Thursday, February 26, 2015


You may remember my birthday weekend stay in a yurt.  If you look at the comments, Mrs. Bluefield wrote that I should stay in a quinzee sometime. You may not know what a quinzee is. Basically it is simply a temporary shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow.

I like the idea of sleeping in a quinzee. I'm not sure it is a good idea to bring my wife and kids into the wilderness to sleep in the cold wintery snow. At the very least I thought I should try making one in a safer, controlled environment such as my yard.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Brewing Ale to the Chief Honey Ale

It has been quite awhile since the White House published its two #HomeBrew recipes. If I have my timeline correct, they released the recipes in September of 2012. I converted the porter a couple weeks later. I converted the Honey Ale to an all-grain recipe in November of 2012.

Recently, I decided to do a smaller batch of this recipe.

This Saturday, I brewed the small batch. If you pay attention to my brew-day blog posts, you probably realize that a Saturday brew is pretty unusual. Not only was it a strange day for me, but as you may be able to tell from the picture below, I didn't get started until after 10:30AM. This is practically unheard of.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ireland Craft Beer Infographic

As I mentioned before, usually when people send me a request to share some sort of link via my Contact Me form, I am pretty accommodating.

A couple days ago I got an email from the Managing Director of a company called Home Brew West in Ireland. He has created an infographic "The top Irish Craft Beers you should be drinking in 2015".

"The Craft beer industry in Ireland has taken off and has in size since 2011. In the last quarter of 2014, sales in the industry were on course for more than €15 million. From home brewing to professional micro-breweries this infographic celebrates Irish beer, and outlines some of the finest Irish beers on the market today."
I don't give much thought to craft beer or home-brewing in Ireland. It is interesting to me how much the Craft Beer Scene in the United States seems to be a big influence on other countries. Notice how many big IPAs are in this infographic?

This was not the case only a few years ago.

Fascinating really.

Check out the Home Brew West website:

Monday, February 16, 2015

One Hundred Hoppy Brown Ale

I brewed yesterday.

I guess you could say that this is a special beer. It is a little bit of a SheppyBrew milestone.

You may remember that I mentioned it back in December when I came up with the recipe. See One Hundred. It is simply the 100th recipe page entered onto the SheppyBrew Website since I implemented a simple content management system for the site. ?id=100 seems like as good a reason as any to brew a special beer. 

As you can see on the previous blog post and on the SheppyBrew recipe page, I decided to make this a Hoppy American Brown Ale. If you are a home-brewer, you are probably familiar with The Brewing Network's Tasty McDole and his famous Janet's Brown. If not, feel free to Google it.  

I did not actually follow his famous recipe, but I certainly got inspiration from his concept. It is basically an American Brown hopped up like an IPA.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Over Hyped Pliny (drink local)

So, I had Pliny the Elder last night.

You know Pliny, right? Russian River's Pliny the Elder has won the top spot on Zymurgy's Beer in America list for 6 consecutive years. It is one of those beers, at least here in Colorado, that is popular enough and rare enough to find that when it is on tap somewhere, it doesn't last long.

Beer geeks love Pliny the Elder.

I love Pliny the Elder. I think it is a wonderful double IPA. It is crisp and clean with just the right mouth-feel. It is wonderfully hoppy both in flavor and in aroma. It has everything a West-Coast IPA should have.

But, gosh I think it is over hyped.

One of my first Zymurgy BBIA posts was about Pliny. I wrote at the time that I didn't think this was the best beer in America. I don't really mean that as an insult. It certainly deserves to be mentioned among the best beers in America.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Denver Breweries II

It has been almost two years since I posted Denver Breweries. Since then, I've been to a significant number of Denver Breweries, but the Metro area is adding breweries faster than I am visiting them. The list of local breweries that I have not visited is even bigger now than it was back then.

Pathetic. I'm pathetic.

Locavore Beer Works happens to be one brewery I have visited

A fan of local craft beer should be better at visiting these places. I really should.

Looking through the Fermentedly Challenged Denver Area Breweries , I have composed a list of Breweries I really should visit. You can see that list below. This doesn't even include breweries in the North Suburbs, just ones that are in Denver or the South Metro area.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weekend in a Yurt

You may remember that it was my birthday last week.

One of the birthday gifts that my loving family got for me was a weekend stay in a yurt. You may be asking yourself, "what is a yurt?" To be honest, I was surprised how many Colorado people didn't know what a yurt was, so don't beat yourself up if you don't know.

Basically, a yurt is a somewhere between a big tent and a small shack. The YMCA of the Rockies ... Snow Mountain Ranch has a campground "village" of them.

These yurts are pretty nice. They don't have heating, but they do have electricity, which means you can bring electric space heaters (which we did). They also have lights, a little refrigerator, and a microwave in each.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Homemade Frozen Yogurt

So, my youngest son asked for and received an ice cream maker for Christmas. Santa was good to the entire family in this regard. I do not know if you've ever had homemade ice cream, but it out absolutely fantastic. My boy has made a few batches so far and they have all been great.

Recently, I've discovered the joys of making my own homemade yogurt (see Making the Bluefield Yogurt and  More Yogurt). You might say that I've become a little obsessed with it. My favorite breakfast over the past few weeks has been homemade yogurt mixed with thawed mixed berries.

As I've mentioned a couple times, I wanted to try homemade frozen yogurt using my homemade yogurt. Makes sense, right?

Friday, February 06, 2015

Craft Beer Calculator

As I mentioned before, usually when people send me a request to share some sort of link via my Contact Me form, I am pretty accommodating. Apparently, sometime last week someone tried to contact me using that form. Either the email server from my hosting company did not work quite right or (unfortunately more likely), I deleted the email thinking it was a server status email. Unfortunately, the "Contact Me" email and the server status emails look very similar.

Anyway. This person did not give up. He cleverly went to the SheppyBrew Facebook Page and messaged me.

He wants me to help him "take a stance against drunk driving" and share a resource on my blog:

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Gruntled Berry Weiße

I brewed Sunday.

I decided that Super Bowl Sunday's batch would be a 2.4 gallon batch instead of my usual 5.5 gallon batch size. Being the lazy guy that I am, I thought I would use the base of a recipe I'd already designed and brewed: Gruntled Sour Weiße.

Just to make it a little different, I decided to make it a fruit beer, simply adding the same frozen mixed berries that I've been using to help flavor some of my yogurt. I do plan on not adding quite as much Lactic Acid as well.

The resulting recipe on is Gruntled Berry Weiße.

Not only was this a small batch, but it is also very low in alcohol, thus low in OG, thus low in grains needed to brew it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015


My parents will tell you that they are not old enough to have a child who is 45 years of age. Or at least, my dad has mentioned similar things about my age for just about as long as I remember.

They did have me young.

Did you know 45 is dividable by 1, 3, 5, 9, 15, and 45?

My wife looks way too young to be married to a 45 year old guy. Unless the guy is a hell of a lot more wealthy than I am.