I couldn’t wait any longer, so last night I cracked open my first bottle of my first batch of beer. While I found it lacking in a few areas, I am reasonably pleased with how the B. Brewery’s first beer, Naismith Nut Brown Ale, turned out.

My first concern, as I mentioned last week, was that I had presented too much oxygen in the bottling process and there might be some off odors/flavors present. First thing I did last night was smell the beer. All I smelled was the pleasant, malty, nuttiness you expect from a brown ale. When I poured it, the beer produced a terrific head, a sign the bottle conditining had worked properly. Another sniff before tasting and still no off odors. Then the first taste. It was pretty darn good. I don’t think anyone would confuse it with a quality brown ale you would get from a microbrewer, but the beer had the lingering maltiness that I love from the style.1

The beer continued to drink well as I worked through the glass, but a couple issues popped up. First, if anything the beer was over-carbonated. I left too much liquid behind when I poured from the boiling kettle to the fermenter, so my final yield was 43 bottles instead of the 50 or so that I should have got. I guess that was a big enough discrepancy to make the final product a little too bubbly.

Second, the flavor is not quite as full as I would expect or prefer. I don’t know if it’s the carbonation that is hiding the flavor or something else. I would say 80% of the taste is fine, but you don’t get hit with the delicious, nut-browniness at the beginning of your sip. I’m going to send a couple bottles to one of my brothers in brewing and see what his thoughts are.

But overall I’m very pleased with the final result. This is only based on one bottle, so hopefully that will still be true as I drink more and the beer ages a little more. My biggest concern about home brewing was doing something wrong and having two cases of beer that I didn’t like and couldn’t get rid of. That’s not a problem, which for a first batch, is enough to call it a success.

Now I have to figure out what to brew next.

  1. I have a six pack of Red Hook Nut Brown Ale in the fridge. If you like that style, find some of this, because it is excellent. It’s so good it probably made it hard for me to evaluate my beer.