Saturday, January 30, 2010

SheppyBrew 2009 Stats

So, I went through my SheppyBrew nano-brewery records.

Last year:
  • I made 29 batches of beer.
  • Of that 29 batches, there were 18 completely different recipes (note... most of my repeat recipes had significant changes, but I still considered them the same recipe ... see Eric's Red, Phat & Tyred, and Girly Berry).
  • That comes to approximately 65 gallons of home brew.
  • All of my beers were ales.
  • 26 of the batches were SheppyBrew recipes. (meaning I came up with the recipe myself. lots of them were based on other recipes, but I made enough of a change to each of these that I can consider them SheppyBrew recipes). These were of 15 different recipes.
  • 27 of my batches were good, very good, great, or oh-my-god fantastic. If you cannot do the math, that means 2 were not good (the yucky ones were Maple Brown and Girly Berry batch #1).
  • 0% of the beers were so bad that they could not be drunk.
  • 100% of the beers were consumed (0% thrown away).
  • 5 of my batches were partial mashes (2 recipes ... Phat & Tyred and Blackhawk Black)
  • 6 of my batches had no Mr. Beer ingredients in them (3 recipes ... Phat & Tyred and Blackhawk Black and Fools Gold Ale)
  • 3 of the batches were started in 2009, but not finished conditioning until 2010 (Wetta Blonde , Phat & Tyred and Blackhawk Black)
  • The favorite beer of all the people who drank SheppyBrew seems to be Wetta Blonde.
  • My favorite beer is Phat & Tyred.... or maybe Blackhawk Black ... or maybe Eric's Red.
  • My sexy beer model's favorite beer seems to be Girly Berry (batch #2 , batch #1 was one of the two yucky beers).
  • The SheppyBrew brewing assistants have never had any of the SheppyBrew beers.
  • The person who has consumed the most beer of anyone (other than the Brew Master) is Tracy Shepard.
Most (if not all) of these stats are pretty impressive for a first year home-brewer.

I expect that in 2010:
  • SheppyBrew nano-brewery will brew more beer.
  • A higher percentage of SheppyBrew beers will be completely formulated from non-Mr. Beer ingredients.
  • All the recipes will be SheppyBrew original.
  • SheppyBrew nano-brewery will brew a couple of lagers.
  • SheppyBrew nano-brewery will either do start doing 5 gallon batches or some all-grain batches (or maybe both).
  • I'll do more dark beers.
  • More people will drink SheppyBrew beers.
So far in 2010:
  • I have mixed up 3 batches, 3 different recipes (this puts me on pace for more beer than last year).
  • 2 of the 3 batches have been completely non-Mr. Beer ingredients (Tweedle Beetle Stout, Fools Gold)
  • All 3 batches have been SheppyBrew original recipes.
  • No lagers yet, but I have purchased some lager yeast.
  • 2 of the 3 batches have been Stouts (Tweedle Beetle Stout and Leprechaun Stout)
  • Tracy still drinks more SheppyBrew beers than anyone in the world (except the Brew Master).

Anyway, the only one who is interested by any of this is the Brew Master at the SheppyBrew nano-brewery ... and maybe my sister who was nice enough to get me started ... and perhaps my wife who drinks the most SheppyBrew of anyone in the world (except for the Brew Master). And just quite possibly you (but probably not).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Laughing Baby

I cannot help it. This video had to be one of the best I've ever seen. Of course, I've lived through scenes like this several times when my boys were babies. Even now sometimes they go into hysterical belly-laugh modes, but I've never really captured a video like this one.

Connor was being just a cranky-pants pain in the neck at the dinner table a couple of nights ago. I got on the smart-phone, and brought up this video. The boys were in good moods the rest of the night.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Boys' Weekend

My wife left us again this weekend. She flew to Wisconsin to participate in a bachelorette party for her sister. While she was off doing God-Knows-What with a bunch of wild and crazy women, the Shepard boys were partying at home. No strippers for us. Most of us didn't even get to drink any alcohol.

But we did, go play basketball....

and ... hung out on the roof.

and went to the Colorado Mammoth game.

We also watched hockey and football on T.V. We watched Dawn of the Dinosaurs on DVD. We even put up a new garage door opener (after taking down the old one which died on us this past week).

I taught Tyler how to make a frozen pizza this weekend, and he made the family dinner tonight.

Anyway, we had a fun time, but we are extremely glad that Mommy is now home with us.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Happy Brew Year

I am currently brewing my first Imperial Russian Stout. Basically, my first Imperial anything. Beersmith told me my OG (original gravity) would be 1.085 and with a decent attenuation, I would get about 8.25% alcohol by volume. That is quite a kick ... quite a bite, but I actually measured my OG at 1.089, which I believe should give me an ABV pretty close to 9%. I am sure there are homebrewers out there who laugh at a mere 9% alcohol content, but for my little brewing operation, that is very high. A couple of pints of that, and someone would be knocked silly. That is what they call a "stay at home" beer.
It is also hopped-up more than any beer I have done yet. Its bitterness is up over 80 IBU's (rager formula) and even with the high gravity malty character, its GU:BU is higher than I have ever done.
Its color is almost 45 srm, making it the blackest beer I have other done.

