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Revvy

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Ok so i've been reading up and down these forums like a madman, and i've arrived at what i feel is my final question before i take "the plunge":

I'm leaning towards a Mr. Beer for starters because i think it's an easy way to check out the hobby and see if i like it. The reason i'm leaning towards it is because i think with smaller batches (2.5 gal if i'm not mistaken?) I feel like i'll be able to drink it all and re-brew twice as often as a 5 gallon setup. I'd like the opportunity to try a bunch of different things.

You guys all talk about stepping up to "big boy" setups, and i'm just wondering:

Is there a quality increase when you raise your quantity to 5 gallon batches? or do you all just like having more of what you brew? Can't I just half the recipies i'd like to try, stop using Mr. Beer pre-packaged recipies, and brew my own 2.5 gallon batches once i'm ready?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Have you read through this thread...if you have, or at least skimmed the last 30 pages, I've answered your question...and given examples...

I will say this a great beer at 2.5 gallons, is still a great beer, at 5 gallons...only there's more of it...

The rest you will have to read here to find out....

:mug:

And don't whine that this thread is TOO LONG...someone on this page iirc said they just read the entire thread...So you can too!
 

USFbulls

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yeah i'm planning on reading through it. I saw the previous guy's post and thought it sounded like a good idea.

I tried to take a shortcut and use the search function, but i'll take your advice and read it cover to cover.


I'm about 1/4 of the way through Palmer's online book, so this thread will be next...I really just needed quick clarification on that one point so I can order my Mr. Beer tonight!

Thanks again mate, I appreciate it.
 

Revvy

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Revvy just to clarify: using your Blonde Ale All Grain recipe your boil size is 2.86 gal, and your mash is 5.48 qt of water at 161.4 F to bring the mash to 150.0 F for a 75 min rest. When lautering/sparging, after the first runnings have been collected say you collect 5 quarts from the mash, you would then sparge with another approx 6.44 quarts to get the 2.86 boil size?
Yes...Beersmith gave me the numbers to use. Another way a lot of people do is to sparge to the intended volume...My brew spoon is notched at every gallon, so if after I have taken my first running in the pot, I keep running off my sparge until I acheive approximately amount in my kettle...then I take a pre-boil gravity reading (the number provided by beersmith) to double check...it's obviously easier with even volumes on my spoon....but you can fudge it...

Last thing (for now) re: the 2 gallon mlt- on your brown porter recipe I notice the lauter was slightly over 2 gallons; how did your cooler handle this amount? Is there a little "wiggle room" I take it between listed capacity on these coolers and actual capacity? Thanks for your insight.
I can't recall, but I may have, becasue of that, used my 5 gallon cooler on that batch. To have more room....BUT, as long as you can get your mash volume in the cooler...You can keep adding sparge water to it, and using your notched spoon, like I said, keep running off more sparge until you hit your volume....
 

Guitar_d

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Hi,

I just wanted to chime in. I recently got a used Mr. Beer kit for free and decided to brew up a mix. The problem is my can of nut brown ale hopped extract and yeast were 4 1/2 years old! I decided to go for it anyway cuz what have I got to lose? It has been fermenting for about 8 or 9 days and seems to be working. there is now just a few foam patches floating around, with sedement on bottom and has cleared up a lot. The booklet said old malt may taste more molasses and may take longer. Is there any hope for this batch? should I take the time to bottle it, or dump and try a new batch.

I'm not expecting greatness, but if I can make a drinkable batch and feel a bit of a buzz, that's cool. I'll try later with fresh ingredients because I don't have room for a larger kit.

