Tips on keeping the Mrs. happy

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DonutMuncher

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This has been a fun thread to read :mug:

Lots of good suggestions here for keeping SWMBO happy. I brew in the kitchen and she doesn't mind at all, but I make sure to clean up after myself and try to leave the kitchen looking very clean.

I'm lucky mine enjoys pretty much any type of beer (like me), so she is a little easier to please when I know she'll be partaking in the final product. She tends to help me out too, especially on bottling day. It's always a plus if they want to get involved.

Some good tips here about making sure you brew something she likes every now and then, cleaning up thoroughly after you're done, and trying not to completely ignore her on brew day :)
 

Grinnan5150

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I make it a point to tell my wife at least a month in advance that I want to brew. Her biggest beef is that it takes 4 to 6 hours of my time leaving her with a cranky toddler half the day. Advance notice is key and then giving her the remaining free time of the weekend and I take over the parenting duties.

I also make sure to make every other batch something she likes also. Whenever possible I will take a PTO day during the week so I can brew when no one is there.
 

jfrank85

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I try to correspond the brew day with my wife's girl's only days. They go out and get pedicures and drink wine and the guys brew beer, talk beer, drink beer, and play video games. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me! :)
 

Grinnan5150

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jfrank85 said:
I try to correspond the brew day with my wife's girl's only days. They go out and get pedicures and drink wine and the guys brew beer, talk beer, drink beer, and play video games. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me! :)
You got a great gig going there!
 

beerspitnight

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jfrank85 said:
i try to correspond the brew day with my wife's girl's only days. They go out and get pedicures and drink wine and the guys brew beer, talk beer, drink beer, and play video games. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me! :)
+1!!!
 

MoesTavern

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Factors such as cleanup, smell, drunkenness, etc… those are just matters of domestic common sense. IOW, show her the respect she deserves & don’t be a slob, and she can’t really object to homebrewing. It’s not much different from having a passion for cooking chili, right?

Hobbies in general keep me sane. So that’s pretty much the end of the discussion in our household. Take away my hobbies and I soon become a grumpy pain in the neck.
 

smurfwar

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Tall_Yotie said:
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.
Couldn't agree more. Plus it brings them back to try the beer they helped brew. Brings a social aspect to your home life. Some times her coworkers some times out of town guests.
Tends to be fun. Just make sure to help prep the house for company.
 

Clt2DC

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Clean up after yourself and make something for her pretty simple.

And people with SWMBOs need to ditch them and get with someone cool. Life is to short to spend it with a beat-down.
 

GulfCoastGirl

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And people with SWMBOs need to ditch them and get with someone cool. Life is to short to spend it with a beat-down.

+ infinity!

I'm a female and I couldn't agree more! Sometimes the roles are reversed but the sentiment is the same. Life is too short to spend it under the thumb of a controlling person ;)
 

Atonk

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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.
This about made me spit my beer out - great!
 

samsonave

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tchfunkta said:
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.
Excellent advice!
 

brewguy82

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buy her flowers....tell her how u love her...help her find a hobby...watch the kids and brew
 

BrnBtlFlzy

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So about lady brewers. How do you keep the husband/SO happy?

I know, it's beer, and I even made it and cleaned up. It wasn't fruity, and I let your friends drink as much as they want. In my experience though, even telling a significant other about making beer hasn't gone so well. They don't want to help, and they don't want you to be taken away by something as base as making alcohol.

Someone asked me about romance the other day, and I looked at them blankly while replying, "Romance? Is that the thing that happens between a brewer and their yeast?" Which is probably why we are all here. I do love my fermentations, but it's not mutually exclusive to loving other people, and I'm certainly open to a threesome.
 

Yooper

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So about lady brewers. How do you keep the husband/SO happy?
I guess that my answer is "I don't care!" :D

Not really, but we all have interests and hobbies. I don't get obsessed with March Madness but he does so I suck it up as he spends hours talking/discussing/picking bets on his college BB stuff. He also gardens (yawn) many hours a week.

People without hobbies or interests are exceedingly dull and one dimensional, so any SO should be happy to see their partner happy and enjoying themselves.

I could take up a more expensive hobby- aviation lessons, or scuba diving for starters. But I'm happy brewing, and I enjoy it and find it relaxing. If your partner gives you **** for it, maybe the relationship is the problem, not the brewing.
 

stbnj

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I stay outside as much as possible, I do come in for water and to clean up but the brewing is done outside. I also start early so I am done at a reasonable time and always cook a nice breakfast on brew days. I also brew on request for her friends, a summer shandy here, a blueberry wheat there, a strawberry blonde ale for her sister, etc. Doing this also opened the door for me to start kegging for parties. I think the biggest thing though is doing more than my fair share the week leading up to brewing to buy some credit with the Mrs. She knows when I am planning to brew when the flask and stir plate come out mid week. She also makes fun of me when I use the refractometer.
 

