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Just starting and could use some help

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Gaviao

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So like the title stated I JUST started brewing. So here's my first question(s)....

My wife bought me a Mr. Beer kit about 2 years ago that I just never got around to making. Finally about a week ago I decided to go ahead and make the beer as I've wanted to brew for a LONG time. Everything went fine except I noticed that there was little to no reaction when I added the yeast. For several days after there was no foam on the top (I used to work at a small winery and I remember helping the Vintner pitch yeast). Yesterday I stopped by a home brewing supply store to talk and learn more. I mentioned to the shop owner my experience and he agreed that the yeast was most likely toast, he then suggested that I purchase more yeast, rehydrate it and then add that to what I already have. I did that and BOOM... foam :D

I just wanted to hear your opinions on the matter... The beer smelled fine when I opened the fermenter to add the additional yeast, and I didn't notice any blooms on the surface just some small clumps of yeast floating on top.

Do you think the beer is okay? Or should I scrap this batch and move on?

Also here is the list of equipment that the owner of the shop suggested:
Fermenting Bucket
Bottling Bucket
Racking Cane(purchased)
Bottles - providing I didn't feel like saving bottles
Caps
Capper
Air Lock(purchased)
Stopper(purchased)
Siphon - maybe
Tubing(purchased a 5 ft piece)

*I also have an old 6 gallon (I'm assuming) glass carboy that belonged to my grandfather*

Thoughts?
 

acidrain

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Add a stainless pot to that set up. Size will depend on batch sizes you're going for.
Regarding the current brew you have fermenting... you're going to hear this a lot. RDWHAHB. Start your search regimen with that one, then keep going. Everything you ever wanted to know is on this forum. The search feature works really well. :)
 

amandabab

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2 year old lme might not be its best but go through the process even if its just to learn.
if the carboy is narrow and 20" tall it's 5 gallon, 22"-23" 6 gallon, if its wide and 21" tall its 6.5 gallon
I like carboys
I'd take the old one and bleach bomb it. fill it cold water and beach (kill everything)
2nd fill it with water and white vinegar and let it sit (remove any hard water stains and stuff)

then if it looks OK, it can be cycled in and used with a regular oxyclean soaks

You might want to buy a case of bottles just to start (or a case of Sam Adams if the bottles are close in cost).
More bottles will come in time.
 

BigCypress

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I'd add a bottling wand to that list, a hydrometer and a container of Starsan (sanitizer).

As has been said, using old ingredients is problematic, but you'll probably end up with something drinkable (might even be good!), unlike this guy ...

 
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fortyseven

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It's too early to toss it now; keep it and drink it when it's ready. If it tastes crap after that, then pm me and I'll give you my address. Send them my way; I'll drink them! :)

Welcome to the world of homebrewing. You're gonna have a whole lot of fun!
 

woozy

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The beer is fine. The yeast was dead but the new yeast is alive. 2 year-old can extract is probably fine but might taste stale. (In my opinion it doesn't taste great to begin with).

About equipment: Well, you'll need bottles, caps, and a capper no matter what you do. And yes, you'll need a good kettle. But if you have a decent pasta pot that'll do for small batches. But the *first thing* you'll need to do is decide if you wish to continue with the Mr. Beer fermenter and 2-gallon batches.

If so you don't need any more equipment. However direct from formenter-to-bottle bottling has its drawbacks. (Have to add priming sugar to bottles individually for one). So you might want a bottling bucket. You can actually order a second Mr. Beer fermenter keg from their website for 10 dollars and you can use this as a bottling bucket. Or anything that holds 2 gallons of liquid will do (a pasta pot for example). You can transfer from the Mr. Beer fermenter to whatever bottling vessel with the spigot and hose attachment. If the bottle vessel has a spigot you will not need a racking can or siphon at all. But you may want a bottling wand. They make bottling easier.

If you don't want to continue with Mr. Beer equipment, you need to decide what size batches you are interested in brewing and get the above listed equipment for that.

