Fermenting question

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Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2012
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Have a Mr. Beer kit and have my first batch fermenting since Monday night and as I read through many of the beginners post I see alot of people mentioning primary and secondary fermenters. With the mr. beer I'm sure all if not most are familiar with them and know they only come with the keg looking fermenter. So my question would be do I need to find and get my hands on a secondary or is not required with mr. beer and their extract because I'm currently waiting patiently waiting for my west coast pale ale ( that came in the kit) to finish. Any help is appreciated trying to grow my knowledge on my new addiction err hobby!
Oh ok cool thanks because I've been reading the threads and im like damn did mr beer screw me with only one fermenter haha but I'm a noobie trying to learn ha thanks again
My only complaint with the mrbeer keg, is the bottling process. In my experience having a separate bottling bucket dramatically reduces the amount of trub that makes it into the bottle. That being said, it still is fun. I would recommend a 4 week primary to really let the yeast cake compact, and then let the bottles sit in the fridge as long as you are able, after carbonation is complete. I know the box says "makes 2 gallons of beer in two weeks! !!!" , but waiting longer will make for a better tasting, clearer beer.

Ive found that in brewing, the waiting is the hardest part, and its no different with mr beer.
^+1 The only reason you would need a secondary is if you wanted to add fruit or something like that after primary fermentation is complete. I use the Mr Beer too and it has been a great gateway drug... I drink it faster than I can make it, so I am in the process of accumulating peices for a bigger setup.
Yea when I was watching the video while I was brewing it since im more of a visual learner the dude said 7 days but he recommended 14 days so I thought sweet it will be ready for st paddys day but after joining this forum I've learned that2 weeks will probably not be quite long enough.

I also have a few other questions one being should there be alot of bubbles while fermenting or just a small amount? I've seen alot of people talking about alot of bubbles or bubbles coming out of there blow off valve which I know I don't have haha. And my second question being I'm using the mr beer as a beginners stepping stone to improve my new hobby which I'm hooked and annoying my fiancé about haha, but when would it be a good time to make the transition to a better brew kit where extract isn't the primary usage in brewing.
You can make the move any time you're ready. Once you're comfortable with the process, step up to extract with 5 or 6 gallon batches or extract with specialty grains, then PM and AG.
You will probably not see a very active ferment with Mr Beer yeast, I never did when I used it. Their yeast is a little weak IMO so I toss the yeast they provide in the boil as "food" for the good yeast I get from the Homebrew Store. You can do everything in a Mr Beer that you can do in any other kit except make 5 gallon batches... Expiriment with it. Once you get used to pre-hopped extract, use plain extract and add your own hops. If that is comfortable add some steeping grains. Then go partial mash, then whole grain once you are comfortable. The nice thing about the small size of the Mr Beer is that you can do brew in a bag with a paint strainer bag with your grains without needing as large of a pot.
Thanks for the info is there any videos or info out there on brewing non pre hopped extract or anything along those lines I know there's the how to brew book which I plan on getting in the near future but like more visual aids. And on another note there needs to be more home brew stores around so people like me don't have to drive out of their way to get one haha just saying thanks for the info tho.
I suggest that you check out this website http://howtobrew.com/. It has a lot of great information for the beginner. You can also purchase the book which is more updated, but this will get you pointed in the right direction.
Can't beat the price of the online version!! The information is still very good and has some illustrations. Try and find a local homebrew club and sit in on someone elses brew day. That is always fun and you will learn a lot.
It's free online right? Anyone living in or near winchester va ever been to Murphy's beverage and know if their a good home brew store their site seems more of food wine and hot sause sales with minor home brew equipment.
Yup! The online version is free, just not as up to date as the current edition you would buy. I just use the online version as a reference and bought Brewing Classic Styles. That is a great read and goes into great detail regarding specific styles and includes 80 award winning recipes and each recipe is given for extract and all grain so it is good for beginner to seasoned vet... Not sure about your local HBS scene, but northernbrewer.com has good prices and decent shipping costs. Amazon.com also has good deals for equipment.
I realize these homebrew clubs aren't exactly local, but they aren't terribly far either. A homebrew community is VERY useful and a whole lot of fun!

