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Old 10-30-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default Brewing School

Hey everybody,

I'm interested in attending a brewing school or program, and am unsure of where to begin looking. I've been brewing for two years now, and have been exposed to my father's brewing since before I can remember. The problem is, I have no relevant official schooling in the sciences beyond high school. I've been keeping up on my math and chemistry skills and literacy, but have nothing in writing to show for this. Many programs I've come across require prerequisites in paper, rather than ability.

I was wondering if anybody had suggestions, ideas, or past experience with programs or courses which didn't necessarily require a paper trail of previous classes. Brewing (like many of you) is my passion. It's the one thing that I excel at, and the only career I can see myself truly being happy in. Hell, there are plenty of breweries opening up or looking for help in my area. I'd shovel grains for the experience, but getting a job in the beer industry? Every frat boy wants that, and with no paper trail to my name, I'm on an equal footing with these individuals.

Essentially, I want to increase my knowledge further, while getting a brewing related paper trail to boost my chances of getting into the industry (even if it's only for a grain shoveling position). Does anybody know of anything useful for this purpose? Afterall, passion only gets us so far in life.


(I apologise if this is in the wrong forum. I assume that since the question covers schooling, courses, or certifications related to brewing science, this falls into this category.


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Old 10-30-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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I know people who have taken Siebel courses and liked it. They do traditional courses as well as online. http://www.siebelinstitute.com/


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Old 10-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
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Oklahoma University has a free beer chemistry online course that starts in 2014.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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My impression is that any break in to the brewing industry involves grain shoveling or similar menial work (delivery, maybe sales?).

Sounds like you have your HS degree but no college-would this not be the tier of jobs you are qualified for anyway?

There is a reason their prerequisites list things like college math and science...it is because they are teaching those classes at a level where you need to skills already in order to do well.

The advantage you had is that you aren't over-qualified; there are plenty of college-educated guys on here who are asking the same question you are, I think they get discouraged when they hear the above answer.

The question for you is: To what length are you willing to go to break into the industry? Are you willing to shovel wet grains for awhile?
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #5
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Start with the siebel courses online. They are great. You can work at your own pace and you learn plenty and you will be caught up on that higher level science you are missing. Many breweries will appreciate, respect and hold you at a higher regard for having siebel training (or any training at that matter).

As for experience. Swing by any of the breweries you mentioned that are opening up in your area and talk to the head brewer, cellar manager production manager. tell them you would like experience and would sweep, clean tank legs, oil the equipment. Just put yourself out there!
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmax25 View Post
Start with the siebel courses online. They are great. You can work at your own pace and you learn plenty and you will be caught up on that higher level science you are missing.
I see your point about taking advantage of online classes to catch up, but I'm not sure that works if the class requires broadly-based math, science, and chemistry knowledge. You can "wiki" alot of things for the details, but it takes a significant amount of time to develop a foundation of scientific knowledge to excel in more applied classwork (which I assume this is).

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmax25 View Post
Many breweries will appreciate, respect and hold you at a higher regard for having siebel training (or any training at that matter).
I have first-hand knowledge of one brewery in my area that does not hold Siebel training in high regard, at least for entry level positions. I don't think it would exclude you from consideration, but it wouldn't put you at an advantage. Maybe this brewery is an exception, but common sense would say you don't need specialized training to slop out mash-tuns and scrub stainless.[/QUOTE]

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewmax25 View Post
As for experience. Swing by any of the breweries you mentioned that are opening up in your area and talk to the head brewer, cellar manager production manager. tell them you would like experience and would sweep, clean tank legs, oil the equipment. Just put yourself out there!
I agree with this....networking is key. If you intend this to be a career, you will be most likely be working with all of these folks at some point.

Another option would be to get in at the ground-level, do the scut work, show promise, be promoted and see if they will send you to Siebel on their dime. Good companies recognize loyalty and the professional development of their employees. If you can do the job with Siebel, then why bother in the first place?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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UC Davis offers several brewing courses.
http://extension.ucdavis.edu/unit/brewing/
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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This is the University of Oklahoma online free courses btw, for the beer chemistry

https://janux.ou.edu/
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:22 AM   #9
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I suggest working at a brewery, in any department, for at least 1 year before attending formal education. I also suggest local community college classes in Chemistry/food science/engineering.

At my first brewery, I would mash-in and head to Food Science Class for an hour before returning to lauter.....
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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I am a big fan of anything U.C. Davis since that is where I did my undergraduate degree . Look around, there are many schools cropping up and I am guessing that lots of feedback is out there. Check the Brewers Association web site, I believe that they have a brewing school directory. Good Luck.


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