Nookie Day!

Six weeks after we started, we finally got to taste our first batch of homebrew. Meg and I hosted the event at our place, where we would also be having Easter dinner. I think we were all a little nervous about how it would end up and I was fully prepared for the possibility that we’d have to let the beer condition in the bottle for another few weeks.

I opened the first bottle and was relieved to hear the hiss of escaping CO2. I poured the beer a little aggressively, in case there wasn’t enough carbonation. Turns out that wasn’t necessary, since the pour produced a huge, fluffy head. So far, so good.

First pour

The aroma was really nice, although not as strong as I thought it would be after we dry-hopped it. The first taste was really a surprise. It was very, very good! I think all of us were kind of stunned that it turned out so well. Most home brews that I’ve tried seem to taste just a little bit “off.” I don’t know why this is the case, but they always seem a little sweet, or the yeast has a strange flavor, or there is very little carbonation. The Nookie has none of those issues. I think we can credit Northern Brewer’s recipe and our insistence on using the best possible ingredients. I think this bodes well for our future batches . . . or maybe we just got a healthy dose of beginner’s luck.

"Hey, this isn't bad at all!"

We enjoyed the rest of the day, eating some great food (courtesy of Meg, Heather, and Brandi) and sampling more Nookie and a few other beers. Judging by the 10 (!) empty bottles of our beer I found later, I think everyone enjoyed our first foray into home brewing.

Bonus Coverage!

Here is a video I shot right after our first taste. I think you can tell how bemused we are about how well the beer turned out. Meg makes a cameo appearance along with her leg of lamb.

Next up: fun with Farmhouse 11!

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4 thoughts on “Nookie Day!

  1. I am a huge fan of that label. Also, I don’t get all the off-flavors in other people’s brews, especially IPA’s. The IPA is the easiest to get right, IMO. I’m just checking out the blog for the first time. Which NB recipe did you use? Is this all-grain or extract? What was the hop bill?

    • Thanks! I plan on abusing Photoshop and making labels for every beer we brew. I guess hops can cover up a lot of imperfections in a beer. We used the NB Chinook IPA extract kit with specialty grains for this one. The hop bill called for (if memory serves) three one ounce pellet additions during the boil and one ounce during the dry hop phase. We added another two ounces of whole leaf in the dry-hopping phase, which I think really helped the aroma.

      Thanks for checking out the blog!

      • I used to do my own labels, but it became expensive. I recently ordered a custom rubber stamp and mailing labels for all future brews.

        I am a firm believer in the whole-leaf hop. I also replace liquid extract called for in a NB kit with the same amount of dry.

        Most of my beers are based on NB recipes, but I make changes described above. Then, I fool around with other aspects of the recipe, usually resulting in more hops at the end of the boil or in the the dry-hop. My first beer was the Dead Ringer IPA (formerly Three Hearted Ale). I’ve since taken that basic IPA recipe and changed the hops around. The best was a Simcoe-only brew called Simcoe-Dependency.

        Cool idea for a blog. I look forward to reading what you guys do next.

      • I can see how the labels would get expensive. We’ll probably only print out a handful for each batch in the future. I’ll have to look into the dry extract substitution method as well. I imagine we will fool around with extract kits for a while, then move on to partial mash, and possibly all-grain from there. I definitely foresee a return to brewing IPAs after we explore some of the other styles. Simcoe-Dependency sounds awesome.

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