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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: jamminbrew on May 24, 2013, 04:39:40 AM

Title: New opportunity...
Post by: jamminbrew on May 24, 2013, 04:39:40 AM
I have just taken a new job... as an assistant brewer at a local brewery! I'm taking a fair pay cut to do this, but I am one step closer to my goal of my own brewery.  Any of you pro guys have any advice for a new guy? Do's and don'ts? How not to piss off the head brewer?
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: anthony on May 24, 2013, 04:47:30 AM
If you're not sure, ask. Double check valves before removing clamps. Don't hurt yourself. Volunteer into the grunt work, after a brew session you will get an idea of what the real laborious tasks are, make it a point to offer to do those tasks. Be careful with grain additions, make sure you're grabbing the correct malt for the recipe. Don't try to fill every moment with conversation, sometimes you're both going to be busy cleaning and you won't be talking and that's ok.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: anthony on May 24, 2013, 04:50:09 AM
Also, don't suggest to change anything about how anything is done/brewed/etc. until you have a decent amount of context, this might be 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years into it.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 24, 2013, 05:41:28 AM
Awesome, congratulations!

Pay attention to the task at hand - a brewery is a dangerous place.  Follow checklists for tasks to make sure you don't miss anything.  Learn what is top priority, and if you don't know ask.  You're never done working, just done for the day.  There will always be other stuff to do.

Also, pay attention to not just what the brewer says, but what he/she does.  If the brewer skimps on important stuff, you might not want to remember too much of what you learn.  I know of one local brewery who will not hire people who have ever worked at another local brewery . . . wrong mindset, bad habits, etc.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on May 24, 2013, 12:54:49 PM
As other said do not hurt yourself.

There are three major ways how to get hurt in the brewery.
Heat and burns.
Chemical exposure (caustic/acid)
Weight / lifting.

A other overlooked area is pressure vessels. Make sure that tanks/kegs are depresurized before you open them.

Work smart and safe.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: jamminbrew on May 24, 2013, 01:13:30 PM
Good stuff, thanks guys! I am really looking forward to this. I had begun to truly hate my current job. Feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders!
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 24, 2013, 02:13:17 PM
Buy yourself a decent pair of eye protection. Never remove or move chemicals without at least wearing eye protection. A chemical burn on your hands is bad, in your eyes can be life altering.

If the brewery is using plastic kegs be extremely careful and keep the pressure under 40 psi on the keg cleaner.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: troybinso on May 24, 2013, 02:18:43 PM
Get some good boots. Your feet will be touching water or beer for a big chunk of the day. Nothing worse than sloshing around with wet socks and shoes at the end of a long day. My personal preference is muck boots.

Have an extra set of clothes at work.

Be really careful with valves and hoses. Always deliberately check that when you take a hose off of a connection, nothing is going to come shooting out at you.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: micsager on May 24, 2013, 03:00:22 PM
I have just taken a new job... as an assistant brewer at a local brewery! I'm taking a fair pay cut to do this, but I am one step closer to my goal of my own brewery.  Any of you pro guys have any advice for a new guy? Do's and don'ts? How not to piss off the head brewer?

Bring all your homebrew recipes, and talk to the head brewer about changing his line-up to match your recipes.  LOL.  Just kidding. 

Looks like others gave way better advice than I could.  Congrats and good luck.  I hop it's everything you dreamed it would be. 
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: weithman5 on May 24, 2013, 03:13:51 PM
Awesome, congratulations!

Pay attention to the task at hand - a brewery is a dangerous place.  Follow checklists for tasks to make sure you don't miss anything.  Learn what is top priority, and if you don't know ask.  You're never done working, just done for the day.  There will always be other stuff to do.

Also, pay attention to not just what the brewer says, but what he/she does.  If the brewer skimps on important stuff, you might not want to remember too much of what you learn.  I know of one local brewery who will not hire people who have ever worked at another local brewery . . . wrong mindset, bad habits, etc.

Interesting, my son is a navy pilot, and they like getting guys in the flight training who do not yet have flight experience as opposed to guys who already have there private liscense for the same reasons
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: euge on May 24, 2013, 03:41:03 PM
Good stuff, thanks guys! I am really looking forward to this. I had begun to truly hate my current job. Feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders!

