Brewing with a Newborn: Maximizing My 3 Hours of Freedom

Beer Bottle photo by Todd_Baker of flickr.com

Beer Bottle photo by Todd_Baker of flickr.com

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!

 


Heinekale recipe

Ingredients

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 1 25.0 %
3 lbs Pilsner Dy Extract (3.5 SRM) Extract 2 75.0 %
1.00 oz Perle [8.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 3 25.0 IBUs
0.15 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 4
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min Hop 5 2.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 1.0 min Hop 6 0.3 IBUs
0.6 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) [50.28 ml] Yeast 7

Beer Profile

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

 Beer Smith Recipe

About Irving

I'm just a guy who has a passion for good beer. Over the past few years I've been making it a point to introduce my friends to good quality beer and now, all of you. There's a world beyond cold activated cans, clydesdales, green bottles and Mexican clear bottled beer, you just need to tap that keg. Stay thirsty but stay different.

Comments

  1. Jason McGeough says:

    Proper time management is key. This will likely force you to practice it. Where did you get the recipe?

  2. Haha I love the picture. Nice post Irv. Congrats with the little one! But as a CPS investigator I’m gonna have to confiscate that baby bottle filled with beer and all other adult beverages around for evidentiary purposes of course. LOL!

    • I’m not sure what you’re talking about Juan because that’s apple juice in that bottle. :) All other adult beverages … dem fightin words!!! :)

  3. Apple juice with a nice looking head? hmmm, ha

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