A few months ago, I blogged about my first homebrewing experience. Since then, my husband and I drank the first batch and made a second, which we just sampled last night.
I am happy to report that both of our batches were very drinkable. However, the first, a light-bodied lager, had a slightly bitter smell to it. Not offensive, but definitely not right, either. We think it was from the sanitizer we were sold, which was a sulphite sanitizer that we later found out is better for sanitizing wine bottles. We did not use this sanitizer the second time, instead we used One Step, and it was much better.
Our first batch, named "Leap Year Beer" because it was brewed on Feb. 29, had a lightly hopped malt extract that gave the beer a clear, golden hue. We will definitely make this one again in the summer because it was a total thirst quencher.
Our second batch, called "Long Winter Brew," is a stout. Technically, it is still in the carbonation process, but we couldn’t wait any longer and cracked open a bottle last night. (We tried in about a week early.) It’s meant to be a Guinness rip-off, with a dark caramel color and rich -- yet surprisingly light -- taste.
I have not gone so far as to make labels for our beer, but I am considering it for the next batch. Then, they would make nice gifts. I would also like to bottle a few 40 ouncers, since our brewery is jokingly called "Jamol's Ghetto Brewery."
We are currently researching how and when to add fruit to beer, since in a couple of months we will have tons of raspberries in our backyard, just begging to get added to a batch of Weiss or Lambic.
I am leaning towards brewing a Lambic, especially after ordering one this weekend, not knowing it was a $12 bottle of beer. It tasted delicious, but I really can’t make a habit of buying such pricey brews. So, like so many things I want but can’t afford, I’ll just have to make it myself.