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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > beer mixes
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Old 09-08-2005, 06:05 AM   #1
rflach1
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i'm new to this hobby and just purchased a kit from the MR BEER website. it comes with the mix/yeast and every thing you need to make your first batch. my question is when i go to their site to see which one i want to try to make next, there are like hundred of different options, some have hops, beer mixes, booster, my question is what do i need to make a good beer and which ones of these combo's seems to make the best brew? i noticed almost all come with a beer mix and yeast and then some have hops and others have a "booster". is this booster just an artificial form of hops and kinda like cheating when making your own beer or is it a legit way to brew your own. i appreciate any help on sorting this subject matter out.

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Old 09-08-2005, 07:24 AM   #2
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First, I'd like to say welcome to the wonderful world of homebrewing.

Second...throw away your Mr. Beer kit and all the ingredients...naw, just joshing ya.

I am fairly certain that if you are half way serious about brwing your own beer you will heed my last sentence. Jst joking, but half way serious.

Anywho...you really need to read up on the basics of brewing. Just a little research on your part will do wonders for your understanding of the process.

It is very complicated, but once you understand what it is you do and why you do it it becomes simpler.

The questions you are asking are very basic and can be learned from Charlie Papazian's book, The Joy of Homebrewing.

To answer your questions could take all night. For your own sake please do some research.

Don't get me wrong, I am more than willing to help you and anyone else, but you have to do some research yourself.

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Old 09-09-2005, 01:35 AM   #3
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I started with a "Beer Machine" - very similar to mr beer. I have subsequently switched to the big batch home-brew store supplied pail and carboy thing, and have been doing kits with that rig, and the results are better, and the whole thing is both cheaper and easier. It does seem endlessly difficult, but honestly, hb99 is dead on - get a copy of Papazian's book, and do some reading. Then just get a starter setup from a homebrew shop, and a beer kit. You'll be happy with your results.

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Old 09-09-2005, 02:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the backup Sasquatch.

rflach1, I hope you are serious about brewing and intend on getting the Bible of brewing.

The Mr. Beer kits are nothing like our processes to making our beers.

There are way too many variables out there to try to address each one of your concerns. There is no one way to produce great tasting beer.

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Old 09-09-2005, 03:41 AM   #5
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for the impatient, you can also check out Palmer's online version of "How To Brew".

http://www.howtobrew.com

-walker

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Old 09-09-2005, 06:53 AM   #6
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Funny? I thought Sir Walter Raleigh spelled his name different...

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Old 09-09-2005, 02:43 PM   #7
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I use secondaries. :p
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heh heh.... i was editing my profile and must have snuck in an extra 'g' by mistake.

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Old 09-10-2005, 01:49 AM   #8
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I, too syarted with the Mr. Beer kit. Make one and don't look back. Find out if you have a local homebrew supply store. If not, go to one on the web. I suggest Northern Brewer. With a bucket fermenter, a carboy, an airlock and a few more(or less) items, you can make better beer than what Mr. Beer can. The supplies from the HBS can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. You'll also be making bigger batches. What serious beer drinker looks at a 2 gallon batch and says" Now there's some beer!"? When I get down to two gallons, I'm kicking myself for not starting that next batch sooner. Keep the Mr. Beer keg around. It's kinda cute, and they're great for storing gallons of Kool-Ade or tea.
Really. Anybody at the HBS will be glad to help you get started. They'll even help you with your first recipe. Do something with a can of mix and 3 lb. of Dry malt extract to start with. Get your feet wet. You'll be glad you did.

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Old 09-10-2005, 02:46 AM   #9
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I'd echo the sentiments above. I didn't start with a Mr. Beer kit, myself. But I will give them their due - they are responsible for getting a lot of people started in our hobby.

Find a good home brew supply near you, if at all possible, and go visit and ask questions. You may not buy a thing, but you'll at least come away with a bit more knowledge. And the link Walker supplied to 'How To Brew' is, hands down, a great start. And you can't beat the price!

Oh, and don't be afraid to ask any question, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to the nice folks right here on this Forum.

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Old 09-10-2005, 03:10 AM   #10
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Palmer's book is great. It gives both a very simple step by step guide as well as a very in depth analysis of everything you do (and why).

I too once had a mr. beer kit that I received as a christmas present.. fortunately I never used it as I have heard that some have had bad luck with such things. Knowing me, I probably would've screwed it up not know what I was doing and ended up with a bad batch. It probably would have turned me off of the hobby...

Things seem very complex at first but once you understand hows and whys of what you're doing you'll see that it really is very very simple. The best part is you can generally screw things up pretty good (well, except sanitation) and still have great beer.

I don't know how much time it takes to brew a batch with mr. beer but if it's on par with the 2 hrs or so it takes to do a batch from malt extract (a beginner kit from a homebrew shop) then I'd say it's a big waste of time for a lousy 2 gallons or so. 5 gal is the absolute minimum.. I'm considering upgrading to 10 myself.

Believe me, if an idiot such as myself can make a couple great tasting batches of beer from a 11lb bag of grains and some hops then you can easily do it with an extract kit. I'd strongly suggest that you give it a try.. I think you'll be very pleased with the results.

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