Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Kegging TommyHawk and Grilling Steaks

The regular season is over for my Blackhawks. Tonight the playoffs start. The Blackhawks did finish with the President's trophy, which means they will have home-ice advantage all the way through the Stanley Cup finals.

The mighty Blackhawks will soon be opening up against the eighth seed evil Minnesota Wild.

SERIES E TIME (ET) #1 Chicago vs. #8 Minnesota Networks
Tuesday, April 30 8 p.m. Minnesota at Chicago       NBC Sports Network, CBC
Friday, May 3 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at Chicago       NBC Sports Network, CBC
Sunday, May 5 3 p.m. Chicago at Minnesota       NBC, CBC
Tuesday, May 7 9:30 p.m. Chicago at Minnesota       NBC Sports Network, CBC
*Thursday, May 9 TBD Minnesota at Chicago       CBC
*Saturday, May 11 TBD Chicago at Minnesota       CBC
*Sunday, May 12 TBD Minnesota at Chicago       CBC

I can't wait. Go Blackhawks!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Geocaching Bike Ride

My son making pancakes
It was a glorious spring weekend day this past Saturday. The kids told their mom that they would like to go on  a bike ride. Connor said he didn't want to go to the Cowboy Playground and didn't want to do the Waterton Canyon trail again. He wanted to go on a new bike ride. 

I decided to introduce the boys to the Highland Canal path. The Highland Canal is one of the Denver Metro's biggest bike trails. It runs from south of C470 up to Aurora, snaking along quite a bit. Depending on where I try to get the information, the total distance is anywhere from 48 miles to 71 miles.

Follow this link and you can see a map: http://www.denvermetrotrails.com/maps/highline%20canal%20trail.html

Of course the total distance does not matter that much. My wife and kids were not going to ride the whole thing.

I picked a little 7 mile section running from Writers Vista Park in Littleton to deKoevend Park in Centennial. Both these parks are right on the bike path.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Biking to Work

We are a one-car family this week. This is inconvenient. My work hours do not really correspond well with school and various other activities my kids engage in. Most days, my wife needs the car to get my kids where they need to be. My work place is far enough away that it doesn't really make sense for her to drop me off and pick me up.

The most obvious solution is that I can ride my bike to work. My workplace is about 15 miles away from my home. On a good day, my drive is a little bit over half an hour. With normal "rush-hour" traffic it can take 45 minutes. I should be able to bike it on my trusty hybrid in a little over an hour.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Brewing TommyHawk, doing Taxes

As far as I can remember, I have always left doing my taxes until the last weekend before they are due. This is partially because I know I always owe money, and I don't want to write the government a check until I absolutely have to. More to the point, though, is that I am a procrastinator when it come to doing things I don't like to do. I have always been this way and for the most part it works out very well for me.

Well, Sunday, in addition to being the day I had to prepare to file my tax returns, was a brew day. I had to brew TommyHawk APA (which is actually an IPA). Also, there was a BlackHawk's game I had to watch. Of course, Sunday I need to take the family to church as well.

So, it was going to be a busy day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Will Drink in May

 Not too long ago, I facebook "liked" SheppyBrew's Helles in a Hand Bock-sket with the comment:
Kegging my Helles in a Hand Bock-sket #homebrew beautiful gold beer 7.5 ish abv. Will drink in May.
One of my facebook friends commented:
I like "Will drink in May" - I know what you mean but it sounds so decisive. Like an event, or a bumper sticker
Kinda like "will work for food," but not sad and needy.
Well, as you may remember (but quite likely don't), the SheppyBrew Brewery does have official brewery merchandise that we sell on Zazzle. Not very many people have ordered from the store (I can count them on one finger), but it is there in case the brewery ever gets fans who might want a hat or a mug or a stein or something else that says SheppyBrew on it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

More Grilled Chicken

I grilled another whole chicken the past Sunday. (see Grilled Chicken along with some of the links from that blog post). This time, I grilled the bird standing up as if it were a Beer-Can chicken, but I skipped the can of beer. According to "MeatHead" in Debunking Beer Can Chicken: A Waste Of Good Beer (And It Is Dangerous), this is the best way to grill a whole chicken (other than cutting it up in pieces).

Soaking in Brine

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 Q1 SheppyBrew Stats

As you may know, the Brewery likes to post quarterly updates on how much we have brewed. You can see all these updates (including the one you are reading right now) by following this link: http://blog.ericshepard.com/search/label/Brew%20Stats .

It has been busy brewing quarter. As you may or may not remember, I decided to try to round out my brewing experience by making it my goal to have brewed at least one recipe in all 23 beer categories of the BJCP. At the beginning of the quarter, I had 11 categories left. After having brewed Sasquatch Hunter Altbier, Snowball's Chance Helles, Khazad-dûm Black Lager, and Helles in a Hand Bock-sket, I now only have 7 more categories (English Pale Ale, English Brown Ale, Porter , German Wheat and Rye Beer, Belgian Strong Ale, Strong Ale, Smoke-Flavored and Wood-Aged Beer ) to brew. See SheppyBrew Styles for additional information on this little project.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Biking with the Sheep

It was about a year ago when I reported that my youngest son had finally finished learning to ride his bike. Hard to believe it has only been a year. Very soon after that, he started asking me to get him a mountain bike. The little one-speed bike apparently was not doing it for him. He wanted a bike with multiple gears and hand brakes like the rest of the family. He always enjoyed riding his little bike, but thought it could be better.

The boy turned 8 on Friday, and we finally got him that mountain bike. He loves it and was very excited to try it out. We made the mistake of giving it to him very close to dinner time, and it took us awhile to get him back to the house to eat.

We let him decide what our family Saturday activity would be. He picked (not surprisingly) to go on a bike ride.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Finding Beer Balance

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

This month's topic comes from Bryan at This Is Why I’m Drunk. Bryan wants to know about "Finding Beer Balance".

He says:
"It’s a discussion I hope will offer a variety of responses as people consider their interests outside of finding the perfect pint."
Basically, I think he wants to know what us beer geeks do when we are not beer-geeking. 

Monday, April 01, 2013

Brewing Some Buckwheat BPA

I don't have a favorite beer. I drink way too promiscuously to profess one beer to be my preferred. My wife, on the other hand, does say that she has a favorite, and it just happens to be a SheppyBrew creation. As it is my wife's official favorite beer, it is the one beer recipe that I have brewed the most. It is also the beer I have experimented with the most.

The beer is called Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale , and I brewed it again on Saturday.

The recipe is pretty close to how it started. The recipe has gone from a partial mash to the old 2.5 gallon single infusion mash to BIAB to my bigger all-grain batches. I've experimented with different yeasts, picking based on my wife's blind taste test. But, basically, the recipe is still pretty close to where it started.