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Old 01-11-2007, 05:28 AM   #1
Kayos
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Default Mr. Beer as secondary?

I am trying to hold off on getting the whole "real" setup until I can find a little more space and money for it....so with that disclaimer, here goes...

I bottled my first batch of Mr. Beer a week ago and have since been reading up and trying to find out how to make it better. It is very cloudy and the bottles have a bunch of sediment.

1. I was thinking of getting a second Mr. Beer keg and using it as my secondary fermentor so I could bottle off of that and still gain some of the clarity. Is this a fair idea? If I do this, should I pour back into the first (cleaned) before bottling to improve the clarity even more, or just bottle off the second?

2. I am finding a lot of tips for us newbies about going against the directions that come with the Mr. Beer kit. Can someone list them all in one place? How long to boil the wort, how long to primary ferment, how long to secondary ferment and how long to keep in bottles for best flavor before drinking are the ones I think I've seen so far.

Thanks!!!

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Old 01-11-2007, 05:41 AM   #2
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Main thing with Mr Beer is use two so you can make 5 gallon batches from some of the better recipes out there. Most of the sediment you get with Mr Beer's recipes will be from hops addition. I recommend going to extract with steeping grains for a better brew. Mr Beer is still a good way to go with limited space. Buying 5 gallon kits from MoreBeer or NorthernBrewer or such will give tastier brews at less cost than the Mr Beer kits. And with Mr Beer you are stuck with a recipe book rather than having a complete kit with all ingredients.

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Old 01-11-2007, 05:57 AM   #3
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Default Mr. Beer

You can pretty much do with Mr. Beer everything you can do with a five gallon set-up. The biggest trick is adjusting your recipes accordingly. Keep in mind that the stated capacity of Mr. Beer is 2.5 gallons (10qts), but the high fill line on the Mr. Beer Keg is at 8.5 qts. Just splitting a five gallon recipe in half isn't necessarily going to cut it. (There are several recipes online and in books for 4 gallon batches which should make for a better split)

As for the sediment issue, using the spigot to drain Mr. Beer is not going to help. In all of the batches I did the sediment came up past the outlet. One solution is to siphon the contents of mr beer into a different container for bottling with a piece of tubing thru the top. A 3 gallon or more cooler works well for this. Other sediment removal tricks involve the way you pour from bottle to glass. Depends on how much it really bothers you. I just drink it strait from the bottle yeast and all.

Mr. Beer as a secondary would likely work fine as long as you siphon the contents of the primary as described above. As of today the second keg will cost you $10 directly from them. Pouring back into the primary for bottling is not really necessary.

As far as boiling from what I have done and been told, the boil times for smaller batches should remain the same as larger batches. One investment you should make for sure is to buy a hydrometer. This method will be the best way to judge when to transfer, bottle, etc...

Good Luck.

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Old 01-11-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayos
2. I am finding a lot of tips for us newbies about going against the directions that come with the Mr. Beer kit. Can someone list them all in one place? How long to boil the wort, how long to primary ferment, how long to secondary ferment and how long to keep in bottles for best flavor before drinking are the ones I think I've seen so far.

Thanks!!!
Try this link (but then make sure to come back here!)
http://www.bodensatz.com/staticpages...hp?page=mrbeer
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Instead of going to secondary I'd just leave it in primary for 15-20 days.
The reasons for this is Mr beer (mine any way) is not air locked. there's a fair bit of dead space so each time you rack you loose beer

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Old 01-11-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help thus far. The Mr. Beer also says to use table sugar to prime, but I think some of my issues come from the coarse sugar that never dissenegrates poured straight into the bottles.
1. Can someone explain how to put corn sugar in the beer before going to the bottles and amounts?
2. O...and I heard that you all refridgerate yeast about an hour before use aws well...true? Thanks!
3. Hydrometer...got it. Any recommendations where to get one? I am having a really tough time finding a local brew shop, so anyone recommend an online shop for all your goods with fair shipping? I keep finding good prices, but the shipping is more than the products. Until then, can you give some guidlines for boiling time and each fermenter time?

You guys are a huge help!

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Old 01-11-2007, 08:30 PM   #7
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mckbrew..do you know if you can use two mr. beer kegs, split a 5 gallon recipe in half, and fill the mr. beer keg past the line mr. beer recipe line....if it holds 2.5 gallons will that work....or could you just fill as high as you could get it and just lose the small amount of excess you'd have??

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Old 01-11-2007, 08:39 PM   #8
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Default priming sugar

kayos...i was told by a member here not to use table sugar as the priming agent (even though that's what mr. beer's recipe calls for)...the member told me i would get a cidery taste...well, i got antsy and opened up a bottle of my mr. beer west coast pale ale (came in the box) and tested it...although the beer wasn't that bad (i was just happy that i had apparently been successful at sanitation) the member was right...there is a definite cidery taste...its not too overwhelming but it does leave an interesting aftertaste in your mouth....just beer for thought

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Old 01-11-2007, 10:24 PM   #9
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Default Mr Beer Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by idkid
mckbrew..do you know if you can use two mr. beer kegs, split a 5 gallon recipe in half, and fill the mr. beer keg past the line mr. beer recipe line....if it holds 2.5 gallons will that work....or could you just fill as high as you could get it and just lose the small amount of excess you'd have??

2.5 gallons will pretty much top out the Mr Beer keg. You will run into all sorts of issues with foaming over if you try to fill it that high. Just as with a regular carboy, you need the headspace for fermentation. If you aren't too concerned about things you could probably split the 5 gallon recipe in half, and fill up the Mr. Beer to the regualar line. You'll end up with a stronger brew. The only thing you might want to cut back on is the hops, unless you like alot of them.

Check out the recipes in Charlie Papazian's complete joy of homebrewing or look up recipes in this forum or on other sites, you will be able to find several 4 gallon recipes to work with. Also converting a 5 gallon recipe to a Mr Beer size isn't that hard with a calculator. I only brewed three batches in Mr Beer before I moved up, so I am not necessarily the expert. I am just sharing some of my experiences.
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Old 01-11-2007, 11:41 PM   #10
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Please help with how to add priming sugar to the batch before bottling. Seems much easier than putting sugar into the bottles. Do you mix/stir/neither, how much....I am drinking my first Mr. Beer brew right now and I taste sugar/cider...ughhhhhh...but I do not find myself putting the glass down.

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