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Old 07-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #1
Jmart
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Default Starting my first batch, bit nervous, advice?

Hey, I posted this on the Mr. Beer forums too, but I'd really like to hear what you guys have to say about this.

I know Mr. Beer is a really basic way to brew, that's okay, I don't mind a simple start for now... However, almost everywhere people say to not follow the Mr Beer instructions that come with. Apparently there are MUCH better ways to brew Mr Beer batches than what the directions say. This is my biggest curiosity at the moment. For example, I heard to NOT add regular sugar to your wort (Contains no Free Amino Nitrogen, FANs, resulting in off-flavors, says my John Palmer book). Another example is the fermentation time, almost everywhere people say to ferment much longer than what Mr Beer says. This is fine, I'm willing to wait a few extra weeks if I have must, to enjoy the end result more. is 2-2-2 an alright timetable? I heard to let sit in a bottle for even longer.

How do I know the most... uh... recommended way to brew a Mr Beer batch? I read here to use Dry Malt Extract instead of sugar for brewing. I think I might pick some of that up tomorrow at the local homebrew shop. While I'm there I'm going to check out some better equipment too and see if I can pick anything else up.



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Old 07-19-2009, 03:55 AM   #2
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Regular sugar will not do much but up the alcohol in your brew. It provides no flavor and is a quickly digestable meal for your yeast. To get a more complete ferment and the added flavor of malt use dry or liquid malt extract. General rule of thumb is 1-2-3 but leaving it to ferment and clear for a month will help. Carbing and bottle conditioning will take at least 3 weeks. Depending on the type of beer it can be quick or take months. If there is one tool you buy at the Home brew store make it a hydrometer. This is how you will know your beer is done fermenting. Hope this helps



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Old 07-19-2009, 04:04 AM   #3
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Hey Jmart,
I live in Neenah. I haven't read the Mr. Beer thread (101 pages is a lot). Can you post a link to your kit and tell us what equipment you have outside of the kit?

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Old 07-19-2009, 04:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
Hey Jmart,
I live in Neenah. I haven't read the Mr. Beer thread (101 pages is a lot). Can you post a link to your kit and tell us what equipment you have outside of the kit?
My kit is the Premium Gold kit https://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/753/nm/MR_BEER_Premium_Gold_Edition_Beer_Kit
Right now, the other tools I have are: A funnel with built-in strainer, thermometer on the side of my fermentor (55-85 degrees I think), adjustable measuring spoon, hop scale, priming sugar measure, and some sanitizer.

The beers I bought to try are:
-Spiced Lemon Wheat
-The Velvet Velociraptor
-Bewitched Red Ale w/Booster
-Classic American Blonde Ale w/Booster (Came with my kit)
-Cowboy Golden Lager w/Booster (Also came with my kit)

I kind of want to get an auto siphon too, which I had forgotten to order initially.

PS: what is 'Booster' exactly?
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Old 07-19-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmart View Post
The beers I bought to try are:
-Spiced Lemon Wheat
-The Velvet Velociraptor
-Bewitched Red Ale w/Booster
-Classic American Blonde Ale w/Booster (Came with my kit)
-Cowboy Golden Lager w/Booster (Also came with my kit)

I kind of want to get an auto siphon too, which I had forgotten to order initially.

PS: what is 'Booster' exactly?
In a nutshell; for the single can beer recipes. Add a pound of light DME per can of Mr.Beer extract - you can still throw in the booster for some more kick(depends why you are brewing). The longer you can resist drinking it the better it will likely taste, so anything more than 2-2-2 will help as that is more of a minimum. Read some recipes here and see what matches up to the style you are making and maybe you'd want to add some of those hops to freshen up the taste of your beer. This is not award winning beer, but should come out pretty decent and it's a good stepping stone to get you into the hobby.

Booster is maltodextrin.

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Old 07-19-2009, 07:40 PM   #6
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I don't think you'll have too much trouble.

I did my first brew last night (all-grain) and it wasn't too bad. And since it's a brew kit that you're using, I'm guessing that dramatically cuts down on the potential complications.




The key is to read and semi-understand what you're doing before you start. It'll make the process go a lot more smoothly.

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Old 07-19-2009, 08:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by coryforsenate View Post
I don't think you'll have too much trouble.

I did my first brew last night (all-grain) and it wasn't too bad. And since it's a brew kit that you're using, I'm guessing that dramatically cuts down on the potential complications.


The key is to read and semi-understand what you're doing before you start. It'll make the process go a lot more smoothly.
That's what I'm really trying to do beforehand. I've been watching youtube videos, reading my books, rereading the process-overviews, rereading the definitions... I'm trying to learn some small stuff to better my first batch (not to overcomplicate or anything, just small stuff), like replacing the cane sugar with DME.

Also, I happened to visit my father today as he was gardening, and apparently, he grows hops! I didn't know that. He grows them because he likes the way they look, covering an unused metal rectangle arch (for stringing clotheslines from, we never used that thing). It isn't a special strain or anything, but I think they're more along the lines of aroma hops. He said he'd harvest them for me when they mature. All of my Malt extracts I have on me are pre-hopped, but it wouldn't hurt to add a little extra fresh hops, would it?
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmart View Post
That's what I'm really trying to do beforehand. I've been watching youtube videos, reading my books, rereading the process-overviews, rereading the definitions... I'm trying to learn some small stuff to better my first batch (not to overcomplicate or anything, just small stuff), like replacing the cane sugar with DME.

Also, I happened to visit my father today as he was gardening, and apparently, he grows hops! I didn't know that. He grows them because he likes the way they look, covering an unused metal rectangle arch (for stringing clotheslines from, we never used that thing). It isn't a special strain or anything, but I think they're more along the lines of aroma hops. He said he'd harvest them for me when they mature. All of my Malt extracts I have on me are pre-hopped, but it wouldn't hurt to add a little extra fresh hops, would it?
Fresh hops are always good, you just have to remember if you want added bitterness from them you have to boil them longer then the Mr Beer kit says. You can also dry hop, just let it ferment for a week and then throw in the hops and let it go another week. 2-2-2 is a decent schedule but leave a few for longer so you can taste how it changes. There was a Mr Beer kit I made subbing in DME a few months ago that tastes way better now. I drank almost all of it when it was young though. If you like a good pale ale then by all means add more hops, because the prehopped cans from Mr Beer are pretty weak in that regard. One piece of equipment you should buy is a hydrometer, it is not difficult to use and then you can take your measurements to figure out your %abv and know when fermentation is complete. I'm sure in a month or two you will buy some equipment for 5 gal batches, I know it didn't take me long.
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Old 07-19-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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Sounds like you are on your way to a great hobby.

I was given a Mr Beer kit for Father's Day, and I am on my second batch of beer. The first beer came out great, and I experimented with times to see how it went.

As far as fermenting, I went ahead and left it in there for two weeks, because after a week, it wasn't as good. I drew samples from time to time to see how it was going. I think once it gets clear, then it should be ready for the next step, but again, I would recommend at least two weeks.

As far as bottling, I put it in the bottle and as soon as the bottle was hard with carbonation, I put it in the fridge. I think it was about a week. I guess I should have tested for two weeks.

As far as consuming, as soon as it was cold, I cracked one open. It was pretty good!

I think my times were about 2-1-<1!

I am definately wanting to get another Mr Beer fermenter, and try to stagger the brews so I will always have one to drink. Two gallons per month may sound like a lot, but when you have good beer that you made yourself, it goes alot faster!

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Old 07-19-2009, 11:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RScottyL View Post
Two gallons per month may sound like a lot...
You're new around here, aren't you?


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