Sunday, April 05, 2020

March Progress on #5000MilesIn2020

If you follow this blog fairly regularly, you might remember that I've made it a goal to ride 5000 miles in 2020.

If you don't know what I'm talking about ... you can catch up by checking out Sheppy's Blog: #5000MilesIn2020.

Now that March is complete, I thought I'd give another quick update.

Friday, April 03, 2020

2020 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats

I know it is difficult to believe ... but the first quarter of 2020 is done.


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.

Arctic Vortex Winter Saison
The SheppyBrew Brewery had a huge Q1, brewing 7 batches and a whopping 35 gallons. I'm almost positive that this is the most volume of beer I've ever brewed in in a quarter. I'm on pace to brew 140 gallons of beer in 2020!

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

2020 Melting Stream Spring Saison (Batch 230)

It is Spring here in the Front Range of Colorado.

This means fairly nice warm weather followed immediately by beautiful snow falls followed by sunny melting warmth.

This might be my favorite time of the year.

It also means that it is time to brew Sheppy Brew's spring version of the Seasonal Saisons.

Melting Stream Spring Saison

Melting Stream is the lightest in color of my Seasonal Saisons and uses slightly different hops than the traditional noble hops that the rest of them use.

It is nice and dry letting the Lemon Drop hops shine through. A beautiful spring saison. Wonderful to drink both on those snowy and Sunny March and April days.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Amish Friendship Bread Waffles

Not sure if you noticed, but I've been doing more with Amish Friendship Bread Starter lately. Until very recently, the only thing I made with it has been the standard (Original) Amish Friendship Bread Recipe.

Now I'm trying to branch out some. There are TONS of recipes to choose from on the Friendship Bread Kitchen, and I want to try some more of them out.

My newest experiment is Amish Friendship Bread Waffles.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dudocs Best Bitter (Batch 251)

It had been quite awhile since I brewed with my homebrewing buddies Du and Doc. Learn to Homebrew Day was the last time we had gotten together.

We made a plan to meet at Doc's house prior to all of Colorado's closings, and with all the covid-19 things going on, we considered cancelling.

But, none of us were feeling sick. We'd all been fairly separated from the world for awhile. We were planning on gathering in a group less than 10.

We decided to still go for our brew day.

And this happened Saturday.

Like last time we got together, I decided to go with a fairly simple extract recipe rather than doing a full all-grain batch.

It means I don't have to bring as much equipment and it means I don't have to pay quite as close attention while Doc's homebrew is distracting me. Plus, cleanup is quicker and simpler.

It just makes sense when I'm brewing away from my home brewery.

The recipe I came up with is

Saturday, March 21, 2020

T is for ... Time Out

Well ... certainly not the worst of the casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic, but my A to Z Denver Brewery Project is on hold.

"Time Out", you might say.

Even if I didn't want to practice social distancing, all tap rooms in the Denver area are closed down, so I don't really have much choice.

Most (if not all) of the Denver breweries are trying to survive by remain open for beer-to-go, but for now, I won't be visiting any breweries.

This means that you won't see any new posts to Sheppy's Blog: A to Z.

In the grand scheme of things, this is the very least of anyone's concerns. No big deal.

It does add to my general sadness about this whole pandemic, though.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Amish Friendship Bread

So ... quite a few years ago, my sister was nice enough to send me some Amish Friendship Bread Starter.

I built it up. Made some bread, and froze some of it.

From time to time, I pulled some out of the freezer and made more bread.

From time to time I build up more to replenish my freezer supply.

Until fairly recently, I've only ever used it to make the standard (Original) Amish Friendship Bread Recipe. It is a nice easy thing to make for the family or my "Friday Breakfast Club" that I've mentioned before.

Note ... being in Denver ... it is important to make High Altitude Adjustments (see Recipe Adjustment Guide) for the bread to turn out pretty. Sometimes I do a better job than others. Even when the top collapses some on itself, the bread still turns out delicious.

Here is the recipe I use:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale (Batch 250)

According to my records, I have brewed Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale 13 times. It is SheppyBrew's most brewed beer.

It started out in 2010 as an extract recipe based mostly on a recipe from Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles called "Antwerp Afternoon".