TOWEYWACKER

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1. My wife works every other weekend, so I try to time it up on the weekends that she works
2. I brew in the garage (no smells, no "in-house" mess)
3. Clean, clean, clean after you brew
4. Definitely brew some batches for her, no matter how fruity she likes it
5. Don't get wasted!
6. Show excitement and interest in the "science" of the hobby
7. If she is present, make it an event and invite other married couples over (let her choose some couples)
8. Show some interest and respect for her hobbies
9. Don't let brewing get in the way of dates, dinners, get togethers, or other events
10. Be an all around decent husband she can be proud of and she will support homebrewing
 

Komodo

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Use your leftover Starsan to clean the shower. Its freaking awesome. Nothing grows for quite some time.
 
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clean up after yourself
don't use/break/lose her kitchen gadgets
don't spill/leak starsan on non-stone countertops

These are the mistakes I've made :) brew an occasional batch that she prefers.
 

SocalNat

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She knows how much I love this hobby. The absolute joy I get from it (every single aspect of it, by the way.) makes me a much happier person which makes me a better husband and a better father. She also likes the beer I brew.
 

marcopolo

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I agree about brewing outdoors. My wife used to really complain about the mess I made when (extract) brewing in the kitchen. When I started going all-grain I had to go outside, and that pleased her very much.
More importantly, I've been working on beers that she likes & that has been a lifesaver. She now sees the value in what I'm doing. She also has her own hobby (horseback riding), and that helps me justify the financial investments I make with regard to brewing. Every time she says something about my spending too much money, I remind her of how much money her horses cost. Over time, she's accepted & fully supports my homebrewing. It took about a year or two, however...
 

Valk0001

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Even though I do all of the cooking, and she does most of the kitchen cleaning I do my part to assist, like brew what she likes and brew outdoors. Keep the drunken buddies to a minimum on brew day, and remove the brew equipment from the kitchen or bathroom once they are dried. She does appreciate the aroma of boiling malt though in all fairness to her and she does apprecate that I do not bug her to get this for me and grab this for me and while you are at it can you toss me over the, or do me a favor and stir this while I go grab this or that.
Yeah life is good as long the outcome was wort the fuss.
 

karljrberno

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Funny stuff :D
As much as it hurts , I bring my "A" Game on brew days , She usually gos shopping so when she gets home me and my brewing parts will unload the car for her and put it away quick , Stay out of her way (out side) Then when you are finished and clean up order dinner (ask her what she wants)
By now you are prolly pretty pie eyed and the chines will be great then you can go back to sitting and wait for the wort to start making beer .
 

DFP51

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I don't want to be a jerk, but the perspective of these type of questions always depresses me. I think the question you should be asking yourself is is my wife happy/content/not a raving lunatic in general. If she is generally unhappy, a harpy, whatever, you got bigger problems than whether she will complain about your brewing.

If she is not normally a raving lunatic, then exhibiting the same behaviors you do every day when you are brewing will mean you are fine. Spend what you can afford, not more. Not everyone needs shiny new blichman pots, or some fancy set up. If you are not a slob every other day, don't be one on brewday. If you are not in the habit of drinking away a Saturday afternoon, don't get drunk just because you are brewing. If there are tasks that you would normally do, get them done before brewing. If there is so much stuff to do around the house that you can't carve out 5-6 hours on a weekend then you probably shouldn't be brewing that weekend anyway.

I can't speak for everyone else's relationship, but I can say after being married for twenty years that if I all of a sudden started doing chores I normally wouldn't do it would tick my wife off. She would surmise, correctly, that I was only doing something to curry favor rather than because it needed to be done. In other words, I would be acting like one of our kids rather than an adult.

You need to do the normal everyday stuff because it needs doing, not because you are afraid the wife will yell at you. You need to tell her you love her because you do, not so she will let you hang out in the garage for 5 hours. Spend time with her because she is the coolest person on the planet, not so you get brownie points to cash in so you can make beer.

And most importanty, trust her to know that a reasonable hobby is healthy for you and consequently your relationship. Give her the same grace you expect if she has a hobby.
 

Valk0001

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Congrats on the 20 plus years of marriage. This being my second I have learned everything is a comprimise even when it comes to hobbies. If Momma aint Happy, NOBODY is happy is the truest statement ever muttered.

I just be sure to brew low hopped Red Ales from time to time and life is good.
 

JeffoC6

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I don't want to be a jerk, but the perspective of these type of questions always depresses me. I think the question you should be asking yourself is is my wife happy/content/not a raving lunatic in general. If she is generally unhappy, a harpy, whatever, you got bigger problems than whether she will complain about your brewing.

