Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 3: I love lamp... I mean life

I am truly so so so sorry to my dedicated fans that I did not post yesterday! I came home from a 10 hour day that included cleaning draft lines, cleaning kegs, harvesting yeast, cleaning floors, and more stuff that I forgot. I was so exhausted that I got all tuckered out (Kelly thinks it is adorable when I am that tired) and fell asleep by 9:30 p.m.

Today was an amazing day! The drive down the mountain was an eyeopener to say the least. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping (still no damn moose yet), I
am still overwhelmed by the unspoiled beauty of this place. During a morning of keg cleaning and helping brew a batch of Belgian Wit I found myself randomly smiling for the first time in a few days. I felt grateful and eternally happy for the opportunity that I have. It might have helped that the whole time Steve and I were rocking out to the Sirius rock station. During the afternoon we had some "bumps" in the brewing process, nothing a little troubleshooting couldn't solve

I learn so much about working in and running a brewery everyday.
- You are subjected to the will of the mighty distributor, you need to keep up and provide the beer to them, or they get mad.
- Scheduling is huge, and not just when to make the beer, but when to transfer it, finish it, package it...
- You also have to schedule clean the brewhouse, fermenters, bright tanks, and kegs/pigs/bottles/cans.
- Everything that needs to be done in a brewery, whether cleaning a tube, or boiling a kettle, is equally important
- Each task needs to be perfected, there is always the proper order
of things to do, if you mess it up, you mess up the beer
- Cleaning/Sterilizing is a way of life and a mindset
- The jobs are repetitive, make them fun!

For all you visual people out there, here are some pictures of where I spend all my time now:

This is the back, showing some conical fermenters on the right, a clean/sanitize cart in front, a bright tank in back, and the keg washer in the back left corner

Here is a view from the front of the brewery looking back, the tank on the right is the hot liquor (water) tank, and then there are some conical fermenters!

Here is the almighty brewhaus! Through the windows is the tap room portion of the brewery, on the left is the mash/lauter tun, on the right is the kettle.


  1. What is a bright tank used for?

  2. You put beer in it before packaging (kegging/bottling). There are a few reasons for them:

    1) Lots of brewers use filters and you need a buffer tank after you filter the beer before you can keg it.
    2) Some states tax all beer that enters the bright tank (whether it gets kegged or not)
    3) This is there you can control the correct CO2 levels in the beer

  3. Hey man this is so cool you are doing this. I am currently going to brew school, I am very interested in this. Thank you.

  4. I'm just catching up on the posts, good stuff. What do you use the pigs for? Are they the same "party pigs" i've seen at homebrew shops?