At long last, the beer meets my lips. And since I'm drinking it while I type this, it has not caused me to die. So, by any tolerable measures of success in a first-batch, I think we passed.
It has been a very long time since my last post-- I am well aware. Work has been nuts, Magoo has been needier than usual (we're sure he's growing teeth... somewhere), and in the pauses, I am just not up for posting. So, to catch y'all up:
We bottled last Tuesday, on Feb 26. We got seven bottles out of a gallon fermenter, short of the 10 bottles I was counting on. We ended up having to pour the beer into the bottles through a funnel, which is absolutely not what you're supposed to do. The beer got crazy aerated, but we bottled it without much problem. And none of the bottles exploded, which is an acceptable bonus.
You should have seen the look on my wife's face when I mentioned that possibility.
Now, the beer has been happily conditioning in its new dark homes in a cabinet in the kitchen for over a week. Tonight, we decided it was appropriate to celebrate my first big SAS program at work running without a hitch by opening up one of these babies and pouring it out. Oh, I was nervous. And excited. I would usually argue that these are the same thing, but I was too excited and nervous to think.
I poured it correctly, leaving the yeast in the bottom... where it belongs. I don't want gas tonight.
I smelled it, and it was passing, but I thought it smelled a little funny. Like fruit and marshmallows. I mean, beer, too. But it took me by surprise. Then I took a sip.
Flat. Damn it.
And it was really sweet! Very dark, very fruity, and I registered almost zero hops. I was very disappointed. However, it's still better than most of the beer at the store. And it does finish clean with hazelnut, which is pretty baller.
Maybe I'll go a little simpler with the next one. And maybe scale up to a bucket.