Monday, February 18, 2013

5A. Maibock/Helles Bock

Well, if you have been following this blog lately, you know that SheppyBrew's 2013 brewing goal is to expand our resume of beer styles. I want to have at least one beer brewed of each of the 23 BJCP beer style categories. After Khazad-dûm Brew Day, I now have 8 more categories to brew. (see SheppyBrew Styles)

My next category is 5. Bock. I've decided to do a 5A. Maibock/Helles Bock.

Like all Bocks, a Maibock is a big malty German beer. It is lighter in color than other beers in the Bock category, and is usually associated with spring-time. (Mai means May ... as in the month of May ... in German). Generally speaking the Maibock can be drier and more hoppy than other styles of Bock, but it is still a malty sweet beer overall. It should be smooth and clean. Alcohol warming is acceptable for this 6.3 – 7.4% ABV beer.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Three Sisters Park

I dragged the wife and kids out for a day-hike yesterday at Alderfer/Three Sisters Park in Evergreen. It was cold and windy, but for some reason the boys really had fun. My youngest could not stop giggling. Mostly, he just appeared to be having fun throwing snow at his dad.

Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Still More @Untappd Badges 8

Wow ... it has been over 2 months that I've reported on my untappd badges (see First Month of Untappd and Running for Mayor @BallyFitness , and Some more Badges @Untappd , and Still More @Untappd Badges), and Still More @Untappd Badges 2 and Still More @Untappd Badges 3 and Still More @Untappd Badges 4 and Still More @Untappd Badges 5 and Still More @Untappd Badges 6, and Still More @Untappd Badges 7). Lately, the badges have come few and far between, so I didn't really have very many to share.

But, now I am up to 7 new ones since Still More @Untappd Badges 7 . Here are the badges I've earned since mid-December:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Khazad-dûm Brew Day

So, if you've been following my blog or SheppyBrew's Facebook page or my twitter feed over the past few days, it does not come as a surprise that I brewed Sunday. I have made no secret of the fact that I was planning on brewing "Khazad-dûm Black Lager". As I mentioned, this is the Category 4 representative of my quest to brew at least one all-grain batch in every BJCP beer category (see SheppyBrew Styles).

We got some snow overnight, so this brew day was in the garage. I got started around 5 AM and had the mash going by 5:30.

This time, I left the dark malts (Carafa III) out of most of the mash, adding them in with about 10 or 15 minutes left. I decided to try this because various guest on various podcasts say this keeps harsh roasty flavors out of beer. As my mashes are usually pretty long, this seemed like a decent idea to me, so I decided I would try it out with my Schwarzbier. I think next time I do a black IPA, I will use the same technique.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More on the Sour Pumpkin Wit

Do you remember me blending my my Rationalité Poison d'Ereeeek with my Whacko Wife Pumpkin Witbier? If you don't, no worries ... you can go check out my blog post at Blending the Sour Pumpkin Wit. Go ahead ... check it out ... we'll wait. You can continue reading this one when you get back.

So, I blended and bottled back in January. I primed with sugar just as I usually do when bottling. The 2-week carbonation period was over last weekend. I tried a couple of bottles this weekend.

On untappd, I called the combination Poison Pumpkin Sour Wit.

I like the beer.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

4C. Schwarzbier (Black Beer)

I mentioned not-to-long-ago that my 2013 brewing goal is to expand my resume of beer styles. I want to have at least one beer brewed of each of the 23 BJCP beer style categories. After my 1D. Munich Helles, I now have 9 more categories to brew.

Next up is  Category 4 — Dark Lager. The sub-category I have chosen for this category is 4C. Schwarzbier (Black Beer).

A Schwarzbier is another clean German lager. As the name suggests, it is dark in color and has a decent amount of roast in the flavor and aroma. It is generally very balanced between the hop bitterness and malt sweetness. It can have a fair amount of noble hop character, although the guidelines say it should be restrained. The base has a nice bready Munich malt flavor.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Birthday Edition: Brewing QLC

Yesterday was my birthday. I don't feel a day over 43. Not bad.

This year, I decided to take PTO and brew on my birthday. I got this idea when Scott at SNB Brewing mentioned that he has did the same thing this year. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

And what better to brew on my birthday than my world-famous Quarter Life Crisis? Obviously, my life is over a quarter over now. It is closer to being 27%, but I am ok with that.

Brew day began at 5AM. I overheated the strike water a bit and had to add cold water to bring it down to the desired temperature. I went too low, so I added more hot water. Eventually, I got the mash more-or-less where I wanted it. This yo-yo style of getting to the right temperature probably is not the best practice for precision brewing, but I find it always works out fine.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Ground Hogs' Day in Breckenridge

My loving family decided to bring me up to Breckenridge for the weekend before my birthday. Breckenridge is a nice weekend getaway spot for us. We've developed a couple of family traditions there over the years. We go there just about every year for the Duck Races. We also go up there quite often to check out the International Snow Sculpture Championship. As far as I can tell, I've only blogged about last year's (see Beervertising and Snow Sculptures), but we have been several times. Breckenridge is just an easy town for our weekend get-aways.

And, this year, we got-away for the Ground Hogs' day weekend. (aka Sheppy's birthday weekend).

I suppose the Breckenridge Ground Hog saw his shadow (see how sunny it is below). Of course, if he was smart he would not have ventured out into the cold.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Some Family Pictures

Recently, I noticed that it had been quite awhile since I posted on a topic other than beer. I have done those monthly "look-what-people-are-viewing" posts, but other than those (which also do deal quite a bit with beer-related content), it has been a long time.

This blog started out as a personal blog and talked a lot about things the family was doing together. I think there are some readers who probably miss that. The last "kids" blog post was back in October (see Eric the Awful ), and of course that was about a home-brew that was based on a game I play with them.

So, now I am posting some pictures of the family taken since October or so.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

January 2013 Blogging

January continued the  streak of increasing monthly record breaking page-views.
Blah blah blah can't continue forever blah blah blah

Et cetera.

Here are the most viewed pages over the past 30 days:

Friday, February 01, 2013

San Diego Super Yeast

Soon, I am brewing SheppyBrew's world-famous Quarter Life Crisis Hoppy Red Ale. My birthday is coming up, and my life will be almost 27% over. Obviously, this is a great time for a Quarter Life Crisis. I can't, after-all do a mid-life crisis yet.

If you've been following this blog long enough (or just followed the link above), you may remember that this beer came about after I received  Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles as a gift on my 40th birthday. It is a hoppy "West Coast" Red ... or at least that is what I call the style. Basically, it is hopped like an IPA, but is darker in color and more complex in the malt bill.

How I Love Beer

Before I get started, the SheppyBrew Facebook Page has not gotten new "likes" in awhile. If you have not already, please go to the page and like it. You can use it to follow SheppBrew updates and other brewing news.

Now that I have shameless plug out of the way ....

Here it is ... time for another month's "The Session" (aka Beer Blogging Friday).

The February topic comes from Ryan at Montana Beer Finder who asks

"In light of it being about two weeks before Valentine's Day, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how we love beer. Pay attention now, as I said 'how,' not 'why.'"

He goes on to explain,
"You can say to your partner, 'Honey, I love you.' But think of the saying, 'actions speak louder than words.' From my personal experience, it's always better to show your partner the ways you love them instead of saying simply, 'I love you because you make me happy.'"
If you need more, check out Ryan's Blog Post: How We Love Beer: Session #72 (Announcement).

So, how do I love beer?