If she is not normally a raving lunatic, then exhibiting the same behaviors you do every day when you are brewing will mean you are fine. Spend what you can afford, not more. Not everyone needs shiny new blichman pots, or some fancy set up. If you are not a slob every other day, don't be one on brewday. If you are not in the habit of drinking away a Saturday afternoon, don't get drunk just because you are brewing. If there are tasks that you would normally do, get them done before brewing. If there is so much stuff to do around the house that you can't carve out 5-6 hours on a weekend then you probably shouldn't be brewing that weekend anyway.

I can't speak for everyone else's relationship, but I can say after being married for twenty years that if I all of a sudden started doing chores I normally wouldn't do it would tick my wife off. She would surmise, correctly, that I was only doing something to curry favor rather than because it needed to be done. In other words, I would be acting like one of our kids rather than an adult.

You need to do the normal everyday stuff because it needs doing, not because you are afraid the wife will yell at you. You need to tell her you love her because you do, not so she will let you hang out in the garage for 5 hours. Spend time with her because she is the coolest person on the planet, not so you get brownie points to cash in so you can make beer.

And most importanty, trust her to know that a reasonable hobby is healthy for you and consequently your relationship. Give her the same grace you expect if she has a hobby.
Fantastic post. Couldn't have said it better myself.
 

CreamyGoodness

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Just think the ace every one of us has in the hole. How many men, and women, out there have no interests at all? I think my SWMBO is aware she could have wound up with one of those ;)
 

bmick

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I don't want to be a jerk, but the perspective of these type of questions always depresses me. I think the question you should be asking yourself is is my wife happy/content/not a raving lunatic in general. If she is generally unhappy, a harpy, whatever, you got bigger problems than whether she will complain about your brewing.

If she is not normally a raving lunatic, then exhibiting the same behaviors you do every day when you are brewing will mean you are fine. Spend what you can afford, not more. Not everyone needs shiny new blichman pots, or some fancy set up. If you are not a slob every other day, don't be one on brewday. If you are not in the habit of drinking away a Saturday afternoon, don't get drunk just because you are brewing. If there are tasks that you would normally do, get them done before brewing. If there is so much stuff to do around the house that you can't carve out 5-6 hours on a weekend then you probably shouldn't be brewing that weekend anyway.

I can't speak for everyone else's relationship, but I can say after being married for twenty years that if I all of a sudden started doing chores I normally wouldn't do it would tick my wife off. She would surmise, correctly, that I was only doing something to curry favor rather than because it needed to be done. In other words, I would be acting like one of our kids rather than an adult.

You need to do the normal everyday stuff because it needs doing, not because you are afraid the wife will yell at you. You need to tell her you love her because you do, not so she will let you hang out in the garage for 5 hours. Spend time with her because she is the coolest person on the planet, not so you get brownie points to cash in so you can make beer.

And most importanty, trust her to know that a reasonable hobby is healthy for you and consequently your relationship. Give her the same grace you expect if she has a hobby.
Big thumbs up to this, if for no other reason, for the use of the word "harpy".
 

TyTanium

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DFP51 - Great post. Wise words.

Just think the ace every one of us has in the hole. How many man men, and women, out there have no interests at all? I think my SWMBO is aware she could have wound up with one of those ;)
Lack of passion is an affliction I'd wish on no one. I told my wife before I married her..."I may not be cool, I may not be rich, but one thing I'm certainly not is boring." And she still thought marrying me was a good idea :)
 

Rick3277

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I guess I am one of the few lucky men out there. My Wife is my brewing partner, it is a great hobby we both enjoy. We have only been brewing for five months, but have brewed nine batches, with another IPA this weekend. We are now kegging and have built a kegerator. We live in Delaware and just a short drive from some great breweries like Dogfish, 16 mile, Evolution, Lancaster and Old Dominion. Visiting these places and meeting brewers give us great ideas and inspiration.
 

DFP51

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Thanks for the kind words guys. I was worried I would come off too preachy.
 

Frank99

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Out of site, out of mind.
I brew late at night or early morning in my own sectioned off part of the garage.
I could be cooking crystal meth and she wouldn't know about it...:D
 

Quaffman

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+1 on brewing early in the morning. I can finish by noon and still have time with the family.
 
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I've only just started brewing, but my H shows zero interest. When I told him I wanted to start smoking meats, he actively opposed it. Of course the first bite of pulled pork got him asking when I'd be smoking again :). So I'm guessing home brewed beer will have the same effect!
One big positive to his lack of interest is that I know he won't be messing with my stuff, LOL
 

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Sharona, my spouse didn't discourage me at first but it was definitely my thing, not her's. Then in November, she went with me to a homebrew club meeting and now she goes every month.
 
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