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Brewing With a Friend

I have a friend who has most of his equipment at his buddy’s place. Anyway, his buddy hasn’t had time to brew lately and I offered to let this guy come over and brew a batch on my setup. He wanted a light colored beer with low hop presence so we decided on a blonde ale. Came up with our own AG recipe, brewed it up and the wort came out really clear and light. It was so beautiful I wanted to keep it for myself, but I know some of the beer will find its way back to me in due time. I liked doing this, got to brew and won’t have to swim in beer as a result. I told him to feel free to come over once a month to brew.

I brewed a couple 2.5 gallon gluten-free batches for a friend. I told him he’ll have to join me for the next.

My best friend is my dog!
#1) Never misses a brew day, and is there to the end.
#2) Gives me “RAVE” reviews on all my beers and loves them all.
#3) Only female that will watch football with me for hours on end.
#4) She don’t laugh when she sees me naked!

Just a joke Lennie!

Good stuff, dogs don’t talk politics either. I almost threw the guy out early on but we moved on to other topics.

He’s new to AG so I’m hoping that he’ll learn enough to be self-sufficient over the course of the next several months. I tend to blow through the process and fly by the seat of my pants since I have a decent feel for my process and understand the chemistry. Its tedious to explain everything I do but I know he needs that in order to learn. The one thing I probably won’t be able to change about the man, is his insistence that he’s allergic to hops.

I have another friend who’s my regular brewing partner for the 15gal batches we put through the Brewhemoth. He and I are quite in sync when we brew.

Just so happens that my neighbor is an avid brewer too. We often do beers together, but mostly create our own brews. It’s very rewarding to go down there in the morning with a cup of coffee when he’s brewing and leave when I want to. Obviously I know that I too will get to taste the final product! BTW, my brew buddy is my 9 month old daughter. I strap her to the front of me with one of those carriers and she loves it.

This makes me happy, I’ll be a dad in a month and I hope she likes it too!

I really liked the combination of brewing with a good friend, who was learning how to brew all grain. Only problem was that we enjoyed drinking good beers while brewing and I made some otherwise avoidable, small brewing mistakes. I enjoy brewing my 10-gal batches by myself to concentrate on precision and details, but am comfortable enough with the typical brewday that I have invited other friends to teach them when they are ready to learn. Still, I normally wouldn’t invite a recent acquaintance to brewdays at my house, unless it is someone who’s serious about learning the basics and then setting off on his/her own. Or I’d invite someone to watch and participate who just wants to see how it’s done.

I do have a spare mashtun, kettle and burner so that I could do two 10-gallon or smaller batches, give one to the student to take home and ferment and still get my 10 gallons of beer for myself for the day’s work. I guess I prefer to keep my kegerator stocked and since I brew only occasionally would want beer for myself any given brewday.

I do have a fair number of friends who come over and drink beer, or ask me to bring it to get-togethers.

I have done some collaboration brews recently, using my equipment at my house, and bringing my mashtun over a friend’s house to do his IIPA. It is fun to get your brew on and not have to worry about the cleanup. Plus splitting the cost is a nice plus.

I just did a solo brew Wednesday morning and I tried to speed through the process. I made two big mistakes that could have been avoided if I had another brain on the job. I forgot to install my false bottom before adding my 18# of grain and strike water into the mashtun. That was fun. I also had a problem with my plate chiller, the hot tubing kept coming off of the pipe fittings. I got burned a few times with hot wort and cursed everyone and their mothers.

Don’t brew alone!

Up until recently I have been brewing alone. Not that I haven’t put the invitation out there, but people just seem to be busy on brew day. Last summer I had a coworker who wanted to start learning how to brew. So between coming to my place and going to his my brew days have been getting more social. I now have two other people who want to learn as well so they are going to start coming around too.

A couple of other coworkers are on the fence as to whether on not they want to get into it. I have pitched them the opportunity to come to my place, brew a batch, store during fermentation, and bottle when it is time using my equipment and all they need to provide is the kit, bottles and caps. Worst case scenario if they don’t like it they aren’t out a lot of money and they have a couple of cases of homebrew. They have to get the idea past their wives first so we’ll see what happens.

Nowadays I almost always brew by myself. But when I first started out I always had my trusty French Canadian sidekick there with me.

Early on I found it a huge boost to have someone else there to help me get my legs - started doing all-grain right from the start without having that many resources to draw on for help.

I was the book learning side of it. It helped that he was a hands on MacGyver type.

I started brewing alone and only had help a few times. Those with help are very fortunate, and I think it’s outstanding when people are interested enough to learn. Good thread Lennie.

I started out with a brew partner. We started in the kitchen, then went all grain with a gravity fed operation. After a year or so he lost interest and I bought him out.

The hobby took off for me and today I brew fifteen gallons and am currently building a dedicated brewery space.

When I brewed 10 gallons I could keep up with consumption. That allowed me to brew enough times a year. At 15 gallons I now believe I need to bring in a partner as I do not want to drink that much, nor do I want to brew fewer times a year.

My solution is to bring a partner in on kegging or bottling day. We split the costs, use my equipment and the partner helps with the packaging and then takes his/her share. I am not selling beer, but rather splitting the full cost of production with a partner.

I control the process, inventory, brewing schedule etc.

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