|King of Barley.|
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Because of this we decided that we will be having a party this Friday the 10th from 6-8PM.
Show up early as TABE BBQ will be there at 5PM selling their AMAZING tacos.
In a show of appreciation to the other breweries that won the award alongside us we will be having three guest beers from them on tap.
Stone Smoked Porter:
Ballast Point Sculpin IPA:
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I know there is a lot of chatter around the interwebs and/or water cooler about what there is to drink at Hess Brewing at any given time. There have been traditionally two ways to find out. a) Call us (619 887 6453), or, 2) Come in and find out.
But now, thanks to the inspired idea from Jeff and Melanie Gordon you now have a third option: TapHunter.com
More specifically our page on TapHunter.
And if that isn't crazy enough, check out this ridiculous-nutso video by TapHunter and our friends at WestCoasterSD.
Monday, October 18, 2010
|For the Rest of Us.|
And like our opening, great tunes from The Barnacles!!!
PLUS: BEST COSTUME WINS A GROWLER OF HESS BREWING FESTIVUS ALT!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
If you’re like Mike and me, the only thing you use your wallet for is to hold all your plastic cards and your driver’s license. Your pockets, otherwise, are full of your car keys, lint and maybe an odd wadded-up credit card receipt or two from lunch and the gas station…
Cash? What’s cash? Well, visitors to Hess Brewing well know that cash has been the only accepted exchange…but that’s all changed now!
We’ve been waiting patiently since June to get hooked into “the next thing” for small businesses, courtesy of Twitter’s founder, an app called Square. After signing up this summer and validating our bank account (by making a couple of small, 13 and 21 cent deposits) Square put Hess Brewing in the queue.
Works on iPad, iPhone and Android.
Fast forward 4 months…and guess what shows up!? Our very own "Square Reader". This little gizmo-jobber (technical name) or whatever you want to call it is a plastic, dice-shaped cube that plugs into our Smart Phone (Michael: iPhone, me: Android) or the tasting room’s iPad headphone jack.
Seriously, that's it. The Magic of Square.
Through the magic of the interweb thingy, information is transmitted from a credit card swipe into a signal that Square then approves, charging the user’s card. A day or two later, Square ‘squares’ up with us, transferring money into our bank account.
We should mention the killer interface that the folks at Square put into the iPad app. We have set up our iPad as a POS – a point of sale – device, which allows us to touch the picture/icon of the good purchased – taster flight, pub glass, growler, fill, etc and it tallies up the total, etc.
We have all our items for sale built into the Square POS.
Want a receipt? No problem – after you sign, using your finger on the screen of the device, enter your email address and we’ll send one to you. How slick is that?
No pen, no problem.
So, next time you’re running out to Hess Brewing to enjoy a cold one, don’t worry about running to the bank first. Come on in, and swipe away!
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Keeping Up with the Thirst
Saturday, August 21, 2010
A huge thanks to everyone that came out to our grand opening: The Beer Lovers. Family Wagon. The Tabe BBQ Gastro Truck. Our Friends. Our Families. All of You!!!
We are out of beer. Did I say good news? Well, it is good news that our Grand Opening was such a success. Lots and lots of beer was consumed. In fact, more beer was imbibed on August 7th than in the entire month of July. How awesome is that? However, this did put us in a bit of a predicament: we drained the tanks. Literally. Not like ‘they’re low’, or, ‘we’re almost out.’ We have ZERO Intrepidus IPA, ZERO Grazias Vienna Cream Ale, ZERO Amplus Acerba SDPA and ZERO Ex Umbris RIS. Nada, zilch.
We do have a tiny amount (~3 gallons) of Claritas Kölsch and slightly more of our seasonal, limited-release Jucundus Honey Orange Wheat (but once it’s gone, we won’t be brewing it again till next year.) With so little beer, we had to shut down our tasting room. We just do not have enough to warrant opening until we get a bit more beer back on draft. And for that... we apologize. Bad planning on our part.
