Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blogging in June 2012

Speaking of Beer Can Chicken .... well, ok we weren't, but I thought maybe we should.

But first ... since May of last year, every month blog has had more "page views" than any other month in the history of this blog.

As I write this, it looks like this blog's streak of record-breaking months is going to stop with June. The number of page views don't look like they will get over May's total. Today is the last day of the month and weekends never get a whole lot of traffic here. It is close enough that had this been a weekday, I would feel more confident. But I think the streak will be over.

It was a good run. It looks like June will still be #2 all-time and had this been a 31 day month, it would easily get to the top spot even with this last couple days being weekend days.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Firestone Walker Union Jack

As I shared just a few days ago, I have moved on to Zymurgy's 2012 Best Beers in America list from the 2011 version of the list.

There were only 7 beers on the list that I have not tried, and amazingly enough, all except one are theoretically available here in Colorado.

A week ago Wednesday after working out, I stopped by my liquor store and found #11-Firestone Walker Union Jack and #16-Firestone Walker Double Jack.

I am pretty sure that Firestone Walker has been distributing to Colorado for less than a year, so it is nice for me that they appeared on the list this year (as opposed to last year or the year before when I would have had more trouble getting some).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Echo Lake Summer Pictures

This past weekend, we went up to Echo Lake to escape the Denver heat and wander around a bit.

I've posted pictures of my family around Echo Lake a few times on this blog. As far as I remember, the only other pictures have been during the winter (like this and this)

Here are some summer pictures for your enjoyment:

The kids in front of the lake

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brewing up some Summer Lovin'

I brewed one of my wife's favorite beers today.

SheppyBrew's Summer Lovin' Wheat was first made last year because my Beer Model (aka my wife), wanted to brew a crisp and refreshing summer wheat beer (see Beer Model Brew Day). It turned out as designed, and my wife really liked having it on tap until her family came to visit and wiped it out (see Helpful #HomeBrew Thieves).

It really was a nice summer beer to have around, and the Beer Model has mentioned a few times that she would like me to brew it again.

And, so I did.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kegged the Cheap Bastard

This morning, I kegged my Cheap Bastard American Mild Ale. (see Brewing Cheap Bastard).

It finished with a 1.011 specific gravity, which makes it a 3.7% ABV beer. I am pretty sure this is the lowest alcohol beer that I have ever brewed. It is certainly the only time I have intended to brew something this low in alcohol.

It is also the least expensive beer I've ever created. Well, technically some of my Mr. Beer batches with the free ingredients cost me less to make, but this is much cheaper than what I should have paid for those.

I've been thinking about making this beer for some time, and I am looking forward to having it on tap.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kegging and Bottling Wetta Berry

Tonight, I finally kegged up my Raspberry Wetta Berry "beer".

I blogged about brewing it with Wetta Berry Mr. Beer Batch.

I blogged about adding raspberry puree to it with Raspberry Wetta Berry.

I didn't take an original gravity reading, but based on other Mr. Beer batches, I figure it was about 1.045. It finished at about 1.010. This means that without the raspberry puree, the ABV would have been right around 4.4%. The raspberry puree doesn't add much sugar, so this is almost certainly under 5%. I would guess around 4.7% ABV.

Tonight, I mixed in 4.5 ounces of sugar into the keg and bottled 6 liter bottles, 3 bombers, and 4 12-ounce bottles. The rest (about half I would say) stayed in the keg.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

2012 Best Beers in America

So, Zymurgy's 2012 Best Beers in America list just came out.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that for the past two years, I have been seeking out and writing about beers on previous versions of this list (see my Zymurgy BBIA label for the blog posts I have done). In fact, my last blog post was Sam Adams Noble Pils (tied for #20 on the 2011 list).

Now that the new list is out, I am done with 2011. I have tried 42 of the top 52 beers there. Now it is time to start trying to get through the 2012 list. Of course, lots of the same beers are on the 2012 list that were on 2010's and 2011's, so I have a pretty good head start.

