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teutonic terror

WCPA. Anyone else not impressed?

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I just opened my second bottle of WCPA that was brewed five weeks ago and has been in the bottle in the dark for three of those weeks.
To be honest, it must either, one, not be my type of beer or, two, it takes a very long time to condition!
It's still kinda bitter and with a mild cider finish!
It is the first brew I made and I did follow the directions to the letter!
As a comparison, the Whispering Wheat I brewed a few days after is almost gone! That is very mellow and quite tasty!
Just curious about what experiences you all have had with this refill!

Thanks!!

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My experience with WCPA was a mixed bag. I stored a few of the bottles on their sides and those werent carbonated enough and blah all the same. The ones stored upright were very carbonated and not bad. I found one that was in the fridge about a month and it wasnt bad. I can say this. It bridged the gap between non-brewer and home-brewer and Ive been hooked since. Not much experience but im 15 brews in and am enjoying it thoroughly. Its reminding me of a heineken commercial a few moons back. Men at the top of a staircase peering down the steps at presents all wrapped and then charging down to glory to find kegs and cases of heineken all wrapped and displayed just so. Like xmas morning or something. Priceless.

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I wasn't thrilled with the WCPA either, but I tend to like much heavier beers. The basic recipes are slightly less than 1/2 adjunct, so the cider taste isn't too surprising. More conditioning time will help with that. The bitter taste will probably condition out as well. My complaint with the first couple of batches I brewed, were that they tasted a little too thin. An extra can of UME will help fix that though, and will also reduce the cider flavor. If you haven't done so already, ready the sticky posts in the new brewer section.

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Since the WCPA is a pale ale style, it's going to have a more pronounced bitterness, especially when compared to a wheat beer. Keep in mind that wheat beers are often better when drunk early.

The mild cider finish you mentioned is also part of the style. Some people like it, some don't.

For your next batches, you might consider ordering either all-malt recipes from the Deluxe or Premium Refills, or else click on the Advanced Recipes link on the homepage and try some of those. Not only will you be getting more full-bodied and stylistically varied beers this way, but you'll be learning what styles you like, and what the flavor profiles of the various Mr. Beer extracts are.

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Agreed Photon! I'm just biding my time until I get the pipeline rolling! I've got three conditioning and three in the LBK with Cervesa de Cinco de Mayo going in the fourth keg this week!
I really don't drink alot, I just like the variety!
Thanks Dave! I'm not really familiar with this style of beer and I guess I was trying to get a feel for what it should taste like! I've pretty much been a BMC drinker for most of my life!
I'm trying to stick with the "recipes" per say, of the kits I have right now to learn the profiles! You are right too smgarrett about the heavier beers, I'm finding hoppy is not my preferred style!
I'm also considering ditching the booster altogether for the basic recipes and using LME or DME because I've read so much about the cidery taste associated with using it. Is this justified?
If I had brewed the WCPA with say, Xtra light DME, would it still have the bitterness or the cider finish?
I've already bottled two premium recipes, Sticky Wicket and Pilothouse Pilsner, and I'm really looking forward to when they are ready drink!

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I was not going to make it since it isn't really what I would buy.
I am glad I did. It means I had a little bit of experience going into my second batch.
I served it to some friends and the reaction was positive. I suppose if you drink mass produced stuff it is pretty darn good. If you drink real smaller batch craft beers than it is lacking. I liked it more than I thought I would.

Just my 2 cents (and being pretty new it may not even be worth that!).
I strongly recommend people who get this with the kit to make it. It is like a dress rehearsal to the real show.

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Keep in mind that it's made with Booster, too. Try the WCPA with the Pale UME and it's a completely different beer.

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I actually haven't used the WCPA since my first batch teutonic terror, so I can't say for sure. But I'd think replacing the booster with DME will remove the cidery taste. As for the bitterness you're tasting, that's probably the hops added to the HME. Pale ales are supposed to have a little bitterness though.
As for doing away with the booster altogether, I wouldn't blame you. It does seem to have it's uses though. As long as your malt ratio is high enough, you can use the booster to provide a little extra ABV and crispness. I've been looking at booster as being sort of the appendix of your beer; it can help a little, but you can easily live without it. Not to mention, it has the potential of getting you into big trouble.

