Jeff and I are about to start our 4th brew day some time this month. We already have two   batches ready for drinking and the 3rd batch has been bottled and will be ready to drink soon too. I don’t even know how many 6 packs we have stored away in the basement right now, but it’s a lot.

I realized recently that I never even told you how our first batch turned out! So, I thought I’d show you just how it stacks up against the original Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that it was crafted to imitate.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and our clone

The Sierra Nevada pours very crisp and clear…

Sierra Nevada poured

Ours was a little cloudier.

Our clone poured

We left the last bit of ours in the bottle since it’s full of settled yeast sludge. Yuck.

yeast sludge in our beer

As you can see, the Sierra Nevada (left) is noticeably clearer and lighter in color.

side by side clarity comparison

Jeff checking the two in the light…

Checking clarity in the light

But how does it taste? Well, when we first tried it it was very close in flavor to the original. Crisp and clean with a subtle hoppiness and bright citrus. There was a bit of a strange flavor that Jeff noticed more than I did that he attributed to not letting it age long enough, so we decided to give it more time to age in the bottle.

Me tasting the pale ale

2 weeks later, we tried it again…

Jeff trying our pale ale 2 weeks later

This time it poured much clearer as the yeast sludge had completely settled and was caked into the bottom hard enough that it didn’t stir up again. The flavor had taken on a bit of a fruity note though. Not bad, just not as near to the flavor of the original Sierra Nevada as it was before.

Overall though, I’d say our first brew was a complete success. The beer tastes really good even if it isn’t exactly like the beer it was modeled after.

Now we’re trying to decide what to make for our 4th batch. Definitely something fresh and clean for summer like an IPA.

What is your favorite summer beer? Or, what’s your favorite refreshing warm-weather beverage?