Friday, March 30, 2012

Adding Jalapeños

Well, you might have heard that Billy B of the HomeBrew Academy allowed me to write a guest post on his blog. Check it out: Popcorn Jalapeño Cream Ale .

It describes my brew day for Gringo Cerveza Jalapeño Cream Ale. I talked about my inspiration and intention to brew this on this blog at Popcorn Beer #HomeBrew.

Being a guest blogger was a fun and interesting experience. The HomeBrew Academy's blog is followed more extensively than my little blog, so I am getting more exposure by posting there than I do here. If I add up the Facebook and Tweet numbers on the top of the page, just the people who posted it to Facebook or Tweeted the article would put this well into the top 10 all-time viewed posts on my own little blog.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

6 Gallons @bonfilsdotorg

Well, I mentioned back in January that the next time I gave blood I would get my 6 Gallon pin from Bonfils Blood Center. Well, last night I stopped into a blood bus and donated my 48th pint (which is 6 gallons), and got my "6 Gallon Donor" pin.

Pretty cool, don't you think?

I don't go to the mobile buses as often as I go to donation centers. The other couple times I've given on a bus, it was not very crowded. Last night was pretty busy when I went in and the cramped area seemed more obvious. The bonfils workers did a great job as always, though.

I may have to seek out these mobile buses more often.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

Generally speaking, I am a big fan of Sam Calagione, his brewery, and his brewery's beers. What craft beer drinker isn't? I have Sam's book and I have read most of it. I loved his brief T.V. series and am still hoping that it gets picked up again. The dogfish way defined (and continues to define) lots of what the craft beer movement is all about. Dogfish Head always has the longest line at GABF. I love the brewery and all that it stands for. 

I hate to say it, but I am not really a fan of the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

If you are a craft beer fan, especially if you are a hop-head, you probably think I'm an idiot, but I just don't rank the 120 minute IPA up with my favorite beers.

Don't get me wrong. It is a good beer. I would, of course, rank it above BMC beers, and I am extremely glad I tried it, but it is not something I am going to seek out again. For me, it is too expensive and contains too much alcohol for a beer.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

6 Beer Terms

So, I got an email today from my "Contact Me" form on this blog.

It was the author of an article on the blog at called 6 Beer Terms Every Beer Expert Should Know .

This author asked that I share the article with my blog audience (you who are reading this right now). She thought it might be informative and interesting to my readers. I certainly cannot disagree as I found it interesting.

Go and read it. Here is another hyperlink for you: 6 Beer Terms Every Beer Expert Should Know

Kegging PIRA

Last night, I kegged up my Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale (PIRA for short).

Of course as I have discussed on this blog, PIRA is a tribute to (not a clone of) Stone's Arrogant Bastard and the Brewing Network's quest to clone the AB recipe. You can see the posts Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale and Brewing PIRA for more information on PIRA and scroll down on the Arrogant Bastard label on this blog for information on the BN CYBI efforts.

I have to say that I am very pleased with the results so far. I have not had the AB in awhile, but I think the malt and yeast characters are pretty close. I am certainly going to do a side-by-side tasting at some point down the line (stay tuned for that SheppyBrew fans). I mentioned in Brewing PIRA that I was a bit concerned about how the yeast starter tasted, but in this beer (or at least the sample I had last night going into the keg) I really liked how the WLP 007 Dry English Ale yeast fermented. It gives a nice dry character and it flocculated extremely clear. I really should have harvested this yeast, but decided I would rather get it in the keg than delay to prepare the whole yeast washing process.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bottling FTG

We have the kids of "Gretchen" this weekend. If you don't remember, "Gretchen" is the friend for whom SheppyBrew created the beer "Free the Glutens! APA" (FTG). You can read all about the story behind this beer on this blog by reading through the "Gluten Free" label on this blog and/or the Free the Glutens! APA on the SheppyBrew website. Follow those links and read away.

So, not too long ago, knowing that we would have "Gretchen's" kids this weekend, I brewed up my second batch of FTG. I gave myself more time than I did for the first batch, but still not as much as I should have. I decided that I would use the kids as bottling assistants and make "Gretchen" take home the FTG to carbonate herself.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eric's Red vs Failure

Well, if you read this blog regularly you may recall that a couple of months ago I tried to brew SheppyBrew's Eric's Irish Red Ale, but failed miserably. I did decide to go ahead and ferment out and bottle almost five gallons of the failure, naming this beer Eric's Red Failure.

A couple weeks later, I successfully brewed a batch of Eric's Irish Red as planned.

