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Old 05-25-2013, 07:15 PM   #1
rodwha
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Default Doctoring Up Mr Beer Kits

SWMBO found that a couple is selling 2 Mr Beer premium kits and an international series 3 pack of refills. I asked about expiration dates, and some are slightly expired, but they'll give me a fairly good deal (I just wanted the fermentors and plastic bottles, which I can use for camping excursions, and 1 pack of the booster to square away a "light" ale recipe I've been messing with). I only know what 4 of the kits are, and I've been working a bit on the Brewtoad recipe calculator to get an idea of what I'm dealing with and need to do. I have a little bit of direction I intend on taking, but would like a little input, and some help with the ones I'm not sure about yet.

I will be using what I have on hand (5 lbs wheat DME, 7 lbs light DME, and lots of 1 and 2 oz hop packages, though I prefer to use the ones I have duplicates of, which are Centennial, Liberty, and Willamette), as well as US-05 and WLP 320 for the wheat. I also have S-04, T-58, and Nottingham.

I assume these are the kits that come with booster (corn sugar?) and one can of HME as these are ~2 yrs old. I'm not so sure with the refill pack though as the box looks rather large for just that, and my friend who used to make them thought otherwise. The ABV w/o booster is 2.3% for each of them. The IBU's and SRM #s would be for the whole kit.

1) West Coast pale ale 22 IBU's and 2 SRM. The IBU's aren't even close to proper. I'm not sure how the hop schedules are, and what kind of bitterness to expect when I make this into a 2.5 gal hoppy pale. I'm shooting for 45 IBU's and think I might come close using 1/2 oz of Centennial (10.4%) @ 20/5 mins, using 1.75 lbs of light DME, 1/4 lb wheat DME, and 1/2 pack of US-05.

2) Whispering Wheat weizenbier 17 IBU's and 3 SRM. I intend on adding 2 lbs wheat DME and maybe 0.4 oz Liberty (4.9%) @ 15 mins and using WLP 320 for 2.5 gals. I also want to use zested orange (~1/2 oz???), as well as coriander, which I can't seem to figure out how much powdered coriander I should use. I want more of these flavors than say Blue Moon. Would fermenting with WLP 320 a bit warmer than mid 60's help add a coriander flavor?

3) Vienna Lager 23 IBU's 9 SRM. I assume this is more of an amber ale of some sort. I'm not sure what to do with this one as I have no way to darken it. I've considered adding the blonde kit to it and shooting for some sort of pale. I'm open to suggestions.

4) Canadian Blonde 22 IBU's and 3 SRM. I could just add some light DME and a little Liberty or Willamette (4.7%), or I could combine with the "lager" above.

I will have 3 Mr Beer fermentors, and I have 2 ~1.8 gal yield small batch buckets (food grade), as well as 4.5 gal + yield buckets if I were to maybe combine 2 kits and stretch it to a larger volume instead of just combining the 2 and not adding much go anything. I kinda wanted to stock pile some stuff, but it's for times such as this anyway...

I also have a bunch of honey, but don't tell SWMBO, as she spent a lot of $$$ on it (~36 lbs).

So what would you do to doctor these up?

Any idea how the bittering would turn out with these?

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...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:18 AM   #2
rodwha
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What I did to attempt to figure out what I was dealing with I added 13 oz of corn sugar (booster) and added LME until I got 3.8% ABV in 2.125 gals using US-05 as I don't know what their yeast's attenuation is. Then I added hops at 60/15 mins until the IBU's matched. Then I dropped the booster and picked up the volume to 2.5 gals.

This is what I intend on doing with each:

Whispering Wheat
~1.35 lbs of wheat HME
2 lbs wheat DME
3/4 oz zested sweet orange @ 15 mins
1/8 oz powdered coriander @ 5 mins (looks like HME has a hint of coriander as is)
0.5 oz Liberty (4.9%) @ 15 mins
WLP 320
1.054/1.015
4*L, 21 IBU's, 5.2% ABV

West Coast Pale
~1.35 lbs pale HME
1.75 lbs light DME
1/4 lb wheat DME
1/2 oz Centennial (10.4%) @ 20/5 mins
US-05
1.054/1.016
4*L, 43 IBU's, 5% ABV

Octoberfest/High Country
~1.35 lbs Vienna "Lager" HME
~1.35 lbs blonde HME
1/2 lb light DME
1/4 lb wheat DME
1/2 oz Liberty (4.9%) @ 20mins
US-05
1.053/1.015
6*L, 36 IBU's, 5% ABV

This last one I'll combine the 2 HME's in the hopes that I'll get something like a pale. I assume that I'd need to add the 2 IBU's together in a sort since I didn't increase the volume per se. I'm dividing the US-05 between this one and the pale.

Any suggestions or input? Anyone have any experience trying this?

I'll be making these sometime between Tues-Thurs.

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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
rodwha
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Changed my mind about combining the Octoberfest and High Country HME's as I'm not really sure what's in them and what the outcome would likely be. As I don't want to use the yeast that came with it, and I don't want to open another US-05 I'll split the US-05 between a 2.5 gal pale, and make the others 1.8 gal each making it divide up between 6.1 gals.

Since all of these are targeted to be 5% ABV I figure a minor under pitch might not be too bad as the alcohol levels are mild.

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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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Old 05-27-2013, 02:08 AM   #4
JohnSand
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MrBeer has a forum. Plenty of guys there have recipes based on the hme. They can also point you to resources giving the specs on those kits.

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
rodwha
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2 of them turned out fair, 1 is poor, and the last is horrible, which was the wheat that I added coriander and orange peel to. After the taste wears down (couple of seconds) you finally taste the coriander/orange peel.

All of them are super dark too. The Octoberfest is as dark as a stout and tastes very stale. The rest are a very dark amber.

I will never again try to use an expired extract again.

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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:55 AM   #6
JohnSand
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Thanks for the update. You helps other brewers by reporting negative results.
I used some older, unexpired MrB HMEs. The American Devil IPA Deluxe and Witty Monk. Each consisted of two cans of HME. The IPA came out quite good, though some bottles were contaminated (my fault, surely) The Witty Monk isn't quite ready yet.

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Old 08-15-2013, 06:38 AM   #7
rodwha
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I hoped for much better figuring they were barely expired, and using DME in place of their booster with additional hops and my yeast. I didn't expect great beer per say, but good enough...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
...tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end.
"Anyway on the wall was this sign. People who drink light beer don't really like beer. They just like to piss a lot."

"Were I to leave where else would I go? Your words of life and of truth You hold." - Third Day
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