On to the better news
We brewed like crazy these past 9 days. One the 9th, we brewed 51 gallons of Amplus, on the 13th we brewed 48 gallons of Ex Umbris and on the 20th 48 gallons of Intrepidus. Next week, a fresh batch of Grazias. Beer is on the way! From now on our fermentation vessels will be full at all times so that we can get you fills of your pub glass and growlers of all our beers.
|Brewing Amplus with the Crew.|
Thanks again for your support, your kind words and encouragement and especially your patience. See you soon at the Hess Tasting Room!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
and by shindig, we mean Grand Opening!!
(kids welcome, cash only)
Yes, we're actually having food available!
Our good friends are going to play a show for us at 1:00PM; they put on a killer set. Be sure to show up in time to catch their act!
You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. But, you can come back next Wednesday as we return to our normal hours. Can't wait to see you all.
The Hess Brewing Crew
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So let us know which you prefer and we will make it be so. We are also working on getting some shirts made, but we are still getting the designs finalized on those.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Our solution, one used by some homebrewers and nanos, including Hess Brewing, is the use of Induction Tanks. These tanks, from sites like Tank-Depot and USPlastics are made of food grade resin (FDA approved), are UV resistant, lightweight, durable and best of all - yep, affordable. So far at the brewery, we have four 60 gallon induction tanks in use. I think we'll need more, but for now, as we get going on production, four seems to work.
In my research into these conicals, I found that they come in two varieties: full draining and, well, not full draining. Looking at the part number, you can tell the two apart - full draining are cleverly marked FD, for instance ours are INFD60-24. IN (induction) FD (full draining) 60 (capacity) and finally 24. The last number for us was a critical number - in this case, 24 is the diameter of the cylindrical portion of the tank.
For temperature control, we are currently using Glass Door Merchandisers, or GDMs. Both of ours are from True - we have one double door GDM and one single door. These are the same refrigerators you find when you go to your local Gas-n-Sip and grab a Monster Energy drink to go. In fact, both ours came from the local Gas-n-Sip! Each fridge is plugged into a RANCO temperature controller, allowing us precise digital control of the interior temp of the fridge. The 60-24 tanks can just fit, side by side in our double fridge with modifications I'll describe below.
I also found that there are really only two manufacturers of these tanks - Ace Rotoweld is the most widely found and essentially, everyone sells their stuff, and Norwesco. The Rotoweld tanks were closest to a true 60* cone and are fully draining, so that's what we went with. Note that none of them is actually a true 60* - some are actually mislabeled on the websites, but a close look at the technical drawing will show that they are usually less - mine are 57.5* - close enough!
Modifying for brewery use:
I worked on figuring out the fittings for a long time. With help from Chattahoochee and Breaker Brewing, we've got a system now that works like a champ.
First, the bottom dump: The tank comes with 1.5" female NPT. Because we had to cut down the stands 2" to get the clearance to fit into our GDMs, we can't dump straight down. Our connections are therefore: 1.5" MNPT/1.5" TC & 1.5" TC 90* & 1.5" TC Butterfly Valve.
The sideport racking valve was a stumbling block for the longest time and I never could find an easy, off-the-rack rotating racking arm - there's probably one out there, but I haven't found it. In the end, I bought 1/2" NPT bulkhead fittings from Tank-Depot - they sell the fittings from an outfit in City of Industry (CA). I chose these because they are the lowest profile - meaning that they protrude less inside - only about 3/8" - and outside the tank - only about an inch. They are threaded for connection on both the inside and outside of the tank. I had to forego the rotating part, but they work great for sampling the wort during fermentation and for pumping from when we move the beer into our brite tanks.
Neither Tank Depot nor Ace Rotoweld were willing to drill the cone for us, so here's how we did it (I must admit that the first time I took a drill to the cone I was a bit nervous -after that, I didn't even hesitate.)
