On a recent weeknight evening, my homebrewing buddy Scott and I got met up with our girlfriends and two mutual friends to taste our first bottled beer. We had brewed this batch in late Spring, bottled it in July (using bottling sugar in an effort to improve upon our first attempt at carbonation) and were finally ready to taste! There were two types, an IPA and a porter. Working from light to dark, we started with the IPA.
Upon opening the first bottle, we heard the familiar “pssst” sound. The beer sounded carbonated. The pour provided a visual confirmation of the carbonation. The look of the beer was almost that of a hefewiezen! No, our IPA didn’t accidentally become a wheat beer. This had more to do with the fact that our homebrew method does not have a complete filtration process that the larger brewers do.
The nose indicated the hoppiness that one would expect with an IPA. Putting the glass to our lips, we found that our IPA was more mild than the typical American IPA. Perhaps we had more of an English style IPA on our hands; subtly hopped, but not overly done. We asked our fellow tasters to be frank in their assessment and they suggested that the carbonation could be more pronounced. I would also like the hops to be more present.
After the IPA was done, it was time to try the porter. Similar to the IPA, the porter had the sound and sight of carbonation. The color and the nose were both solid. The mouth was toast and malty. Unlike the IPA, I felt that this one was very well done. I mean, I think I’ve ordered something similar tasting in bars and brewpubs! Scott argued that if the porter were just a tad sweeter tasting, it would be perfect.
So, after several months, Scott and I finally had something we could call bottled beer. The brewing will continue in the fall and we are both looking forward to improving our IPA and porter experience and trying out new recipes.