I have a confession to make—I didn’t love my beer. I’ve been trying to find a way to say that for two weeks. It feels like a mom thinking her baby isn’t cute. These things just aren’t said. But I couldn’t lie about it—not here for the whole world to see.
When the time came to crack open a bottle of the homemade brew after weeks of waiting, my diligent accomplice throughout the brewing process, Sara, and I decided to make an event out of it (which means we fixed some gnocchi with fresh mozzarella and actually ate at the table). The beer would make the perfect liquid accompaniment.
Or so we thought.
My initial disappointment came from the complete lack of fizz in the poured beer. There was no hiss when I opened the bottle; there were no bubbles swimming up from the bottom of the glass; there was no frothing head. All in all, it looked pretty unappealing, like being served some sort of alcohol-scented juice when what you wanted was an IPA so bitter it makes your taste buds shrivel.
Determined to enjoy my creation, I tried to put aside my lackluster first impression of the-beer-with-no-name and took the inaugural sip. Again, I was disappointed. For all its boldness in smell, the taste left much to be desired. It did, at least, calm my fear that I messed up the carbonation stage of brewing—I couldn’t see the bubbles, but I could feel them. Fruity notes dominated the flavor profile. I wrinkled my nose. As a general rule, I’m not a fan of fruity beers. If I want to taste a banana, I’ll eat one.
After downing the one liter bottle (I don’t throw out alcohol, even if it does bore my palate), I decided my dislike of the beer may have been a result of too-heightened expectations, and perhaps a bit of user error in maintaining the proper temperature for the fermentation keg and bottles (I’m not an expert yet, okay?).
I left the rest of the bottles slumbering in their dark nook in my closet to hopefully help the beer enhance its flavor and carbonation. From what I’ve read, the longer you wait, the better it tastes. Here’s hoping.