The SheppyBrew Beer Model (aka my wife) picked the recipe out from the book as something she would like to try.

She ended up really liking it. In fact for a long time, she called it her favorite beer.

So, I made a lot of it.

It was the first recipe I converted and brewed as all grain.

I also did quite a bit of experimentation on yeasts with the beer to find out what my wife preferred.

The recipe today is all grain and a bit more hoppy than the original, but I think the base is very similar.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Mexican Hot Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread

Do you know about Amish Friendship Bread?
“Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread or cake made from a sourdough starter that is often shared in a manner similar to a chain letter. The starter is a substitute for baking yeast and can be used to make many kinds of yeast-based breads, shared with friends, or frozen for future use.”
Years ago, my sister sent me a starter. I have not shared it like a chain letter, but I have built it up and frozen it multiple times.

From time to time, I've made bread. Mostly, I've made the "Original" Amish Friendship Bread.

Recently, though, I tried a couple of batches of Mexican Hot Chocolate Amish Friendship Bread.

Friday, March 06, 2020

Sunny Rise Wheat (batch 249) and Smoked Pork

I brewed and barbecued this past weekend.

I was up around 3AM to start seasoning a pork butt and getting the Weber ready to go.

The meat was on a little before 4AM. 40 degrees internal temperature.

Then, I went straight into brew day for Sunny Rise American Wheat, which is basically a wheat malt base hopped like I do my Bohemian Pilsners.

Around 4:45 AM, I had the mash started.

Everything went well on both the smoked pork and the brewing.

Around 6:30, I was sparging, and the internal temperature of the pork read 108.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

S is for Station 26 Brewing Company

It was not real long ago that I posted R is for Resolute Brewing Company Arvada Tap & Cellar.

Just like the letter "R". The letter "S" had plenty of breweries for us to pick from.

The Colorado Brewery map has over 25 breweries whose names start with S. Not all of those are in the Denver area though.

I could have picked from any one of these:  Sanitas Brewing Company; Satire Brewing Company; Seedstock Brewery; Sheaf & Kettle Brewing; Shoes & Brews; SomePlace Else Brewery; Something Brewery; Soul Squared Brewing Company;Southern Sun Pub & Brewery; Spangalang Brewery; Sparge Brewing; Spice Trade Brewing Company; Station 26 Brewing Company; Stein Brewing Company; Strange Craft Beer Company.

Some of those I've been to and some are a little farther away than is practical (especially given that we had such a huge number to choose from.

When it came right down to it, it wasn't difficult to pick at all. I picked a brewery that I've been meaning to visit for quite some time.

Sunday, March 01, 2020

February Progress on #5000MilesIn2020

So ... you know I've decided that I'm going to try to bike ride 5000 miles this year?

See #5000MilesIn2020 if you missed it.

I gave you an update after my first month of riding (see Progress on #5000MilesIn2020) .

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Spike in Page Views

My blog currently says it has gotten 12,713 page views in the last 30 days. That is a ton for my blog.

February will be the highest number of views this blog has ever gotten. Back in June of 2016, I hit 11,124 page views. Then for a little over half a year, the number fell steadily. It sort of had some ups and downs until late last year.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

R is for Resolute Brewing Company Arvada Tap & Cellar

Right after "Q" in the alphabet is "R". You may already know this.

As you may remember from the end of Q is for LiQuid Mechanics Brewing Company, Finding breweries that started with the letter "R" was not going to be a problem.

There are several I could have chosen in the Denver area.

Last weekend, my wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) chose for me.

We actually went for a hike / walk up north of Denver in the Arvada / Golden area.

And after the hike / walk, she directed me to local Arvada brewery tap room ...

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Brewing the Stone Soup IDA

If you follow SheppyBrew's Instagram or Facebook pages ... and/ or you read Stone Soup IDA, you know that I brewed this past weekend.

Stone Soup IDA is Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale / India Dark Ale recipe that I first brewed in 2010. I have not brewed it since 2011 despite the fact that I really liked the Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale / India Dark Ale style.

To be honest, I'm not sure I've had a recent Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale / India Dark Ale from any brewery in several years.