Totally awesome! I know that feeling... Nothing lights the way before you like the burning bridge behind you. ::)

Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 24, 2013, 03:50:26 PM
+1 to good boots and a change of clothes, all the way down to underwear. Worse burn I ever got at brewery was on my foot, stupidly wearing tennis shoes. Make sure the boots you buy have excellent support. I used to run 30 miles a week but my feet never hurt the way they did standing on concrete for a year in piss poor shoes. You might want to look into some inserts, too.
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 24, 2013, 03:52:39 PM
I have just taken a new job... as an assistant brewer at a local brewery! I'm taking a fair pay cut to do this, but I am one step closer to my goal of my own brewery.  Any of you pro guys have any advice for a new guy? Do's and don'ts? How not to piss off the head brewer?

Bring all your homebrew recipes, and talk to the head brewer about changing his line-up to match your recipes. 

Bwahahaha!
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 24, 2013, 04:20:43 PM
+1 to good boots and a change of clothes, all the way down to underwear. Worse burn I ever got at brewery was on my foot, stupidly wearing tennis shoes. Make sure the boots you buy have excellent support. I used to run 30 miles a week but my feet never hurt the way they did standing on concrete for a year in piss poor shoes. You might want to look into some inserts, too.
What boots do you recommend?  I haven't found any that I love.

Definitely a change of clothes and eye protection.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: a10t2 on May 24, 2013, 04:48:10 PM
What boots do you recommend?  I haven't found any that I love.

I wear pretty basic calf-height work boots. The key (for me at least) was to get some with decent support. The disposable insoles really help me too. http://www.shoesforcrews.com/sfc3/index.cfm?changeWebsite=US_en&route=c_store.viewDetailsOfProduct&partnumber=2060
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 24, 2013, 05:23:21 PM
+1 to good boots and a change of clothes, all the way down to underwear. Worse burn I ever got at brewery was on my foot, stupidly wearing tennis shoes. Make sure the boots you buy have excellent support. I used to run 30 miles a week but my feet never hurt the way they did standing on concrete for a year in piss poor shoes. You might want to look into some inserts, too.
What boots do you recommend?  I haven't found any that I love.

Definitely a change of clothes and eye protection.

I love the pair I have now. I'll send you the name tomorrow (I think they are called "Rocky" or something, I'm off today). Totally water proof and I can stand in them all day.

I had a pair of Red Wings and they were comfy as hell on concrete but they fell aprt under a year.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 24, 2013, 06:03:31 PM
What boots do you recommend?  I haven't found any that I love.

I wear pretty basic calf-height work boots. The key (for me at least) was to get some with decent support. The disposable insoles really help me too. http://www.shoesforcrews.com/sfc3/index.cfm?changeWebsite=US_en&route=c_store.viewDetailsOfProduct&partnumber=2060
I like the price :)  I also like that they are slip-on, I don't want to have to lace up boots.


+1 to good boots and a change of clothes, all the way down to underwear. Worse burn I ever got at brewery was on my foot, stupidly wearing tennis shoes. Make sure the boots you buy have excellent support. I used to run 30 miles a week but my feet never hurt the way they did standing on concrete for a year in piss poor shoes. You might want to look into some inserts, too.
What boots do you recommend?  I haven't found any that I love.

Definitely a change of clothes and eye protection.

I love the pair I have now. I'll send you the name tomorrow (I think they are called "Rocky" or something, I'm off today). Totally water proof and I can stand in them all day.

I had a pair of Red Wings and they were comfy as hell on concrete but they fell aprt under a year.
Thanks, let me know.
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 24, 2013, 11:56:19 PM
My pair are slip ons, too. They were about $100, but well worth it.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 25, 2013, 01:58:38 AM
My pair are slip ons, too. They were about $100, but well worth it.
I don't mind the money if they are good and will last.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: jamminbrew on May 25, 2013, 04:18:09 AM
Once again, thanks to all of you. I am embarking on a new stage in my life, and a big part of it is the advice and help I have gotten from this forum throughout the years. You are all a part of this, and I will not forget my roots in home brewing. So, good boots, and pester the head brewer with my own recipes.... got it! 8)
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 25, 2013, 02:07:42 PM
Also, everytime a head brewer puts a tri-clamp down or a screwdriver or wrench ask him .... "is that where that goes?" He'll love that.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: troybinso on May 25, 2013, 03:19:37 PM
These are the boots I like:

