This morning I brewed the "Common Room ESB" recipe found elsewhere on this site. Right before I drained the (cooled) boil kettle into the fermenter, I drew a gravity sample to see where my O.G. was going to land. It was a little low, but not enough to worry about. I removed the hydrometer from the sample tube and prepared to taste the sample. I knew what to expect, and suddenly it occurred to me.
This is incredibly rare.
Not only was I about to taste unfermented wort, but I KNEW what it should taste like. That's extremely rare.
Duck a l'Orange is a pretty exotic dish, but if you live in a reasonably-sized metropolitan area and have $50 to blow, you can taste it. Likewise with truffles, pho, or calamari. They're not your everyday cuisine, but any Joe with the cash can find out what they taste like.
But unfermented wort isn't sold anywhere. There are no restaurants you can go to to taste it. Pretty much the only way to taste it is to make it yourself, or have a relationship with a homebrewer. I'd be so bold as to suggest that less than 0.1% of the population has ever tasted wort.
So why would you take your gravity sample, and then just dump it out? It's absolutely not going to be harmful to you (it was just boiling 15 minutes ago), and such a tiny sliver of society will ever taste such a thing - why not taste it and gain a palate for wort?
I'm not saying I'd ever come inside after a hard day of physical labor and crave an ice cold glass of flat, unfermented beer, but I suddenly realized how extremely rare it is to know what to expect as I raised that sample cylinder to my lips.
Just some random musings. Thoughts?