The highs and lows in this business are extreme! This week we experienced both over one piece of equipment... our keg washer/filler.
The history of this piece of kit goes like this; a few years ago Little Dave (David Brown - one of the D's who brewed our seasonal Double D) let us know that there was a keg washer/filler for sale on Trade Me. Turns out it was ex-Lion, and was sitting at a scrap yard in Auckland. With Nigel's eye for a bargain (which probably only bats 50:50 - there have been some absolute steals, and some right dogs too) he entered a bidding war with another player, who turned out to be Craig Fitzpatrick from Fitzpatrick's Brewing in Tauranga. But Nigel won out for the ridiculously low sum of $450.
The machine then sat untouched in the brewery for almost 12 months before Dave, on Xmas holidays from Uni, got it operational. It was a piece of kit that really changed our production capacity.
Fast forward to the last week, and after moving and installing it in the new brewery we started having problems, in fact it ended up not being able to do anything except reject kegs. And this at a time when we had lots of beer coming through the process ready to be packaged and customers screaming out for beer. We had accurately identified the problem, which was to do with a temperature probe, but couldn't figure the solution. After a couple of days of deep depression at being unable to fix it, an SOS call went out to a local engineering firm, the guy walked in and seemingly sorted the problem in moments - and it was the easiest of fixes. RELIEF!!
The steep ascension from dark clouds to high fives was a beautiful thing!