Two Month Break

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beersk

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I'm sort of going through the same thing but it's a gastro issue for me. I have brewed for over 10 years and have had a lot of the same habits as you it sounds like. I love brewing as well but have realized I'm going to have to chill out if I want to enjoy any kind of beer or brewing in the future. Diet and exercise play a roll in the balance. Moderation is the spice of life.
So because i don't want to give up brewing I have decided to start brewing half batches and to bottle most of them. I'd like to get into historical beers, cloning commercial beers, and experimenting with smash beers. I have also realized I really enjoy making seasonal beers so maybe I'll brew a couple small batches for each season, bottle them, and call it a day until the next season.
in any case hope you can draw some ideas from what I'm thinking about doing. Hope your numbers are better next time!
Bo, the more I think about this, the more I like it. I had the idea to bottle only in bigger bottles that would get shared with people and deter me from opening a whole bottle if I didn't want more than a glass worth. Bottling is a pain, but I think it might be worth trying, at least for a while. In recent years I started using a keg as a bottling vessel instead of a bucket. Less chance of oxidation. That made the process a lot easier and stress free.
 

Tdog

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Just wanted to say I’ve been reading this post with interest, as I’ve always liked my beer and craft beer, but have tried to only drink at the weekends- but this means I drink too much at the weekend and get stuck into the Homebrew, and inevitably feel groggy on Saturday Sunday and Monday mornings. After recent holidays of drinking moderately/heavily daily I ended up feeling unwell and aching around my liver and a feeling of leg swelling (not for the first time). This post inspired me to get my liver function tests and cholesterol checked. Fortunately all are normal and similar to my tests from 2013. I was pleasantly surprised. I suppose my healthy diet, milk thistle and exercise have a role to play for that. But I will start to ease down a bit and cut out the habitual ones and drink more low abv and kombucher and sparkling water. I Don’t want to stop drinking and brewing- just a change in attitude and habits. I usually have 2 months off the booze in Jan and Feb, but recently I’ve had the odd weekend off the booze for the first time in years out of those months. I have to admit even taking a new approach has made me feel mentally better about things. I’m sure there are many others going through similar, so just thought I’d give you a shout out and say thanks for posting.
 
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beersk

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Just wanted to say I’ve been reading this post with interest, as I’ve always liked my beer and craft beer, but have tried to only drink at the weekends- but this means I drink too much at the weekend and get stuck into the Homebrew, and inevitably feel groggy on Saturday Sunday and Monday mornings. After recent holidays of drinking moderately/heavily daily I ended up feeling unwell and aching around my liver and a feeling of leg swelling (not for the first time). This post inspired me to get my liver function tests and cholesterol checked. Fortunately all are normal and similar to my tests from 2013. I was pleasantly surprised. I suppose my healthy diet, milk thistle and exercise have a role to play for that. But I will start to ease down a bit and cut out the habitual ones and drink more low abv and kombucher and sparkling water. I Don’t want to stop drinking and brewing- just a change in attitude and habits. I usually have 2 months off the booze in Jan and Feb, but recently I’ve had the odd weekend off the booze for the first time in years out of those months. I have to admit even taking a new approach has made me feel mentally better about things. I’m sure there are many others going through similar, so just thought I’d give you a shout out and say thanks for posting.
That's good that your tests came back normal. I haven't had any leg swelling or aching around the liver but yeah, I guess my habits were too excessive. And I agree, it's time to start better ones. Quitting drinking beer altogether just doesn't sound fun/like the right solution. I think my lack of exercise since covid started probably has a lot to do with it. Previous to the pandemic, I was biking to work 4-5 days a week, plus walking more. So that probably made most, if not all, of the difference. But I'm looking for to this break. Already a week in and feel great. Also checking out some of the newer NA beer on the market. The Sam Adams "Just the Haze" is quite pleasant. Might be something I keep in the fridge for during the week.
 
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beersk

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Went in for a one month checkup blood draw. Results came back with my enzymes right on the line for the upper limit. So they're going down and within normal ranges again. Time to party!!! hahaha, just kidding. Need to get them down lower to where they used to be again.
 

hundel

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Great to hear your levels are getting back to healthy levels.

Similar episode happened, not to me, but a friend. He had a similar blood work report and recommendation at a similar age. After a few months his levels returned to normal. He returned to drinking beer regularly but in greater moderation and with more 2-3 days breaks. Health is excellent and he reports that with his adjusted tolerance there is no difference in enjoyment, just in rate!

