Monday, January 30, 2012

Seriously? Why? (poison rationality)

I really have not been myself this past week. I think maybe the Tweedle Beetles are screwing with me again, but I can't quite figure out why or even exactly how.

Last Sunday morning (AKA Eric's Red brew day), started off with me feeling like I had come down with a minor cold. A few sniffles. Slightly sore throat. Nothing to be concerned about. Didn't keep me home from church. Didn't prevent me from brewing. No big deal.

The brew day went great (see Eric's Red brew day if you have not already). After clean-up and the AFC Championship game, I felt a little worse, but I was totally able to chalk that up to finding out that New England was going to another Superbowl (makes us all feel a bit sick, I'm sure).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hopslam Ale

 It has been awhile since I've had any of the beers on my Best Beers in America List (see A couple more beers from my list for the last report on this blog.) I am lucky that my buddy Scott (whom I usually refer to as CrazyBrody) has been looking out for me. Do me a favor and check out his Homebrew Blog.

Bell's Brewery has recently released its annual Hopslam ale and Scott (who lives in the mid-West where it is possible to purchase beers from Bell's Brewery) knew that this was a beer on my list and offered to pick up a some Hopslams and UPS a couple of them to me. I accepted his offer, he was able to pick some up and get a couple of bottles out to me in a UPS package that also contained a couple of his own home-brewed "Nanci's Brown Ale" (which is a fantastic beer, by the way).

He got them to me last weekend, but it was not until today that I took the time to open one of the Hopslam bottles.

47 Pints @bonfilsdotorg

I gave my 47th pint of blood to Bonfils Blood Center today. This means that next time I give blood, I will get my 6 gallon pin. Since 2003, I have averaged giving blood more than 5 times a year, which is a pretty good since the absolute maximum that Bonfils will let me give blood is 6 times a year.

I happen to "like" the Bonfils Blood Center facebook page, and from time to time I'll see them post a picture of someone reaching some incredible milestone. I'm sure I'll get there eventually, but I am always impressed at the dedication of these people. According to Bonfils' website, Bonfils’ highest gallon donor has donated 75 gallons of blood or 600 pints, saving and enhancing nearly 1800 patients lives. Now, that is impressive!  Actually, I'm not sure the math works out on that.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Eric's Red brew day

So, you may remember that last weekend, I tried to brew Eric's Red Ale, but failed miserably. See Eric's Red Failure if you want to review. I do have almost 5 gallons of Red Failure fermenting right now. We'll have to see how it goes.

This past Thursday, I purchased ingredients for another batch. Saturday, I made another yeast starter. Sunday, I started brewing up my 2nd attempt in as many weeks. Things went better this time, although on Saturday I discovered that my hops were missing. Usually when I bring home my hops I put them either in the beer fridge or in the beer fridge's freezer as soon as I bring them home. I guess this time I set them on the kitchen counter for some reason. It took me awhile to track them down, but eventually I did. You would think that I'm too young to have senior moments like this, but you would be wrong.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Eric's Red failure

As planned (see Eric's Irish Red #HomeBrew), I had a brew day yesterday. It didn't go very well. It made my Worst brew day ever seem perfect. The experience of adjusting worst brew day ever was sort of fun. Yesterday was not fun at all.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Eric Shepard and the King of Beers

This morning, a co-worker sent out a link to this Denver Post article: Disagreement between Denver, Boston mayors comes to a head. Apparently, the Boston mayor called Colorado beers "weak".

He told a Boston Globe reporter, "We have the best. . . . Colorado Rocky beer? Uck."

I was asked if what the Boston mayor said offended me. The answer is No, not really. I can't be angry at someone who is as obviously completely beer-ignorant as the Boston mayor. If the mayor had talked to Jim Koch of Boston Beer company (who actually knows a little about good beer), he would know that Denver, Colorado is one of the (if not THE) craft beer centers of the world. People who know good beer consider the Denver area "the Napa Valley of Beer".

Wanna have some fun?

Ok ... do you want to have some fun?

Here is what to do:

Open this link in several browser windows:

5 to 8 windows works out great.

This actually doesn't seem to work for me anymore in the newest version of firefox. At the time I'm typing this, it works in IE8, so you probably want to take this into account when choosing a browser.

