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Harborfields Hefeweizen

Harborfields HefeWeizen

Monday, June 27, 2011

Long time, no blog! It’s still a part-time operation here, with a “regular” job during the week. Have been keeping busy in the brewhouse on Sundays, with a big part of Saturdays being spent at the Northport Farmers’ Market. While waiting on an order of Blind Bat growlers, have been selling 16.9 ounce bottles there.

Finally brewed my old Harborfields HefeWeizen on the 3-BBL system, making my hefe-loving wife very happy. Should have it out in limited release both on draft and in bottles (and possibly growlers at the Farmers’ Market).
Harborfields HefeWeizen Label image

Catching Up

March 5, 2011

Haven’t blogged in a while, here’s what’s been happening lately...

(1) A few words about my bottles
I’m now force-carbonating before bottling most of my beers, rather than carbonating in the bottle. A few bottles got out that were not as carbonated as they should have been -- I’ll work on getting that right for any beers that need in-bottle carbonation. Apologies to anyone who purchased any that weren’t right, please do let me know.

Have switched from the old 22-ounce (“bomber”) bottles to 16-ounce bottles from Quebec. Well, at least I thought they were 16-ounce bottles when I bought them. Turns out they are 16.9 ounces -- but I’ve been filling them to 16-ounce levels, which is 3 inches from the top of the bottle. So if you got one and think it’s short, it’s really 16 ounces. I’m starting to fill the bottles to 16.9 ounces since it otherwise looks short.

(2) Smoking again
Have been smoking malt a few mornings this week (before heading off to work at the “day job”). Will be smoking more today to have enough ready to brew another batch of Hellsmoke Porter.

(3) What’s heading out the door
Hellsmoke Porter and Long Island Potato Stout in the above-mentioned 16-ounce bottles.

Will be getting more Long Island Potato Stout out soon, need to clean more kegs first.

A bit of the Hell Gate Golden Ale will be heading out this coming week, word on where and when will be posted on the Facebook page as well as here.

(4) What’s next
Will be brewing up more of the mild-mannered ale for the Blue Point Cask Festival, depending on feedback it may become a Spring/Summer seasonal. Also for Summer, will be bringing back my old homebrew Harborfields HefeWeizen. And will also be smoking up lots of wheat this Spring and Summer for Vlad the Inhaler.

Bottling and Brewing

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots to do this weekend:

  • Bottle up some of the Hellsmoke Porter
  • Bottle up some of the Harborfields HefeWeizen
  • Transfer another batch of the Harborfields HefeWeizen for conditioning
  • Transfer that latest batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit for conditioning
  • Brew up a test batch of another possible Summer Seasonal
  • Brew up more of the Hellsmoke Porter (which I decided to not quite retire yet for the season)

Plus the usual cleaning and sanitizing.

On to it...

Test Batch Sunday

Monday, May 18, 2009

I hadn't brewed my smoked wit since I got the new smoker, so Sunday saw me smoking and brewing a test batch of the Old Walt Smoked Wit. For this one, I smoke about 20% of the total grain bill -- a portion of the flaked wheat -- over mesquite wood chips. The idea is to end up with light notes of the mesquite smoke.

More of the hefeweizen is now conditioning, I tested some of the earlier batch and it wasn't quite ready on Saturday. It might be ready for bottling next weekend, so I'm hoping to roll it out soon.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brewday: Harborfields HefeWeizen.

Just one batch today, Happy Mothers Day!

Back to the Brewhouse

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I only made it through half a day when I went back to the day job on Tuesday, and ended up being out with that flu Wednesday and Thursday. Was back to work on Friday, and am back to the brewhouse this weekend. Today I'll finally be getting that Hefeweizen into conditioning vessels, and that Hellsmoke bottled up. Will then take care of a few more things in preparation for a brewday Sunday (more of the Harborfields Hefeweizen).

If you haven't yet done so, please do consider contacting your representatives in the NY Assembly and Senate about that NY-specific UPC label law. While it doesn't affect me as the Blind Bat Brewery (I only sell in NY State), it does concern me as far as the problems it will cause for other breweries who do distribute across state lines. (See Monday's blog post for more on this.)

Flu, Not Brew

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I've been down with the flu since Friday (just the good-old-fashioned kind, not the swine flu), but it kept me from any brewing duties this weekend. Am crawling back to the day job today, after spending yesterday in bed. Am hoping to get things moving in the brewhouse this week (transferring hefeweizen from fermenters to conditioning vessels, bottling up hellsmoke) and be back to brewing on Saturday. Sorry about the delays.

Some Party!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Before rushing out the door yesterday morning to catch a train to Boston for the Craft Brewers Conference, I checked in again on how the yeast was doing with Saturday's wort (turning it into Hefeweizen). The airlock in one of the fermenters blew off, and there are some nice stains on the ceiling thanks to the force that must have built up (note to self -- gotta move to blowoff tubes, at least for the vigorously-fermenting wheat beers). There also was a nice bit of wort on the floor. Floor to ceiling, it looks like it was some fun party for the yeast.

