Friday, April 16, 2021

Anvil Foundry ... 15 Batches in

 I've been brewing with my Anvil Foundry All-in-One Brewing System since early November. If you want ... you can go back to my first brew day with it (see Bud Lite Lime (271) on the Anvil Foundry). You can see many of those brew days at Sheppy's Blog: Anvil.

If I'm counting correctly, my Helles in a Hand Bock-sket (Batch 285) brew day was the 15th time I've brewed on the Foundry.

That's something like 78 gallons of beer I've brewed on the system.

Overall, I really like the Foundry. There are awesome advantages. There are also some minor annoyances. 

I don't think I'm going to get rid of my old  mash-tun-in-a-cooler and propane-burner system any time soon.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Helles in a Hand Bock-sket (Batch 285)

For a really short amount of time, I thought it would be awesome to enter homebrew competitions.

I thought it would be fun and I thought it would be a good way to get feedback on my beer.

In 2013, I entered 3 competitions, and in two of those competitions, I came away with blue ribbons.

The first one was at my local homebrew shop. I entered two beers. One wasn't really ready. The other wasn't really in the right style.

I didn't win anything in that first competition.

My second competition was the 2013 National Homebrew Competition Denver Regional. I did come away with a first place win in that one.

My third and final competition was the "Battle of the Homebrews" in the 2013 Arapahoe County Fair.

My beer got a blue ribbon in its category and placed second in "Best of Show". Honestly, I thought the judges really picked a great beer.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Easter BBQ

My wife (aka The SheppyBrew Beer Model) let me decide what to have for Easter dinner this year.


Around holidays, I enjoy getting Ribeye Roasts because they are generally about half the price as usual around holidays. 

And, I figured I'd pick one up for Easter this year.

Because ... I like to cook them on my smokers. And ... because I really like eating them.


When I got to my local grocery store to pick one up, there were two available. They were both around 12 pounds.

A 12 pound Ribeye Roast is more meat than a family of 4 needs, but I have a vacuum sealer and a freezer, so I figured I could save half for some other time.

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

2021 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats

Q1 of 2021 is already over, which means its time to report our brewing stats for the year so far.

Continuing on the trend from last year, I brewed a ridiculous amount of beer over the first 3 months of the year.

The first quarter of 2020, I brewed 7 whole batches with 35 gallons. In 2021, I brewed even more in Q1 ... 

I brewed 8 batches and 42 gallons of beer.

Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Going Vegan

I think I should go vegan. 

Meat is evil and unhealthy, and I cannot continue to support the institutionalized exploitation of animals to satisfy my nutritional needs.

I feel like I have to demonstrate true compassion for animals by discontinuing to capitalize on their suffering to make my clothing or other products that make my life more luxurious.

If by restricting my diet to plant based nutrition can save even one Cow or Pig or Chicken ... I feel like it is the least I can do.

And, of course it isn't about me, but as veganism is healthier, I will lose weight. Reduce cholesterol. Get my blood pressure under control.

I'll be able to life more weight and I'll live longer. With reduced body weight, I'll be faster and stronger on the bike. 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Metric Century and Beef Flanken Short Ribs

March has been fairly snowy in Denver. 

It is nice to get the snow, but snowy weather makes getting in bike rides a little challenging.

I can always ride in the gym on a stationary bike, but that isn't nearly as fun. Plus that doesn't do me any good on my #10Everestsin2021 goal.

This past weekend, the weather was great for cycling, and Saturday I started out early with the intention of gaining a lot of elevation.

My legs were not "feeling it", so I changed my route to move away from the big climbs fairly early in the ride.

I decided that this ride would not be much more than a "recovery" ride.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Updating the Homebrew Colorado 6 pack

If you've been following my 6 Pack Project posts, you know that I matched up 6 of my homebrew recipes with my Colorado 6 pack list that I put together back in 2013.

As I was brewing beers in my Homebrew Colorado 6 pack, I noted that 3 out of the 6 beers no longer existed at their commercial breweries, so I was unable to compare my beers to the beers that they were meant to represent.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Melting Stream and Spare Ribs

In February of 2014, I brewed Arctic Vortex Winter Saison for the first time.

Since that day, I've been brewing at least one saison for every season.

I call these series of beers, my Seasonal Saisons.