First, I marked the cone - after brewing one batch of IPA with no racking port I had a good idea where the yeast cone would fill to. If if ever came that more yeast was generated, I could always just drop it from the bottom first. So, I chose to go right at the 1 gallon mark. I made sure that the fitting would not overlap the area where the gallon markings are, made an X and broke out the drill.
This is the only type of drill bit you should use - for this fitting, it is the 38mm hole saw. Notice it has a center drill to keep the bit from walking.
The bulkhead fitting is four parts - the nut, at the top of the below photo, the outside washer slightly below it, and the parts that go inside - the threaded body and a 1/4" thick washer (that fits neatly into a collar to keep it from deforming when you tighten it down).
In order to get the fitting to poke through the cone, I used a piece of string and an old dip tube post. I put the dip tube through the hole I drilled, inverted the cone to let it drop out the lid, then threaded the inside fitting on the string and pulled the string back through the cone:
The dip tube post spans the back of the fitting and is used to tug it through the hole you just drilled.
Looking down in the cone, you can see the fitting getting ready to poke through. I'm pulling on the string to keep it tight up against the hole. That's the bottom drain below it.
Once you get the fitting so that it's poking out through the hole, it's a wrestling match to pull it through, but eventually it will:
From here we screwed a 1/2" NPT/1.5" TCX fitting in, allowing us to then hook on our racking ball valve.
The final result:
The one thing I have noticed about the cones is that the lid ring - the part that the lid threads onto (you can see if four photos up from here), doesn't seal air-tight. In a later post, I may write up how we fixed that - the only reason I would do that is if I decide that I want to push out beer with CO2, instead of pumping it.
During fermentation we are now using FermCap S. I learned the hard way that 9 gallons of head space is not enough! Also, we don't use airlocks - I just put the lid on enough to keep it from getting lifted off and let the tanks breathe CO2 out as they need. You don't need to see bubbles for fermentation to occur!
The only other modification we had to make was lowering the overall height of the stands that come with (or are ordered with) the cones. The only way to get the conicals into the GDM's is if they are already in the stand. Because of low overhead threshold we ended up cutting down the stands' legs. We took 2" out of each leg with a hack saw. To do so, we made a cut about 4" up from the bottom of the leg, then took 2" from the upper portion. To hold the legs intact, a piece of 1/2" threaded steel rod, cut down to 8" length just slips into each lower leg, then the upper half slides over the protruding rod. It's a good fit and the legs are just as sturdy as when they were a solid piece.
Pumping beer to brite tank:
Once fermentation is complete, I attach a 1.5" TC to 3/4" hose barb with hose to my bottom dump and grab about 2 liters of slurry. Then to move to the brite tank, a hose from the racking ball valve, down to the March pump, and into the bottom dump of the awaiting sanitized conical. Make sure you wait until the loop from the source cone to pump to receiving cone is solid beer before you energize the pump so that you don't oxygenate your beer. You can/should also flush the receiving cone with CO2. You should find that the transfer is easy and quick and you will notice no air in the stream of beer as you pump it over.
After a few days in our cold room, the beer is ready for kegging. We use no finings during fermentation at Hess Brewing, but we do use Super Moss in the boil kettle and a whirlpool tank to further separate out trub and other vegetable (hop) residue. 2-3 days at 38* drops the beer clear. A quick dump from the bottom (about a cup or two) purges all the remaining 'stuff'. A hose to the pump, to another hose to a Sanke coupling (with the ball check removed) and we pump-fill the kegs. We fill by weight, knowing the tare weight of our sixtels and 1/2 bbls. All our kegs are purged with CO2 before we pump over (part of the cleaning/sanitizing routine). Like when we pump to Brite, make sure you let the hose to pump to hose get filled solid with beer before you energize the pump so that you don't introduce any unnecessary O2 to your beer.
The kegs go back in the cold room, sit on 40 pounds of pressure for about a day (or you can rock and roll) and are ready to serve.