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Old 07-01-2012, 11:33 PM   #31
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:38 PM   #32
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Hey,

So this all happened a little while ago. Would be great to hear how the rest of the course went and also what happened since ....

Thanks

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Old 09-17-2012, 07:33 PM   #33
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I just finished up the 2nd Module on Beer Production and Quality Control. This module focused on a lot of microbiology and some genetics. I learned more from this module than from the first but a lot of it is so advanced that most brewers would never use much of the information. This module was more difficult for me than the first module. I don't have much science background just more of a science inclination and interest so a lot of the info and terminology was new to me. That being said I averaged a 93% on the tests so I am really happy about that. Looking forward to the the third module. I just saw the topics and test schedule and it looks like there are less tests and the information looks like it will be far more usable in an average small craft brewery. The topics include pumps, refrigeration, valves, steam, bottle washer design, keg technology, and automation to name a few.

I still think the classes are very expensive for what you get. I enjoy the classes and like having resources that I can fall back on in the future. But those resources are not worth $10k (cost of the Associates program). But it seems to be a necessary evil as brewers continue to want formal education in new hires, for the most part.

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Old 09-17-2012, 09:39 PM   #34
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If you are thinking that the $10K isn't worth it, going through what you are going through, what would you advise?

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #35
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A few years ago I was working as a clerk in the taproom at a local brewpub. Realizing that I would never get into the brewery without some kind of leg up, I started looking into pro-brewing courses. Having no background in biology or chemistry I ended up taking the web based concise course at Siebel. It was an OK course but I really did it only to get into the diploma/master course. To be fair though it gave me a base understanding of many important concepts that I might have otherwise struggled with.

I finished the Siebel Master Brewers' course about 13-14 months ago. In some ways it was a really great course, in other ways it had a lot of room for improvement. I found that that classes taught in Germany were MUCH better than those in Chicago. The teachers were far more experienced, and knowledgable. More importantly though, the school had a 5HL brewery, a packaging line, and multiple laboratories. This allowed me to do lots of actual hands on work like: brewing, cellaring, filtration, packaging, chemical titration, and recipe formulation.
I found that the American teachers seemed to be concerned about different critical process control points than the Germans. Some of the American teachers made a big deal about "hot side aeration" and other issues that the German brewers (and most pro brewers come to think of it) are mostly unconcerned with. In contrast the Germans were much more concerned about mashing schedules, while the Americans seemed to think anything more than a basic infusion mash was a total waste of time.

All in all the course was a great experience for me, the long periods of total immersion in the beer culture made me feel like a real expert. We got to visit some incredible breweries (Rodenbach, Fullers, Orval, and La Trappe), and make some great beer. Best of all, when I returned home and started handing out resume's breweries actually started calling me in for interviews. 6 months after completing the course I landed an assistant brewer position at MolsonCoorsCanada where I currently am working. I've learned much more here than I could have possibly learned at school, however I'm doubtful that I could have become a real professional in this industry without the (admittedly expensive) help I recieved at Siebel Institute.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:51 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshtrayDinner View Post
In contrast the Germans were much more concerned about mashing schedules, while the Americans seemed to think anything more than a basic infusion mash was a total waste of time.
This was something i have noted during my study over the last four months.

I have a job where I sit a lot and haver been trying to improve the "scientific part" of brewing.

I have already ground up the grain form my first Decotion Mash, I just need the time to go brew it.

Your post was helpful as I am at the point in my life that I am debt free and have no responsibilities.

I would love to get into the brewing industry and have even lookec into starting a Moble-Canning business.