Some people prefer carboy over fermenting buckets. That's up to you to decide.

And you'll need a cleaner and a sanitizer but those are supplies, not equipment. (But then so are bottles and caps).

Saving bottles is great but you want to maintain a large buffer of empties. (I'm at a point where I have *just* enough empties for my next batch but I'll have to make a concerted effort to drink up by the time the batch after that needs bottling.) I'd buy a case or two. They should be about $12 for 24. (Although I suppose you could always go to your local homeless man with a shopping cart and offer to buy the bottles he collected...)

=====
yes, a hydrometer.

I guess actually to sum up my verbiage above. If you continue with Mr. Beer equipment (and I mean the little brown fermenter keg; I do *not* mean the Mr. Beer cans of extract) then you have your basic equipment. I'd buy additional equipment as you find you need them (the hydrometer, maybe a thermometer if you find you need it)

+++++
on a side note: Am I the only person who had never heard of Mr. Beer before 4 months ago?
 

MannyZ

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Gaviao, that all sounds fine, don't stop now. Back in 2008 I started much like you with a 2 year old Mr. Beer kit. It made drinkable beer and that's all it took to start me down the homebrew path. I've slowly gained equipment and knowledge over the last few years and now brew delicious 5 gallon batches from scratch. I proudly share them with friends and family who think I'm some sort of beer God, but all I did was read a lot of homebrewtalk :) Woozy shared some great info above, a fantastic example of the knowledge you'll find here.

If you'd like to see some more advanced methods using your current Mr. Beer equipment, Basic Brewing has a nice 15 minute video on the subject.

 
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Gaviao

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Awesome. This has been amazingly helpful. I've been on several other forums for other interests of mine and I have to say that this one already is the best I've been on. I think I'm going to like it here.
 

woozy

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Slightly off topic but also slightly on topic. It's interesting that the Mr. Beer cans in the variety kit in the video were small and required booster packs. The can that came with my Mr. Beer kit (which I bought in post xmas clearance) was much larger and didn't require any booster. I don't know if the can itself was half corn rather than malt. (That was two *months* ago, man! I was such a noob...)


You can, of course, make beer entirely from scratch and ferment it in a Mr. Beer fermenter. Much as I *want* to hate anything as insipid as an "instant beer" training wheels baby kit that's mawkish enough to call itself "Mr. Beer" (*snort* roll eyes; --might as well by food in cans labeled "Good Eatz!"), the fermenter is really ... just fine. Actually pretty down practical and nice considering any other 2-gallon alternative. This is because when you get down to it a fermenter is really just a container to store the stuff for a while.
 

billpaustin

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If you start making good beer, it won't be long before you'll want to brew MORE good beer! You might want to consider moving to 5gal batches right away.
 

MannyZ

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Slightly off topic but also slightly on topic. It's interesting that the Mr. Beer cans in the variety kit in the video were small and required booster packs. ...

You can, of course, make beer entirely from scratch and ferment it in a Mr. Beer fermenter. ...
They may have changed the packaging recently? From what I remember, back when I got mine it was one small can and booster for the basic recipes or two small cans of LME for the premium kits.

I agree, it's a nice little fermenter regardless. I still have mine for small experimental batches and I bought one for my sister when she wanted to try making cider/apfelwein.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f25/man-i-love-apfelwein-14860/
 

woozy

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I'm thinking that after universal bad reviews they just got rid of the booster packs altogether.
 

amandabab

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Slightly off topic but also slightly on topic. It's interesting that the Mr. Beer cans in the variety kit in the video were small and required booster packs. The can that came with my Mr. Beer kit (which I bought in post xmas clearance) was much larger and didn't require any booster. I don't know if the can itself was half corn rather than malt. (That was two *months* ago, man! I was such a noob...)


.
MR Beer was just bought by Coopers, or vis vera, or it was a merger. so a few things are changing as they consolidate
 
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