Sunday 13 November 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Long time no blog! Have been keeping busy with the brewery as well as a full-time job, admittedly it has been difficult to keep up with the brewery in this mode. I’ve been looking at various spaces for expansion, with the plan to transition from the full-time job to the brewery in 2012.
Our first choice was to find some farmland, as my wife Regina is an organic grower leasing a few small parcels here and there (hither and yon?). Since she has been making good use of the brewery’s spent grains (mulch, compost, feed for her friend Jen’s chickens), and since we have been using the brewery’s waste water here at home on her gardens, the concept of a farm brewery was our goal for the next move.
The farm would ideally be in western Suffolk, rather than the east end, as we also want to help preserve what little farmland that still exists in these parts.
It seems that it will take more time to secure and establish such an operation, in the meantime, something needs to give. Either the brewery or the full-time job. Have been operating in this mode for a number of years now.
So, while our search for land continues, a building will likely be the next step -- either leased or purchased. There are a number of candidates that we’ve narrowed down to, am hoping to decide on one soon. Regina will continue to take the spent grains for her farming, and the brewery will continue to use some things she grows for use in the brewery. This has so far included potatoes for the Long Island Potato Stout, coriander for a number of beers, and basil for the Honey & Basil Ale. We’ve only made limited use of home-grown hops thus far, but there will be more hops planted and used in the future.
Looking forward to some positive changes for the Blind Bat Brewery in 2012.
Sunday 20 March 2011
March 20, 2011
A fresh batch of Hellsmoke Porter
is in Fermenter No. 2. Brewed last Sunday, some of it will be on Cask at Blue Point Brewing Company’s 7th Annual Cask Ales Festival
on April 9th.Hell Gate Golden Ale
made its debut at The Cortland
in Bay Shore the week before last, it’s back at The Cortland
, as well as Bistro 25
in Sayville and Luce & Hawkins
in Jamesport. I’m working on it to more locations soon.
I’m working on getting Long Island Potato Stout
into bottles and kegs to various locations.
Will be working on more batches of the Hellsmoke and Hell Gate as well as a few other things -- including getting a big (for me, 93 gallons vs 10) of Vlad the Inhaler
out this Spring. It should be on rotation through the Summer.
Saturday 05 March 2011
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
Friday 07 January 2011
January 7, 2010
It's been a while since I last blogged, but this is just a quick update and an apology.
Hellsmoke Porter and Long Island Potato Stout are both out and about, check the "Where to Find" page for details. More places offering these beers will be added over the next few weeks.
A few folks reviewing the Hellsmoke Porter on RateBeer
have unfortunately received bottles that gushed when they opened them. I apologize for this, these were the old 22-ounce bottles that I had put out a while back. These bottles apparently were shipped to them as part of beer trades (the reviewers are all outside my distribution area).
Again with apologies to anyone who receives or purchases a problematic bottle, please let me know
via the contact form
on this site. The new bottles are all 16-ounces rather than the old 22-ounce "bombers."
Wednesday 10 November 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010Hellsmoke Porter
has been rolled out again at last, with more to come soon. I have two 3-BBL fermenters that I'll start to keg and bottle out of in a few days.
The recipe experiments and tweaks are now done with the Long Island Potato Stout
and the Hell Gate Belgian-Style Golden Ale
, I'll be brewing a production batch of the latter first, with the former to follow shortly. Both should be available in December and January.
The Belgian Golden Strong Ale style is traditionally named after the Devil or variations thereof (Duvel, Belzebuth, Pranqster, Damnation, Hades Ale, etc.) The deceptively delicate Hell Gate Belgian-Style Golden Ale
follows that tradition, and is also named for the bridge that spans the infamous Hell Gate
portion of the East River that separates Long Island from Manhattan.
Family obligations will be keeping me from this coming Saturday's International Great Beer Expo
at Nassau Coliseum, but Rich Thatcher and the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts will be kindly pouring some of my Hellsmoke Porter along with the great brews by the group at their table. They'll be having 13 beers on tap!