http://www.muckboots.com/product/MB-JOB-000A.htm

Easy on, and just high enough that my pant leg reaches over the top of them.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 25, 2013, 04:06:41 PM
Also, everytime a head brewer puts a tri-clamp down or a screwdriver or wrench ask him .... "is that where that goes?" He'll love that.
;D
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: tschmidlin on May 25, 2013, 04:09:06 PM
These are the boots I like:

http://www.muckboots.com/product/MB-JOB-000A.htm

Easy on, and just high enough that my pant leg reaches over the top of them.
Those look good, although I prefer ones I can just step in to.
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 25, 2013, 04:13:39 PM
These are the boots I like:

http://www.muckboots.com/product/MB-JOB-000A.htm

Easy on, and just high enough that my pant leg reaches over the top of them.

I might pick a pair of those up. Thanks.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: reverseapachemaster on May 29, 2013, 04:28:09 PM
Make sure to constantly remind him you are a homebrewer.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: Pinski on May 29, 2013, 04:36:13 PM
These are the boots I like:

http://www.muckboots.com/product/MB-JOB-000A.htm

Easy on, and just high enough that my pant leg reaches over the top of them.

I might pick a pair of those up. Thanks.

AND, you can use those for cool weather rafting/kayaking too! Great river shoes.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: bluesman on May 29, 2013, 04:46:10 PM
On the topic of boots:

Dr Martens are very comfortable and get great reviews.

http://www.google.com/#q=industrial+boot+reviews&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=DTCmUYWXLe--4APyg4G4AQ&ved=0CCsQsxg&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.47008514,d.dmg&fp=35cf39f790f40dcf&biw=1920&bih=955

...and good luck jamminbrew. Sounds like you're off to a good start by getting some hands on training.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: a10t2 on May 29, 2013, 04:52:46 PM
Those look good, although I prefer ones I can just step in to.

Step out OF, I think is the important part.
Title: New opportunity...
Post by: majorvices on May 29, 2013, 06:25:24 PM
The one's I have are Rocky "Long Range". They are slip on, calf height. They also have an impressive western flourish. :)
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: jamminbrew on June 01, 2013, 03:05:00 AM
Well, I talked to the lead brewer, and they are buying the boots I need for me. I don't know what brand/type, but already-paid-for is the best kind.

I start on Monday the 10th. (Had to give current job 2 weeks) It's a local brewery here in Colorado Springs, called Phantom Canyon Brewing Company. They've been here since '93, so they are a well-established brewery. They are finishing an expansion this week, so when I start, we will be brewing with twice the capacity from a month ago. And they bought a bottling line, so distribution is also in the future...
Great time to be stepping in!
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: klickitat jim on June 01, 2013, 03:17:18 AM
How cool is that! Keep us informed.
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: jamminbrew on June 27, 2013, 12:20:16 AM
We finally got the new brewery up and running. Ran a test batch yesterday, and then today, we brewed 27 bbls of hefeweiss. By the end of the week, we will have brewed 105 bbls, 4 different beers. I am hot, wet, tired, and coated in grain dust, and loving every minute of it.

Learned an important lesson about steam pipes yesterday. They are hot. Probably gonna have a lasting mark on my leg from that.

And the boots they bought for me are Industrial Servus, by Honeywell. Steel toed, even!

Cheers!
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on June 27, 2013, 01:20:45 PM
We finally got the new brewery up and running. Ran a test batch yesterday, and then today, we brewed 27 bbls of hefeweiss. By the end of the week, we will have brewed 105 bbls, 4 different beers. I am hot, wet, tired, and coated in grain dust, and loving every minute of it.

Learned an important lesson about steam pipes yesterday. They are hot. Probably gonna have a lasting mark on my leg from that.

And the boots they bought for me are Industrial Servus, by Honeywell. Steel toed, even!

Cheers!
Cool.

On the side note. Who need the body piercing and scaring artists when you just can work in the brewery. :)
Title: Re: New opportunity...
Post by: anthony on June 27, 2013, 01:21:34 PM
Awesome! I've never checked out the craft beer scene down in the Springs but sounds like I may need to next time I am out visiting the folks.