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Old 03-16-2012, 08:48 PM   #3701
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpgreen View Post
Considering how well that always seemed to work for the tool man, I'd say you should consider carefully whether you want to "fix" something that isn't broken.
I agree.
It is not broken, it is designed like that to idiot proof the fermentor because many of their customers will not fully read the instructions or take an interest in brewing like we have. No fumbling with airlocks, No risk of suckback, No worry about the airlock going dry, No risk of explosion due to clogged airlock (or lack of vent), Fewer parts to loose and sanitize, etc...
Downside is oxygenation toward the end of fermentation. You can minimize this by placing it in a draft free location like a closet or cabinet.
To ease your worries, purchase a hydrometer and bottle as soon as you determine that the primary fermentation is complete.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #3702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpgreen View Post
Considering how well that always seemed to work for the tool man, I'd say you should consider carefully whether you want to "fix" something that isn't broken.
Well, as much as I hate to let it go, I've finally decided _against_ hanging a turbo-charged diesel engine under the air lock cap. As strange as it may sound, 'more power' is not always the answer...

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Originally Posted by Kealia View Post
Have you actually used it yet?
Yes, I've got my second batch of beer bubbling away right now. I actually have two kits, having picked up the complete super deluxe kits on a woot.com sale, because with what I knew about brewing then, despite what the instructions said, I knew I wanted to rack into a secondary. It was while it was sitting there in the secondary for a couple weeks that I started thinking about what the open vents would mean in terms of gas exchange and even then I was already beyond Mr. Beer's 'ready to bottle and go after 2 weeks' approach, but there's nothing else wrong with the kegs, and the taps are so convenient. I'd rather re purpose them so they fit my requirements than just let them sit.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:23 PM   #3703
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Ok, if I understand you correctly then you're also using the LBK (little brown keg) as a secondary? If so, I would agree then - I wouldn't do it because it's not airtight. If we're talking about for primary (even a long one) I certainly wouldn't worry about it - and don't.

Cheers.

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:30 PM   #3704
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Home woot has Mr. Beer Kits today for $25 shipped, including liter bottles:

http://home.woot.com/

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Old 03-17-2012, 05:21 PM   #3705
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I started out with Mr. Beer that I got for Christmas. I would have to say that it was the best Christmas gift I ever got! It got me into the homebrew game and now I'm a homebrew addict. I still use it for brewing 2 gallon test batches. It's the perfect solution for testing new processes and ingredients. I will say that I did add an airlock to mine though because I'm a tinkerer and could leave it alone

I would not hesitate at all to recommend Mr. Beer to anyone interested in getting into homebrewing. You won't be out a bunch of cash if you find it's not your bag and if you get addicted you can still use it for years. In my opinion Mr. Beer is a win win deal. But if you get the kit read up on the brewing process it is far to simplified in their instructions in my opinion. Anyone who starts homebrewing should get John Palmer's How to Brew book it's as important as the equipment. Join HBT because ANY question you could ever have can be answered here.

But be warned once you start brewing your own beer you will become HOPELESSLY addicted! When you taste the awesome fruits of your labors there will be no turning back! You will find yourself thinking what if I added this or what if I tried that. Suddenly you'll see all kinds of new toys when your at the store shopping. Stainless steel will take on a whole new meaning in your life. So be warned this is one of the awesomest most fun hobbies!

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Old 03-23-2012, 05:23 PM   #3706
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I've never brewed with anything but Mr. Beer. And I've finally taken the plunge and upgraded to real equipment. Currently waiting for it to arrive, and can't wait.

I made a few batches with Mr. Beer that I really liked, and got some great feedback from friends who tried it. Two that come to mind are a blackberry ale and a chocolate ale. They weren't perfect...but they were certainly better than a lot of beers I've bought in stores.

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Old 03-23-2012, 07:30 PM   #3707
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I just tried my Mr. Beer WCPA that I've had bottling for 2 weeks and it was extremely sweet. The beer had what seemed like the perfect carbonation, it was just too sweet for my taste. I'm just curious if that sweetness will subside if I let them sit for several weeks longer? I know time will cure most things, but I haven't been able to find much on sweet flavors. Either way I think some Apfelwein is in my brewing future...

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Old 03-23-2012, 08:04 PM   #3708
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The sweetness will not completely go away.
A few factors could have played into it being too sweet; you won't know for sure until you buy a hydrometer.

Many extracts finish with a high FG that will give it a bigger body and taste sweet.
For the Mr.Beer kits; you don't need to boil them long, 10-15 min max.
Just enough to sterilize them and mix together well. The longer you boil extract the higher risk you place on caramelizing (unfermentable) it so the FG will go up.

The other thing to consider is the age of the HME. Hop bitterness in these pre-hopped cans will decline over time. So the older the can the sweeter it will be.

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Old 03-23-2012, 08:58 PM   #3709
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I got about 30 pages into this thread before I realized it would take me forever to get caught up haha.

Another new brewer here. A few college friends and I wanted to get into it. I know the Mr. Beer kits aren't the best, and knew that well before I ordered them, but went for it anyways. I got three for $60--bottles included--so I'm not gonna complain that I have some kits that I'll be able to take with me when I leave town for the summer.

I brewed my first 3 batches on the 13th. None of them were done without SOME kind of alteration to the original WCPA. Eventually, I'll get into the 5 gal brewing sets, but it's not practical until I live somewhere a little more permanent.

No questions really--I found this by making sure the krausen forming was normal. I thought my batches had gotten infected

Thanks for the thread and the site. I hope to be around more.

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Old 03-24-2012, 01:32 AM   #3710
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Yeah, kreusen can look pretty funky.

I ferment my MrB keg-thingie inside a cooler with ice bottles and cold packs to keep it about 10 degrees below ambient temperature. That's a nice way to keep brewing in the summer, and a big benefit as compared to brewing bigger batches.

Welcome to the obsession, BDub!

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