Regarding where does home-brewing fit in, I will say this: the year our household decided to stop bringing beer home from the store made me realize that home-brewing is a great way to ensure you savor every sip. So in answer to your question I think home-brewing is very conducive to moderation for people like yourself, and I also strongly believe in taking a few week hiatus from any indulgences every year or seasonally.

At any rate, thanks for posting. Your wisdom in respecting your doctor's advice and adjusting in intake is a good lesson for everyone who's "not 37 anymore"!
 
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beersk

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Great to hear your levels are getting back to healthy levels.

Similar episode happened, not to me, but a friend. He had a similar blood work report and recommendation at a similar age. After a few months his levels returned to normal. He returned to drinking beer regularly but in greater moderation and with more 2-3 days breaks. Health is excellent and he reports that with his adjusted tolerance there is no difference in enjoyment, just in rate!

Regarding where does home-brewing fit in, I will say this: the year our household decided to stop bringing beer home from the store made me realize that home-brewing is a great way to ensure you savor every sip. So in answer to your question I think home-brewing is very conducive to moderation for people like yourself, and I also strongly believe in taking a few week hiatus from any indulgences every year or seasonally.

At any rate, thanks for posting. Your wisdom in respecting your doctor's advice and adjusting in intake is a good lesson for everyone who's "not 37 anymore"!
Hey, thanks for your comments. I agree, more breaks and greater moderation is in order as well as more exercise. I truly believe this is a product of the pandemic - I don't bike to work everyday anymore and I continued drinking at the same rate, perhaps even more. It's easy to let it get away from you. But I've been biking more now and plan to continue as well as consuming alcohol more moderately. The benefits to my mental health and sleep have been wonderful.

Regarding homebrewing making one more moderate in their consumption: I kind of disagree in that I feel that is so much more readily available, I don't feel like I exchange money for each pint I pour, so it feels more disposable to me, thus making it easy to drink more of it or give more away. So that's the tricky part. I do really enjoy sharing my beer though, so that's is at least half the reason I want to continue brewing. Plus, going and pouring a pint of something I made is just priceless. I do plan to explore more low abv brewing and just generally reducing the abv on tried and true recipes.

I do think a one month break once a year is a fantastic idea too. I might have to start implementing that now even if my consumption goes up again, I think a month break will definitely be in order, especially after Oktoberfest season; November seems like a great month to take off.
 

hundel

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Regarding homebrewing making one more moderate in their consumption: I kind of disagree in that I feel that is so much more readily available, I don't feel like I exchange money for each pint I pour, so it feels more disposable to me, thus making it easy to drink more of it or give more away. So that's the tricky part. I do really enjoy sharing my beer though, so that's is at least half the reason I want to continue brewing. Plus, going and pouring a pint of something I made is just priceless. I do plan to explore more low abv brewing and just generally reducing the abv on tried and true recipes.
Yes, it can have that effect, especially in a lock down. I share your experience of adjusting to no more biking to work!

If you're open to bottling that slows everyone down in my opinion. It's more "sharable" and easier to know how many pours you've made and also to "savor every sip". With several higher ABV kegs in the basement I think some people are losing count more easily! Of course moderation can be achieved with kegs around too once you're used to keeping track of what's best for you.

And as for lower ABV, I totally agree and a friend who founded a successful small brewery agrees on that point and adjusted their offerings.

Good luck and thanks for bringing up these subjects. Like with any hobby that involves risks, it should be a welcomed topic from the outset wherever you land on your personal choices.
 
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bwible

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Hey, thanks for your comments. I agree, more breaks and greater moderation is in order as well as more exercise. I truly believe this is a product of the pandemic - I don't bike to work everyday anymore and I continued drinking at the same rate, perhaps even more.

Regarding homebrewing making one more moderate in their consumption: I kind of disagree in that I feel that is so much more readily available, I don't feel like I exchange money for each pint I pour, so it feels more disposable to me, thus making it easy to drink more of it or give more away. So that's the tricky part. I do really enjoy sharing my beer though, so that's is at least half the reason I want to continue brewing. Plus, going and pouring a pint of something I made is just priceless. I do plan to explore more low abv brewing and just generally reducing the abv on tried and true recipes.

I think a month break will definitely be in order, especially after Oktoberfest season; November seems like a great month to take off.
I think this is all true. I work from home and am definitely sitting more and getting less exercise over the last year and a half.

