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Hellsmoke Fermenting

Saturday, February 28, 2009 (8:21 PM)

Brewed more Hellsmoke Porter today, after transferring the February 16th batch from the fermenter to corny kegs for conditioning. As with the February 15th batch, I upped the smoke a notch from what was released in December. A number of folks on Ratebeer seemed to be wanting more smoke, and as my homebrew version was smokier, I'm more than happy to oblige.

The majority of my friends who had the old homebrew version thought it too smokey (I liked it) so the so the next to be released will be somewhere between that old homebrew super-smokey and the December-release level of smoke.

More beer is a'comin... really!

One of the perils of part-time operations is that the job that pays the bills has been taking priority over the part-time startup. The "day job" keeps spilling into evenings and mornings, but I'm lucky to have it.

I had planned on getting the Wheatley Hills Weizenbock out before the end of this week, but it looks more like it will be out sometime next week -- as I'll be bottling and labeling on Sunday. If that goes well, I'll then be making deliveries next week -- so either watch this space or your email (if you are signed up for the email updates) for news on where and when. In the meantime, the Weizenbock has been carbonating and conditioning in "corny" kegs.

Saturday will be the better day for brewing this weekend, and so I'll be smoking and brewing more of the Hellsmoke then.

Hellsmoke and Weizenbock

Monday, February 16, 2009 (7:09 AM)

OK, so I didn't get much work done on Saturday (Valentine's Day). Did get some cleaning done on Sunday, and am about to take advantage of the balmy just-above-freezing Monday-off-from-work to smoke and brew more Hellsmoke Porter. I've had a pot of coffee, and am out the door to begin right after I post this.

Apologies to all about the still-pending Wheatley Hills Weizenbock -- it's still conditioning, but it will be out this month. Word of where and when will be posted here (and via the Blind Bat Brewery Email Updates).

Happy Monday!

Smoke on the Horizon

Friday, February 13, 2009

I'll be brewing up more of the Hellsmoke Porter this weekend.

Local Hops C.S.A.?

February 10, 2009

This is still in the embryonic stage, but I've been in contact with two certified-organic farmers on Long Island's north fork about the possibility of growing hops using a CSA model. If any local brewers (homebrewers or commercial) are interested, let me know via my contact page.

For those not familiar with what a CSA is, those letters stand for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially, folks buy shares in an agricultural venture. This is generally mutually beneficial to both the farmer and the members of the CSA: The farmer gets financial benefits up front, and the members get good, local produce. Both risk and benefits are shared, as there is no guarantee of outcome -- something that farmers usually have to face on their own.

If you care about where your food comes from, and are interested in keeping at least parts of Long Island agricultural, then a CSA might be for you. (For more about local CSAs, you might want to check http://www.localharvest.org).

What I'm envisioning for the hops CSA is that members would be responsible for picking and packaging their own hops. Perhaps there could be a hops harvest party, with members picking and weighing out the harvest together. (This seems like a good opportunity for an after-harvest beer party, with brewers bringing along some of their brews to share.) Something to keep in mind is that it usually takes more than one season to get a decent yield.

Recommended Winter Reading

February 5, 2009

We've been having a real Winter here on Long Island. If you're done with shoveling and spreading of icemelt, you might want to curl up with a warm laptop and read some eBooks.

Martyn Cornell's Amber Gold & Black explores the rich, and sometimes surprising history of brewing in Britain. The format is a basic PDF laid out like a book with some great illustrations.

It's available as a download from http://www.thecornerpub.co.uk/ for about ten bucks (or less, depending on the exchange rate).

Long Island's brewing history doesn't go back as far, but Donavan Hall's The Beer Hall Guide to Craft Beer on Long Island is an interesting journey into the still evolving local brew scene. He explores the local breweries and brewpubs, as well as some of the better beer stores and bars on Long Island.

Available at fine beer retail outlets across Long Island, or you can either order a hard copy or download an electronic version from LuLu




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