There is a video of Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons on that page.

Once you have 5 to 8 (or more if you want) browser windows open, start the video on the first window. Wait a couple seconds and start the video on browser window #2. Repeat this process until all the videos are running.

Listen and enjoy. Fun fun fun.

Personally, I think it sounds best on earphones. For the best results, have a few SheppyBrews before you do it. If you don't have SheppyBrew, another type of home-brew probably works almost as well. If you don't have home-brews, I suppose some other beer would work. If you don't have beer, just do it sober. I don't think it is something you can enjoy with wine or hard-liquor.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eric's Irish Red #HomeBrew

When I shared my latest brew day for Stone Soup (see Another batch of Stone Soup), I mentioned that my next batch was going to be Eric's Irish Red.

I've made 6 batches of beer called Eric's Red, making it one of the most brewed beers at SheppyBrew brewery. In fact, only Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale (brewed 9 times) and my world famous Phat & Tyred Amber Ale (brewed 7 times) have been brewed more. For a long time, I considered Eric's Red to be SheppyBrew's "flagship" beer. But, I have not brewed it in over a year. And, strangely, until recently I didn't even convert the recipe to all-grain. In fact, all the Eric's Red iterations so far have been based on Mr. Beer Bewitched Red HME with Mr. Beer Mellow Amber UME. Very old-school. I always intended it to be one of my first all-grain conversions. I just never got around to it .... until now.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Prohibition was Bad

I came across the graphic below because I subscribe to Drink with the Wench (see Prohibition Did What?: A Beer-Goggled Look at the Volstead Act of 1920).

I found the graphic informative, educational and entertaining enough to share with my readers as well. Thank goodness prohibition was long over by the time I was of drinking age.


Thursday, January 05, 2012

Some more Badges @Untappd

So, I've been sharing the badges that I've earned on Untappd (see First Month of Untappd and Running for Mayor @BallyFitness). I'm sure you're not all that interested in my badges, but it gives me a topic to add to my blog, so I'll tell you what I've earned since last time.

If nothing else, untappd has some really nice looking badges that you might not ever see if you are not using untappd yourself. I get a strange sense of satisfaction and excitement to "earning" the untappd badges. Yes, I realize it makes me a childish geek. I've come to terms with my immature nerdishness (in all kinds of areas) long ago.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 SheppyBrew Stats

So, here at the SheppyBrew home-brewery we are at the end of another quarter (and the end of another year). You know what that means, don't you? It is time for me to share some more of my brewing stats (see SheppyBrew 2009 Stats, 1st Quarter Stats, 2nd Quarter Stats, 3rd Quarter Stats, SheppyBrew 2010 Stats, 1st Quarter Brewing Stats, 2nd Quarter Brew Stats, SheppyBrew Stats Q3 2011).

So here we go ... for the 4th quarter of 2011:
  • I brewed 5 batches. This puts me at 23 for 2011 compared to 33 batches in 2010.
  • 3 of the 5 batches were brand new recipes. This means I brewed 10 new recipes in 2011 compared to 18 in 2010.
  • I brewed almost 25 gallons of beer this quarter putting me at almost 98 gallons for the year. In 2010 I brewed about 76 gallons of beer.
  • I brewed another lager, bringing me to 3 in 2011. That tops the 2 lagers I did last year.
  • I didn't brew any batches with Mr. Beer ingredients this quarter. The total for 2011 is still 2. Last year, I did 9.
  • One of my batches was an extract recipe making my total for the year 3. Last year, I did 14 extract batches.
  • I brewed a partial mash this quarter, which is my 2nd for the entire year. Last year I did 9 partial mashes.
  • 3 of my 4th quarter batches were all-grain bringing me to 18 all-grain batches for 2011. In 2010, I did 10 all-grain batches.
  • I kegged 2 of the batches this quarter. This makes 8 batches kegged this year. Last year, obviously, I didn't keg anything.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

December Bogging

December, 2011 is now the 8th month in a row of increased "page views" for this blog. I know I say this every month, but there is no way January will be able to continue the streak.

Over the past 30 days, the most viewed posts on this blog have been: