Mr Beer West Coast Pale Ale - First batch review
65 Blade Chainsaw
Mr Beer's West Coast Pale Ale is a standard refill recipe that comes with most of Mr Beer Kits. The refill comes with a can of W.C Pale Ale Hopped Malt Extract, packet of Yeast, a pouch of Booster and a packet of their One Step Sanitizer. Done correctly, this Pale Ale will yield two gallons of brew for and alcohol content of 3.7% ABV and lightly hopped for an International Bitterness Unit of 14 IBUs.
Aside of being my first brewed recipe with Mr. Beer, West Coast Pale Ale is my first home beer making effort ever! I followed all the directions exactly as listed and took every recommendation. For example, the literature claims that you could be drinking this recipe in two weeks, but fine print recommendations suggest fermenting for two weeks, bottling for three weeks, and finally conditioning the bottles for an additional several weeks.
Since I had plenty of the store bought stuff, I fermented for two weeks, bottled for three weeks and cold conditioned the bottles for one week for some and two for others.
We had some guests over from North Carolina over the weekend and it was the perfect time to try out a tasting. And just like the reaction my wife and I had a week earlier when we sneak tasted, we all had the same reaction, "This is pretty good!" And even after some more tastings and servings, we all added, "It's very good!"
Onto The Method
6.5/10 - The Classic
A noticeable element missing from the classic is the sound, usually lost in most beers as we take it for granted. But I took three weeks to carbonate the bottles, so it's worth mentioning. The plastic bottles were firm, and the twist of the cap belted out a crisp tszzzz , the sound of carbonation!
1.5 - Appearance – West Coast Pale Ale pours a very light and clear straw with amazingly ambitious carbonation rising to the top, creating a bright white fluffy head that leaves no lacing.
1.0 - Aroma – Smells like beer! A nice hoppy zing fills the nose while the air is freshly saturated with carbon dioxide.
1.5 - Taste – Surprisingly tasty with a mild bitterness and a very light malt sweetness. The mild barley malt extract base joins with the corn starch to rob some of its essence.
0.5 - Palate – Very light and easy going down while being crisp and refreshing. The corn starch does add a bit of a greasy undertone that's hard to shake off.
2.0 - Overall – While it isn't exactly perfect, it's surprisingly tasty and really great to look at. Plus, it's homebrewed! It's my first homebrewed beer and first batch with Mr. Beer. So its imperfection is mostly forgiven because of its novelty and its authentic strong points. I'm also inspired to brew the second batch I purchased separately - and its currently in the second week of fermenting (I'm giving that batch three weeks since I added some extra fruit and sugar).
4.0/10 Blades - The Hammer – the booze - Well the hammer doesn't have a chance here. It's a 3.7% beer alcohol content in ABV and is about the same strength as a commercial light beer, so it'll take a bit more to take any toll.
8.0/10 Blades - The Knife – digestibility - The thin body and easy ingredients is what gives this brew a sharp knife. It's quite easy to process and drink many of these bottles without getting full - very much like a light beer, but even lighter.
3.0/10 Blades - The Spider – the lift - It takes a long, long, long time to feel any effects. I definitely feel that the fermentation and alcohol production went well; I taste it and feel it, but it is a low alcohol beer and therefore slow at its purpose. After a good four servings you feel a light buzz working its way up, as well as an inclination to shoot down some tequilas!
10/10 Blades - The Motor –can you handle it? - Easy! No problems here. The body is light and easy to digest while the alcohol is super low and highly controllable - there's really nothing that can stop this motor except maybe a loss of interest. But since that hasn't happened, we keep on rolling!
33.5/50 Blades - The Buzz – Mr. Beer's West Coast Pale Ale gets most if its chainsaw blades because it is a homebrewed beer and because it is my first experience with homebrewing. But additional blades are added because it actually tastes really good - surprisingly good. Better than much of the commercially available light beers out there. And West Coast Pale Ale looks pretty amazing with its ambitious carbonation and healthy head and retention. It smells like beer, tastes like pretty good beer and is your very own proud creation.
But at 3.7% ABV, West Coast Pale Ale is a very light beer that takes a long time to produce much effects. Which really needs to be tailored to the experience. In our case, we had guests drinking some of this good brew while mixing in some tequila shots and margaritas - and adding all that stuff together will no doubt get you hammered.
I personally waited a good four servings before joining the crowd with added festivities to get a feel for my brew. And while it isn't entirely strong, it's totally fun and inspires me to continue brewing with plans to make some stronger beer to come!
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