any thoughts,

Thanks,

Guitar_d
 

eriktlupus

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my first batch was a stout that i had laying around for 7yrs before i tried it again(first batch was a colossal fail!), what happens with old extract (dry or liquid)is called a malliard reaction that basically causes the product to darken over time and lose some stability. dry is affected less than liquid. since your making a brown i suspect that you might be okay enough to at least get ready to bottle, take a sample out after 10 days and see if you would drink a whole bottle of it:D in the meantime try reading mr palmer
 

beerman77

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Mr Beer is where I got my feet wet. Without it, I'm not sure I'd be posting here at all. A lot of people like to rip on Mr Beer. Yeah its simplified down to where an 11 year old could do it, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I find it is not nearly as enjoyable to brew with Mr Beer as it is to boil up a 5 gallon batch the "real way", but no big deal. Good beer is good beer, and I have made some damn good beer with Mr beer. (There's a lot of "beer" in that sentence) Some of their all malt recipes (skip that "Booster" crap) are really tasty. Have made two impressive Octoberfest recipes and some sort of "custom" raspberry-honey beer that the woman went nuts over. Even though I have the real kit now and looking into doing some all-grain brewing, I have no plans to trash my Mr Beer kegs. They still come in handy here and there to brew up some of my fave recipes in smaller quantities. Mr Beer is a good thing.
 

comp

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Mr Beer is where I got my feet wet. Without it, I'm not sure I'd be posting here at all. A lot of people like to rip on Mr Beer. Yeah its simplified down to where an 11 year old could do it, but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I find it is not nearly as enjoyable to brew with Mr Beer as it is to boil up a 5 gallon batch the "real way", but no big deal. Good beer is good beer, and I have made some damn good beer with Mr beer. (There's a lot of "beer" in that sentence) Some of their all malt recipes (skip that "Booster" crap) are really tasty. Have made two impressive Octoberfest recipes and some sort of "custom" raspberry-honey beer that the woman went nuts over. Even though I have the real kit now and looking into doing some all-grain brewing, I have no plans to trash my Mr Beer kegs. They still come in handy here and there to brew up some of my fave recipes in smaller quantities. Mr Beer is a good thing.
thanks :mug:
 

brownbeard

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I started with mr beer and plan to keep the keg around for a bottling bucket for years to come. It is a simple way to get into the hobby I would say.
 
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I picked up a mr beer 2.5 gallon fermenter and a pilot brewery kit (1.5 gallon cosed fermenter, has airlock) at a local thrift store for $10. I then picked up refill kit from bevmo.

In the 2.5 gallon fermenter I started a canadian high country draft, using the booster, following the directions. .

In the pilot brewery kit was an old can of west coast pale ale with some signs of bulging. I brought the booster to a boil, then added the pale ale, and brought it to a boiled for 5 minutes. This was purely an experiment.

It's been a week since brew day. The 2.5 gallon fermenter has a little krausen on the top still, but looks to be in good shape. Going to let it sit another 7 days, and then bottle, carbonate and condition. No worries about this one.

The experiment 1.5 gallon fermenter is still fermenting with one bubble every 2 minutes or so. There is a light layer of krausen on the top. It had about 1 inch 2 days after brew day. Its very murky brown. Light makes it in about 3 inches. Do I dump it, or see where this journey goes?

It's in a closed fermenter, so I'm not worried about it oxidizing if I leave it on primary a couple weeks.
 

Needsanamebrewery

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I used a Mr. Beer kit a few years ago. I think it gave me a good basic handle on sanitation and the process. I know it gave me a good handle on patience. I once made a Russian Imperial Stout and let it sit for a year before drinking it. Damn fine beer if I don't say so myself.
 

medix

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Hello all,
I picked up a Mr. Beer kit a few months ago for free along with a ton of bottles and about 20 cans of beer mix (mostly red ale and nut brown). I just bottled my first batch a few weeks ago and the results are not stellar, but fairly ok. The first batch was the Thomas Jefferson ale (I had the 'you supply' ingredients on hand). The finished product tastes somewhat skunked, but it's still drinkable. The next batch (carribean lime lager) is cooking away as we speak.

I have some concerns that the Mr. Beer fermenter may have caused some of the off flavors, but then I was wondering if this might be due to using table sugar as the primer during bottling. I've since bought a 3 gal carboy (with the original intent to run two batches at once) which I plan to use from here on out until I run out of mix, at which point I'll upgrade to 5 gal batches. (yeah, I'm hooked already... )

The yeast that came with the mix is several years old, so I bought some nottingham yeast and (I think) substituted the same amount for what came with the kit (used about 1/2 tsp of nottingham). Is this the right amount? I was reading the package last night and it says that it contains enough yeast for 1 to 6 gallons. Is there anything wrong with using more?

