Sunday, January 22, 2017

Snowy Pictures up at Echo Lake

Winter means snow.

Snow means snowshoeing.

Snowshoeing usually means we go up to Echo Lake.

If you've followed this blog at all over the years, you've seen us at Echo Lake in the snow a bunch.... with and without snow shoes.

I guess we're boring that way.

We tend to do the same things over and over.

Anyway ... we went up there again this weekend.

Here are some more pictures of us in the snow up at Echo Lake ...

I have to get back to the NFC Championship Game.

Hoping to see the Packers lose. So far ... so good.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Fermented Zucchini

So ... I got a couple Amazon gift cards for Christmas.

One of the things I got with part of that money was a Go Ferment! Fermenting Kit. If you would like read up on these, you can check out the GoFerment Website.

Essentially, all this is a couple lids that can screw onto wide-mouth mason jars. Along with the lids are airlocks to allow fermentation gases to escape without allowing oxygen to get in.

Wide-mouth mason jars are not included, but you can get a bunch of those for a few bucks.

And the purpose of these simple little things ... to make fermented food.

So simple. It is one of those things you say to yourself ... "why didn't I think of that?"

Well, I didn't think of it. GoFerment did.

I've made homemade sauerkraut before without these little devices. It turns out delicious .... especially if you add jalapeño peppers in the fermentation too.

By the way ... if you don't like sauerkraut because of the store-bought or gross mass you get at ball-parks ... I think you owe it to yourself to try homemade sauerkraut. I'm not really a fan of sauerkraut myself unless I make it.

Anyway ... I got this GoFerment Kit in the mail a few days ago. Monday I decided to make something.

The GoFement Website has a little recipe blog, and the most recent recipe there was Fermented Zucchini! I thought I'd make that as my maiden voyage with the GoFerment Kit.

Pretty simple. Chop up some Zucchini and Onion. Add in some garlic and spices. Cover with sea salt solution.

Just put everything in a 32oz mason jar (you can scale the recipe for other sizes ... 32oz is what the recipe calls for and the only wide-mouth mason jar I own). Put the lid and airlock on. Set aside and let it ferment.

The instructions say to let it go for 7 to 10 days. Based on my experience with sauerkraut before, I will probably let it go longer.

I will have to let you know how it turns out.

Check out Sheppy's Blog: Fermented Food to see if I've written anything else about it.

Next up ... I'm going to make my jalapeño sauerkraut with this thing.

I got the ingredients (aka Cabbage and Jalapeño Peppers) on Monday, but I was thinking I had more than one wide-mouth mason jar. Either we only have one, or the other one is hidden away somewhere.

The thing about mason jars ... I see them everywhere, and they are very inexpensive. However ... to get the inexpensive ones, you have to get at least 12 of them. I'm not sure what I would do with 12 32oz mason jars.

I'll look around some more. I'll probably end up just buying a 12 pack and having more than I need. I guess you never know.

Go Blackhawks!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

SheppyBrew 2016 Year-End Brewing Stats

As you may know, the Brewery likes to post quarterly updates on how much we have brewed. You can see all these updates (including the one you are reading right now) by following this link: Sheppy's Blog: Brew Stats.

Just as I started writing this blog post, I noticed that in 2016 Q3 SheppyBrew Stats, I said ...
"Q3 of 2016 at the SheppyBrew Brewery, we only brewed one batch of beer."
However, I wrote that before Q3 was over. I must have been thinking that September was part of Q4. So, I actually brewed a few more beers in Q3.

So, I lied to you. Sorry about that. Forgetting that September was part of Q3 transformed it from a light quarter to a pretty busy one.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The 2017 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

It is that time of year again.

Winter. Snow. Arctic cold. Icy roads. Skiing. Snowshoeing. Sledding. Winter Saisons.

Yes ... Winter is time to brew SheppyBrew's Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.

Arctic Vortex was the first of my Seasonal Saisons. I decided to make it a Black Saison because I thought winter is the time when it is darkest longest.

I brewed it Sunday. This is the 4th time I've brewed this beer. For the most part it has stayed pretty much the same. I did include some simple sugars in the malt bill this time to help dry out the beer a little. We'll see what I think when I taste it.

This year, I did go back to WY3711 (aka the Real Super Yeast). The yeast I used last year did work out ok. I just tend to prefer 3711 both in flavor and in performance.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

T is for TRVE Brewing Company

If you follow this blog regularly, you have probably noticed a lot of progress on the A to Z Denver Breweries series.

Since mid-November, I've moved from N is for New Terrain Brewing Company to S is for Spangalang Brewery.

I even covered Q with Q is for Queen Bee Brews. When I started this project, I thought I'd never find anything for Q.

Wondering what the hell I'm talking about ... check out Sheppy's Blog: A to Z ... I think you'll be able to figure out the concept.

It is as simple as A B C.

And now ... What comes after "S".

You guessed it ... "T".

So ... TRVE is actually a brewery I've been meaning to visit for a long time. Basically since they opened.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 X-Mas Ale Vertical Tasting Part 2

Well ... this is the continuation of 2016 X-Mas Ale Vertical Tasting post from yesterday.

If you want to refresh your memory, go ahead and read it. Go ahead ... I'll wait.

Every year, (since way back in 2009 when I started home-brewing) SheppyBrew brewery brews an X-Mas Ale.

Blah blah blah.

Usually, I save a 6-pack of bottles so that I'll be able to get them out and try older beers from year to year.

Blah blah blah.

You remember all that ... right?

So after last Sunday, I still had 3 more versions to taste this year. Obviously, I have to throw in this year's X-Mas Ale into the flight as well.

So, yesterday, I did a flight ...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 X-Mas Ale Vertical Tasting

Every year, (since way back in 2009 when I started home-brewing) SheppyBrew brewery brews an X-Mas Ale.

Usually, I save a 6-pack of bottles so that I'll be able to get them out and try older beers from year to year.

I used to do Vertical Flights, but I have not really gotten around to it lately.

This year, I actually didn't bottle any beers, so 2016 won't be part of any Vertical Tastings other than this year. But, I did get out some old X-Mas Ales and did a little one this past Sunday while watching the Bears lose to the Packers.

It made the game feel better to taste several pretty-high alcohol beers at once.

As a reminder ... my 2016 X-Mas Ale is a peppermint beer. I have been drinking it since around Thanksgiving. It has been pretty good, although I'm pretty sure I prefer the base beer recipes that I've done the past couple of years.

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