They all use French Saison yeast except the rare occurrence that my LHBS is out of stock and I have to substitute some other yeast. 

They are all dry with simple malt bills. They are all fairly hoppy and use mostly noble hops.

None of them use spices or other flavor additives other than malt / water / hops / yeast.

They range in color from very light (summer) to very dark (winter).

Obviously, I find these beers delicious (otherwise I would stop brewing them).

As this past weekend was the beginning of Spring 2021, it was time to brew my Spring Saison ....

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Smoked Mac-n-Cheese

My son is home from college for Spring Break.

His favorite thing I smoke is Smoked Mac and Cheese, and so I made a batch this past Saturday.

He also wanted to go hiking on Saturday. Since my kids don't get up until fairly late in the day, I prepared the Mac and Cheese in the morning so I could just throw it on the smoker in the afternoon.

If you would like to see the recipe ... go to my blog post Smoked Mac and Cheese

It is basically the recipe I (sort of) followed.

I started by cooking the bacon on my grill.

As the bacon was cooking, I started the sauce inside on our stove.

Monday, March 15, 2021

BBQ in the Snow

This past weekend, it snowed a lot in the Denver area. Like a historic amount of snow between late morning Saturday and Sunday night.

I don't know exactly how much snow we got here, but there were drifts over 4 feet in my driveway and yard.

Most of the day Sunday, the roads were pretty much unpassable without high-clearance four wheel drive.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Lactic Pickles and Jalapeno Sauerkraut

It's been awhile since I posted about making Fermented Food or Sauerkraut partially because its been quite awhile since I've made any Fermented Food.

It actually keeps a really long time.

A weekend or two ago, I used up a jar of homemade Sauerkraut, and I needed to make more.

When my wife last asked me if I wanted anything at the grocery store, I mentioned that I wanted cabbage, jalapenos, and cucumbers. 

Obviously, to make some Lactic Fermented Food.

Today, I prepared some Lactic Pickles and Jalapeno Sauerkraut to ferment over the next week or so.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

2nd Everest of 2021

As I mentioned in  #10Everestsin2021 - February Progress Report, I am on track to climb the elevation of Mt. Everest 10 times in 2021.

On Monday, March 8, I went on a ride that brought my total for the year up over 59,803 feet.

As I'm sure you know, Mt Everest is 29,032 feet high. 2 x 29,032 = 58,064. 

So, I've climbed Everest a little more than twice so far this year. (2.06 Everests)

Monday, March 08, 2021

Galena Dave's Pale Lager (Batch 283)

I was going to brew Sunday. Then I didn't.

I actually had Monday off work, so on Sunday I thought I was going to brew Monday. 

Later on Sunday, I decided that I wouldn't brew the next day. 

I was on a walk Monday morning when I thought that it was silly to not brew on my day off.

And then I decided to brew. 

If I had followed through with the original plan, I would have done an over-night mash, so by waffling like I did, I totally engaged in the kind of delay I complain about when the SheppyBrew Beer Model brews with me.

Oh well.

I had the ingredients all ready for ...

Thursday, March 04, 2021

#10Everestsin2021 - February Progress Report

Don't forget ... I'm raising money to help fight Childhood Cancer by signing up for the Great Cycle Challenge again this year.

My plan is to ride 1000 miles in September. Between now and then, I'll beg for people to donate money on my GCC Rider Page:

If you can afford it ... head over there and make a donation. I'd really appreciate the support. If you don't want to do it now ... don't worry ... I'll be reminding you at least once a month until at least the end of October.

If you're my facebook friend or follow the SheppyBrew Facebook Page, I'll nag you even more often. Sorry. (not really that sorry)

Sunday, February 28, 2021

More Spare Ribs on the Kettle

I smoked some spare ribs on my Weber Kettle last Saturday.

Last time I posted about spare ribs, I mentioned that I haven't really figured out how to best fit them on the kettle.

I think I've settled on trimming them to square them up (what some people call St. Louis Style).

But then, I add the extra pieces on as well.

Last Saturday I tried doing a (sort of) snake method over half the kettle and placing the two racks on the indirect heat half of the kettle.

I think I like this setup more than other things I've tried.

I may have found my preferred set up for spare ribs on my Weber Kettle. Or maybe I'll try something different next time. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Sin Lima Mexican Lager (Batch 282)

Believe it or not, I've been using my Anvil Foundry for almost 4 months. 

