Beer is a pretty big deal in my household, so naturally I would fall into the ever so popular hobby of home brewing. After a few weeks of not-so-patiently waiting for the beer to be ready, it was finally go time. Bottle was cracked open, the sweet hissing sound that means the beer was carbonated, and poured into my glass for my first taste. Here are my thoughts on Northern Brewer’s recipe for the White House Honey Ale.
Before we talk about the taste, I do need to point out a couple things. The brewing process went relatively smoothly (read about that here). Bottling was a completely different story however. My first bottle was filled and capped, and things were moving as expected. Once I pushed down on the capper to crimp the cap on the second bottle, the bottle capper shattered into a few pieces. This led to me re-installing my airlock on my fermenter, and heading out to the local beer shop the following day, hoping that the remainder of my batch wasn’t ruined. That said, this is a review for that one and only bottle. The rest of my one gallon batch was drinkable, but you could tell that something was amiss. Overall, I am not too upset about it, I still drank it, and enjoyed it. As an added bonus to the beer, Northern Brewer sent out another recipe kit, and a new capper to boot for free. Talk about amazing customer service!
Anyway, onto the beer. Once poured, the beer was somewhat cloudy, but had a nice overall coloration. A decent sized head decided to show up, but dissipated quickly. The ale smelled sweet, with the scent of honey taking over. The beer smelled rather nice to be honest. Taste wise, the beer was not as good as it smelled. It was a decent, malt forward ale, with a sweet smell to it. I wish the honey flavor would’ve been more prevalent, but it was not a deal breaker. I was drinking a beer that I made myself. That is pretty awesome.
Apart from the capper situation, I do have a few changes that I am going to make before I brew this one again. I feel that my fermentation temperature was a little on the lower side, so that might have played into my rather uninspiring taste. Unfortunately, my basement is like the arctic tundra, so keeping the temperature of the fermenter above 60 degrees will take some ingenuity. Luckily though, I now have a small aquarium with the water temperature holding steady at 70 degrees, so after my next brew day the fermenter will take a nice long constant temperature bath. That should keep my yeast working like it should.
If you are thinking about making your own beer, you should just go ahead and do it. Here in Cincinnati, we are lucky to have quite a few beer shops in town:
Paradise Brewing Supplies
And if you do not have the local options, be sure to check out Northern Brewer with their wide variety of products, fast shipping, and amazing customer service!
Get Brewing Cincinnati!