Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Apple Wood Smoked Chicken

If you've following this blog lately, you've noticed more BBQ articles.

That is because I got a new grill / smoker for Christmas this year, and I've been learning how to use it.

This past Saturday, I smoked a whole chicken.

Of course, I've done whole chickens on my older gas grill a few times. This was my first time adding smoke flavor.

The past two smoking sessions (see First time Smoking Ribs and Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork) both used hickory wood for the smoke. This time I decided to try something different, and I went with Apple Wood chunks.

Friday, January 26, 2018

SheppyBrew 2017 Year-End Brewing 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: Sheppy's Blog: Brew Stats.

In the 4th Quarter, we brewed 4 beers.

Killer Cricket Porter brew day

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork

So, you may remember from First time Smoking Ribs that I recently got a new grill / smoker.

The ribs turned out really good. There are some improvements I think I can make, but I was pleased with the result. And my family liked them.

After the success of the ribs, I decided to try smoking a Pork Butt. You probably all know this, but a Pork Butt is actually the shoulder of a pig. I'm a little unclear as to why the shoulder is referred to a butt. I think it has something to do with Boston - area people not being all that bright.

But don't quote me on that.

So, I bought a 9 pound pork shoulder (8.92 pounds to be exact) from Sam's Club last week. I had Monday off work for MLK Day, and I used that day off to smoke some pork.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fizzy and Pink Cherry Pomegranate Kombucha

So ... do you remember that I've gotten into brewing homemade Kombucha?

I like kombucha enough to drink. I like it a lot more than soda, and it is a good alternative to water or coffee for me to drink at work with my lunch. However, it is way too expensive for me to want to actually buy it.

It is easy and inexpensive to brew at home, so I just make it myself.

My process is simple:
  1. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar in enough water to brew 8 to 10 tea bags worth of concentrated sweet tea.
  2. Pour the tea into a gallon glass jar with a little ice to cool it down. Fill the jar the rest of the way with water.
  3. Add a SCOBY and a little kombucha from the last batch to the jar.
  4. Let the tea ferment for a couple of weeks. 
  5. Pour the fermented kombuca along with some fruit juice or other flavoring into bottles.
  6. Let those bottles carbonate for a few days.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

First time Smoking Ribs

I got a picture of a grill / smoker for Christmas.

My wife did everything she could to get me an actual grill / smoker, but due to a delivery SNAFU, the picture was all I received.

While waiting for the delivery SNAFU to get fixed, I spent a significant amount of time reading books and websites about smoking various meats. I also watched lots of youtube videos on the same.

I think my favorite videos came from BBQ Pit Boys. Those guys amuse me, and I think they do a good job clearly explaining the process of smoking meats.

Anyway ... last week, I finally got the grill delivered. Separately, I got the smoker box delivered.

Saturday morning, I attached the smoker box to the grill.

Sunday, I smoked my first meat ... a rack of pork spare ribs.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

2018 Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

It is winter. Time to brew a Winter Saison.

Arctic Vortex Winter Saison

Yes, here at SheppyBrew Brewery, we brew at least 4 saisons every year.

Winter Spring Summer Autumn.

I call them my Seasonal Saison series of beers.

The Arctic Vortex Winter Saison happens to be a black saison, because winter is generally dark ... and it would be boring to make all my saisons look the same.

This weekend, I brewed this year's Arctic Vortex Winter Saison.

When I went to buy ingredients last week, my Local Homebrew Shop didn't have my favorite Saison yeast (WY3711 French Saison). I ended up picking up WY3724 (Belgium Saison) instead.

I'm a real fan of WY3711, and I almost decided to wait to brew this beer until they could get more in, but I had already crushed my grains. It doesn't hurt to try new things. I guess we'll see how it turns out.