I'm sure I have had one that I'm not remembering in the last year or two, but still, it isn't a style that I drink as much as I used to.

I think the rest of the world is with me too. There just don't seem to be that many out there anymore.

TommyKnocker's Hop Strike Black IPA was one of the first Black IPA's I ever had and the one to which I compared all others after it. That is why I added to my Colorado 6 Pack list.

Anyway ... I brewed a Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale / India Dark Ale this past Sunday.

Monday, February 17, 2020

I Love Brisket

I made my third brisket a couple weekends ago.

My first brisket was about 10 pounds choice and turned out really good.

The second one was almost 13 pounds prime and turned out better.

This third one was my best so far. I appear to be getting better at this, although I'm not sure what I'm doing differently each time.

This one was about 12 pounds when I bought it from Sam's Club, and I went with a prime cut again.

To be honest, 10 to 11 pounds is really about as big as I think fits on the smoker, and I think this would have been even better if I were able to find a 10 pound brisket.

But, it is hard to find one under 15 pounds at my Sam's club. Especially when the price per pound is reasonable.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Stone Soup IDA

Remember my post "Homebrew Colorado 6 pack"?

Well ... I'm starting off the project by brewing a beer that represents TommyKnocker's Hop Strike Black IPA.

Back in 2013, when I made my Colorado 6 Pack list, Black IPA's (or Cascadian Dark Ales) were much more popular, and Hop Strike was the Black IPA to which I compared all others.

For quite some time, it was my favorite Tommyknocker beer.

At some point, Black IPA's / Cascadian Dark Ales went out of favor among the masses. I don't know when, but it looks like Tommyknocker stopped brewing Hop Strike.

Still, I have fond memories of the Black IPA style in general and Hop Strike specifically.

I'm going to brew a Black IPA.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

At some point, I came across this recipe for Cheesy Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Meatballs.

Cheesy. Jalapeno. Bacon Wrapped. Meatballs.

Sounded good, so I decided to make some.

Sort of.

I actually made Cheesy Bacon Wrapped Meatballs without Jalapenos in them.


Because I forgot to buy jalapenos when I went to the grocery store.

Oh well.

Of course, I switched up the recipe a bit. As you know if you read this blog very much, I'm not very good at following recipes.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Homebrew Colorado 6 pack

I've noticed recently that my May 2013 post "Colorado 6 pack" has been getting some traffic.

Unless you just followed the link, you probably don't remember much about "Colorado 6 pack", but it was basically a blogging collaboration that @BryanDRoth at This Is Why I'm Drunk. set up.

He wanted to get 6 different bloggers from six different states to each come up with a 6-pack of beers that "best represent your state and/or state's beer culture".

So I did that back in 2013 for Colorado. The blog post seems to have been fairly popular over the past month or so. It has been getting more traffic than my more recent posts. 

It got me thinking ... wouldn't it be fun to brew up beers inspired by this "Colorado 6 pack"?

My answer to myself was "Yes".

So ... here are the beers I picked:

Saturday, February 08, 2020


I recently had a birthday.

This birthday brought my age to 50. Not sure I feel a day over 49.

My wife (aka the Beer Model) is a saint. Not only does she put up with me, but she also does a great job making me feel special.

This year for my birthday, we coordinated with the kids to come up with a birthday weekend getaway for us to do in the Mountains.

We went Snowmobiling.

We did go snowmobiling once before, and it was a blast.

This time was awesome too.

Here are some pictures from the snowmobile ride:

Saturday, February 01, 2020

Progress on #5000MilesIn2020

As you may remember from earlier in the month, I've decided to try to ride my bike 5000 miles this year.

See #5000MilesIn2020 if you want to catch up. Go ahead. I'll wait.

Here it is, February, so I thought I would let y'all know how it is going.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Q is for LiQuid Mechanics Brewing Company

So..... do you know about my "A to Z Denver Breweries Project"?

Real quick in case you are new to this blog ...

Back in February of 2015, I was embarrassed by the huge number of Denver Breweries that I had never visited.

I decided to make an effort to hit more of them.

As I started to look at the list, it struck me that I could go down the list alphabetically and find Denver-area breweries that started with just about every letter.

