Much of home brewing is waiting: we wait for the mash, wait for the boil, wait for wort to chill, and so on. So I frequently find myself filling those periods of waiting in a brew day with various diversions. I'm all for sitting in a chair and watching steam rise while having a beer, but these days, the weekends are less filled with watching steam, and more with getting things done.
It might be some fixing various things, changing the oil in my rad Ford Escort, or (if I'm lucky) a brewing project that I've been putting off. Crossing things off the to-do list while getting a brew day in is great, but I'll also over commit myself at times, which can be risky when the beer is on a schedule. A recent attempt at transferring a beer from a carboy, bottling said beer, and then sanitizing the recently emptied carboy for the wort I had been producing left me wanting for time. It also left me in the middle of a kitchen with chilling hoses running every which way, bottles and bottling implements all over the counters, and mash tuns and various scientific measuring devices strewn around like the Nutty Professor. So, lesson learned. Bottling is not something that fits in the middle of a brew day. Now I know.
So, what sort of brew day diversions do you partake in? Is it the relaxing mode, or the tinkering mode? Or perhaps another?