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Old 09-21-2012, 08:19 PM   #4071
em9sredbeam
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Sep 2012
Hayward, CA
Posts: 3

Hey guys, just got started with a little Mr Beer kit, take it easy on me because I know very little about brewing, if you can even call it that with most of it already done for you minus cleaning, boiling, and waiting. I figured it would be good to start small and simple to see if I liked it because my other hobby, and the only other forum I belong to takes most of my time and interest. On my first attempt here I found that the beer (Pale Ale) I believe, tasted somewhat weak and sweet. As far as I know I followed all the istructions to the letter, (I hope). It said after the week of fermenting if it tasted too sweet, to wait a few more days. Did that, tasted fine. Then bottled it with the sugar. After another week I gave it a try warm just to see, and it was ok, but a little weak and sweet. I Measured the sugar according to the table. What did I do wrong? Should I have waited longer, and why did it taste so mild, should I have used less water? I have had the bottles in the fridge a couple of days, and tonight I will try and see if it is any different..

 
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:46 PM   #4072
Kealia
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Aug 2010
US
Posts: 549
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There's a few things to consider here:
1) The first beer they include (which is typically a West Coast Pale Ale + Booster if it is the 'old' kit) is very light by design. If you go into it thinking you're going to get a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale you will be disappointed. Their goal is to ease into the hobby through ease of brewing as well as easing into the taste a bit. (You can make very good beer with the WCPA + other stuff, don't worry).
2) If you let it ferment for a week + a few days that was likely long enough. Your taste buds verified that it tasted "ok".
3) When you add sugar (prime), you're basically creating another mini fermentation and that takes time. You need to leave them at ROOM TEMP for at least 2 weeks to carbonate.
4) After that, two more weeks at ROOM TEMP is a good idea to condition them a bit before putting them in the fridge.
5) If you put them in the fridge after a week, you stopped the carbonation and you're likely getting the sweet taste from the sugar that wasn't consumed to carb the beer.

All is not lost. Pull the beer out of the fridge and set them at room temp for 2 weeks. Then, put back in the fridge and see how they are. This first batch will be a little light and thin, but that's to be expected. Once you get the process down 9which MrB helps you do quickly) you can start adding things that will help you make some kick ass beer.

 
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:12 PM   #4073
em9sredbeam
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Sep 2012
Hayward, CA
Posts: 3

Thanks, I actually only took one and put it in the fridge to mess with, so I guess all I have to do is wait a little longer for the rest. Thanks for letting me know about the mildness, I wasn't sure if that was how it was supposed to be or if I made a mistake.

 
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:27 PM   #4074
Kealia
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Aug 2010
US
Posts: 549
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You're welcome. Consider your first batch to be a 'learn the process' beer. Enjoy it because you made it and just don't expect it to taste like your local micro-brew and you'll be happy.

When you are ready to take on your next batch, come on back and ask the group how to make it better. You'll get more advice than you'll know what to do with

 
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:33 PM   #4075
em9sredbeam
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Sep 2012
Hayward, CA
Posts: 3

I do have another question. What can I do to boost the Alcohol Content if I were to use the same setup? It did taste a little weak on the boose side.. also what would happen if I were to use less water the next time around? Would it make it stronger or ruin it?

 
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:01 AM   #4076
Joe13
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Dec 2011
York, ME
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Quote:
Originally Posted by em9sredbeam
I do have another question. What can I do to boost the Alcohol Content if I were to use the same setup? It did taste a little weak on the boose side.. also what would happen if I were to use less water the next time around? Would it make it stronger or ruin it?
To boost alcohol you will need to get a different kit. Check mrbeer.com for there premium and deluxe kits. This all are around 5.5-6% alcohol as opposed to 3.7% like the pale ale kit.

 
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Old 09-22-2012, 12:28 AM   #4077
Kealia
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Aug 2010
US
Posts: 549
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In short, you need more malt.
You're going to read that you can add sugar, honey or even more Booster to boost the alcohol but that isn't all you will be doing. You'll be thinning and/or drying out the beer by adding those which is going to lessen the 'mouthfeel' even more making it seem even thinner.

As the post above me says, you can go to their deluxe/craft/premium refills which are more malt and brew them as-is. Or you can add some of their LME. Or if you have a LHBS near you you can add their LME or DME to boost ABV, flavor and mouthfeel. You don't want to go crazy because then you'll throw the malt to hops ratio out of whack. You can easily add a pound of LME or DME to a basic (1.2lb) can of MrB without issue, though.

 
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:41 PM   #4078
Wings_Fan_In_KC
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Aug 2012
Overland Park, KS
Posts: 14
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Kealia's right - don't throw a bunch of sugar into a MrB batch trying to boost the alcohol level. Deluxe refills are higher ABV and there is also the added malt option.

Sometimes it's best to make a few MrB kits straight up before you start to go all mad scientist.


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Old 09-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #4079
kaw11g
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Sep 2012
Tallahassee, Florida
Posts: 6


What I'm getting from most of these posts is that the major issue with the Mr. Beer brewing system is the ingredients...they just aren't that great. I'm a college student living in a relatively small apartment, and I really want to get into brewing, but certainly don't have the room for a big set-up. At least not enough room for it be protected from light. The Mr. Beer set up is the perfect size, but I also want to be able to make good beer. So, if I continue to use the Mr. Beer equipment, can I make better beer by purchasing the ingredients from a LHBS? Either way I intend to use the Mr. Beer ingredients that come with the equipment, I need to learn and this is an easy way to do that, but after they're gone I'd like to know if I can still move on to more in-depth beer making without having to find a way to make a larger set-up work in this little apartment. Thanks for any advice!

 
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Old 09-24-2012, 05:08 PM   #4080
cheesecake
 
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Oct 2009
Palatine il
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaw11g
What I'm getting from most of these posts is that the major issue with the Mr. Beer brewing system is the ingredients...they just aren't that great. I'm a college student living in a relatively small apartment, and I really want to get into brewing, but certainly don't have the room for a big set-up. At least not enough room for it be protected from light. The Mr. Beer set up is the perfect size, but I also want to be able to make good beer. So, if I continue to use the Mr. Beer equipment, can I make better beer by purchasing the ingredients from a LHBS? Either way I intend to use the Mr. Beer ingredients that come with the equipment, I need to learn and this is an easy way to do that, but after they're gone I'd like to know if I can still move on to more in-depth beer making without having to find a way to make a larger set-up work in this little apartment. Thanks for any advice!
Yes you can. I brewed all grain 2 gallon batches and fermented in the Mr beer fermenter
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