Seasons greetings, Happy New Year and assorted other sundry greetings to you…
If you hadn’t noticed I took Christmas off, you know: family stuff, crap weather and a general lack of motivation kept me away from the keyboard.
But I’m back now and I’ve got a nicely effusive start to the new year in the form of a review of the Coopers Wheat Beer kit.
Now, this is a canned kit and costs about twelve quid so I wasn’t expecting much…but you can be surprised sometimes…
(I’m not going to bore you with the details of how to make a canned kit (you can see my review of the Woodfordes Wherry kit for that: https://yeastismybitch.com/2015/01/19/ontestwoodfordesale-wherrybeerkitwithatwistortwo/ for a simple procedure)
Being a good boy and not wanting to piss off Father Christmas too much (NEVER “Santa”, I’m English for Chrissakes) I followed the kit instructions to the letter – including adding the 500g of DME and 1Kg of white sugar…in fact, I followed them diligently, right up until the bit where it said “sprinkle in the included yeast”. At that point I dumped in a great load of WLP300 slurry from my just-bottled all-grain Hefeweizen, straight out of the just emptied fermenter.
How d’ye like that Father Christmas? Huh?
Four hours after pitching and the WLP300 had erupted everywhere to spread it’s festive payload of merry sludge onto to the carpets and internal decor of the house. But it smelt good, damn good, just like warm freshly baked bread.
God I love WLP300, it’s just so crackers.
Two weeks later I transferred the lot to a Cornelius keg, not bottles. (Yeah, what’s that you say Father Christmas? You should always bottle a wheat beer? Yeah? Deal with it, man…)
Two hours after kegging I was drinking and enjoying a criminally undercarbonated, but fresh and tasty, Coopers wheat beer.
After another week or so – and despite my best efforts – the beer had dropped crystal clear, I tried agitating the keg a bit to get the yeast back up in suspension, but didn’t have any joy.
But, as a clear wheat beer, it was really great, like a Kristallweizen with it’s pretty straw-yellow colour. As a bonus the head hung about for a bit too.
I will say that it took a bit of farting about to get the carbonation right in the corny keg, but that’s only because I have no kegerator and have to rely on the ambient temperature…but as the carbonation came right this beer became a complete joy.
In the nose it’s pure wheat with a lovely dusty-grain note. There’s hints of citrus there somewhere, but it’s mainly that lovely wheaty gorgeousness.
For a canned kit it’s a bloody taste revelation: mouth filling and wholesome despite the smallish ~4% ABV.
OK, it’s a tad thinner in body than my all-grain wheats, but it’s bloody great all the same: a solid wheaty complexity with a welcome sourish zippy tang at the end.
There’s also a gorgeous creaminess that just goes on and on. It’s not quite a true German hefeweizen/weizen, which is fine because it’s not meant to be. What it is, is a cracking wheat beer.
I’ve drunk pints and pints of this beer over Christmas and every single one has been lovely, yeast or no yeast.
When (that’s not “if”) I make this kit again I’ll be sure to bottle it just to see the difference. I might even try the included yeast. If Coopers can put a kit together as good as this, then the included yeast is probably pretty good too…
Coopers, to use your local vernacular: “Good on Yer!” this kit is a ripper of a bargain and makes me well and truly believe that you can make excellent beer from a canned kit.
If you haven’t home-brewed before: do it with this kit. It’s simplicity itself and you’ll be delighted with the results (assuming you’re not some kind of cack-handed idiot who can’t follow simple instructions…)
You can invest (and it is such a small, but worthwhile investment) in the Coopers wheat beer kit from Greg at BrewUK who’ll also happily sell you all the starter brewing gear too if you need it. You can even get a vial of WLP300 yeast too if you’re so inclined…
When you order Just tell Greg: “I want to make wheat beer and Jon from YIMB sent me.” it won’t count for anything, but at least he’ll know you have taste, are well-read, urbane, stylish and enormously well-endowed.