Pliny the Elder is #1 for the 4th time in a row. You may remember that I liked Pliny (see Pliny the Elder), but did not really consider it in such high regard that I would call it the best beer in America. Obviously, this is a very subjective list.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sam Adams Noble Pils

It has been awhile since I have had a beer from my list. In fact the last one was Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA back in March. Recently, though, I grabbed Sam Adams Noble Pils in the liquor store. I had one a couple weeks ago.

Noble Pils is tied for #20 on my Zymury's 2011 list of the best beers in America. I have to say I like it much better than many of the beers ranked higher on the list.

The Sam Adams website says Noble Pils is a traditional Bohemian Pilsner brewed with 5 Noble hops. When I first targeted this beer on my list, it was a spring seasonal, but I believe it is now a year-round beer.

It is very good with a distinct, unique (or at least I think it is unique) hop character in both the flavor and aroma.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sheppy's Beer Can Chicken

This past weekend, for the first time, I made beer can chicken on my grill. It turned out awesome. I loved it.

This is only the 2nd time I have done a whole chicken on my grill. My "new" grill (got it back in October, so it is not really all that new) has a rotisserie motor and spit rod, which I have used once. This beer can chicken blew away the rotisserie chicken that I made before.

What, you may ask, is beer can chicken?

Well, here are the basics:
  1. Drink half a can of beer.
  2. Stick the remaining half can of beer up a chicken's butt
  3. Cook the chicken on the grill
Now, as you may imagine, there are tons of variations on just how you prepare the chicken. If you google Beer Can Chicken Recipes, you will get more ideas than you can ever actually make. At least, I will never go through and try them all.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Brewing Cheap Bastard

Back in the fall, I bribed my coworkers with beer. I told them that whoever donated to the 2nd Wind Fund of Metro Denver would receive some Stouticus and some of another yet-to-be-conceived beer (which ended up being HopToberfest). I got a fair number of people who responded by donating, which was awesome.

As I was distributing to the kind-hearted generous souls who were nice enough to help me out, I got a few comments like "Oh! I meant to donate, but just forgot" or (from one guy whose wife also works there) "Didn't we donate? Oh [my wife] was supposed to. Are you sure?"

One honest person told me that he would have liked to have donated, but was a lazy bastard, and just didn't do it.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Sand Dune Pictures

As you may have surmised from some of my recent blog posts, last weekend, we went camping with a group of people to the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The Great Sand Dunes are always fun. My family spent a weekend in the park's campground last year, and had a blast (see Laser Camping in the Salt, Videos from Laser Camping in the Salt, and Guitar Lady Goofy Kid) . I especially suggest going back and looking at Videos from Laser Camping in the Salt as it features some pretty cool videos of sledding down sand dunes.

One cool thing about the dunes is a shallow, wide creek at the base of the dunes. It dries up in the summer, and so last year we didn't get to see it (or play in it). This year since it was earlier in the year, the creek was still around, making the whole experience even more fun.

Here are some pictures of this year's camping trip to the Great Sand Dunes National Park:

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Killing the Glutens

As you may remember, my hot beautiful SheppyBrew Beer Model brewed up a batch of beer about a month ago (see Brewing the Laser Salt). We thought it would be fun to bring a keg with us to the Great Sand Dunes National Park where we had been invited to join a bunch of people at one of the group camp sites.

We were invited by our gluten-sensitive friend "Gretchen" whom I have mentioned quite a bit on this blog when writing about my Gluten Free brewing. She is also the person for whom I brewed Free the Glutens! APA.

Friday, June 01, 2012

May 2012 Blogging

It was May 2011 that this blog started its current trend of record-breaking "page views" every month. May 2012 continued the streak. I was pretty excited back in the blog post Record Breaking! Now that month's 1383 page views seems pathetically small.

May started out real active on the page views and slowed down a bit at the end, but it was still enough to carry.

This month, the majority of the most viewed pages are actually written this month. I suppose you would think this makes sense, but it is not usually the case.