Black Heart Brewery Update & Control Panel Test Video

On Sunday, Brett and I spent the entire day, a good 10 hours of it, in the brewery soldering, cutting, stripping, and connecting wires and components. We are happy to announce we now have working switches and LED indicator lights. These let us know that the components are getting power, and are explained further in the video below. We are ordering the rest of the box parts tomorrow and it will be completed on Thursday, less the Brewtroller 4.0, which we are waiting to hear an arrival date on. Other than that, we can finish hooking back up the plumbing, route the wires, test the valves and connections. We will be brewing within 2 weeks; period.
We were pleased to find out today that our friend Adam, who is BHB’s welder, will be finishing up the mounting arm for the control box, and we will have it in place by mid week; pictures to come.
Our grain mill is hopefully going to be completed by the time we brew again, but if not, I will deal with ONE last manual crush session at the local homebrew store [Author’s note: As an aggressive inline skater, I have sustained many shoulder injuries through the years, most recently with a dislocation prior to massive snow storms, so that Monster Mill is going to be my new best friend soon.]
Like I said previously, we are 2 weeks away from being able to brew again, and once we do, the beer will be flowing. We just ordered up 11 1/6bbl kegs, that we hope to fill very soon via a weekly brewing schedule, a goal that we are on task to reach by the end of March.
That is all for now. Please enjoy the short update below, with many more to follow, including some in depth videos on nanobrewing. Cheers!

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Chicken Spiedies recipe and Black Heart Brewery “American Amber Ale” Review (#006)

Chicken Spiedies on Italian Bread with Black Heart Brewery’s American Amber Ale

The Spiedie is an Italian inspired meat shish kabob using a specific group of spices and herbs as marinade. It originates from my hometown in Binghamton, NY. They are an important part of local culture, much like the cheese steak to Philly, and has a food festival and balloon rally in its honor. Check out Wikipedia for more info.

Ingredients:
– 6 large boneless chicken breasts
– 2/3 cup olive oil (I used Smart Oil, which is a combination of vegetable, canola, and olive oils)
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– 1/2 cup white vinegar
– 5 cloves of garlic; minced
– 2 tablespoons dried parsley
– 2 tablespoons dried basil
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 teaspoon table salt
– 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
– 1/2 – 1 teaspoon dried dill weed (I like a bit more dill)
– Italian bread or rolls

Directions:
2-4 days prior to cooking, wash, trim and slice the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and place in tupperware container.

Mix all ingredients – except bread – into container with chicken and mix well.

Cover, refrigerate, and allow to marinade for 2-4 days; stir once a day if left for more than 2 days.

After marinading is competed:
There are a few ways to cook a spiedie, and the one I chose this time is to cook them in a large wok – I will be doing other ones later on. I heated the wok on the stove, then pourded in the chicken, marinade and all.

Cook the meat for 5-10 minutes and then carefully pour off the excess marinade to give the meat direct contact with the metal of the pan. Cook until a little darker. Check a larger spiedie to make sure it is cooked all the way through but cutting it in half.

When finished cooking, remove spiedies from the pan and serve on a slice of Italian bread.

American Amber Ale review
By Black Heart Brewery

This beer was made by us, was bottled the day before serving into a 500mL flip top bottle. I poured it into a fluted pilsner glass and was paired with the meal above.

Appearance: Poured a dark amber red, with little light coming through this unfiltered brew. A light lacy head caps it off at the top, with good lacing.

Smell: The smell was sweet and malty with subtle floral hops.

Taste: Smooth, light and sweet. Medium hops, balanced with the malts.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel. Very approachable, but want just the slightest bit bolder; weakest part of this beer.

Drinkability/Palitability: Large, especially as a beer whose purpose and design is to be an introduction beer to craft beers.

Notes: I brewed this beer; we have been making this one regularly for the last three years. We made an “Extra Amber Ale” at the same time as this one; our biggest attempt at this beer yet, and one of my favorites we have done. This one is what we intend it to be, but personally wanted the Extra. We added hot sauce to the spiedies, and the sweetness in this was nicely balancing to the kick.

Bottling Beers From Holidays

Finally my first brewery related post! We made quite a few beers for the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Eve – and with the use of a little self control, we were able to hold off and not drink it all. Last night, we bottled 4 of our brews; the American Amber Ale, the Extra Amber Ale (big brother to Amber Ale), our Holiday 2009, and our Dogfish Head 90 Minute Clone. What I am really excited about is being able to write up reviews and post them here. Some might question me reviewing my own products, but I am my biggest critic. I will be able to share the intent we had when making the beers, and in my opinion, how that is reflected in the final product.
The first beer I will be reviewing is our American Amber, and that should be up by Sunday evening. I have chicken spiedies marinading that I am cooking for dinner tomorrow – Saturday – and will be accompanying the review with that recipe.
There are some big things coming soon, so stay tuned!