I cracked open my first ESB from the revival batch and it’s not bad. It has a nice malt flavor with a noticeable bitter finish. It has an amber color, but is a little cloudy. There is also a good bit of sediment in the bottles. For the first time in my homebrewing journey, I didn’t do a secondary fermentation, so I’m assuming that is what’s responsible for that. Overall, it’s entirely drinkable, but still has that “extract homebrew” taste and feel to it.
I also used some Munton’s conditioning tablets in the bottles, since I wanted to get away from using corn sugar. I’m not totally sold on them. After a week they’ve almost completely dissolved, but I did see some tablet particles in the beer I tried today. I’ll have to see if I still see anything after another week or two.
So I’m pretty relieved that after a six month layoff I still know how to brew, but I think this has reaffirmed that if I’m going to grow any more as a homebrewer, I need to start pushing my boundaries and either go all-grain or start doubling the ingredient amounts in these recipes. I’m a huge fan of big beers, and my homebrews haven’t lived up to that expectation so far.