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To be honest I really enjoyed my wcpa, but since it was my first it will always be special if you know what I mean :)
Since then all my Mr beer brews have been 2 cans of malt + booster, or 3 cans of malt.

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"Kealia" post=253153 said:

Keep in mind that it's made with Booster, too. Try the WCPA with the Pale UME and it's a completely different beer.

+1 on that. In fact, the WCPA + Pale Ale UME, Booster and 1/3 oz Tettanger hops for dry hopping is the "X-Treme X-Sport" recipe, which I've just recently sampled is pretty tasty. I plan on brewing that recipe again sometime.

Rick

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As a matter of fact, I'm finishing my very last liter today. I brewed it on 1/18/12 and bottled it 2/4/12 and have not been impressed with it but this last bottle is a lil better. I won't brew it again because it's not the style I like (I like HOPPY HOPPY HOPPY Beers) but I did it 1) to learn and get comfy with brewing and 2) just to say I did and get some confidence. I have used one can tho in a bastardized version with some DME and LOTS of hops and it's pretty good.

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I guess my first question to help you on your question is: what type of beer have you been drinking and what do you like? If you are looking for a good craft brew, the WCPA with booster won't cut it. If you are use to drinking BMC beers (bud millers coors) then the WCPA might be a little more then what you are use to. Give it a chance, I've done 3 batches of WCPA/booster when I first started and thought they were not real bad, but there is a lot out there that's much better.

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I think most of the advice offered is good. Have to like IPA style. I liked the basic mix with the booster. I made a number of the WCPA with UME and LME along with a few hop boils. They were great.
Drop the booster or use only 1/2 cup add Pale Ale UME or a light DME. If you are ready for hops add any of these: Amarillo or any of the C hops, a boil schedule of 30 min/20/10 would be good.

This one was really great,
American Premium Ale
West Coast Pale Ale HME
1.25 pnd NB Light Amber LME
1 Cup Booster 8 oz 1/2 pnd
Centennial Hop .25 boil 25 min
.25 boil 10 min

S05 yeast full pkt
Dry Hop 7 days .25 oz
My notes indicate it was hoppy.

Use the 3/2/2 format.

RR

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I won't be making it again but it's because it's just not my style. I like more body, more hops, more balance. But, it's a great first beer for the multitudes.

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I rather suspect the cider smell/taste is the result of the small yeast packets that come with the kit, possibly in combination with the booster. I haven't noted the cider smell/taste in commercial Pale Ales I've had. I think if you doubled the HMEs and pitched in an entire phial of liquid yeast, you'd get a fairly good beer.

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Given it was the first beer I brewed, I'm just glad it is drinkable.
May just be the style, or my brewing abilities! :P
Had a friend over last night that tried it and said that it wasn't bad and he liked ok.
Like I said before, I've been a BMC drinker most of my adult life and this is all pretty new to me!
I can never write these things off completely. I'll have to get another kit when I have more experience and try it again with DME and some of your recipes and see if that will improve my opinion of it.

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"Try the WCPA with the Pale UME and it's a completely different beer"

shoo, glad I heard that, this is what I'm Brewing tomorrow


American Premium Lager

1 Can West Coast Pale Ale HME
1 Can Pale Export (UME)
1 Packet Centennial Pellet Hops (no boiling)

my addition> 1/2 Pouch Booster™

Jim

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WCPA was my first as well, fond memories. There are 15 different recipes for WCPA so there are lots of options. I've done Golden Harp Ale a couple times. Give that one a try.

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"A.Larsen" post=253239 said:

I rather suspect the cider smell/taste is the result of the small yeast packets that come with the kit, possibly in combination with the booster. I haven't noted the cider smell/taste in commercial Pale Ales I've had. I think if you doubled the HMEs and pitched in an entire phial of liquid yeast, you'd get a fairly good beer.

