Our one-gallon batch of Brooklyn Brew Shop's Everday IPA homebrew is out of the fermenter and finally in our fridge. We cracked open the first bottle this past weekend, a moment of great excitement and anticipation. Did we mess up somewhere along the way? Would it be drinkable? Possibly better than drinkable? Our fingers were crossed.
The IPA poured a hazy golden-brown with an impressive fluffy head of foam. That head stuck around through the whole pint, leaving light lacing on the sides of the pint glass.
The aromas coming off that head were mostly sweet malts with very little hops presence, which was a little disappointing. It reminded us of honey-nut cherrios: sweet, nutty, and a bit grainy.
The first sip made us smile. We might have missed the mark on the aroma hops, but the bittering and flavoring hops seemed to have done their job. The beer is a nice balance of sweet nougat malt flavors and lemony hops. Fairly mellow overall - no big hops punch here - but lots of interesting flavors play across the tongue.
It also has a very nice mouthfeel. It's medium-bodied and creamy with an excellent crisp finish. Our final gravity was also a very respectable 1.012, giving us an ABV of 4.2%.
The Brew Shop's instructions had us prime the bottles with honey, and we were surprised at how much this flavor came through. It wasn't unpleasant, exactly, but we did think that it muddied the flavors a bit. If we make this again, we'll definitely go back to using corn sugar for the bottling step.
We also think that we haven't been boiling our wort hot enough, which is probably why the hops didn't have quite as strong a presence as we were expecting. We've typically just kept the wort at a simmer, but we recently learned that a rapid boil is needed to really dissolve those hops resins. It also helps precipitate some of the proteins in the wort, making the final beer more clear. We'll know for next time!
Overall an excellent beer. We actually found ourselves wishing that we had another six-pack or two to enjoy. This one-gallon batch will be gone far too quickly!
• Find It! Everyday IPA 1-Gallon Beer Kit, $40 from Brooklyn Brew Ship
(Image: Emma Christensen)