Spot on, as a homebrewer it is much more readily available. We have kegging setups. We bottle. And I still buy beer frequently too. At any point I might have 2 kegs on tap, 6 cases of homebrew in bottles and 3 or 4 cases of various bought beer. I do most of my drinking at home also as we’re not going out to places in general and I don’t have to worry about driving. I went to a homebrew club meeting last night and I had to keep in mind the drive home.

I drink pretty regularly as you say, 1-3 glasses after work (I work from home) and more on the weekends. I’m north of 60 and so far no health issues.

November might be a good month to break. Then Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it. We refer to New Year’s as “amateur night”. People who don’t drink the other 364 days of the year try to do it all in one night.
 

bwible

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And then there’s that whole thing about a glass of red wine every day being good for you.

I haven’t made wine for a long time but I also have a number of bottles of commercial wine in the house. We like wine with dinner. Often. I have a 100 bottle wine rack and it’s close to full. In addition to beer.

People who say Disney is the greatest place on earth have never been to Total Wine.
 
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beersk

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Yes, it can have that effect, especially in a lock down. I share your experience of adjusting to no more biking to work!

If you're open to bottling that slows everyone down in my opinion. It's more "sharable" and easier to know how many pours you've made and also to "savor every sip". With several higher ABV kegs in the basement I think some people are losing count more easily! Of course moderation can be achieved with kegs around too once you're used to keeping track of what's best for you.

And as for lower ABV, I totally agree and a friend who founded a successful small brewery agrees on that point and adjusted their offerings.

Good luck and thanks for bringing up these subjects. Like with any hobby that involves risks, it should be a welcomed topic from the outset wherever you land on your personal choices.
You biked to work too? Yeah, it was a built-in workout program for me. I biked 4 days a week to work, with random other biking to places. My commute to work was 6-7 miles each way depending on the route I took. I think the 40-60 minutes a day 4 days a week really makes a difference. Then I went from doing that to essentially riding maybe once a week (when I dragged my ass out the door to go for a ride). So, THAT I believe is the sole reason. Of course, I don't miss the low grade hangovers, so going back to the previous rate of consumption I was on is not really an option. But man, do I miss going and pouring a beer. I'm not sure about bottling. It's such a pain, plus I'd have to go buy bottles or buy beer to have bottles, and I just don't buy that much beer in bottles anymore. I prefer the European bottles, they're much heavier and have a classic shape. I brew either 2.5 or 5 gallon batches. I should probably just do the 2.5 gallon batches if I'm cutting back to moderate levels and want to keep brewing regularly. It's an easier process for me anyway since I brew inside on the stove.

I think this is all true. I work from home and am definitely sitting more and getting less exercise over the last year and a half.

Spot on, as a homebrewer it is much more readily available. We have kegging setups. We bottle. And I still buy beer frequently too. At any point I might have 2 kegs on tap, 6 cases of homebrew in bottles and 3 or 4 cases of various bought beer. I do most of my drinking at home also as we’re not going out to places in general and I don’t have to worry about driving. I went to a homebrew club meeting last night and I had to keep in mind the drive home.

I drink pretty regularly as you say, 1-3 glasses after work (I work from home) and more on the weekends. I’m north of 60 and so far no health issues.

November might be a good month to break. Then Christmas and New Year’s will be here before you know it. We refer to New Year’s as “amateur night”. People who don’t drink the other 364 days of the year try to do it all in one night.
Yeah, that sounds about like my consumption rate. Anywhere from 1-5 pours a night, 10-12oz, plus unlimited on weekends; could be anywhere between 4 pints and 8 pints. So, for someone who's 5'8 and 170lbs, that's probably far too much (obviously). November would be great for a break, I never drink beer on Thanksgiving, I'm too focused on stuffing my face with turkey and mashed potatoes and get too full for beer.
But yeah, to your comment about new year's...that's why so many of those goons do dry January. But whatever, doesn't matter when you do a dry month, it's probably a good call either way. It might even be better over the winter months because of seasonal affective disorder; alcohol probably doesn't help that any.
The worst thing about consuming too much for me is I get the hangxiety. I don't know if any of you can related, but the hangover itself isn't the part that bothers me - I don't get headaches - but I get just a very uneasy feeling that is not at all enjoyable. Maybe part of that is not exercising enough too.
Anyway, the future is bright!
 
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