Friday, December 4, 2009

Work experience at MT Brewery

One day a week for the past few weeks, I've been heading down to MT Beer on Mount Tamborine to lend a hand to the head brewer, Ian Watson, in the day-to-day operations at the brewery. It is part of my on-going quest to discover the gaps in my knowledge about working in a commercial brewery so that I know where to focus my efforts in going forward.

So far I have been involved in cleaning and filling kegs and transferring beer to/from various vessels. Last week, I was there to help out with brewing the latest batch of Blonde, including what I imagine would be the least pleasant job, which was to empty the several-hundred kilograms of spent grain from the lauter tun. I guess I didn't mind so much at the time because it is all still new to me! It is interesting to see the similarities and differences between home and commercial brewing, where the latter in this case is approximately 100 times the volume. So far, most of my focus has been on the process side of things as opposed to the business side that I know I'll need to start looking into soon.

The days start much earlier than I'm used to, but it has definitely been worth it. Getting feedback on my own beers throughout the day makes it even easier and more valuable to me (though you certainly have to go easy on it given the lack of commuting options)!

Next week Ian is planning to do a bottling run while I'm there, which will fill in yet another piece of the puzzle for me.


Julien said...

That's just awesome that you managed to get this kind of real-world experience... Very inspiring. How did they like your beers?

Speaking of Mount Tamborine, I hope you paid a visit to the Cuckoo Clock Nest shop near the art galleries :-)

Kristian Domagala said...

Thanks Julien. I've received quite positive feedback on a few of my beers, and very constructive criticism in other areas with tips on how to improve them next time.

I haven't been to the Cuckoo Clock shop on recent visits - I'll have to check it out again one day and see how it compares to the ones we saw in the Black Forest :-)