Monday 25 October 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Kegs and bottles of Hellsmoke Porter are conditioning and carbonating. Vlad the Inhaler is just in bottles at this point, those are also conditioning.
Test batches of Long Island Potato Stout and Hellgate Golden Ale are fermenting away, as is another 3-BBL batch of Hellsmoke Porter.
Sunday 17 October 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
It's been a long time since I've written anything on the old Brewhouse Blog, as the learning curve with the new equipment has continued a bit longer than I anticipated. Fermenter and quality control issues have kept me from releasing anything just yet, although a bit has sneaked out for festivals and beer dinners.
There are kegs and bottles carbonating of Hellsmoke Porter now, with another three-barrel batch brewed and fermenting. I also brewed another small batch of Vlad the Inhaler (almost done fermenting, will be bottled up this week). Yesterday I brewed another test batch of the Long Island Potato Stout, working on perfecting that before I send it out the door.
The nature of a nano, particularly a part-time nano, is one where beer doesn't flow regularly in great quantities, but believe you me -- I am working hard on getting beer out. Quality before quantity.
Monday 07 June 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
The recent test batch of Long Island Potato Stout yielded a valuable lesson -- peel the potatoes! A rather unfavorable quality came about in this batch, as opposed to the earlier one where I peeled the potatoes that were boiled and mashed before adding to the mash. So, it's a pain in the butt, but I'll be peeling the potatoes from now on. This is a dumped batch, but lesson learned.
I'll be interested to see if others agree with me that the Grodziskie (Vlad the Inhaler) that I'll be pouring this coming Thursday could use more smoke. Despite smoking all of the wheat over oak for two hours, I dont' think there is enough smoke character. It is present in the finish, and the beer seems sufficiently tart (as Grodziske is purported to have been), but I want more damn smoke.
And that Thursday pour will be at the Bellport Country Club during the Charity Beer & Wine Tasting and Food Pairing from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. See Dave's (Bellport Cold Beer & Soda) blog at http://blog.bellportbeer.com/
for details. All of the Long Island breweries will be there, it promises to be a terrific event for a number of good causes.
Wednesday 12 May 2010
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.
Wednesday 07 October 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
That batch of Long Island Potato Stout
turned out as dry as I had hoped, it will be conditioning and carbonating prior to getting it out in bottles. Word on when and where to follow. I'm looking forward to feedback on it.
The next brew in my experimental stout series will be a true Oyster Stout
, using oysters from Long Island's east end. (The Potato Stout used organic potatoes from Sang Lee Farms
in Peconic.) I finally got formula and label approval last week from the TTB on the oyster stout, but I'll probably brew it after
my equipment takes a brief road trip to Brooklyn on the 18th. (More on that
later.) So, it will be another batch of Weizenbock
to be brewed this coming Sunday.Hellsmoke Porter
will be heading out in kegs, some bottles after that. Again, word on when and where to follow.
The next meeting of the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts
at the Black Forest Brew Haus
, in Farmingdale from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. Come on down!
Saturday 26 September 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
We had to cancel our vacation to California, but I've been getting some work done in the brewhouse this week. I brewed some of the Wheatley Hills Weizenbock a couple of days ago, and will be kegging up Hellsmoke Porter from earlier in the month this weekend.
Meanwhile, I've been working on a series of Stout experiments. Yesterday's was a batch of Long Island Potato Stout
using local Long Island potatoes that are boiled, mashed, and then added to the mash of grains to add some dryness to what I anticipate to be a dry stout. The potatoes in this batch are the Yukon Gold
variety, organically grown at Sang Lee Farms
Why organically-grown potatoes? Conventionally-grown potatoes rely heavily on the use of chemicals and pesticides -- not great for you or the environment. It is a challenge to grow potatoes organically, though, so they are not as inexpensive or as easy to find as conventional potatoes.