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Coming in August

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I haven't made any blog entries in a while (since June 7th), but during that time I finally got my 3-BBL system running after some continued bumps, delays, trial, and error. Two batches are now fermenting, the Beached Blonde and the Hellsmoke Porter. They'll be available in August.


Fermenters, Hellsmoke on the left, Beached Blonde on the right.


Hellsmoke Porter fermenting, Day 1


Beached Blonde fermenting, Day 8


Also fermenting is another small (ten-gallon) batch of Vlad the Inhaler -- I'm still working on perfecting that old Polish-style oak-smoked Wheat.

Moving Forward

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Played hooky from work, things really moved forward today with getting the new brewery up and running. A few more things need to be taken care of, but some good progress today.

Meanwhile, will be brewing a batch of the Beached Blonde this weekend on the ol' ten-gallon Sabco.

Continued Delays (Cont.)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I finalized the purchase of my new 3-barrel system back in January, but I still do not have everything I need to it fire up and start brewing. With apologies, it is looking more like my beer won't be available until late June at the earliest, but more likely July. My frustration levels are high.

Some things may be happening this coming week to get the new system finally in working order, however. Once it is, I'll be getting out some of the Beached Blonde as well as the Hellsmoke Porter.

In the meantime, I have been testing and refining some new recipes on my old ten-gallon system, but 2009 proved to me that the ten-gallon system is not sustainably practical for regular production.

Potatoes, Smoke, and Hoses

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

While waiting for the rest of the parts of the new three-barrel brewery to be delivered, I brewed another test batch of the Long Island Potato Stout on my old ten-gallon system Saturday. Used Russet potatoes this time, had used the Yukon Gold variety last time. There should be more sugars available from the Russets, I'm aiming to get a similar level of dryness in the finished beer while using fewer potatoes (which have to be cleaned, boiled, and mashed before adding them to the brewery mash).

Transferred and took a reading of the Grodziskie test batch, hit about where I was targeting at 3.6% ABV. This promises to be an interesting sessionable beer. Will be bottling it up soon, with fermentation to occur in the bottles. I'm planning on bringing these to the Bellport charity beer event that Dave of Bellport Cold Beer & Soda is having on June 10th.

Over the last few days, a number of boxes arrived from the manufacturer of my new system: The new mill is finally here, along with various clamps and hoses, etc. Will be taking another inventory tonight to be sure I have everything, and finally start setting about hooking up the new beast.

Grodziskie Test Batch

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still waiting on some components to finish setting up the new brewery, so smoked and brewed another test batch of Grodziskie on my ten-gallon system. (It's an old Polish-style oak-smoked wheat beer.)

Smoked the wheat over French oak for two hours, the mash was 100% wheat (all of it smoked). A good amount of Saaz hops, this promises to be smoky and bitter. The taste of the unfermented wort is pointing that way, it will be interesting to see what the Kolsh yeast makes of it.

Sunday Morning Update: Yeast at Work (Smells Great!)

Local TAP NY Winners, Working on the New Brewery (Cont.)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Congratulations to
John Harvard's Brewhouse and Great South Bay Brewery on the medals this weekend at TAP NY! John Harvard's took the Gold for their Maibock, and Great South Bay Brewery (their first year at TAP NY) took the Bronze for their Massive IPA. Excellent work!

I spent the weekend opening up a wall and moving the new boil kettle, mash tun, and fermenters to a new section of the brewery. Pictures to follow, this will be a much more workable space than what I originally had planned.

Am still waiting on a few more key components (including a mill, really need that mill) before I can start brewing again. Getting closer, though!

Working on the New Brewery

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Continuing to work on the brewery this weekend, got a lot done yesterday. And, that's working "on" the brewery, not working "in" the brewery -- in that I'm not brewing but putting the new equipment together in the brew house and fermentation room.

Delivery of the new 3-bbl system was delayed a few months. Originally thought to be here in January, four big crates were finally delivered on Tuesday, March 30th. Since I still have that regular job during the week, and we were hosting Easter at our house, nothing happened with those crates that first week.