At the beginning of November of last year, I used it for the first time to brew Bud Lite Lime (271) on the Anvil Foundry.

I named the beer "Bud Lite Lime" as a joke.

It isn't anything like "Bud". It isn't really that "Lite". It doesn't use any "Lime".

I really enjoyed the beer. It is one of those beers that the SheppyBrew Beer Model also really enjoyed.

One thing I mentioned in "SheppyBrew 2020 Year-End Brewing Stats" is "I do think I want to work a little on my Mexican lagers 2021". When I wrote that, Bud Lite Lime was the beer I was specifically thinking of.

I think I'd like to have it on tap a lot this year.

Friday, February 19, 2021

KFC take 2

A few weeks ago, I made Kettle Fried Chicken (KFC) for the first time.

As I mentioned in that post, I like it, but I wanted to play around with KFC and see how to make improvements.

Sunday, I had chicken thighs ready to cook and decided to give KFC a second try.

This time, I simplified the recipe.

Rather than an egg / buttermilk wash, I used cooking oil to help bind the dry ingredients.

I only applied one layer of the dry ingredients.

As I mentioned in the "Brisket in the Cold", the outdoor temperatures were right around 0 degrees all weekend, so I used a lot of charcoal in my kettle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Brisket in the Cold

Last week, while in Sam's Club I saw an 11 lb USDA Prime Brisket. 

When I see one around 10 lbs, I am always very tempted to pick it up. 

I succumbed to the temptation, which of course meant I had to cook it up this past weekend.

It was cold in Denver over the weekend. Much colder than we're used to here on the front range.

The high I saw on Saturday was something like 3 degrees F, and most of the day was colder than that.

I don't know for sure, but I'm fairly sure I've never smoked a big hunk of meat on such a cold day, so I was a little nervous about keeping my smoking temps up.

Even so, I was pretty sure my Kettle would be able to do it, so I gave it a try.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Quarter Life Crisis (Batch 281)

Recently, I turned 40 years of age. Recent is a  relative term.

Even more recently, I turned 50. Time flies when you are having fun.

To be honest, I'm now significantly over 50. I think with all the biking I've been doing over the past few years, I might be in better shape than I was at 40.

At least I'm in better cycling shape.

Anyway, when I turned 40, I thought it might be a good idea to have a quarter life crisis, since I was obviously too young to have a mid-life crisis

I never did get around to having that quarter life crisis, but I did brew

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Stouticus vs. Left Hand Milk Stout

As I mentioned in 2021 Stouticus American Stout (batch 278) ... I brewed my final beer in my Homebrew Colorado 6 pack.

Stouticus represented Left Hand Brewing Company's Milk Stout, which is still an iconic Colorado beer.

Unlike some of the beers in my Colorado Six Pack, actually still exists, so I was able to compare my homebrewed beer to the commercial beer it is meant represent.

To be honest, though,  Stouticus wasn't really designed to clone Left Hand's Milk Stout.

And ... they are significantly different.

Regardless, I thought it would be fun to try Stouticus and Left Hand side by side.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Boo Berry Wheat 2021 (Batch 280)

My wife (aka the SheppyBrew Beer Model) and I brewed last weekend.

We had decided awhile ago that the next beer we would make was going to be.

Boo Berry is another one of the recipes I designed years ago, and made a few times, but have not made in quite awhile.

The SheppyBrew Beer Model really likes blueberry beers, and I think of all the fruit beers I've ever made, Boo Berry has to be my favorite.

Anyway ... Saturday, we stopped by my favorite Brew Shop and purchased our ingredients.

Usually when using the Anvil Foundry, I would have prepared the water Saturday and and set the timer, but knowing I was going to start later in the day, I decided to leave that for the hours I would be up waiting for the  Beer Model to get out of bed.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Kettle Fried Chicken (KFC)

Sometime recently, I came across a Youtube Video from Hey Grill Hey.

In this ... Susie used the term Kettle Fried Chicken. She pointed out that this stands for KFC ... which amused me.

A little later, I came across another video from Postal BBQ.

The recipes were pretty similar.

I thought I'd like to try to make fried chicken on my Weber Kettle.