Wort Hogs
10986 Granby Ct
Reston, VA 20191
Phone: 703 620-3055
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.worthogs.com

Northern Virginia Home Brew
Sterling, VA 20176
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.novahomebrew.com

Hagerstown Organization for Perfect Suds (HOPS)
1003 W Washington St
Hagerstown, MD 21740
Phone: 301 730-0213
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.thehops.org
I live in Richmond, VA. There's a home brew shop south of me in Chester. Never been but plan on checking it out this weekend.

I'm like you griff, totally new to this. I've got a buddy that is sort of mentoring me through everything. I ordered the How to Brew book and am reading through it. It is immensly helpful.

Good luck on your first batch. Just remember to be patient! The people on these boards are also super helpful. You're in good company.
Thanks on the book info i am trying to sweet talk my fiancé into getting it for me haha

Thanks for the store info that actually helps alot since I work in sterling!
Stop in and talk with the Home brew Store, I found that not only the guys working but different people were always willing to give me tips and advice. Now that I have been at it for a while I find my self stepping in and giving advice where I can.
Yea i have a friend that is brewing but hes in the same boat im in being new and a novice so im leaning on this forum greatly.
My first batch hit its first week mark last night in the fermenter and I checked it this morning and it looked clear (looking into a mr beer keg) and didn't see any bubbles. Can anyone give me a heads up on what step it's in
without checking with a hydrometer it is really impossible to say... I never saw a very active fermentation with Mr Beer yeast. If you don't have a hydrometer, leave it in the keg for at least 2 weeks, 3 is better, to make sure fermentation is complete.
The first one is the hardest to wait for. Mine was 2 weeks fermenting and I started to have "surveillance beers" at about a week and a half to judge how it was coming along. If you have room in the fridge, pop it in there for about 2 days before bottling to "cold crash". This will help to clear it and also reduce the amount of trub that gets into the bottles.
The wait isn't all as that it's made out to be, with it being the first batch and not knowing what to expect lol. But I was wondering what cold crashing meant. So pretty much two days prior to bottling fridge it?
Yes, cold crashing is just fridging it so that excess yeast and sediment will fall out of suspension and give you a clearer beer.
Is cold crashing good though I'm reading the avoid " the everything home brewing book" cold crashing wouldn't ruin the carbonation process would it and would a week in bottles be good before chilling them?
I cold crash all my beers except wheat beers that should be cloudy. I have never had an issue with carbonation. You will want to let the bottles carb/condition for 3 weeks at 70 degrees, then at least a few days to a week in the fridge to help the CO2 absorb into the beer.
Ok so you want to let the beer sit in the bottles longer then in your fermenter? I originally wanted to have my first batch completed by st pattys day but after reading on here and learning more about the hobby that decent beer wont be ready by then.
You can definitely drink them sooner than the 3 weeks, but they will not be their best... To get complete carbonation and to condition properly it takes AT LEAST 3 weeks and they usually continue to improve over time. I do suggest trying one a week starting at week one or 2 just to know what "green" beer tastes like and to appreciate what time in the bottles does. It makes waiting easier.
Thanks waiting is surprisingly easy besides on hockey nights just the anticipation if the very first batch is what makes it the most difficult
So I know everyone on here says wait for weeks for the fermenting process to complete and I am just curious I wasn't able to take a OG reading due to the fact of a non existing hydrometer but I finally got one last week and did a reading after 2 weeks and it was 1.008 and supposedly the OG reads range from 1.042 not sure if that means if it's complete so it's still fermenting. But now there are bubbles floating on the surface that were there when I finished the brewing so what does that tell me? Thank you