I start my day by pulling beer for a reading to check the fermentation process of each beer (samples are pulled once a week for testing). After boxing (pouring back and forth between 2 containers to remove any carbonation) the beers are ready for a reading. I check the hydrometer level, temperature, and pH (all of these readings help keep track of what each of our beers is doing).
The brewing schedule determines what I will be doing each day of the week.
Brewing days are always busy days. I help prep for the brew, mill grains, run the brew house, sanitize and prep the fermenter, move lines, scoope grains from the mash tun, pull samples during transfer, and take data on the brew.
On a canning day I help set up the canning line, build boxes, pull labels from inventory, and gather the supplies needed for packaging. When we begin canning I either run the filler for cans and kegs or do the packing (checking labels, putting cans into 4 packs, boxing 4 packs into cases, and putting pallets into the cooler). At the end of canning I help clean up, tear down, put stuff away, and clean the brite tank. When we do a transfer from fermenter to brite tank I help with the transfer, hose out, then clean the fermenter.
There is always stuff to do in the lab. I prepare media for plates and tubes, make plates and tubes, clean and sanitize utensils, or run tests on all our beer through each step of the process. Any time there is a hit on a plate I make a slide of it and check it under the microscope to see if it is anything that might cause an issue. Also, when this occurs I rerun the test to see if it was an issue or just a bad sample or test. I take photos of every tube and plate ran to keep a record of each test.
There is never a boring day in the brewery, always something to do, and beers to taste. We taste the beers through every step of the process, making sure it tastes as it should. Who could complain when you get to drink in the name of science.
-By Mindy Kay Knupp