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Homebrew at Home

May 10, 2010

Last weekend, I got together with the boys and brewed an IPA.  The downstairs bathroom in my home had a nice aroma, what with 10 gallons fermenting away.  Seeing as the fermentation had slowed, it was time to rack it off into secondary fermentation and add another round of hops.

This time, I was able to enlist the help of my children rather than the fellas.  They were all excited.  Giddy.  Their enthusiasm makes does my heart well.  My son tagged along with me to grab the auto-siphon I had left at a friend’s house.  While I was cleaning out the recently “floated” corny keg of amber ale, the children kept asking me if it was time to transfer.  You could cut the anticipation in the air with a knife, but I resisted… not the best idea to play with knives with youngin’s around.

This was a great opportunity to cover some brewing basics with the kids.  We discussed the process in which we were engaged, and why it is beneficial.  The timing of adding the “dry hops” was also discussed in relation to fermentation.  We all took a sniff of the hops (Centennial and Amarillo) to understand the differences in aroma and flavor they can impart to the beer.  They even got a little hands on with the yeast trub at the bottom of the primary fermenters.

At the end of the day, it was educational fun.  I got to engage my kids in an activity I enjoy immensely.  And I can relate to Nate @ THFB and his experience with his son just a little bit more now.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 7:36 am

    Awesome article, and thanks for the shout out! You have four children? Very cute pic of the little one filling the carboy. The other day I boiled small amount of dried malt extract to prime my barley wine. The kids ran up from the basement and said “we smell beer!” They proceeded to help me bottle.

    When your kids grow up they will certainly remember beer time with daddy!

  2. Big Tex permalink
    May 11, 2010 8:07 am

    Yes, I have four kids… so far. 🙂 One boy (7) and three girls (5, 3, 1). I really enjoy having them participate in my hobby. They all like the taste of my recent amber ale. The youngest will say “Beer! Beer!” when she wants a sip. The others invariably ask for a sip or three whenever I grab a beer while they’re awake.

    As parents, we all hope that these moments we spend with our kids become great memories down the road. I know moments like these contribute to their formation, both in setting the example that caring fathers spend time with their kids, and also that beer is supposed to have great flavor, character and depth. I suppose there will be even more lessons gleaned from that evening than those I’ve mentioned.

  3. Don permalink
    May 12, 2010 3:34 pm

    It is funny, but I don’t home brew, but my beer blogging hobby has brought me and my son closer together. Neither you nor Nate can probably relate yet, as all your kids are still very young, but me and my son Brian have never been overly close. Now before you go thinking all Great Santini on me, it is more just like we have very little in common, and there are awkward moments, pauses etc. We love each other very much, but have never seen eye to eye on just about anything.

    Well when I started blogging Brian would ask me for tastes of the beer. (Brian is 18, FYI). It quickly became apparent that he has a great palate, and really wanted to learn about flavors and what he was tasting, so we began to share beers and Whiskeys when I would open them. Again before you go getting the wrong Idea, in Idaho as long as a child is in his parents home with the parent’s permission, drinking is NOT illegal. I have actually taken this opportunity to teach him that beer should be drunk for flavor not effect, and that while the alcohol does have an impact some times, the goal is not to get waisted. This has been really fun, and interesting as he is now talking to kids in his school about drinking good beer, and that getting waisted is stupid.

    It has brought us together like nothing ever has, and hopefully will be something we can share for a long time together.

    • May 14, 2010 5:36 am

      Don, very ironically, I wrote my post about sharing sips with kids without knowledge of this comment, which I just now read.

      “We love each other very much, but have never seen eye to eye on just about anything.” My son Malachi is the polar opposite of me. He argues about EVERYTHING with me. If I say the sky is blue, he says it is teal. Drives me nuts, but makes me proud at the same time. But he loves brewing, and loves the teaspoons of beer I give him. I can’t wait till we can sidle up to a pub together.

      Good stuff here.

  4. Don permalink
    May 12, 2010 3:37 pm

    One other thought here is we are always very clear that there is no driving after he drinks. We usually have a beer sometime before bed time and after homework, and errands have been run for the evening.

  5. Big Tex permalink
    May 12, 2010 3:51 pm

    Yeah, Don, Nate and I got some youngsters. But no worries, you haven’t scandalized me about sharing a beverage with your son. In fact, Nate’s post @ THFB touches on this very subject. In fact, I’d imagine that most states allow what Idaho allows. Parental supervision and moderation are the key. Good stuff!

    I know that sharing beer and discussing it with friends has been a great avenue for developing wonderful friendships. I hope that as my children grow and mature, I can continue this closeness and share the finer points of beer and its distilled brother with them.

  6. May 13, 2010 10:26 am

    Great stuff. I see nothing wrong in this activity, and I think you, Nate and Don are using the opportunity as a positive learning experience and a great way to spend time together. Its quite different than the parent who buys a case of Bud for the teenagers to drink in the basement or whatever. I know people cringe, but beer isn’t always bad especially when used like this!

  7. Big Tex permalink
    May 13, 2010 10:46 am

    Indeed, this is wholly different than buying loads of alcohol for your (underage) kid’s party at your house. I always smirk when I hear of those parents getting busted.

    • May 14, 2010 5:33 am

      I attended one of those parties in highschool…first time getting a little sloppy, first time kissing a girl. haha. The kid whose aunt supplied the booze and locale of stupidity got wasted and was making out with a high school kid. Ugh…

      They did end up getting busted (much after the fact though). It was a long time before I drank in excess after that.


  1. Is It Legal To Let My Kids Sample My Beer? | Thank Heaven for Beer

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