Happy Yeast, Dissatisfied Cow

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The yeast (White Labs WLP300) is happily working on turning yesterday's wort into tomorrow's HefeWeizen (OK, not technically "tomorrow" -- give the little buggers time to do the job).

This afternoon I brought the spent grains from yesterday's back-to-back batches of Harborfields Hefeweizen to the one remaining cow at the old (and now preserved) Lewis-Oliver Dairy in Northport. The cow (named "Half Pint" -- which ya gotta love) wasn't too keen on the 50-50 blend of spent wheat and barley, so I gave it to the pig instead.
Cow in Northport named Half Pint image
"Half Pint"

Brewday: Harbofields Hefeweizen

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Brewing up some Harbofields Hefeweizen today.
Harborfields HefeWeizen Label image

Hops, Hellsmoke, and Hefeweizen

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Along with some other duties and commitments, I needed to get some cleaning done for a fermenter tonight, so was unable to attend the one-night "live" showing of Beer Wars. I'll be needing that fermenter for Saturday when I brew some of the Harborfields Hefeweizen. I'm hoping to catch a future screening of Beer Wars, but I'm certainly missing out on the communal experience tonight.

Before cleaning that fermenter (keeping ahead of the setting sun), I trimmed back some of the hops, leaving just the longest three bines growing out of each rhyzome. The Centennial, Chinook, and Fuggles are all coming back strong so far. The Hallertauer not much yet. No signs of the Willamette. I'm hoping it didn't get destroyed when we were putting up the greenhouse a few months back. (There might be some poetic injustice there.)

Will be bottling up some more of the Hellsmoke Porter (before heading off to the "regular job" tomorrow, if I get up early enough). I was planning on retiring the Hellsmoke Porter for the year now that warmer weather is approaching, but something happened when I drew a small sample tonight to check the carbonation level. My wife tastes some, and remarks on the hint of dark chocolate that she's noticed in previous batches. Recalling my affection for vanilla ice cream in a Guinness, she suggests I put some ice cream into the remaining sample. Damn, it's good. Summertime pints of Hellsmoke Floats are now dancing in my mind, so I might not retire this beer just yet.

On Target (Test Batch B)

Kegged up Test Batch B of the Harborfields HefeWeizen tonight.

Harborfields Hefeweizen Label image image of a hydrometer
The hydrometer reading showed a a Final Gravity of 1.018. , so, with an Original Gravity of 1.053, this batch is at the target 4.5% Alcohol by Volume.

Test Batch A [Harborfields HefeWeizen]

I was aiming for 4.5% Alcohol by Volume for the Harborfields HefeWeizen, but the Original Gravity (OG) of the first test batch was higher than I was shooting for (1.058, vs. the target of 1.052).

The Final Gravity (FG) was 1.020, bringing Test Batch A of the Harborfields HefeWeizen at 4.9% Alcohol by Volume. Higher than the target, but not too bad for the first brewing session in almost a year. (Once I filed for the licenses, I was not permitted to brew until the licenses were granted. Welcome to Brewer Hell.)

Kegged up this first batch today -- it's going to be bottled from the keg after it reaches the proper carbonation level.

Test Batch B of the Harborfields HefeWeizen had an OG of 1.053, much closer to the target 1.052. We'll soon see how that one turns out, as it is just a week behind Test Batch A.

Happy Yeast

5:40 AM
The Weihenstephan Weizen yeast is happily working away at Test Batch B. (I'm always a little bit anxious until the yeast starts its work, the little buggers seem to have a mind of their own).

Getting Back on the Hefe Horse...

Brewed Beta-Phase Test Batch B today, another go at the Harborfields HefeWeizen.
Hit closer to the target Original Gravity this time: While Batch A's OG was 1.058, Batch B's OG is 1.053.
Not quite the 1.052 I was shooting for, but getting closer.

6:56 PM
The yeast are happily working away, turning wort into beer. The spent grains are now mixed in with the rest of the compost in the garden.

Clean up of the brewery equipment is done, now to clean up the brewer, and think about "what's for dinner?"

Caution: Yeast at Work

The yeast has been happily working away at the wort that is becoming Hefeweizen for five days now. Without these little wonders, there would be no beer.

High and Outside

Finally overcame various plumbing issues, and brewed a test batch of the Harborfields HefeWeizen on Saturday. Just before I pitched the yeast, I took a hydrometer reading. I didn't hit my target Original Gravity (1.052), instead the (post-boil) Original Gravity was 1.058 (!)

Assuming that fermentation goes as expected, this first batch won't be at the target alcohol by volume percentage that I'm shooting for the version that will be eventually offered up for public consumption, but time will tell. The yeast is happily working away...
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