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About gabericharde

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    Waco, Texas

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  1. gabericharde

    geochemist transitioning into spirits industry

    Happily employed at Balcones! Thanks for the interest folks!
  2. Greetings ADI folks, I have been working in Europe as a geochemist in the oil & gas industry for the past 3.5 years and now I am looking to transition into the spirits industry as an assistant distiller or distilling intern. When I was performing my job search nearly 4 years ago I was simultaneous looking for distilling positions and geochemist positions, but I ended up going with oil & gas to have some international experience. Now I would like to "right the ship" and get back to where I feel I belong, in the spirits industry. I have my MSc in Geochemistry from University of Kentucky (2012) and my BSc in Geology from Wheaton College (2010). My time in Kentucky was particularly formative as it introduced me to some of the bigger names in American whiskies and gave me ample opportunities to visit, taste, and marvel at large scale distilling operations. Although much of my spirits and brewing related experience has been at the hobby scale, I have tried my hand at nano scale distillation and 25+ gallon homebrewing of beers, hard ciders, and meads. My background in geochemistry gives me an aptitude and familiarity with water chemistry, biochemistry of malting/mashing, pH balancing, as well as back setting and sour mashing methods. I believe I would be a great fit as an assistant distiller as my work ethic, corporate experience with time/project management, and varied working and hobby experiences have taught me the richness of continued education. I have my resume and recommendations available upon request for those offering work opportunities. Although I currently live in Berlin, Germany, I am an American citizen and I am willing to relocate essentially anywhere in the continental United States (with a slight preference for the East Coast). I can be reached at the e-mail listed below. Kind regards, Gabriel Ellison RiCharde gabe.richarde@my.wheaton.edu
  3. I was wondering if distillers with some experience would comment a little on the day to day life of a distiller at an established distillery (not a startup). I am currently entertaining a number of job opportunities at the moment, some of which include positions as a distiller. I know a bit about the industry I've been involved in the past few years (geology: good money, lots of travel, fairly stable) but I'm realizing that I don't know as much about the real nitty gritty life of a distiller. In trying to convince my wife that this is a reasonable career move I've run up against a number of questions from her and from myself: 1. Are the hours reasonable enough that I could see my wife during daylight hours regularly each week? 2. Can distillers have healthy social/religious/family lives? 3. Can distillers expect to receive pay raises commensurate with experience, age, growth of the distillery, etc? 4. Were your immediate and extended family accepting of your career choice? 5. If you work hard is distilling a "stable job"? Basically, what is the life of a distiller at an established-profitable distillery like? I have had opportunities doing hard manual labor (field work, farm work, 25 gallon scale homebrewing) so that doesn't scare me, I guess I'm just more interested in how this career can affect other parts of your life. In the coming years are there going to be more opportunities for people with distilling experience (as startup distilleries become established and profitable)? A multitude of honest answers would be great! Additionally, as a shameless plug, I wanted to mention that I'm having a "sordid" naming contest for a cocktail I cooked up the other day on my blog. Read the post, play the comment game, and the best name gets a free bottle of MB Rolland's Kentucky Mint Julep Liqueur. gabriel
  4. gabericharde

    Building my First RIMS System

    Just wanted to say that I'm pretty happy to see a thread like this rolling and discussing equipment at this scale. Josh, I have had my eye on http://conical-fermenter.com/ for several months now and I would love to hear more about your experiences working with their staff and their equipment as time goes on. Please keep us posted! If you don't mind me asking, what's the story behind your 26 gallon column still? Is it by Hillbilly, by somebody else, or did you make it yourself?
  5. gabericharde

    "judging of artisan american spirits" list modified

    thanks Kristian! i've got lots of friends in colorado and hopefully i'll be able to send some your way! i can't wait to try your chai liqueur myself!
  6. Just thought I'd let the folks on the ADI forum know that I suped-up the "judging of artisan american spirits" winner's list by adding links to each distillery's website as well as a city and state. You can check it out at Drinking Goat. If anyone finds any dead links or any other errors please let me know via comment or message. Thanks!
  7. gabericharde

    New Podcast

    I really enjoyed the first two podcasts! Please keep them coming!
  8. gabericharde

    Honey based spirits

    I know this is a cold post, but if you're still interested in pure honey as a base you should check out Barr Hill out of Vermont. I had some of their cold fermented honey vodka while I was in New England this winter. Yum.