Mr. Beer West Coast Pale Ale

T onight I decided to drink my last bottle of home-brew… my first home-brew mind you, that I made late October. Kind of fitting. A brew I made back in the Fall being consumed on the night that finally ends the football season. Right now I’m like everyone else wondering how long before they can get Joe the electrician to fix the lights in the Super Dome. I guess Mercedes Benz didn’t pay the power bill.

I got a Mr. Beer brewing kit two Christmases ago from Brett. Back in the Fall I decided it was time to finally brew it. I did it after cleaning up my laundry room. I finally had room to put the fermenter out. A week later I open the home winemaking kit I got the previous Christmas.

The kit was for West Coast Pale Ale. Funny that the Mr. Beer website doesn’t mention this kit. I guess it was hip two years ago. It says it is part of their International series on the label on the can. Their site doesn’t mention an International Series.

Anyway the kit is pretty straight forward as I described back in October. You can pretty much have it done in about 30 minutes. Add 15 minutes if the stupid cat keeps bugging you since you are within the vicinity of her food bowl.

The kit comes with 8- 32oz brown plastic bottles. That’s 2 gallons of beer. I followed a recommendation I found on the Mr. Beer Fans website saying let it ferment for 2 full weeks rather than the suggested 1 to 2 weeks.

If you decide to give Mr. Beer a try I do recommend you mark the last 2 bottles you fill because most likely you’ll pick up some of the yeast sludge from the bottom of the fermenting tank. The last bottle or so will probably have a much different taste from the other 7.

After 2 weeks of primary fermenting you place about a teaspoon of sugar in each bottle before you fill it with beer. This sugar will ferment and create the carbonization that gives it some fizz and a head when you pour it. After you bottle it you wait about another 2 weeks then you start conditioning it. I put half in the little wine cooler the others I left out at room temperature.

I shared this brew with several people. I got positive reports from each. I can’t sit down and drink 32 oz. of beer on a regular basis. I was glad to share.

This was a pretty good brew. Nice dark amber color. Malty taste. When it warms up you start to pick up some slight sweet fruit taste and a slight bitter tone pops up on the finish. I can’t say that every bottle I opened tasted exactly the same. The one I bottled last with the dead yeast tasted totally different. Very heavy dense jammy sour fruit flavor.

Kentucky Pie
Mrs. Dan’s Kentucky Pie

I might add it went nicely with the Kentucky Pie that Mrs. Dan made for the game (it has turkey bacon, ham, crescent roll dough and egg). Went pretty good with the cheap chili and lime flavored wings she bought at Walmart.

I’ve always wanted to try making home-brew and maybe this was a good intro. But to be honest there are so many beers out there I want to try and I can’t possibly add 2 gallons or so of brew every few months to my consumption and not gain 20 pounds. If I could ride my bike 20 miles each day it would be a different matter.

Oh, I guess the Super Bowl is finally over. Poor CBS. They had 34 minutes added after the lights went off and the Raven’s QB just threw the F Bomb to an open mike when congratulating his teammates. Congratulations to the Ravens. (To be honest I could really careless who won. I’m still pissed Atlanta didn’t make it).

The greatest part of this home-brew experiment was it only cost me about 50 cents in sugar, some time and some bottled water. I don’t buy or drink cheap beer. But for the Super Bowl I made an exception. I drank my own cheap beer. And the best part is I got 2 refill kits for Christmas. Hopefully this time it won’t take 2 Christmases for me to make them.

This shot I took with some pizza with the next to the last bottle. This shows the color much better.
This shot I took with some pizza with the next-to-last bottle. This shows the color much better.

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