For the first time since February 15th, I made some beer at home today. It’s just amazing how a baby can really eat up all your time that you used to have for things like brewing! Actually, it’s pretty amazing that I was able to brew today, just barely two weeks after the arrival of Angus. It was a real sacrifice by Aimée to have me brewing today, since it takes all day, and that leaves her with the pack all to herself. Not to mention that this is all for beer. Obviously, I could just go to the store and buy two cases of IIPA and two cases of a small IPA. But she’s nice enough to understand that I’d much rather make it.
I did a partigyle brew day. In order to make a 1.088 IIPA, I needed about 18 pounds of grain. I can mash 11 pounds in my five gallon cooler mash tun if I want to use a 3:1 mash (that’s 1.44 quarts per pound). I can squeeze 14 pounds in there if I want to use a lower ratio (1 quart per pound), but that’s a thick mash. I could use DME, corn sugar, or other adjunct fermentables to make up the difference, but a) it’s nice to make an all-grain beer, and b) it’s fun to do a partigyle.
What’s a Partigyle?
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My son Boden is just over two years old. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the presence of a baby in the house. He’s actually pretty good about not hitting the baby or playing in any of his other overly rough ways with the baby. But he’s having a hard time with the nursing issue. He’s still nursing, and he’s not too happy about having to let the baby nurse whenever it wants to. Boden is not quite ready to understand that Angus can only nurse and sleep, and not much else right now. Boden is getting desparate for any breast milk he can get. This photo shows him trying to drink the milk right out of the pump. He’s even trying to use the pump handle to push it up into his mouth. You can’t see it in the photo, but his eyes are all bloodshot and he’s shaking really bad. He needs the milk! It looks like he’s trying to smoke a pipe of something. Like a breast milk bong. It’s not uncommon for him to take a cup of the milk from the pump and drink it. Yummy!
Speaking of drinking breast milk. I haven’t tried it yet, but get ready for Mother’s Milk Stout!
After 40-something weeks, the baby finally decided it was time to come out of his warm little incubation chamber. On Saturday March 22nd, in the comfort of our own home, assisted by the excellent midwives of Birth and Beyond, we were joined by Angus “Gus” Brainard.
It is quite a unique experience having a birth in your home. First of all, it’s sort of like a family gathering – you really get a sense for just how small your living room can be. Especially when there’s a 100 gallon tub of water, two midwives, one helper, a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law, yourself, and a pregnant woman all in the room at the same time. Not to mention all the birthing equipment.
All in all it was an amazing experience, really close and personal and intimate, despite all the people there. Everyone there was completely in tune with the needs of Aimée as she labored to deliver the baby. It was quick and easy, and drug and intervention free. Natural birth, the way it was meant to be.
I offer this warning before you read on: I’m going to talk about the placenta, and show pictures.