Author Topic: Kids and Homebrew  (Read 1500 times)

Offline jaftak22

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Kids and Homebrew
« on: April 13, 2014, 06:04:39 PM »
So I am starting this post so I can vent to others who may share the same pain as me. I feel like my  kids secretly plot to sabotage my home brew. The most recent distruction I noticed was at 7:00 this morning when I opened the fridge. I had rinsed some  Wehenstephen Wizen yeast about two weeks ago. It looked amazing and I had probably 700 mils of it just minding its business in the fridge. Well my youngest had turned the fridge to the coldest setting causing everything to freeze. My jar of yeast was frozen solid. I might have tried to salvage some of it but the lid popped off causing some of contents to go everywhere before it completely froze in the middle of the night.

Instance two. So I often let my oldest help me out by adding hops during the boil or just tagging along to the LHBS. About a month ago I did a batch late morning and she was helping as usual. I turned off the burner and put my immersion chiller in and went inside to get some coffee. When I opened the door to go back outside, the very sight of what she was doing horrified me. She had the end of the hose from the chiller where all the water comes out pointed right at my kettle. God knows how much of that water made it in there. She cried and I almost did with her.

So there's a couple of my stories, what have your minions done to you to sabatoge your brew?

Offline anthony

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 06:35:34 PM »
I actually have a funny story that happened earlier today but it isn't really a disaster...

I offered to go out to the grocery store to grab my family some donuts, juice, etc. and I thought I would stop at the brewery on the way, crash cool a fermenter, grab the breakfast and nobody would be the wiser. My 2.5 year old son heard I was going to the store and he insisted on going with. No problem I thought, my son loves stopping at the brewery and goofing around. So we stop in, the tanks all look good, I change the thermostat to crash the one that I need to do stuff with later, and I happen to look on the floor and notice one of our cask conditioned ales is leaking on to the floor from the shive. My son is running around the brewery at this point, every now and then I have to remind him not to play with valves that control hundreds of gallons of beer, after looking at the cask for a few minutes I decide that I won't be able to pound the shive back in and get it to stop leaking, so I will need to vent the cask, remove the shive, re-prime it, and reshive it. So I drag the cask over to the trench drain, and this gets my son's attention. He is watching carefully as I grab the wooden mallet and pound a soft-peg into the shive, BANG, as soon as I break the seal on the shive, beer is spraying everywhere, my son is freaking out, running as far away as he can, I am being sprayed with beer… I am laughing as I get the peg in place and stop the beer fountain. I spray everything down at the brewery, grab my son, and we head to the grocery store.

For the entire trip to the store and the way home, my son kept saying, "I am sorry, that was my fault" and I had to work really hard to convince him that he had nothing to do with my over-primed cask.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 07:01:33 PM »
My kids have never messed up one of my batches.  The oldest and the youngest have been great helpers stirring things, but not the middle child.  She has no interest.

As long as my son has a bucket of soapy water or star san to stir and get bubbles, he's good.

I suppose they've distracted me and caused me to pitch the wrong yeast.  Like that Belgian stout that wasn't supposed to be Belgian...  But that's about it.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline erockrph

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 07:26:34 PM »
Nothing yet, but I usually plan my brewdays around daddy time so I can enjoy some solitude. He's starting to hit the "I want to help you" phase, so I might let him start making hop additions. No IPA's yet, though - I don't think he's strong enough ;D
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Offline el_capitan

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 08:12:17 PM »
My guys are usually pretty helpful, especially when it comes to helping me pour a beer for supper.  They'll ask, "Mommy, what's the meat?"  And then they make their beer pairing based on that.  Usually they pick what I would have chosen too.  Looks like I have two cicerones-in-training! 

My older son (who's now almost 7) used to help me monitor my fermentation temps all the time.  When I'd get home from work it was time to "check the beer."  Once he was mumbling in his sleep, and he clearly said, "Cheh.  Brrr."  Now that's dedication! 




These memories are priceless.  I think the more you teach kids about brewing or beer, the better helpers they'll become.  I also think this removes some of the mystique around drinking and helps kids see that alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly.  My kids see me drink beer quite often, but they never see me intoxicated. 

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 08:29:02 PM »
My 3 year old likes to help wash bottles. I also let him fill the various vessels with water. I plan my brewing times around naps and when my wife is either home or takes him somewhere.

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 07:30:37 AM »
My guys are usually pretty helpful, especially when it comes to helping me pour a beer for supper.

Love the pajamas.  We've got some of those at home.  Kids are very curious and want to be helpful.  I just need to keep a close on eye on them around all the hot liquids.  Once the beer is in the fermenter, no worries, except for my daughter who would pull the siphon out of the keg and spray beer on the floor.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline jaftak22

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 08:06:33 AM »
The equipment makes me nervous with them around. Mostly the burner cause of how much heat those things put it out

Offline kramerog

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 08:29:19 AM »
My daughter helps with bottling.  She doesn't like the smell of wort so she is never around during brewing, which is fine by me.
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Offline denny

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 08:35:11 AM »
My son drinks my beer!  Of course, he's 37.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 08:36:54 AM »
My son drinks my beer!  Of course, he's 37.

My son wants to.  But he's got many years until that's OK.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2014, 08:40:20 AM »
I've been lucky overall - I've had one airlock pulled off a batch of hefe, causing it to oxidize.  Obviously, dumpworthy. Aside from that, I've been very careful to keep them away from the hot wort.  The 2 broken carboys sent me running to plastic. I let the kids help me weigh water salts and hops, though.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 03:17:40 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 08:53:43 AM »
The 3 kids in our household are old enough to stay away from the fermenting beer. The oldest (16) is not involved with the process at all, and I'm fine with that. The 10 year old puts the bottles through the vinator on bottling day, I fill, and the 13 year old caps the bottles for me. We only have them every other week, so if I bottle when they are not around, they are not happy. Nobody wants to contribute to brew day though and I'm fine with that, as it has become "My Thing" Overall, I like when they are around and am glad they are old enough to be responsible around the works in progress. The destruction they wreak on the rest of the household has not yet reached into my brew world thank goodness!
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Fermenting: Saison
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW
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Offline tcanova

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2014, 09:31:15 AM »
We had three very close together, our oldest turned 3 a month before we brought our third home, so they put my brewing on hiatus for several years.  It's awfully hard to tell the wife that you are going to spend 6 hours in the garage brewing with 3 little ones running around!

Now they are teenagers and just think dad is weird for spending all that time in the garage.
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Offline ncbluesman

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Re: Kids and Homebrew
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 09:42:16 AM »
My 3 1/2 year old son, Liam, loves to help me clean.  How long do you think I can keep him believing that cellar work is important work?  ;D