October 18, 2008

A Beer is Born

Tom Petty wasn't kidding: the waiting is the hardest part. After bottling our batch of brew last week, Nahum and I had agreed to give it 2 weeks to do the carbonation thing. But within a day or so...it suddenly seemed like what we really should do is try 1 bottle after just 1 week. That way, we'd have another benchmark between what we'd tasted directly from the fermentation bucket and what we'd have at the end.

Y'know, for the science of it.

And so it came to pass that this Saturday afternoon, we took a single bottle out of the Beer Room (aka, a small space in Nahum's basement) that had been sitting at a steady 65 degrees for a week. And we opened it. And we drank it.

And it was good. Really good.

As soon as the cap came off, we knew something good had happened in 7 days: after creating the beer and giving it dominion over the hops and barley, it had gone into a restful state of reasonable carbonation. You could see the bubbles in the bottle, and the pour yielded a very healthy looking head atop a deep amber color.

It was beer! It looked like beer, smelled like beer, tasted like beer, the whole megilla. Sure, it wasn't quite done (it could use a bit more carbonation, and maybe sweeten just a tinge), but what we quaffed was something I would in no way be ashamed to serve to another human being.

Once we got over our giddy satisfaction, the two brewing Jews tried to do a little critical assessment. Basically, it's now a bit like a British bitter: warm, lightly carbonated and a little cloudy. There's a bit of a crisp feel when drinking, and a nice hoppy aftertaste that doesn't linger long.

All in all, I don't think we could be happier. We're letting the remaining 41 bottles sit for 1 more week, and then it's time to chill 'em and gather round for the official unveiling of Batch Alef from 2JB!


Monty said...

Can't wait to sample one. Or two, maybe.

neill said...

i've been wanting to brew for a few years. i does look like good times...