Homebrew Review: Rose-Cheeked & Blonde

Homebrew Review: Rose-Cheeked & Blonde
Rose-Cheeked & Blonde ale on the right, Bourbon Dubbel on the left.

So after I tried out a Brooklyn Brew Shop kit for my first homebrew, I decided to launch myself into their “Beer Making Book.” Since it was mid-February I figured I’d make a beer from their “Spring” section, so that it would be ready right in time for March 21st.

I picked out two recipes (Rose-Cheeked & Blonde ale and Tea & Toast ale) because I figured I’d be ambitious and make two new beers. TWO IS BETTER THAN ONE. Then I headed to Brew ‘n’ Grow to get ingredients and more equipment.

Considering that I’d only made one beer before this and everything I needed for that came in one box with all the ingredients in a bag and all I had to do was dump the bag in a pot, I was SWEATING A LOT when I went to the brew store because I had no idea what to expect. But they were reasonably nice when I asked for help and persuaded me to only do one recipe since I’d have to buy one pound bags of grain for each type that I needed and I didn’t need that much. (They’ve since changed to a “scoop your own grain” system, THANK GOD.) So I went with the Rose-Cheeked & Blonde ale recipe. It called for only three different types of grain, less than the Tea and Toast.

Then I had to weigh the right amount of each grain before milling it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t do that part right and I think I ended up with a little less grain than I actually needed. And I couldn’t find any rose petals. But I figured it’d still be alright.

The brewing went a little more smoothly than my first time and I bought an auto-siphon, so the bottling was a BREEZE. The end result was just okay, I think. I actaully don’t really remember. I know it didn’t really have any kind of rose flavor like it was supposed to. Probably because I only used rose hips instead of also using rose petals.

But this was a good experience. I made some adjustments to what I was doing when I brewed and bottled and then moved on from there. I’ll say that I still don’t think I was exactly having fun when I was brewing, but it was, at least, something new to do. It was just kind of a little too long and laborious and also kind of insanely expensive. I mean, I could go out a buy 6 good beers for $10 instead of spending 4 hours trying to make a “just okay” beer for $30-$40. Or, I could buy 1,000 terrible beers (that I actually love) for $40. That’s what I usually did (and still do).

I did keep going, though. Next up…Bourbon Dubbel.