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Northwest Pale Ale in BJCP comp

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Received a Mr Beer kit in 2008 for Christmas, went to all grain about 6 months later, and have been brewing ever since. I joined the Mr Beer sister site (MrBeerFans.com) that same year and have been a moderator over there the last few years.

I have entered several homebrew competitions over the years and have threatened to enter a MrBeer brew just to see what happens.  I've heard award winning homebrewer turned pro, Jamil Zanisheff, repeatedly claim that the biggest difference between the canned extract brewer and an all grain brewer is the level of experience. The average MrBeer brewer is new to cleaning/sanitation/fermentation procedures. Well, time to put this theory to the test.

I do plan some procedure modification just for the sake of consistency on my part.  I'm used to what I'm used to ;)

I also plan on some additional late hopping as well as possibly gelatin filtering. Game day decision on that.

Felt the need to post this up front. After the fact just didn't feel right.

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It will be interesting to hear your results when you have them.  I have entered brews in the past that included MrBeer HMEs along with other ingredients, and received some reasonably good scores.  I have a Cranberry Wheat and a specialty beer stated as American Amber base with raisins and slight Belgian character coming up in the California State Fair and my county fair, using MrBeer HMEs and other additions. 

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It is interesting you choose the Northwest Pale Ale.

I recently ordered a couple of refills to brew in my 3 gallon Better Bottles. The Northwest Pale Ale was one of them.

It will be interesting to see the scores and comments on your entry.

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What would be interesting is doing one straight up, and another with steeping grains or hop additions or something else and see what the difference is.  It would really drive home the point to new brewers about getting to know the basic beer first and THEN trying different things to see how it improves (or doesnt).

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There was very little hop aroma coming from the opened cans of extract. I used an oz each of Amarillo and Citra at flameout and plan on another oz of each dry hopped. I also used distilled water and it is slowly chugging away with the US-05 at 60 degrees. It won't be filtered. We'll see....

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I just did a NWPA with a LB of Pilsen DME and an ounce of Citra. Been in the LBK 2 days now.

I boiled the DME with 1/3oz of Citra and added the HME at flameout. I put the remaining 2/3oz citra in a hopsack into the LBK with a gallon of ice cold water, added the wort and topped off to the bottom of the Q.

I’ve done the same additions with the Bewitched and PATRIOT lager with very tasty results.

**And I never really get good hop aroma from a can of HME (MRB, Coopers and others) so I almost always do a hop addition when using them.

GOOD LUCK on the BJCP Competition! 

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I would bet this will be a winner.  My only issue with the NWPA is the lack of a good nose.  The beer is well balanced and the hop blend is nicely blended with the malt taste... but the beer has no real hop smell.  I was considering brewing straight but dry hopping with Liberty hops....

Keep us updated on your results...

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Will do lkmjbc.

Like I mentioned, I did the same with the BA and Patriot refills.

However, I did go a little overboard and put 3lbs of LME in with the Patriot (since that’s what I had left from a 6lb jug). It came out about 7.5% abv. I limit myself to 2 of these, even on the weekends, as it has quite the kick.

What’s surprising is it still isn’t very ‘malty’ even with the extra I added. A little more malt is coming now through since it’s been 2 months in the bottle and the big Citra flavor/aroma is starting to subside, but Citra is still is the major player in this brew. I got a lot of citrus/grapefruit notes between 2-4 weeks, but as it ages I get more tropical fruit than the citrus.

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Well, 29 overall. The individual judge's scores were 25, 30, and 32. Feedback and recipe are below.

Northwest APA

4 gallon batch

OG: 1.049

FG: 1.010

5.11% abv

SRM: about 6 (guesstimate)

IBU: 40 (Read that somewhere, but can't find it now)

2 Cans MrBeer Northwest Pale Ale

1 oz Amarillo (8.8%) flameout

1 oz Citra (14.0%) flameout

1 oz Amarillo (8.8%) dry hop 7 days

1 oz Citra (14.0%) dry hop 7 days

Rehydrated US-05 (with nutrient)

Pitched @ 60 degrees

2 days of active fermentation @ 60 degrees

12 days @ 65


Overall Score: 29

Judge#1: 25

Judge#2: 30

Judge#3: 32

Aroma: 6/12 8/12 7/12


sweet and caramelly aroma with medium high fruitiness. Strong

butterscotch aroma. Somewhat raisny. Too Sweet and fruity for style.

--Initial hop aroma is tropical fruity. Some underlying honey notes.


fruit notes, raisins, apricot and caramel. Smeels flavorful and has a

hint of citrus. Almost toasted caramel after breathing.

Appearance: 2/3 2/3 2/3

--Very hazy amber with moderate head.

--Deep gold color, hazy. Thin but lasting head.

--Yellow orange with strong haze. Low head retention that is off white and satiny.

Flavor: 10/20 11/20 14/20


garlicky flavor predominent and lasts into finish with a peachy flavor

that comes out in the end. Medium high bittering with a metallic

aftertaste. Very dry finish. Underlying malt is toasty, biscuity, and


--Initial hop flavor is woody. Malty is fairly dull,

biscuity. Some tropical, pineapple hop flavor. Bitterness is apparent

and in style. Honey-like flavor dulls hop flavor.

--Initial sweetness

immediately ends with a dry and bitter bite. Strong citrus flavors

blended into caramel and honey. Malt not as complex as aroma. Earthy hot

finish brings bright refreshing quality to an end.

Mouthfeel: 2/5 3/5 4/5

--Medium body and very dry. High CO2 and slight carbonic bite. Slightly astringent at first.

--Thin to medium body. Moderate carbonation. Subtle alcohol warmth, slightly astringent.

--Body is medium light with high carbonation. Finishes dry with a hop resin lingering.

Overall Impression: 5/10 6/10 5/10


attempt on the style, but missed the mark. Aroma is very sweet and

fruity for style. Hop flavor - bitterness is too harsh. Not in balance.

Also appears to be a bit oxidized.

--Beer is well made. Specialty

malt could be lowered to help accentuate hop flavor. Hop additions of

10-20 could help bring hop flavor forward.

--Could be better matched

with flavors presented in aroma. Body a bit lighter than expected, but

caramel flavor is tasty. Clean and refreshing with an unexpected earthy

drop. Work on ingredient compilation.

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