Monday, July 10, 2006

Mystery beer

Matt and I brewed last Friday with our friend Hilary. Details are forthcoming as to the actual brewing. What I'd like to tell you about now is our adventure in tasting. As this was the first beer we'd brewed in a while, and the first brewing session that I'd taken a lead role in, I was doing a good amount of screwing up. I'm optimistic about the outcome, but I was stressing about whether I was doing everything correctly. Luckily, Matt was able to assuage my worries by invoking the timeless wisdom of Charlie Papazian. "Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew," he told me. So we did.

As I mentioned a moment ago, it's been some time since we last brewed. I found three bottles of homebrew in the basement mini-fridge. I'm not sure exactly how old they were as Matt and I do not employ born-on dating technology (don't want to be sued by Anheuser-Busch). Anyway, it's been over a year. They were unlabeled. Mystery beer no. 1 turned out to be our failed attempt at a clone of Belhaven's Best. It was sweet, uncarbonated and tasted like molasses. That one went down the drain after a few sips. The sad thing was that you could taste the potential in that beer.

Mystery beer no. 2 was one of our first attempts at brewing, dating back to 2004. It was an excellent porter, with some coffee and chocolate-roasted grains. The flavor was rich but not overly heavy - quite drinkable. Sadly, there was only one of these to split between the three of us as mystery beer no. 3 turned out to be another dud from the same batch as mystery beer no. 1.

Luckily, in a few weeks we'll have another batch of homebrew to enjoy. It's so much tastier when it's your own hard work (unless you screw it up, in which case relaxing with a homebrew is not an option).


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