About four weeks ago now I was blessed with a new addition to my family, Olivia. A bundle of joy that brings nothing but rainbows and sunshine to everyone and everything she comes across. Since her birth, I have found it very challenging to fit in my craft beer time, devoting 2-3 hours writing a post, making a video review or attending Meet the Brewery nights is hard to nudge into the three hour window between feedings. So what I’ve learned to do is become a lot more organized with my time and plan things according to my 3 hours of freedom.
On the same day my daughter was born Dennis Geier (@Syracuse12) and Michelle Stavrou (@JerseyGirlEats), two NJ craft beer folks, also brought another gift into this world. They, like me, love craft beer and have managed to maximize freedom between feedings and successfully integrate their baby into one of their passions. They took their newborn with them to a cask ale festival this past weekend and I thought to myself well gosh darnit if they can still enjoy the fruits of a good brew, with the newborn, I certainly can too. With the strength of Dennis and Michelle, I set out to change my demure attitude towards craft beer and enjoy both my newborn and a brew AT THE SAME TIME!
Home Brewing with a Newborn
Yesterday I brewed a three gallon batch of my Heinekale (my ale version of Heineken) and in preparation I had to plan how and when to brew this batch within my feeding window. I wasn’t going to have time for a full grain or a partial mash so I came up with an extract version, something I could complete within three hours. Here’s my schedule of when and how I managed to brew.
|2:00pm flame on 4 gall. of water in the kettle
2:10 prepare all equipment
2:30 sanitize all equipment
2:40 warm milk and feed baby
3:00 put baby to sleep
3:10 add all DME to the boiling water
3:15 stir and keep an eye out for the boil over
3:30 begin 60 mins boil by adding hops
3:35 pour a glass of homebrew wit
3:37 prepare the ice bath
3:40 played Call of Duty: MW3
|4:15 added Irish moss
4:10 added second hop addition
4:20 Flame out and last hop addition
4:25 Cool wort
4:35 Transfer to fermentor
4:37 Pacifier fell out baby crying (tend to baby)
4:45 take gravity reading
4:50 pitch yeast
5:00 Clean-up (oh the joy)
6:00pm Done and feed the baby again
The one thing I learned about this brew day is that having a newborn and continuing life as normal, presents you with a challenge by which you need to sit down and solve. Its something that’s attainable, you just have to be willing to compromise and be a lot more creative with your time. Granted there are things that you will not be able to do as much like attending a Meet the Brewery night every Thursday but maybe you can get one in a month.
To all the craft beer lovers out there with newborns… PROST and keep calm it gets better!
|Est Original Gravity: 1.050 SG||Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG|
|Est Final Gravity: 1.011 SG||Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG|
|Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.1 %||Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 %|
|Bitterness: 27.5 IBUs||Calories: 172.0 kcal/12oz|
|Est Color: 3.8 SRM|