You can read about my intention of brewing an all-grain batch of Eric's Red on the post Eric's Irish Red #HomeBrew. You can read all about my miserable failure at Eric's Red failure. You can read all about my successful brew day of Eric's Red at Eric's Red brew day

The main problem with Eric's Red Failure is that my wort chiller came apart in the beer causing the whole batch to  be watered down considerably. I would say about a gallon and a half of water diluted down the wort. I was extremely close to just dumping this batch, because I really thought this was too much extra water to make this beer redeemable in any way. I figured it was worth the effort to ferment it out for the scientific information it would provide me.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Introducing the SheppyBrew Facebook Page

Well, I've done it. Last night, I created a public facebook page for SheppyBrew Brewery. Just to be clear ... SheppyBrew still is not a real commercial brewery. It still only exists in my garage, patio, kitchen, and basement. But it also has a pretty decent presence on the interwebs.

Now, in addition to this blog and the SheppyBrew Website, everyone can get a glimpse into the SheppyBrew beer on facebook here:

Most of my regular readers are also the Beer Master's facebook friends, so most of you have probably already gotten a notification to come like the page. But, maybe a few more of you will come by and check it out too. PLEASE hit "Like" on the page.

Incidentally, last night, one of my brewing heroes, Mitch Steele was the first (besides me of course) to Like the page. If you don't know (although how could you not?) Mitch is the Head Brewer at Stone Brewing Company ... the maker of Arrogant Bastard.

Of course, I've talked quite a bit on this blog about Arrogant Bastard:

If the SheppyBrew Brewery FaceBook page is good enough for the guy in charge of Arrogant Bastard, how can you resist?

Again, come LIKE

Happy Friday everyone.

P.S. I almost forgot ... I also have become "official" on untappd. Check out my SheppyBrew Brewery on untappd:

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Popcorn Beer #HomeBrew

A couple of nights ago, I was listening to The Brewing Network Sunday Session February 13, 2012 episode with Sun King Brewery. The main part of the show was a great interview with Clay Robinson who is one of the founders, owners, and brewers at Sun King Brewery of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Sun King won a ridiculous number of medals at the 2011 GABF. If my memory is correct, they got 4 golds, 3 silvers, and 1 bronze. Getting any kind of medal at the GABF is an amazing feat. Getting 4 golds is mind-blowing. Getting 8 medals is downright unbelievable.

If I have had any Sun King beer, it was at GABF. It doesn't appear in my notes, so if I had any I don't remember anything about it. I hope I remember to try to find it this year.

My favorite part of the interview was when Clay talked about their Popcorn Pilsner. If you download the episode from the link above, this part is at about the 1:42:20 mark of the pod-cast.

One of the ingredients used in Popcorn Pilsner is (are you ready for this?): Popcorn.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Brewing PIRA

Enzymes at work inside the mash tun
Well, as I mentioned a few days ago, I designed a recipe as a tribute to Stone's Arrogant Bastard and CYBI's attempt to clone the beer. If you don't remember, go ahead and read the blog post "Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale".

You can review the recipe on the "Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale" page. It is hoppy and pretty big. I should end up a little over 7% ABV with somewhere around 76 IBU.

Just a note ... I will probably abbreviate Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale as PIRA on this blog. Don't let that confuse you.

Today was nice and warm, but it was windy, so I did the brewing in the garage. Tyler had a sleep-over birthday party over the weekend, and Tracy left this morning to teach Sunday school, so technically I probably should have been watching the kids, I suppose. Nothing bad happened to them and none of the parents complained that I appeared to be neglecting their kids when they got picked up. Well, for the most part everyone picked up while the mash was going on, so they probably did not realize that I was neglecting their kids.

The kids were fine.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Pompously Illegitimate Red Ale

Arrogant Bastard
It is not a secret that I am a fan of Stone Brewing Company and their Arrogant Bastard Ale.

It is not just that I like to drink the beer (although I really do). Stone just has this in-your-face craft beer arrogant attitude. They know they brew great beer and they celebrate a snobbish attitude that not everyone is going to like their beer.

As they say right on their bottles and website:

This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.
Isn't that cool? Call me a sucker for marketing if you want, but that description influences me want that beer. Seeing half-naked women in multimillion dollar BMC advertisements doesn't make be want a particular beer, but I have to admit that Greg Koch telling me that I am unworthy sort of does make me want to drink the Arrogant Bastard. Of course the fact that I love the beer's flavor profile doesn't hurt.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Blogging in Feb of 2012

Well, you all get your money back.

In My 500th Blog Post, I guaranteed that there is NO WAY February would break the page view record. I even said "If I'm lying, all my readers get all their money back for the month."

Leave a comment on this post and I promise that I will refund every dime you spent on admission to this blog in February.

Yes, much to my shock, February broke the page-view record. You would think that by now this would not surprise me anymore (but you would be wrong). I've lost track on how many months in a row this has happened. I am pretty sure it can't continue forever, but perhaps I am wrong. It still mystifies me that anyone looks at this blog.