Last Saturday, I gave it a try.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

#10Everestsin2021 - January Progress Report

So ... I mentioned in #10Everestsin2021 that one of my goals for 2021 is to log 300,000 feet of climbing over the year.

That's basically climbing Mt. Everest 10 times over the year.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Beef Short Ribs

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I love to Barbecue on my trusty Weber Kettle.

I do it just about every weekend.

For awhile ... I've been wanting to try out smoking beef short ribs.

Last week sometime, I was in Sam's Club and saw "Beef Short Ribs" in a 6 lb package, and decided to pick them up to cook over the weekend.

These were cut differently than I expected them. They were cut much thinner ... much like pork steaks generally look.

I looked at many many youtube videos and I didn't come across any that look like the ones I had bought.

So, I wasn't exactly how to go about cooking them. I guess the best way to find out is to just do it.

So I just did it.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Mardi Bock 2021 (Batch 279)

Mardi Gras is less than 3 weeks away! Can you believe it?

I am trying to make even more lagers this year, and the realization that Lent was so close made me think about the Bock I made back in 2019 as a Lent beer ... Mardi Bock.

It was one of those beers that both the Beer Model and I liked a lot. When I mentioned it to her, she was pretty excited that it was coming and even said she'd help brew it.

So ... last week, I modified the recipe to a bit to tailor it to the Anvil, and picked up the ingredients.

On Saturday, we brewed the beer. 

It was a nice enough day that I would have preferred to brew outside on the patio, but when I asked  the Beer Model, she indicated that she wanted to brew in the garage.

So ... of course that is what we did.

Thursday, January 14, 2021


If you followed Sheppy's Blog: #5000MilesIn2020, you know that I cycled over 5000 miles in 2020.

In fact, by the end of September .. I logged almost 5,600 miles between my bikes and stationary bikes at the gym. 

Most of those miles were outside on my gravel bike.

I've never cycled nearly that much in a year. In fact, I totaled around 2500 miles in 2019, and that was my second highest year.

Saturday, January 09, 2021

2021 Stouticus American Stout (batch 278)

Back in 2011, I came up with a recipe for Stouticus American Stout as sort of a company beer for the start-up that I worked for.

I brewed it a second time after we were acquired and joined a new corporation.

I really liked how it turned out. I'm not sure why I never tried to make it again after 2011.

Anyway ... fast forward to 2020, and I added the Stouticus to my Homebrew 6 Pack list as a beer that comes pretty close to Left Hand Milk Stout.

And since in 2020, I brewed the 5 other beers on the "6 Pack Project" ... the beginning of 2021 seemed like a good time to get Stouticus brewed again.

If you follow this blog, you know that I brewed Arctic Vortex on the 1st. 

At the same time I picked up ingredients for that brew day, I picked up my ingredients for 

Thursday, January 07, 2021

2021 Rib Roast

The last couple of year, I smoked Ribeye Roast for Christmas meals.

This year, I bought a ribeye roast for Christmas while they were on sale at my grocery store.

But, my wife and children said they wanted ham.

So, I froze the ribeye roast and got it thawed for New Year's weekend.

On Friday the 1st, the roast was thawed and I pulled it out of the package.

I applied Montreal Steak Seasoning to the outside and then let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Arctic Vortex (Batch 277)

Happy Brew Year!

As I indicated in SheppyBrew 2020 Year-End Brewing Stats, 2020 was a busy brewing year. I also started 2021 with a brew day.

For Christmas, I received a new addition to my Anvil Foundry, the optional Recirculation Pump Kit.

When I first got the Foundry, I figured I'd try it without the pump kit and see how things went.

I still consider it optional, but the recirculation does provide some advantages that I thought were worth giving it a try, so I put it on my "gift list", and one of my family members bought it for me.

So, of course I had to try out the new toy. I thought a New Year's Day brew would be a perfect time to try it out.

The beer I brewed was the Winter Saison that I brew every year,

Friday, January 01, 2021

SheppyBrew 2020 Year-End Brewing Stats

2020. What a year.

One side effect of staying at home so much in 2020 was that I brewed a lot of beer. 

A ridiculous amount, really.

As I type this, the year is not over, but I am done brewing for the year.

And, 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.

In the 4th quarter of the year, I brewed 8 batches of beer:

SheppyBrew brewed 31 batches of beer in 2020.

Falling Leaves Autumn Saison

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