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Old 01-05-2013, 04:14 AM   #4331
LetsGoCeltics
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Default Experimenting with Mr. Beer recipes (like adding oak)

I have been a big Craft Beer enthusiast for the better part of a decade, and recently have wanted to get into home brewing. However, I've been procrastinating because I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old at home and not much spare time. For Christmas my wife got me a Mr. Beer kit, so that it is a motivation to get started. However I worry about how restrictive the Mr. Beer setup and recipes are as far as trying to experiment.

For example: I prefer heavy stronger beers, and most Mr. Beer recipes are at or just under 5%. Would it be worth adding an extra one of their LME soft packs to boost the ABV? Or will this screw with the recipe too much? My wife got me the recipe kit for their Punkin Lager which I am going to try first. Not sure whether to just go straight with the recipe or add anything extra.

Also, since the Mr. Beer setup doesn't involve a secondary fermenter, has anyone ever tried using oak chips/cubes with a Mr. Beer recipe? I want to eventually make some oaked heavy beers down the road (likely not with Mr. Beer). The kit I received came with the Aztec Cerveza recipe, which I've read is NOT one of Mr. Beer's better mixes, so I thought I might experiment with that one for fun. My plan is to add some Lime to the boil then add a few Oak cubes soaked in Tequila to the little brown keg during fermentation. Is it feasible to pull this off (i.e. have a drinkable product at the end)?

Thanks for any feedback.

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Old 01-05-2013, 04:45 AM   #4332
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Originally Posted by LetsGoCeltics View Post
I have been a big Craft Beer enthusiast for the better part of a decade, and recently have wanted to get into home brewing. However, I've been procrastinating because I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old at home and not much spare time. For Christmas my wife got me a Mr. Beer kit, so that it is a motivation to get started. However I worry about how restrictive the Mr. Beer setup and recipes are as far as trying to experiment.

For example: I prefer heavy stronger beers, and most Mr. Beer recipes are at or just under 5%. Would it be worth adding an extra one of their LME soft packs to boost the ABV? Or will this screw with the recipe too much? My wife got me the recipe kit for their Punkin Lager which I am going to try first. Not sure whether to just go straight with the recipe or add anything extra.

Also, since the Mr. Beer setup doesn't involve a secondary fermenter, has anyone ever tried using oak chips/cubes with a Mr. Beer recipe? I want to eventually make some oaked heavy beers down the road (likely not with Mr. Beer). The kit I received came with the Aztec Cerveza recipe, which I've read is NOT one of Mr. Beer's better mixes, so I thought I might experiment with that one for fun. My plan is to add some Lime to the boil then add a few Oak cubes soaked in Tequila to the little brown keg during fermentation. Is it feasible to pull this off (i.e. have a drinkable product at the end)?

Thanks for any feedback.
You're not at all restricted using the Mr beer fermenter. You can use their refills, add to them, or create your own recipes.

You can add additional LME, but since LME isn't fully fermentable, adding LME will make the final result sweeter. There has to be a balance between malt and hops. If you want to have a short brew day, prehopped extracts are good for that. If you want to keep the brew day short, you can add some LME, but if you want to make really strong beer, while keeping the brew day short, you'll want to use additional hopped extract.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:39 AM   #4333
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You can add additional LME, but since LME isn't fully fermentable, adding LME will make the final result sweeter.
I have some wheat dry malt extract. If I want to boost alcohol 1% how much should I add?
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:53 PM   #4334
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I have some wheat dry malt extract. If I want to boost alcohol 1% how much should I add?
About 9.5 oz (by weight). If you don't have a scale, I have weight to measurement conversions somewhere.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:14 PM   #4335
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So I have a Mr. Beer kit, given to me by a relative, but I haven't used it yet, as I've also got 5 gallon buckets I use for fermenting. Is there any reason not to use the Mr. Beer fermenter for small batches?

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Old 01-05-2013, 09:41 PM   #4336
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Originally Posted by walcotteric View Post
So I have a Mr. Beer kit, given to me by a relative, but I haven't used it yet, as I've also got 5 gallon buckets I use for fermenting. Is there any reason not to use the Mr. Beer fermenter for small batches?
It works great for small batches.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:31 PM   #4337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetsGoCeltics View Post
I have been a big Craft Beer enthusiast for the better part of a decade, and recently have wanted to get into home brewing. However, I've been procrastinating because I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old at home and not much spare time. For Christmas my wife got me a Mr. Beer kit, so that it is a motivation to get started. However I worry about how restrictive the Mr. Beer setup and recipes are as far as trying to experiment.

For example: I prefer heavy stronger beers, and most Mr. Beer recipes are at or just under 5%. Would it be worth adding an extra one of their LME soft packs to boost the ABV? Or will this screw with the recipe too much? My wife got me the recipe kit for their Punkin Lager which I am going to try first. Not sure whether to just go straight with the recipe or add anything extra.

Also, since the Mr. Beer setup doesn't involve a secondary fermenter, has anyone ever tried using oak chips/cubes with a Mr. Beer recipe? I want to eventually make some oaked heavy beers down the road (likely not with Mr. Beer). The kit I received came with the Aztec Cerveza recipe, which I've read is NOT one of Mr. Beer's better mixes, so I thought I might experiment with that one for fun. My plan is to add some Lime to the boil then add a few Oak cubes soaked in Tequila to the little brown keg during fermentation. Is it feasible to pull this off (i.e. have a drinkable product at the end)?

Thanks for any feedback.
My advice would be to make the fist couple kits as directed, other than giving it 3 weeks in the fermenter and 3 weeks in the bottle before drinking it.

Making the kits as directed for the first couple of batches helps you get your process down.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:27 PM   #4338
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Hello guys,

First batch started yesterday.

Foaming like mad today.

Too bad it's the light beer version (it's what the kit came with).

Can't wait to try it.

Ken

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #4339
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Hello guys,

First batch started yesterday.

Foaming like mad today.

Too bad it's the light beer version (it's what the kit came with).

Can't wait to try it.

Ken
Welcome to the hobby
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:01 PM   #4340
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First batch of Raspberry Wheat Ale is nearing its second week in the barrel (mr beer Christmas present). I couldn't resist on going for my favorite brew from the Marietta Brewery in Marietta Ohio. Hope mine is in the ballpark. I've already made a few newb mistakes so hope this isn't all for nothing.

When you guys prepare for bottling, do you filter the beer as it goes to bottling. I tried my best to puree the raspberry's but I'm sure there are a bunch of particles in the column, or does all this settle out? Just curious when doing something with a fruit if filtering is needed prior to bottling.
I believe I have found my new home here; beer, smoking meats, cheeses. (hope cigars as well). Life is good amongst company like this.

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