What do we know about Tweedle Beetles?

Tweedle Beetles battle in bottles. They kick and bite and swing those paddles with the intention of knocking you silly.

They are (or at least I suspect they are) heavily involved in the Summit County mob. They are mean and nasty .... dare we say bitter. Perhaps we can even call them dark hearted evil creatures. Their hearts are black.

So, I named my black, bitter, bold beer with an alcohol kick that could knock you down: Tweedle Beetle Stout. The association between the Tweedle Beetles and the Summit County Mob (which is probably in some way related to the Russian mob) just strengthens the tie between the Beetles and the Russian Imperial.

Tyler was kind enough to help me out with the label:

The yeast really went crazy for the first few days of fermentation. On day 4, they have calmed down a bit, but there is still quite a layer of krausen on the top of the fermenting beer. Overflow was inevitable, and I did a "top crop" of the krausen during the height of the craziness. I'll use that top crop harvest in my Leprechaun Stout which I'll be mixing up either tomorrow or this weekend in hopes to have it available for St. Patrick's day.

2009 was a successful brewing year. At this time last year, I had my Mr. Beer kit, but had not yet started using it (my first batch was brewed starting 01/10/2009). And if you compare that first Classic American Blonde Ale with what I have done lately, there has been light-years of improvement.

My beer inventory is pretty impressive (IMHO) and my pipeline shows no signs of slowing down. My biggest problem now is storage space for my beer, which just means I'll have to drink (or share if I have to) more.

SheppyBrew now has at least 6 established signature beers (Eric's Red, Wetta Blonde, Whisky Wife Wheat, Phat & Tyred Ale, Dragon Spit, Blackhawk Black), and a few others that are probably close to being in the regular lineup (Girly Berry, Tommy Hawk APA, Tweedle Beetle Stout, Fools' Gold). A little over half of these still have Mr. Beer ingredients in them, but I have already reformulated recipes for Eric's Red, Dragon Spit, Whisky Wife Wheat, and Tommy Hawk APA to be completely SheppyBrew recipes without any HMEs.

Of course on top of those regulars, my little nano-brewery also puts out several seasonal and / or experimental beers for most all the major beer drinking holidays.

You can read a lot about all these beers at if you so choose.

So, it will be interesting to see what new exciting SheppyBrew experiences will come up in 2010. At some point, I'm probably going to have to start moving to 5 gallon batches. I'm not sure if that is this year or not, but I'm sure eventually it will have to be done. I keep going back and forth on if I want to become an all-grain brewer. My Phat & Tyred and BlackHawk Black Ales are partial mashes, and I really like how those have turned out. I'm just not sure if taking the next step to complete mashes is worth the extra effort. I will probably try an all-grain batch sometime.

Happy Brew Year.

Friday, January 01, 2010


Ok ... Computer geek here again. Now I am trying a smaller resolution photo.

In case you are wondering, this picture is a fort my boys made in the living room while I was down trying to get my wife's Garmin updated with a 2010 map and my wife was at Target. Someone really should keep an eye on them. Maybe we need a nanny.

Ok ... Lets see what this one does.


Hmm... this one worked out just fine. Really not sure what happened before. Maybe it was a blogspot issue with the size of the first email. Although if that were the case, the forwarded email should not have been any better.

FW: Happy Zoo Year

Playing with the new phone. Note the huge photo below. Go ahead ... just click on it.

The first time I sent this from the phone, blogspot only got part of the message and did not include the picture. I figured this was a phone setting issue. Then, I forwarded it again and got the whole thing.... including this HUGE nice resolution photo. I need to ask my phone to reduce the resolution for these images if I am going to be emailing them like this.

Now, I'm not sure what the issue was before. I'll have to keep playing with the phone and blogging with it I guess.

From: Eric Shepard <>
Sent: Friday, January 01, 2010 2:43 PM
To: Esheppy BlogSpot <>
Subject: Happy Zoo Year

Did you realize that we just had a rare new years eve blue moon? Well we did.

I just got a new smart phone. I have been wanting a new one for for some time, and verizon was willing to sell me one for about $25, so I went ahead and got a new one. It is nice and new. Mostly the functionality is about the same, but it is nice to have a battery that lasts more than a few hours.

We are at the zoo today. It is a good day to be at the zoo. The animals seem to be more active and available on cool days than they are in the hot of summer. Plus there were not very people here today crowding us.

Anyway, I am just making sure I can still phone blog.

Happy zoo year!

Happy Zoo Year

Did you realize that we just had a rare new years eve blue moon? Well we did.

I just got a new smart phone. I have been wanting a new one for for some time, and verizon was willing to sell me one for about $25, so I went ahead and got a new one. It is nice and new. Mostly the functionality is about