Week 5: Burnout At Siebel

March 9, 2011

With four and a half weeks almost in the bag here at Siebel, the “holy shit, we’re actually at brewing school” feeling has given way to burnout. The bar in our lunch room, where most of us would hang out and loudly drink after class everyday, has been getting far more subdued and sparse. Everyday the entire class looks more and more tired. I know I definitely hit a wall halfway through last week. Studying after class got more and more difficult, giving way to fatigue quicker and quicker, and I’m sure that contributed to getting my lowest quiz grade so far (88, so it’s not like it was a disaster).

This week I decided to give myself a little break in the beginning, which is fine because part of today was spent on a tour of Goose Island’s production facility, and the topics this week are on packaging systems. Not to say that packaging isn’t worth worrying about, it’s just not a very difficult subject so far. That’s great cause I get to have some time to recharge before jumping back in too strong.

I’ll say this about packaging systems: it’s been really impressive to see some high capacity bottling lines in action. 60,000 cases per hour? Yeah, that’s heavy duty equipment. Putting packaging systems into a systems engineering perspective was great for visualizing all the critical points in a bottling line way more advanced than any I’ve worked on.

I finally got out to Haymarket, a brewpub created by Pete Crowley who I’m told is one of Chicago’s best brewers. I’ll try to post something about it tomorrow of Thursday. I just have no energy right now.

We talked about valves yesterday. The topic of ‘viscous flow’ made us all giggle. I think we all need some sleep.


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