Agreed on the cider taste not being to style. Here's the BJCP style guideline:

Flavor: Usually a moderate to high hop flavor, often showing a citrusy American hop character (although other hop varieties may be used). Low to moderately high clean malt character supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). The balance is typically towards the late hops and bitterness, but the malt presence can be substantial. Caramel flavors are usually restrained or absent. Fruity esters can be moderate to none. Moderate to high hop bitterness with a medium to dry finish. Hop flavor and bitterness often lingers into the finish. No diacetyl. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.

So, citrus, bready, toasty, biscuity, grassy: yes. Cider: no.

The assessment that the adjunct level or the ferment temp is the cause is likely spot-on. Usually a cider taste will condition out (unless it doesn't).

Here's Palmer's description of two off-flavors that you may be describing:

Cidery
Cidery flavors can have several causes but are often the result of adding too much cane or corn sugar to a recipe. One component of a cidery flavor is acetaldehyde which has a green-apple character. It is a common fermentation byproduct and different yeasts will produce different levels of it depending on the recipe and temperature. Cidery flavors are encouraged by warmer than normal temperatures and can be decreased by lagering.

If it is caused by aceto bacteria, then there is nothing to be done about it. Keep the fruit flies away from the fermentor next time.

Acetaldehyde
A flavor of green apples or freshly cut pumpkin; it is an intermediate compound in the formation of alcohol. Some yeast strains produce more than others, but generally it's presence indicates that the beer is too young and needs more time to condition.

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Guest System Admin

My first WCPA turned out great AFTER 12 weeks.

I messed up, I pitched yeast too hot (like 80*F) , fermented warm (around 70*F room temp) not sure what the LBK temp was since no "Brew-o-meter" and only fermented two weeks before bottling in 16oz Swing-top bottles.

At 4 weeks was vert disapointed, borg said give it 2 more weeks. Still disapointed, waited 2 more weeks for 8 weeks, started to taste better. So I waited 4 more weeks (12 weeks) the beer tasted ready to me,very good beer.

The last one I drank at 16 weeks was even better, I learned a very good leson from it, Patients makes better beer.

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Totally agree with Trollby here. In fact, I had a thread from over two years ago that stated that exact sentiment... Patience for me was an accident back in those days, but it's definitely an on-purpose now...

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While the WCPA wasn't great, it sure wasn't bad IMAO. I think it was a solid light beer. The bottles went a lot quicker than intended, that's for sure.
I like heavier beer styles, but the fact that I made it myself made it taste better. It's the start of a long journey I believe.
Don't get discouraged, you CAN make great beer!

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My frist batch was a WCPA and I didn't like it much at all. The last one or two I had were ok. So time will make it better. HOWEVER I bought and additional LBK on sale after Christmas and it came with a can of WCPA. I decided to brew it with some additions and WITHOUT booster. I used 2lbs of Munich LME and some Tettnang Hops. IT was awesome. Of the 5 batches I have brewed it was the best by far.

I would ditch booster and add some more malt. it's a good ingredient but alone it's kind of meh to bleh.

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my first batch was the Cerveza de Cinco de Mayo and I was quite surprised and impressed! Pretty sure I'll be doing that one again!

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I didn't care for it with booster, but my latest brew was WCPA mixed with Creamy Brown. That tasted pretty good tonight at bottling so I'm looking forward to it in 4 weeks.

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Well, it must not have been terrible, I finished the last bottle off this morning after work!
If I had to brew this kit again, the same way, it wouldn't happen.
I'll revisit it somewhere down the line and do it somewhat different to offset the bitterness!
That's why several of you "oldsters" recommend following the recipes!
Thanks for the advice!

