Take This Job and Love It: Beer Brewer 

On tap for this Take This Job and Love It: Chelsey Anderson is brewingbeer.It was brewed locally, and just in time for St. Patty’s Day. In the last couple years The Sea Dog in Bangor has reopened its brewery. It’s a busy job for Sea Dog’s only brewer Brooks Mathews, so he kept Chelsey hoping for hops.——Brooks Mathews, Master Brewer, Sea Dogs Brewery: “This is our grain bill.”Brooks Mathews: “So we’re just going to weigh out the loose ends which is going to add up to about 120 pounds of grain.”Brooks Mathews: “You want to put some scoops in there until we hit 60 pounds.” Chelsey:”Let’s see if I have your kind of precision, right?” Brooks: “Yeah.”Chelsey: “Oh.” Brooks: “Perfect. Look at that. You’re hired!I’m telling you right now!” We finished measuring the grains and moved on to the glacier hops.Chelsey: “It looks like rabbit food.” Brooks: “It does. Doesn’t smell like it though.” Chelsey: “No.” Brooks: “And it definitely doesn’t taste like it I would imagine.” Brooks Mathews: “Now we’re on to willamette hops.”Brooks Mathews: “That’s the big bag.” Chelsey: “Wow! Those are very fragrant!” Brooks: “Yep.” Chelsey: “We need smell-o-vision!” Brooks Mathews: “These are tettnang.” Brooks Mathews:) “You can break them open and you see all the yellow dust down there. Those are called lupulin glands and that’s where you get your hops flavoring and aromas from.”Brooks Mathews: “Perfect! Now that is the shovel of a brewer right there.”Brooks loaded the grains on a cart to take to the mill.Brooks Mathews: “Ugh! These things do not ever get lighter!” I crawled onto the mill staging and did my best to dump 4 bags of malt in.Chelsey: “Wow, they’re heavy!” Brooks: “Yep. 55 pounds.” Chelsey: “55 pounds! Okay. Ugh!”And Brooks and I dumped in the grains we’d measured out.Brooks Mathews: “You want to kind of mix that up just a little bit too.” Chelsey: “This is fun!” Brooks: “Yep. I like to believe that that’s really good for my skin.”Brewing is a long process- we’re talking hours and days- so Brooks hadsome steps already going for us.Brooks Mathews: “It goes through the mill, up the auger and then down into the mash ton here where it rests with treated water.”Chelsey: “So right now it doesn’t smell like beer. It kind of smells like a field.” Brooks: “Like oatmeal maybe?” Chelsey: “Yeah.” Now the mash had to be transferred to the kettle and I had to pull asample out.The sample looked good: tasting of sweet water with an oatmeal finish. Sowe continued on by loading our hops for the sweet water to pass through.From there the liquid goes through a maze of tubes into a vat where itwill ferment, with the help of yeast, making it all bubbly. Then it moves to a tank where the sediment is filtered out as it moves to another tank as a flat beer, and yet again it moves to a different tank where it carbonates.Brooks Mathews: “Now comes the fun part, hauling kegs.”Brooks Mathews: “If you want to grab one of those and just start lining them up in front of that tank there.”Brooks Mathews: “One batch is 14 kegs.”The kegs are pressurized with steam to keep them sterile. So I remove theair before filling. Brooks Mathews: “And now we are ready to start kegging.”We set up 2 kegs for Windjammer beer. One fills while the other catchesthe foam.Brooks Mathews: “Okay, those are locked down. Now you can reach down there and open that valve up.”And we’re filling kegs.Brooks said a major part of his job was clean up. Well, I agree. To removethe sediment everything got a scrub down and rinse off, even if I had toclimb inside.Brooks Mathews: “It’s not cute but you just get right in there.”Brooks Mathews: “All done?” Chelsey: “I think so.” Brooks: “Nice.”So would I be hired as a beer brewer?Brooks Mathews: “Absolutely. Top notch scrubber, and a great keg filler.” ——Chelsey would like to thank Brooks and all at The Sea Dog Brewing Company for letting her lend a hand in the brew process. Just so you know, if you had a Windjammer from tap on the last Monday in February, that was her beer. If you have an idea for our next Take This Job and Love it, email Chelsey at [email protected]