Cheers.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:58 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gothic_Horror View Post
If you are thinking that the $10K isn't worth it, going through what you are going through, what would you advise?
Well that's a tough question. I think it depends on where you live or are willing to travel. If you are in a smaller city without many breweries/brewpubs then it will be easier to get to know the brewers and try to get an assistant job or internship without education. However if you are in an area with a lot of breweries the competition is going to be tough for even an internship and most all the brewers will have an education requirement just because they can. There are of course exceptions to this but in general I think this is true. I do think the American Brewer's Guild is a better deal because it is less expensive and you get hands on experience. So if you can plan ahead a couple years (since they are booked out that long) I would do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshtrayDinner View Post
A few years ago I was working as a clerk in the taproom at a local brewpub. Realizing that I would never get into the brewery without some kind of leg up, I started looking into pro-brewing courses. Having no background in biology or chemistry I ended up taking the web based concise course at Siebel. It was an OK course but I really did it only to get into the diploma/master course. To be fair though it gave me a base understanding of many important concepts that I might have otherwise struggled with.

I finished the Siebel Master Brewers' course about 13-14 months ago. In some ways it was a really great course, in other ways it had a lot of room for improvement. I found that that classes taught in Germany were MUCH better than those in Chicago. The teachers were far more experienced, and knowledgable. More importantly though, the school had a 5HL brewery, a packaging line, and multiple laboratories. This allowed me to do lots of actual hands on work like: brewing, cellaring, filtration, packaging, chemical titration, and recipe formulation.
I found that the American teachers seemed to be concerned about different critical process control points than the Germans. Some of the American teachers made a big deal about "hot side aeration" and other issues that the German brewers (and most pro brewers come to think of it) are mostly unconcerned with. In contrast the Germans were much more concerned about mashing schedules, while the Americans seemed to think anything more than a basic infusion mash was a total waste of time.

All in all the course was a great experience for me, the long periods of total immersion in the beer culture made me feel like a real expert. We got to visit some incredible breweries (Rodenbach, Fullers, Orval, and La Trappe), and make some great beer. Best of all, when I returned home and started handing out resume's breweries actually started calling me in for interviews. 6 months after completing the course I landed an assistant brewer position at MolsonCoorsCanada where I currently am working. I've learned much more here than I could have possibly learned at school, however I'm doubtful that I could have become a real professional in this industry without the (admittedly expensive) help I recieved at Siebel Institute.
I am jealous that you got to go to Germany. I think that the Masters or Diploma course would be a much better value even though it is more expensive. Also if a person can do the Associates program in Chicago there is a lot more hands on stuff that the online folks don't get. I'm not sure that you actually brew but there are a number of tours and you get to do some lab work and weekly outings. I think that is a better option if a person can make that work.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:46 PM   #38
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Like I said, the most beneficial thing for me was being on campus totally immersed in the beer culture of Chicago and Munich. The Canadian beer scene is only just now starting to catch up to the U.S. so it was inspiring to experience some of the breweries and bars that have set the example for the changing beer culture here. Europe is also an incredible place to experience beer because of its unbroken traditions. I believe Weihenstephan holds the record for oldest commercial brewery at 1300 years old!

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:36 PM   #39
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Just thought I'd post an update now that I have completed the Associate program classes. I have my "degree" coming in the mail as we speak. I'm now starting to look for a job. Let's hope that goes well. The final course is mostly on packaging. It spent a lot of time on European packaging machinery. I think there were 4 quizzes on bottle washer design and function, something that doesn't exist in any American brewery. There were some good sections on valves, pumps, canning, keg filling, and brewery design. These classes were the easiest of the 3 parts of the Associate program. I did about 80% of the quizzes in the last 4 weeks. Again this section had some good information and some good resources to fall back on in the future.

Overall I think I have previously stated my thoughts on the program and that hasn't changed. It's expensive but seems to be a necessary evil anymore. I think if you can swing the Master's program where you go to Germany or any other school where you get hands on training, that is a much better value, even if it is more expensive.

If anyone has any questions I'm happy to attempt to answer them. I know when I was thinking about investing in the Siebel courses there was not much information out there and it's a big decision. So if you are thinking about it and have more questions feel free to ask.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:46 PM   #40
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I'm definitely thinking about it, have you been able to find work at a brewery yet?

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