Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beer Geeks Kickstarter Campaign

Are you familiar with the T.V. show Beer Geeks?

I came across it on my T.V. awhile ago and set my DVR up to record the series. I only got 2 episodes. I am not sure if this means that the Denver Market dropped it or if I just got the last couple of episodes of the season, but it sort of bums me out that I have not been able to watch any more episodes.

It is hosted by Michael Ferguson, who is pretty well-known among craft beer fans as the Master Brewer and Director of Brewery Operations of BJ's Restaurants. He also is known as "Mosaffa" on the Brewing Network for his deep voice. Michael is a wealth of brewing knowledge.

Today, I got an email from my Contact Me form on this blog. David Page, Executive Producer of Beer Geeks asked me to share a KickStarter Campaign url. As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty easy when it comes to sharing things that come through my Contact Me form, and this one certainly is one that fits perfectly with the brewing theme on this blog.

I shared it on twitter ( I shared it on facebook (

And now ... please consider helping fund Beer Geeks. Check out the KickStarter page at:

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Day Backpacking Trip

We went backpacking this weekend.

If you are in the Denver metro area, you probably know that there has been really severe weather up and down the front range. We didn't go far enough to escape the weather, but we managed to have fun anyway.

We went to the same place we've always been backpacking as a family. Yes, you might think it would get old to keep going to the same place over and over, but the kids really like this area and the fact that we know it so well is useful when it comes to planning and adjusting to things like weather.

The first night, we drove to a campsite alone a forest service road on the way to the trail head. We pitched our tent and gathered firewood, started our fire, and had some brats for dinner.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Brewing Buckwheat's BPA (again)

Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale, the beer I brewed Sunday, is the recipe that SheppyBrew Brewery has brewed the most. Sunday's batch was #11, and the second most brewed beer has only been done 7 times. Buckwheat's BPA actually started out an extract recipe brewed in one of my Mr. Beer fermentors. Part of the reason that I've brewed so many batches is that early on I did some experimenting to figure out what yeast was best for this beer.

The first time I brewed it was because, the SheppyBrew Beer Model picked out a Belgium Pale Ale recipe from Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles. I took that recipe, modified it a little and when it was done, she told me that this was her favorite beer. She said it was not just her favorite of the beers that I made ... but her favorite of all beers.

Personally, I think it is weird to have a favorite beer, but that is just me.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Colorado 6 Pack for American Craft Beer Week

This year, May 12 - 18 was (is) American Craft Beer Week (#ACBW).

Personally, I support American Craft Beer every week, but sometimes I go periods of time where I all the "Craft" beer I drink is beer that I myself have made. This week, I made a special effort to drink a commercial craft beer every day.

It just so happens that I picked Colorado Beers because ... well ... I have this philosophy that you should drink the beer that is made closest to where you are.

If you follow SheppyBrew on Facebook (if you don't, please go like us).  You might have seen my pictures every day. I guess you could say that this is my American Craft Beer Week Colorado 6 Pack:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Devil's Head Hike

Saturday, we needed something to do. I decided to take the family on a hike in Pike National Forest. Before the kids were born, my wife and I had done the Devil's Head Fire Lookout Trail, but the kids had never been there and I thought it was something they might enjoy.

The drive to the trailhead took longer than I remember. This might be part of the reason we've never brought the boys. But, after about an hour and a half, we were in the National Forest Recreation Area.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Brewing 2014 Blackhawk Black

If you read this blog at all, you probably have at least an inkling that I am a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

If you read this blog at all, you probably suspect that I like to brew beer.

Ok ... actually, if you read this blog at all, you know I am obsessed with both.

Blackhawk Black Ale combines two of my obsessions, as it is a homebrew named after my favorite hockey team. I first brewed Blackhawk Black Ale  in late 2009 as an attempt to clone New Belgium Brewery's 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. Back then, it was a partial mash. Obviously, I have since converted it into an all-grain recipe.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Geo-Ride in May

My wife had a thing to go to Saturday.

This meant that the boys had to make a decision. Should we stay inside all day and play video games? Should we spend the day outside riding our bikes?

The boys voted for video games. I voted for the bike ride. 2 to 1. I won.

One of the few advantages of being the parent is that my vote (usually) counts for more.

We loaded our bikes on the back of the minivan and headed over to Chatfield  Reservoir State Park. A few days ago I had loaded some geo-caches into my GPS for us to search for at some point. Saturday was a perfect opportunity.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Brewing the Laser Salt (again)

Yes, it is that time of year again.

Time to brew the Laser Salt Sandy Blonde Ale. And I did. I brewed it last Sunday.

Brew day, of course, started before sun-up. The Gnome and I got the strike temperature perfect with no trouble at all. The mash temperature did drop into the mid 140's before the end, which is not really that big of a deal. I'm fine with that.