Thursday, December 30, 2021

Pecan Smoked Potatoes Au Gratin

We received a Honey Baked Ham as a gift this year.

My kids had already told me that they wanted Ham for Christmas dinner, and I decided to just heat up the gift ham.

The ham came with various sides, some of which we prepared with Christmas dinner, but my wife told me she wanted "real" Au Gratin Potatoes.

So ... I made some.

As I rarely cook inside, I decided to cook my Au Gratin Potatoes on one of my Weber Kettles with a little Pecan wood to add a little smoke flavor.

As far as I remember, this is the first time I've ever made Au Gratin Potatoes. I googled recipes and decided to use one I found on All Recipes as a starting point.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Soapy Mole

My wife has this box of recipes, and one of the cards in this box is labeled "Sopa & Mole".

It is an old family recipe from a grandmother or great-grandmother or something. One of those that my wife had to write down by interrogating her mom, because it actually was never written down.

It's sort of been a tradition to have this on Christmas Eve when my in-laws are in town for the holidays.

I love it. One of my favorite meals. I usually refer to it as "Soapy Sheep" or "Soapy Mole". Weird, I know.

This year, for reasons I won't go into, I cooked for Christmas Eve and decided to try it out ... sort of.

You know me and the trouble I have following recipes ... luckily, it isn't a real precise recipe anyway, so I feel like it is sort of expected that you take liberties with it.

Saturday, December 18, 2021


Until recently, it had been quite awhile since I've made any Kombucha.

In fact, I neglected my SCOBY  last year, and let it die. I have not made any since then.

A month or two ago, I tried propagating up SCOBY from commercial kombucha, but that never ended up growing.

So, I went the lazy-man way and simply ordered one from Amazon.

On 11/13, I brewed up a batch of Green Tea kombucha for the SCOBY to start working on.

The process is really simple.

  • Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into water.
  • Steep tea in the water.
  • Add to a gallon jar, cooled with ice / water.
  • Put in the SCOBY with a little "starter" to keep the pH down.
  • Let the kombucha ferment for a few weeks.
  • Bottle with whatever flavoring you would like.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Decemberfest Lager (Batch 303) and Pork Butt

I brewed my 303rd batch of beer this past weekend.

It was my 27th batch of beer in 2021, and my 29th brewed in my Anvil Foundry.

It might be my last batch of the year.

Or ... it might not. We'll have to see.

Regardless, this will be my 2nd most volume of beer brewed, behind only the ridiculous amount of beer I brewed in 2020.

I feel like I say this a lot ... but it blows my mind that 2021 is already almost over. I don't feel like I'm ready for a new year yet.

Anyway ... the recipe I brewed this past Sunday was ...

This is the 2nd time brewing this recipe, although this time I substituted the Vienna malt with some from local maltster Colorado's Root Shoot Malting.

The Root Shoot Vienna malt lists its color as 6 Lovibond vs the 3.5 Lovibond Vienna malt I usually use, so this batch is likely to be a couple of shades darker than last year's version

Monday, December 13, 2021

Caliente Fuerte Mexican Stout vs. Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout

Remember Caliente Fuerte Mexican Stout? It was my Homebrew 6 Pack Project beer inspired by Copper Kettle Mexican Chocolate Stout.

I brewed it on Halloween (see Caliente Fuerte Mexican Stout (Batch 300)). I kegged it around 3 weeks later.

Since then, I've carbonated and been drinking it.

The design (see Designing Caliente Fuerte Mexican Stout) was intended to be chocolatey with a bit of heat from cinnamon and Ancho and Cayenne Chile powder.

I purposely took it easy on the spices. 

As it turns out, I was too easy on the spices. It is nice, rich and chocolatey, but the cinnamon barely comes through and the peppers not at all.

Thursday, December 09, 2021

R is for Raices Brewing Company

It was only a few days ago that I posted Q is for barQuentine Brewing Company.

If you've been following my A to Z Denver Breweries series of blog posts, you know that next up, I needed an "R" brewery.

As a reminder ...

Back in February of 2015, I was embarrassed by the huge number of Denver Breweries that I had never visited.
It struck me that if I went down the list, the starting letters of the brewery names represented almost every letter of the alphabet. That was when I started my A to Z Denver Breweries Project on this blog.

And ... as I mentioned in Q is for barQuentine Brewing Company, I had an "R" brewery in mind.

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

X-Mas Ale 2021 (Batch 302)

It blows my mind that we're already in December and so Christmas is just around the corner.

This also means that it is time to get the Annual SheppyBrew X-Mas Ale made.

Actually ... it is sort of late to get the X-Mas Ale brewed. I usually like to be drinking it by Thanksgiving.

Last year, I had the X-Mas Ale brewed on Learn to Homebrew Day, which is the first weekend in November.

For various reasons ... I didn't get around to brewing the 2021 version until this past weekend, about a month later than last year's version.

I even considered not making an X-Mas Ale this year, but eventually, my desire to maintain the tradition overroad my laziness. It might be ready later in the year, but ... Oh Well ...

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Country Style Ribs

Last weekend I made some more Country Style Pork Ribs.

I'm still not sure why they are called "Ribs". 

I do make them similar to how I do spare ribs .. 
  • Apply rub. 
  • Smoke for a couple or three hours. 
  • Wrap for a couple more hours.
  • Remove from wrap and finish off with BBQ Sauce
  • Serve and Enjoy.
They turn out delicious.

This time, I used the Vortex to hold the charcoal, but other than that, exactly the same as last time


Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Q is for barQuentine Brewing Company

If you're following along, you know that I recently posted P is for Prost Brewing Company.

You are probably familiar enough with the English alphabet to know that after "P" comes "Q".

Q is tough for my A to Z Denver Breweries series of blog posts.

In round 1, I wasn't able to find and "Q" breweries in the Denver area, but I was able to use a Meadery with Q is for Queen Bee Brews.

In round 2, I still couldn't come up with any "Q" breweries, so I had to take "artistic license" with Q is for LiQuid Mechanics Brewing Company.

Here it is ... round 3 ... as far as I know, there are still no breweries in the Denver that start with the letter "Q".

So, once again, just like last time ... I had to take "artistic license" to come up with a "Q" brewery.