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I did not like it. One can of extract is not enough to make beer. Should have at least 1 lb extract per gallon of water. Still better than commercial light beer. :S

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Found another can of WCPA. I have about 2 lbs of extra light DME and about 1/4 lb of Carapils.
Was think about steeping the grain and adding about 1 1/2 lbs of the DME and see what I get.
Is there another type of grain I could use that would would help balance the flavor?
I'm not really sure whether the bitterness and after taste was from booster or hops, but according to Qbrew the IBU would on this recipe would be about 17.
Curious if I should do a hop boil, or a flavoring addition or a dry hop or leave it alone? If any of the above, what type of hops would any one suggest?
I'm not a real hops fanatic, but it has it's place!

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"teutonic terror" post=254241 said:

Found another can of WCPA. I have about 2 lbs of extra light DME and about 1/4 lb of Carapils.
Was think about steeping the grain and adding about 1 1/2 lbs of the DME and see what I get.
Is there another type of grain I could use that would would help balance the flavor?
I'm not really sure whether the bitterness and after taste was from booster or hops, but according to Qbrew the IBU would on this recipe would be about 17.
Curious if I should do a hop boil, or a flavoring addition or a dry hop or leave it alone? If any of the above, what type of hops would any one suggest?
I'm not a real hops fanatic, but it has it's place!

Terror,

Did you find a bag of booster with that can of WCPA, or is the HME flying solo on this one before what you are going to add?

If you have the booster, than I would just add one lb of the DME. Without the booster, I might add both lbs, or 1 1/2 lbs. That's just one opinion. Wait for more and weigh them out to your own taste.

Next, the 1/4 lb Carapils is good for body and head. It's not supposed to change color or flavor.

If you are looking for another grain to help balance the bitterness you're perceiving, I personally like the Crystals or Honey Malt to add a little sweetness. You'll probably prefer a lower number on the Crystals, like a 10 or a 20, unless you like you're beer to have a darker color, which I happen to like. Again, wait for more options from people with different tastes, and then decide for yourself.

As for the hops, once again, that's a matter of personal taste. If you use that can of WCPA and either a booster and a DME or two DME's, you may or may not want to add more hops. You did say you were trying to ease up on the bitterness. Maybe do a hop boil that has little or no bitterness, and more flavor and aroma to it, by using shorter times.

Best of luck!

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Hell, I was ecstatic with the WCPA. Not that it was that great, but damn it, I made it. And I figured I could make better after I got the process down.

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Along the WCPA lines, I let mine ferment for 11 days and tested it and it tasted like pure beer, no sweetness. I was surprised at how good a booster recipe like that would taste especially when I saw people blasting this recipe. Is 2 weeks in the fermenter just a rule of thumb or even if it tastes like beer, it still needs to sit in there for that amount of time? I took a a small sample just out of curiosity with the intention of waiting the full fourteen days and tried to find that cidery, incomplete fermentation taste but I couldn't. Is that normal? I have it bottled and waiting for them to finish. But with that said, even though it was flat, warm, and cloudy, it actually tasted like well above decent beer. Like something you'd spend 7-8 dollars on for a six pack at the shop. So I can't wait for the next 4-5 weeks to drink them and see how much improvement there will be.

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The first WCPA was OK but weak.
Then I Started with UME LME and hops. Made a few, all quite good
Here is the lastest I just cracked at 4 weeks


#34

West Coast Pale Ale Limey

WCPA HME
Pale Ale Export UME

2-Limes zest and juice

Hops
Amarillo 1/4 40
1/4 20
1/4 10/7/5 drop pellets

Yeast 3 MRb

OG 1.040 60*

BOTTLE> 3/24
FG 1.014 45*


Bottled > 6-qt pet 5-16 oz pet
Prime 74 g booster

ABV 3.6%

One tested on 4/22. Very good light and limey. Will age for another week and try one.
I only put one in the fridge at a time. Let the others age longer.

R

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I thought the WCPA was rather bland when I brewed it. However, my relatives liked it best (they like bland American brews that are not too hoppy) of the three brews I let them taste. They did not like the ADIPA at all (I liked it) and were OK with the Oatmeal Stout (IMO, my best brew to date - its a good stout). So I will make it again when we get together, but I won't make the straight Mr. Beer WCPA just for me.

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