Nothing happened with those crates the following week, either, as I flew out to Chicago early the Monday morning after Easter for the 2010 Craft Brewers Conference (flew back home the following Sunday).

SO, the crated finally got unpacked and the fermenters, mash tun, and boil kettle got moved into the brewery yesterday, thanks to the great help of my brother Pete, brother-in-law Sal, and old friend Bob.

A few extra key components to the brewery are still pending delivery, so I still can't start brewing just yet. In the mean time, I'm working on opening things up a bit in the little brew house to make for a more efficient work space. It's pretty tight in there now, workable, but not ideal. (I was going to fire up the old ten-gallon batch Sabco unit today, but it now needs a repair -- one more thing to add to the to-do list.)

I can say this, even though I haven't yet fired things up, this new system looks real solid.

- The new 3 BBL Brew Kettle and the old 10 gallon Brew Kettle. -

3-bbl System Delivered

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The 3-barrel system (93 gallon batches) that I've been waiting on for since January was delivered today. Four big crates, safe and sound. Aaaaah... now the work begins!

3 BBL System STILL Pending

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today was supposed to finally be the day for delivery of my new 3 BBL system, but the truck that took it from California only made it as far as New Jersey today. Everything is going to be transferred to another truck, which will then head to Long Island on
Monday.

Tic Tic Tic Tic...

Meanwhile, thanks to
Slow Food Huntington and the Cinema Arts Centre for their hospitality at last night's screening of Beer Wars. I was able to bring a bit of vintage Hellsmoke Porter for the post-movie tasting. It had mellowed out a bit, I'm really looking forward to brewing some more as soon as I get that friggin' system delivered and set up.

3 BBL System Pending

My new 3 BBL system is still pending delivery. The manufacturer just informed me about some more delays. Since it is Unit #1 of a brand new model system, such things can happen. It's been taking longer to have ready to ship out the door than they had anticipated.

The manufacturer (Premier Stainless Systems in California) has an excellent reputation, so I totally trust them. They've been manufacturing quality 7, 10, 15, and 20 barrel systems for years. So, once I get this thing delivered, fired up, and ready to go, my beer will again begin to flow.

3 BBL System... Still a'Comin'

January 26, 2010

One key component on the new system got delayed a bit further, so it isn't here yet. So, by the time I get it delivered, install it, and get it running, new beer might not be seen until March.

Since there are numerous variables from system to system, I'll likely brew half-sized batches in the beginning to dial things in. Those half-sized batches, being 1.5 BBL (46.5 gallons) will still be more than my old ten-gallon batches.

3 BBL System

January 9, 2010

It hasn't shipped from California yet (the manufacturer has a few components pending), but below is the 3-barrel system that I'll be brewing on in 2010.



It won't be arranged as shown above, the two fermenters to the left will be in the 10-foot x 10 foot fermentation room while the mash tun and boil kettle will be in the 7-foot x 10-foot brewhouse. (The mash tun and boil kettle will be a tight fit, but it's workable.) The Blind Bat Brewery will still be a relatively small operation, but since I'm upgrading from a 10-gallon system, I'm expanding from tiny to small.

I'll also still be working the regular job during the week, but will be able to brew just over nine times as much beer per batch than I can on my current system. (3 barrels = 93 gallons, vs. 10-gallon batches). So, while I didn't get whole heck of a lot of beer out in 2009, 2010 will be seeing more from me.

More Beer Next Year

Monday, November 23, 2009

I haven't posted on the blog in a while, but have been keeping busy. A couple of things are fermenting, but I've also been working on expanding the little brewery a bit.

Not a lot of beer has been getting out with the weekend brewing of ten-gallon batches, but I should be getting more beer out next year. While my schedule will remain part-time / weekends for a while longer, capacity will be increasing with the installation of a 3 barrel system. Each barrel equals 31 gallons, so I'll be able to brew just over nine-times as much beer (93 gallons, aka 619 pints) in about the same time it takes to brew ten gallons.

More on this as things progress...
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