Don't make it into a boozefest... come home, give her loves and pay attention to her.
With that being said, I asked her if I could brew this weekend, she said yes. So I spent the last half hour making the kitchen spotless. Basically, just don't forget about her
 

MrOH

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My girlfriend views me brewing as my unwinding time, and when our schedules allow, we do it together, so there's no real conflict, so long as I clean up afterwards. Then again, she works a full-time job and is going to grad school as well, and I work a 65-80 hour week, so things are probably a bit different for us.
 

rjsnau

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I always point out that the kitchen is cleaner after I brew than it ever otherwise is. Sanitized too.

She enjoys the beer as much as I do.

Make beer that she likes too.

Point out that at least you're home and not out drinking, and likely to stay home to drink your own beer.

Get her drunk too.
+1 for making the kitchen/house cleaner than before you start. Also for my SWMBO it is important to give a realistic time when I will be done. She doesn't care at all unless I say I am going to be done at 6 and then 9:30 I am still finishing up.
 

Tall_Yotie

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From my wife:

Don't expect her to clean up.
Take on a teaching role; more interesting if she knows what is going on.
Be patient.
Make beers she enjoys.
Let her experiment with beer, even if it is something you don't think will work. If she says "Hey, I would like us to make something that had these notes" then do it. She will feel really appreciated and part of the real brewing process, rather than someone to just stir grain.

Do you have friends that are married? Have them over for a brew day. Brew with the husband if the wife's are not into it, make it a fun afternoon, and brewing will become part of a social fun day, a play-date as it were.
 

iaefebs

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+1 for making the kitchen/house cleaner than before you start.
You aren't married to an Italian woman.Suggesting that the kitchen is cleaner when I am done brewing ,and is more clean than how she keeps it during cooking, is an invitation to disaster.And most likely will get me an offer to clean the toilets, since I am so great at cleaning.. What I do is not leave a mess. I respect her kitchen .Then again I find that a woman with great culinary skills loves the smell of Barley in the morning.
 

Stardust

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You aren't married to an Italian woman.Suggesting that the kitchen is cleaner when I am done brewing ,and is more clean than how she keeps it during cooking, is an invitation to disaster.And most likely will get me an offer to clean the toilets, since I am so great at cleaning.. What I do is not leave a mess. I respect her kitchen .Then again I find that a woman with great culinary skills loves the smell of Barley in the morning.
This is great advice! While I'm not an Italian woman, I find that my husband does respect our kitchen (at least my need for a clean kitchen.) But I have the problem of having a husband that strongly dislikes beer so that makes me the brewer. One way I keep him happy is to have 3 or 4 different styles of beer in the frig when the gang comes over for game night. He listens to the feedback they give and offers suggestions like "when are you going to brew that <insert style here> again that everyone liked so much." And he will discuss my recipe ideas with me. He prefers to stay out of my way when I brew but is glad to help me lift or carry the full fermenter whereever it needs to go. He is never out of gift ideas for me either. It seems I always need something else to make my brewing process more efficient.
 

GulfCoastGirl

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You all sound like a bunch of great guys, very thoughtful and your SWMBOs sound like great ladies as well. Congratulations to you all :mug:
 

Bigbeavk

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Always brew something she likes. My wife rarely ever had a beer until I found a vanilla porter or a nice roasty coffee stout. And lets not forget about a nice mead like raspberry or cinnamon vanilla. You know something to get them trashed before they realize it. :D
 
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Outside is the key. I keep all my equipment in the basement and brew outside. Typically anything I don't do outside I do in the basement bathroom which is pretty much mine to clean anyway.

The one time I tried to clean my MLT in the kitchen I never heard the end of it. My hoses outside were frozen so I thought it would be a good option to get everything clean...until I dumped about 6 lbs of grains in the floor and apparently left quite a few around the sink as well. Now I just have to commit to staying out of the kitchen :)
 

zacster

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When I said "Always leave the kitchen cleaner than it ever otherwise is", I'm just pointing out the fact that our sanitaion methods far exceed any home cooks. I sanitize the counters and the table. This is just so I don't have to worry about accidentally touching a hose to the counter. I'm also very liberal with the Oxyclean. I wipe everything down with it when I'm done since it is already mixed up.

My Blichmann pot of course is shining stainless steel before it gets put away, our regular cookware not so much.
Our floor is a different story...
 

GulfCoastGirl

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When I said "Always leave the kitchen cleaner than it ever otherwise is", I'm just pointing out the fact that our sanitaion methods far exceed any home cooks.

I think the ribbing about it is due to the notion that that's a great way to get yourself roped into doing a whole bunch more cleaning around the house.... yanno.... since you're so good at it ;)
 

GulfCoastGirl

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Oh and a note to you guys..... we women are WELL AWARE that your pitiful attempts at cleaning anything around the house that doesn't interest you is all a big ruse to get us to take over and "do it the right way". It's one of the many reasons we make sure that "honey do" list always has plenty to do on it ;)
 

rifraf

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GulfCoastGirl said:
Oh and a note to you guys..... we women are WELL AWARE that your pitiful attempts at cleaning anything around the house that doesn't interest you is all a big ruse to get us to take over and "do it the right way". It's one of the many reasons we make sure that "honey do" list always has plenty to do on it ;)
Here I was thinking I was getting away with stuff.
 

Stardust

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I forgot to mention that my wife also uses some of my spent grains to make delicious homemade bread. Win - win - win!
I'd love to have her recipe. DO you think you could PM it me or ask her if she would mind sharing it? Thanks, mate :mug:
 

JohnnyO

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Two females posting in the same thread?

Ruh roh.
:D

As for this thread, one thing I try to do is check in with my wife every half hour or so. We have a 7 month old at home. She's a trooper with him on brewdays. However, I've had to put off my clean up to later in the day so I can give her some relief after I've pitched.
 

LandoLincoln

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You ever notice that there's never any threads about "Tips on keeping the Mr. happy?" Other than Cosmopolitan magazine forum, perhaps.
 

onthekeg

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I told her that I would give up the hookers and blow to stay home and brew. That didn't work too well since I didn't have that habit yet. As far as hobbies go, the other ones I have take me away from home so she is pretty good about my brewing.
Aviation and Motocross aren't in home hobbies. ;)
 
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