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Old 09-27-2005, 12:53 PM   #1
Orfy
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Default Mr. Beer

I've been looking at all the home brew options. I'm limited on space and experience so I've been looking for an easy to use compact solution.

I've gone for the Mr Beer setup. It seems cheap enough and every thing is designed and supplied to work together.

http://store.mrbeer.com/brewkitsmain.html

I know it's not very adventorous but it's a start.
Does anyone have any experience with it or tips please.

Thanks.

Orfy.

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Old 09-27-2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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i still have one of those stashed somewhere in my parents attic, come and take it off my hands if you want it, that's about how highly i think of it
that said, you can probably brew an ok beer with it, but if you're even somewhat serious about brewing a good beer you may as well just pony up and get a "real" beginner's setup with a 5 gallon fermenter, 5 gallon bottling bucket, racking cane and such
just my $.02

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Old 09-27-2005, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thanks,

It's not the money, I can get a starter kit for less than the mr beer kit.
It the convienience and the space.

the only diference in the method I can see is the lack of air lock and I'm assured the cap takes care of that.

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Old 09-27-2005, 02:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orfy
the only diference in the method I can see is the lack of air lock and I'm assured the cap takes care of that.
and the fact that the mr beer is a one stage ferment versus a 2 stage if you go with a beginner setup (I'm counting the bottles as the second stage by the way - rather than the beer sitting on the trub till it's gone.)
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:06 PM   #5
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I use secondaries. :p
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Mr. Beer is a good way to give first time brewers a cheap and easy way to try things out. I don't see anything wrong with it. However, if you are the kind of person that ends up enjoying the brewing hobby, I do not doubt for a second that you will buy 'good' equipment within the next few months and start down the path to insanity like most everybody else here.

When you reach that point, give Mr Beer to a friend as a gift. He/She will love it and will likely end up buying 'good' equipment as well after a few batches. Then you can trade brews with your buddy and just keep passing Mr. Beer around to other friends until you are all pumping out homebrew.

Mr. Beer can always be retired and serve as an ice-chest for your bottled beer later. (or, make up fruity mixed drinks in it and serve them at parties.)

-walker

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Old 09-27-2005, 06:38 PM   #6
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The problems with a kit like that are two fold:
1. single stage ferment: beer needs some time to bulk age but doing this in the primary fermentor keeps the beer in contact with the trub (waste and dead yeast). This results in off flavors.. so your beer needs to be out of the primary fermentor and into the secondary to bulk age and clarify or into bottles in your case within 1.5 to 2 weeks max. Also, not having a secondary precludes any dry hopping (very popular among homebrewers for good reason)

2. 2.5 gal batches! Jeez, that's not much beer. Even with extract brews there's quite a bit of time that goes into the process. However, having more product doesn't make the brewing process take any longer. It just seems like a lot of work even for a 5 gallon batch (of course I do all grain so that's a bit more time consuming). With a 2.5 gal. batch I'd drink that in no time, all my time would be spent brewing. For this reason I'm seriously considering moving up to 10 gal. batches.

You definately need to get a lot of bottles.. remember beer needs to sit in those bottles for two weeks minimum to carbonate. You need enough bottles so that you can have two weeks worth of beer on hand and two weeks worth of beer aging. It really really really sucks having to wait to drink your brew.. you'll definately want to have some on hand all the time.

edit: however, the kit isn't without it's merits. It might be fine depending on your needs but as others have pointed out the hobby will probably grow on you and you'll soon find it inadequate for your purposes. And might I suggest that you talk to boardmembers here about receipes. Those kit receipes typically leave a lot to be desired...

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Old 09-28-2005, 10:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments/tips.

I have ordered 2 barrels so I can have 2 brews on the go. (5 gallon)
That means I can bottle 32 pints a week. 32 pints will last me at least a month.
The kit is 2 stage. One week(ish) in the barrel, 2 weeks in the bottle

I'm thinking of doing one batch in bottles (to Keep) and a batch to a keg (for draft)

If any ones interested I've started a Brew Bog.
I've linked back to this forum.

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Old 09-28-2005, 10:26 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=orfy]The kit is 2 stage. One week(ish) in the barrel, 2 weeks in the bottle
QUOTE]

The bottles are not considered a second stage, i which case, we'd have a 3 stage. The beer doesnt really ferment in the bottles besides creating carbination. Maybe try fermenting in your first barrel for one week then rack it to your second barrel for another week, then youd have a 2 stage. If you want to see all the benifits of doing such, do a search for secondary fermentation or somehting similar.

good luck, the biggest thing it to have fun with it!

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Old 09-29-2005, 12:53 AM   #9
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Thanks I've just done that.
I'm learning fast, thank you.

http://www.allaboutbeer.com/homebrew/secondar.html


Quote:
Most homebrewers start out using a single-stage fermentation, often in a covered plastic bucket. Eventually, they hear someone talking about "secondary fermentation" and curiosity kicks in.

Many brewers refer to the bottle fermentation that carbonates their beer as a "secondary fermentation." In addition to homebrewers, many European and even some American craft brewers follow this practice. It is certainly one example of secondary fermentation.

But for homebrewers, the phrase has a different meaning.
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Old 09-29-2005, 02:01 AM   #10
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Orphy,
Don't worry. If you get into it with Mr. Beer and dig it, You'll figure out how to make room for a couple of carboys. I've found that the more I make, the more I drink. Not necessarily a bad thing, IMHO. I started with a Mr. Beer kit that my family gave me a couple of years ago. I'm still doing extracts, but not using canned beer mixes. The mixes feel safe. Do it a while until you feel comfortable then make room for a larger home brewery. Who needs a kitchen table, anyway ?

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