Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mr. Beer Homebrewed IPA - taste test

A couple of months ago, I was in CVS Pharmacy, and saw that they had a closeout bargain-basement price on their Mr Beer Premium kits. Since they were 1/3 of the usual price, I bought all they had - 3 for the price of 1. I only wanted the fermenters, since I had both of my current fermenters tied up with beer and mead. Mr Beer's cans of mix are kinda small, so I decided to use all 3 of them in 1 batch of beer. I'm an admitted hop-head, so I decided to brew my own version of a Mr Beer India Pale Ale. These ales, also known as IPA's, were originally created with higher alcohol and additional hopping to help preserve them when they were being shipped from England to India, back when India was a colony of Britain. I took all 3 cans of West Coast Pale Ale mix, and added 1 bag of booster. Here's the procedure I used:
I put 1 gallon of water in a pot and dissolved the bag of booster. I then brought it to a boil and added 1 ounce of Columbus hops. I boiled the hops for 45 minutes, then added the 3 cans of West Coast Pale Ale mix. Ten minutes later, I added 1/2 oz of Centennial hops, which I boiled for 5 more minutes. I then cooled it in an ice bath and added the wort to a gallon of cold water that I had poured into the fermenter. I topped the fermenter off to the 8.5 liter mark and added 2 packages of Mr Beer yeast. I had planned on using all 3, but one of them was leaking, so I decided it would be a bad idea to use it. I left it in the fermenter for 3 weeks, primed and bottled using corn sugar, and then left it to carbonate for 2 weeks.
Today was the 2 week mark, so I threw 1 in the fridge this morning, anxious to give it a taste. It is good! Many people who first use Mr Beer, mention a tangy flavor that they notice. This beer does not have that. I was a little concerned about using the booster and Mr Beer yeast, but my concern was unfounded. This is a very hoppy brew, with a little sweetness, and a slight hint of alcohol in the finish. I don't know what the alcohol percentage is, but it is enough to get a buzz after 16 oz. I am lousy at brewing lighter colored beers, but this one turned out lighter than I expected. This was a very worthwhile experiment!

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