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Mr. Beer - good kit or no?

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brewhead

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ok - to preface - i started with a mr. beer kit.

mr. beer kits are akin to single stage/container brewing. yes it will make beer...yes it should taste good given you follow the instructions.

so why will people diss on mr.beer kits? well for one you will out grow it quickly. the $60 you pay for the premium kit to be shipped to your doorstep will buy you a two bucket brewing system at your local HBS.

i brewed several batches that turned out good - and i even shared them with friends. but i quickly learned that my money was better spent elsewhere in better equipment. you won't find too many mr.beer forums. i think that's because most people move on to better equipment shortly after.
 

Dude

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For almost the same price you could get a beginner brewing kit and be ahead from the get go.
After 1 batch in the Mr. Beer kit you'll want to upgrade.
Trust me, if I could figure out the beginner brew kit, ANYONE can.

Skip Mr. Beer.
 

smorris

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I started with a Mr. Beer that the wife got me one year for Xmas. It is functional and produces a drinkable beer, some of their recipes are even quite good. But you get small batches. The following year the wife bought me a 5 gal. setup and we haven't looked back. You can also use the 5 gal. rig to make wine, which we have done once. Still have the Mr. Beer fermentor and I use it for mead or cider.
 
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NewToTheGame

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Thanks for the feedback! Depending on how my first few batches turn out, and depending on finances, I will probably want to upgrade. But since the wallet is tight right now, and my wife probably doesn't want me overrunning her scrapbook area with a brew kettle, this is where I'll be for now. But I am serious about getting involved with this. I love beer like babies love mother's milk, and eventually I will get started into winemaking down the road.

I'm just glad that I'll be ahead of the game when I'm ready to start brewing the real way thanks to all of you. This site is a godsend.
 

bduff509

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I have an old 6 gal Mr Beer kit. The biggest problem I see, for a starter kit, is bottling. My kit came with 6-2L PET bottles & 1 1/2 tblsp of sugar is added to the bottles for carb. Those huge bottles are OK if you're always drinking by the pitcher. I started using 12oz bottles & had to convert to a smaller amt of sugar. It came out at 4g. It's becomming a real pain adding 4g of sugar to 2-3 cases of 12oz bottles because I don't have a bottling bucket. I probably would not have gotten that kit but my wife also surprised me with it for Christmas. Very surprising since, at the time, she even hated the smell of beer. Oddly enough,since I've been brewing my own, now she loves it. Good luck. So far I've made 6 batches & only screwed up one ( be careful using bleach as a sanitizer. Rinse REAL good). I just bottled the last batch 2 weeks ago. I put them in the fridge today but 2 bottles exploded before I did. I guess I should post a question as to why they did.
 

Kephren

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Too much priming sugar and/or not enough primary fermentation time.
 

sudsmonkey

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My family gave me a Mr. Beer kit a couple of years ago. As noted earlier, it produces small batches. I've since " upgraded" my setup. Seems everything I do, I do cheap. I've got two 5 gal. plastic water-cooler bottles for my primary and seconary fermenters, an old enameled canning kettle for my boiler, airlocks,siphon hose... and I bottle in old plastic drink bottles and 40 oz screw top beer bottles. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but things are going good. I keep it all very clean and haven't had any problems that I couldn't drink. I hope to one day have a better setup. It'll come a piece at a time. What I'm getting at is that it doesn't cost much to get started. I'd skip the Mr. Beer kit and go ahead with the larger volume . You won't spend as much time without beer if you're brewing five gallons at a time. :D
 
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