Author Topic: New opportunity...  (Read 6849 times)

Offline jamminbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 800
  • theAntipunk
    • View Profile
New opportunity...
« on: May 23, 2013, 09:39:40 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?
Member, AHA
Member, Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak
BJCP judge# D1248
In caelo cerivisiae nil, hic igitur bibimus.

Offline anthony

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
  • Hoppy to help!
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2013, 09:47:30 PM »
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.

Offline anthony

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
  • Hoppy to help!
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 09:50:09 PM »
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.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 10:41:28 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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Thirsty_Monk

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1833
  • Eau Claire WI
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 05:54:49 AM »
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.
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline jamminbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 800
  • theAntipunk
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 06:13:30 AM »
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!
Member, AHA
Member, Brew Brothers of Pikes Peak
BJCP judge# D1248
In caelo cerivisiae nil, hic igitur bibimus.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6299
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
New opportunity...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 07:13:17 AM »
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.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline troybinso

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2013, 07:18:43 AM »
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.

Offline micsager

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1000
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2013, 08:00:22 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?

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. 

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 08:13:51 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.

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
Don AHA member

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 08:41:03 AM »
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. ::)

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6299
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
New opportunity...
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 08:50:26 AM »
+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.
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6299
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
New opportunity...
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2013, 08:52:39 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?

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

Bwahahaha!
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2013, 09:20:43 AM »
+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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3151
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: New opportunity...
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 09:48:10 AM »
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
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/