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Old 11-23-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ryno1ryno View Post
Although... the way that is used... may as well just buy Briess's LME vs the Mr. Brew can... which, is a recipe I have up next... I'm gonna use the Amber LME from Briess but use the Mr. Beer barrel.
IMO, best way to 'improve' the mr. beer ingredients is to not use them at all. The hardware could be ok, but that's also the luck of the draw. The thing is mass produced (cheaply) so that people won't be too pissed off when they toss it out.

Personally, I skipped right over the mr. beer stuff and went to a normal starter kit and recipe bundles from the LHBS for my first few brews. Quickly progressed to all grain brewing and haven't looked back. Only thing I use DME/extract for (these days) is to make my yeast starters.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:40 PM   #12
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IMO, best way to 'improve' the mr. beer ingredients is to not use them at all. The hardware could be ok, but that's also the luck of the draw. The thing is mass produced (cheaply) so that people won't be too pissed off when they toss it out.

Personally, I skipped right over the mr. beer stuff and went to a normal starter kit and recipe bundles from the LHBS for my first few brews. Quickly progressed to all grain brewing and haven't looked back. Only thing I use DME/extract for (these days) is to make my yeast starters.
While I wish I would have just jumped straight to all grain and kegging from the start myself as well...

One thing I have noticed on this forum is that you hear a lot about $2000 brew sculptures, $300 Blichman kettles, and Perlick faucets. So much so that you'd think that's what everyone uses. But I find the vast majority of people I encounter in the home brew world use cinderblocks, aluminum turkey pots, and regular faucets if not just picnic taps.

Point is, sure, there's better equipment out there... but you can make just as good of beer with less expensive stuff. The Mr. Beer fermenter actually works quite well. But you wouldn't know that, seeing as you've never used one.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #13
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Self made keggles here man... Well, at least now I have those. Selling my only 10 gallon BoilerMaker since I'm not really using it. Got a keggle mash tun, keggle BK and making a keggle HLT. I do use the Blichmann burners (one with longer legs) but that's because they really do kick ass. I did make my first kettle with an aluminum pot base (8 gallon) but soon moved to the 10 gallon BoilerMaker. Once I located a decent priced keg (and read up on making a keggle) I did so. First for my mash tun, then for the BK.

A great many of us make a good amount of our brewing gear.

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Old 11-23-2012, 10:48 PM   #14
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Nothing wrong with the mr beer kit, its how i started into this whole mess. Make sure the cans of mr beer you buy arent expired and instead of using the booster the next best thing you can do to improve your kit is add 1 pound of DME with 1 can of mr beer HME.

PS One batch of mr beer i made (West coast pale ale) was one of the best beers i can remember having, combination of a fresh can and the DME i guess, not really sure why. Also nothing wrong with the fermenter, its supposed to leak out the lid instead of having an airlock.

DME is KEY

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Old 11-24-2012, 01:04 AM   #15
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Oh... I meant ingredients wise... in other words, home made boosters for the pre-made cans of Mr. Beer LME et al.
Honestly, that's like asking what the best booster for premade canned spaghetti sauce is. Sure, you can add some fresh herbs, but it's still canned spaghetti sauce. Not much you can about it, really.

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Haters gonna hate on the Mr. Beer.
I'm no hater, because I think it's a decent way to decide if making beer is for you. And a few people love the results. My best friend loves her Mr. Beer beer. While I rarely turn it down, it's just, well, quite frankly not that good. It's not terrible, but it's just not that good. I'd rather have just about any commercial beer rather than her Mr. Beer stuff.

Going back to the spaghetti sauce analogy, think of it this way.

Mr Beer= canned Hunt's spaghetti sauce (not too terrible)
Extract kit with steeping grains= jarred Prego sauce (better)
Partial mash kit with extract= "homemade" sauce with tomato sauce, seasonings, fresh ingredients, tomato paste (can be excellent)
All grain= homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes (can be good to excellent, but more can go wrong!)

It really depends on the person. Some people are satisfied with the Mr. Beer or Cooper's kits, but most think, "It's ok" at best. Adding sugar/booster/hops to something that is just "ok" at best isn't really going to take it to the next level.

If someone makes their Mr. Beer kit and loves it, like my friend, I would never criticize it. But it was never for me. I started with a Beer Machine 2000, and still have packages of the mixes downstairs. It never made something I wanted to drink, but I know many others enjoyed it so I would not disparage it.

I just want to give my opinion on the quality you can expect from certain products.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punx Clever View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDqnFPgpb-0

Haters gonna hate on the Mr. Beer. That being said:

First thing you can do is to ditch the "booster" pack and use un-hopped extract.
Second thing is to add hops during the boil.
Third would be to ditch the Mr. Beer cans
Annnddddd..... here are the results of the Mr. Beer alteration:

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.ph...012-first-brew

They loved it. Even with the table sugar primer during botteling.

Okay, looks like a Mr. Beer setup will work just fine.

Ingredients do matter, as they added more malt and hops.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:39 AM   #17
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Going back to the spaghetti sauce analogy, think of it this way.

Mr Beer= canned Hunt's spaghetti sauce (not too terrible)
You are absolutely right to a certain point. If all we were talking about is ditching the "beer in a can" ingredients then the conversation is pretty simple and the Basic Brewing video I linked covered what can be done to improve it.

Where I get lost on some of the comments is when, all of a sudden, the Mr. Beer keg needs to be burned at the stake for crimes against god. For all intents and purposes it's the same as the "Better Bottles" that people swear by. Hell, even comes with the spigot in the bottom to make it easy. It's a good bit of kit for not a lot of coin.

Comparing the comments on Mr. Beer to spaghetti sauce would be more like saying that you need to toss your stock pot because it once was used to heat the Hunt's sauce and, by god, Prego should never be put in it lest it be tainted.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:50 PM   #18
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Has anyone ever done a controlled (by an alcoholic) experiment testing the results of:

1) Mr. Beer barrel, table sugar to bottle
2) A 5 gallon bucket made for brewing
3) A Carboy

Use the same ingredients, from the same boiled mash. Fill all 3 at one time and bottle when ready.

Then have a blind taste test to see if there is a difference in taste.

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Old 11-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ryno1ryno View Post
Has anyone ever done a controlled (by an alcoholic) experiment testing the results of:

1) Mr. Beer barrel, table sugar to bottle
2) A 5 gallon bucket made for brewing
3) A Carboy

Use the same ingredients, from the same boiled mash. Fill all 3 at one time and bottle when ready.

Then have a blind taste test to see if there is a difference in taste.
There is absolutely no difference in the containers. The container itself does not matter. Using the same ingredients from the same mash would give you the same beer.

The Mr. Beer keg is a handy little fermenter and I'd use it for any batch of beer. It's the canned prehopped "beer kit" and the "boosters" that are poor quality. The container itself is irrelevant.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #20
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Another experiement I would like to see is if sparging really makes a difference.

And perhaps, sanitizing every thing in site vs being sloppy.

Also, using too much yeast.

I think comparing different brews while tinkering with the process doesnt prove much of anything unless you use the same exact boiled brew against various ways to achieve the beer.

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