Reading Kyle’s post of brewing at work made me jealous. For the 99% of us for whom this is not an option I offer a new suggestion: take a day off from work to homebrew.
Why cram your brew session into what may be an already packed weekend when you can cook up something great on a Tuesday? Part of my problem was blocking out 4 1/2 hours for my all-grain on a Saturday or Sunday. Chauffeuring kids to their activities, watching their soccer games, yard work, etc. doesn’t leave a large chunk of time. Instead of squeezing it in, I took a relaxing day off during the week to brew. My boss says, “If you need a mental health day, you should take it.” So I did.
Along with a simple concept of playing hooky to brew comes a simple recipe: a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) ale. Ten pounds of Maris Otter, two ounces of Citra, two more ounces to dry hop with. Mash at 152 degrees.
It was nice not racing the clock, worrying if I could run errands during the mash then return to sparge in an hour before having to do another chore. My buddy Scott stopped in to keep me company. We caught up without interruptions.
I emerged refreshed from my mental health day, and with 5 gallons of wonderful pale ale as a bonus. Thinking about organizing a bigger brew day during the week in January, then maybe in March. Recruit more friends, take the day off, make beer with no other worries or distractions. Perhaps the best part of the deal: when I went to my daughter’s soccer game that weekend I was totally focused on her. After the game – instead of the mad dash back to heat up strike water – we went out for lunch, then followed that up with some shopping.
One could argue that the Mental Health Brew Day helps elevate parenting skills, too, since we had more time together. Classic win-win scenario. So, if you have a bunch of sick days, why wait until you’re sick to use them? Take a day off to brew. It might just make you a better person, but it will definitely make you feel better than if you worked.