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Long Island Potato Stout

Long Time No Blog

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The timeline here shows how much I have been neglecting the old Brewhouse Blog, but I have been busy elsewhere. As with every time I post after a long absence here, I again vow to be better about keeping up with the blog.

Long Island Craft Beer Week has come and gone. This year Blind Bat introduced a new experimental brew, Spring Folly, at the first annual BayFest held by our friends at Great South Bay Brewery. Reaction was positive, so this will join the lineup after I get Federal label approval. That’s been taking longer, lately, however.

The Third Annual Golden Tap Awards, a keystone event of Long Island Craft Beer Week was a fun evening, as folks in the local craft beer industry got to spend some quality time together. Blind Bat was fortunate to be awarded the Golden Tap Award for Long Island Beer of the Year 2013. I was honored just to be considered among my fellow brewers.
Paul Dlugokencky 2013 Beer of the Year

I brewed some Beached Blonde last weekend, which I haven’t brewed since 2010 (why? just not enough time in part-time mode to get to it all!). I should be brewing more Hellsmoke Porter over the upcoming holiday weekend.

The last few months have been spent in various stages of negotiation with different potential landlords for the new home of the brewery. As with many things, it has been taking longer than anticipated. I can’t promise news soon, but I hope to have something to announce soon(ish).


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.

Honey-Basil Ale at Luce & Hawkins

May 17 , 2011

Been away from the old Brewhouse Blog for awhile, been keeping busy at the smoker and in the brewhouse getting ready for Long Island Craft Beer Week.

On Monday, May 23rd, James Beard Award winning Chef
Keith Luce will be preparing a three-course dinner pairing with five of my beers:

- Honey-Basil Ale
- Vlad the Inhaler
- Hell Gate Golden Ale
- Hellsmoke Porter
- Long Island Potato Stout

All but one of the above beers will also be on tap for Long Island Craft Beer Week at The Cortland in Bay Shore on Friday May 20th. The Honey-Basil Ale will only available at the beer dinner at Luce & Hawkins in Jamesport on Monday May 23rd (7 PM).  Part of my farm-and-garden series of beers using local, seasonal ingredients. In this case, the honey is from Huntington's High Meadow Farm. Honey-gold in color, approach-ably tea-like and dry. Starts with a sweep of nectar with floral undertones,  and finishes with some Fuggle hop bitterness. The basil lends some astringency. A very sessional 3.8% ABV.

Seating is limited, a few tickets are left (going, going...). This is the first of a series of local wine/beer dinners being created by Lenn Thompson. For more information and ticket information see Lenn’s
New York Cork Report or contact him at

Sundry Sunday Sundry Sunday

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.

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.

Long Time No Blog - with Gushing Apologies...

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."

On the Horizon

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hellsmoke 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.

Hell Gate Golden Ale Label image

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!

What's What

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.

Long Time No Blog

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.

Potato Peels and Smoke

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 for details. All of the Long Island breweries will be there, it promises to be a terrific event for a number of good causes.

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.


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 is tonight at the Black Forest Brew Haus, in Farmingdale from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. Come on down!

Hellsmoke, Weizenbock, and Stout Experiments

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 of Peconic.

Long Island Potato Stout label image

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.
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