I went through the alphabet once, and now am on my 2nd time through.

From the beginning, I understood that "Q" would be a challenging letter. The first time through, I didn't even find a brewery, and went with a meadery instead. (Q is for Queen Bee Brews)

In my reference list, I don't see anything else for the letter Q unless I cheat a little bit. It's my game, so I can change the rules ...

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Galena Dave's Pale Lager (Batch 247)

Back in December, we had to visit rural Illinois for my father-in-law's funeral.

While there, we saw my wife's sister who lives in Galena, Illinois with her husband, Dave.

Dave told me that his yard was overrun by wild hops, and that he had collected some over the summer. He had them in his freezer.

He asked if I could do anything with them, and of course I said I'd take them.

So, he brought them to me in a plastic bag and I flew them back to Colorado.

They have been in my freezer since then.

Until this past Sunday. Sunday I made....

Friday, January 17, 2020

2020 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

It is winter. Time to brew a Winter Saison.

Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

Yes, here at SheppyBrew Brewery, we brew at least 4 saisons every year.

Winter Spring Summer Autumn.

I call them my Seasonal Saison series of beers.

The Arctic Vortex Winter Saison happens to be a black saison, because winter is generally dark ... and it would be boring to make all my saisons look the same.

This past weekend, I brewed this year's Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.

Got the ingredients on Friday. Made a yeast starter on Saturday. Brewed on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

P is for Peak to Peak Brewery

If you follow my "A to Z Denver Breweries Project", you know that I finished 2019 strong.

During the year, I worked my way from  1 is for 14er Brewing Company to O is for Ohm Brewing Company.

Most of those brewery visits were after July.

I got to B is for Briar Common Brewery + Eatery in early April, and didn't get to C is for Colorado Plus Brew Pub until August.

So, I hit 16 new breweries in alphabetical order over 11 months ... and 13 of those in 4 months.

My first time through, it took me 20 months to get to "O" (O is for Our Mutual Friend Brewing Company).

I don't think I'll keep up the ridiculous pace that I did after August last year, but I am planning on finishing my way through the alphabet by the end of 2020. If I do one a month, I should finish by November.

Then, I'll probably start over again, but we'll talk about that when we get there.

So, as you know ... after "O" comes "P". Big "P". Little "p". What begins with "P"?

Thursday, January 09, 2020


Soooooo ... if you follow SheppyBrew on Instagram or Facebook, you might have seen me post that I logged over 2,500 bike miles on Strava in 2019.

If you saw my posts about the Great Cycle Challenge, you know that 1000 of those miles were in June, and I hardly did any riding at all before May.

Seeing those numbers, I thought something like ... "I can ride 5,000 miles in a year ... easy".

("easy" might be stretching it)

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

SheppyBrew 2019 Year-End Brewing Stats

2019 is over. It sure went fast. SheppyBrew did brew a bunch this year.

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.

The forth quarter was light compared to the rest of the year. We only brewed 4 beers.
Those 4 batches totaled almost 20 gallons of beer, bringing my 2019 total up to almost 110 gallons over 20 batches of beer. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

O is for Ohm Brewing Company

If you follow this blog semi-regularly ... you're probably familiar with my "A to Z Denver Breweries Project"

Basically, I am making my way through the many breweries in the Denver area.

At some point, I thought it would be fun to work my way through alphabetically, so that is what I'm doing.

Between March of 2015 and January of 2019, I worked my way from A is for Alpine Dog Brewing Company to Z is for Zuni Street Brewing Company

In 2019 ... I have already worked my way from 1 is for 14er Brewing Company to O.

And ... quite frankly ... most of those brewery visits have been since August ... less than half a year.

I flying through the alphabet this time through. Flying!

Why am I moving so much faster? Well... this time the Beer Model is more involved, and she pushes me much harder than I was pushing before.

Also (probably even a bigger factor) ... my kids are both in High School and it is increasingly difficult to get them up on the weekends to go do things ... so my wife and I find ourselves doing more things without the kids.

This includes drinking at breweries.

Anyway ... as I mentioned, we are up to "O". Big "O". little "o". What begins with "O".

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