Also, the first batch fermented for nearly a month. I'm working under the assumption that when the krausen (foam on the surface) goes away, the fermentation is complete. The 1 week fermentation seemed a bit too short. I'm also not getting very much volume of foam out of the fermentation. Is this normal for the mr. beer kit?

I also found the link for Mr. Palmer, so I will be reading that as soon as possible..

Cheers!
 

kornbread

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Hey,

Congratulations on making beer. It's pretty cool huh?

Table sugar is bad. Get some corn sugar (Dextrose) for the next batch.

I use the whole pack of yeast. It hasn't hurt anything yet.

I let my Mr. Beer kit brew ferment for two weeks then bottled. There wasn't a lot of foam and I'm told that this is normal for Mr. Beer kits.

As far as "skunked" flavor goes: Keep the beer in a dark place. Light is bad.

Also, watch your fermentation temps. If they get to high you get bad beer.
 

medix

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I tried another bottle last night and it's more of a fruity flavor rather than 'skunked'. I also did a bit of reading and read somewhere that un-lagered beers (relatively 'fresh') tend to have this flavor anyway, though I still suspect it was partially the priming sugar.

All in all, it's not bad and the flavor is already beginning to develop a bit. My girlfriend likes it, so it can't be all bad, right? ;)

I'm starting a batch of cider tonight in the carboy.. should be a good time.
 

yeoldebrewer

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I hope I'm posting in the right place here. I'm a total noobie both to this forum and to brewing.

I've had the standard West Coast Pale Ale in the Mr. Beer fermenter for almost a week.I'm wondering:

-is it okay to sample the fermentation at about a week just out of curiosity? Would this pose a risk of contamination?

Again, apologies if this post is in the wrong place. I'm a bit new to this game.

Jim
 
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Orfy

Orfy

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You should be fine to take a little.
At one week it should be nearly done.

If you have an air lock remove it though. drawing a sample from the spigot will cause the contents of the airlock to be sucked in.
 

yeoldebrewer

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Thanks, orfy. I would describe the taste as fairly bland. A slight bit sweet/cidery, with just a hint of bitterness. At least there are no blatantly off flavors. :mug:

Jim
 

IFMracin

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Not a bad looking kit.

I purchased all my equipment from Midwest and have been very happy with their customer service.

They have a similar kit:
Midwest Brewing Basics Kit

Don't think you can go wrong with either.

:mug:
 

USFbulls

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first, thanks for all the help, my first batch of Mr. Beer is carbing as we speak.

NOW: i want to brew the "Pumpkin Lager" recipe, but wanted to know first what i need to change (if anything) from their recipe.

here's what's in it:
Welcome to MR.BEER® - Pumpkin Lager


First: They say ferment for a minimum of 2 weeks. I've read previous advice that says ferment twice what Mr. Beer tells you. In my first batch that was 2 weeks (twice the recommended 1 week) so in this batch should i ferment for 4? or is that excessive? I don't have a hydrometer...so maybe i should invest in that vital piece of equipment now?

Second:
They recommend that i allow it to lager for 2-4 weeks. Previously in this thread people have said that you can carb the beer, then store it in the fridge for 2-4 weeks, and it has the same effect. Do i need to cold-ferment it? or can i take this shortcut with the pumpkin lager recipe also?

Thanks in advance!
 

Kayos

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This is actually a lager they are brewing with ale yeast. Because of this, there is no need to let it to sit cold before you carb it. Also, 2 weeks is fine. I always recommend buying some decent yeast and not using the stuff under the lid. Just get some US-04 or US-05 and call it good.
 

buckeye

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I am waiting on a 6 gal brew pack to come. I am still using my MRB keg. Should I grab a 5 gal water jug to ferment the other half ? I am not able to buy a big kit just yet and got a heck of a deal on the 6gal pack.
 

theNub

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Hello all, I am an avid reader on this forum and i decided to grab a Mr. Beer kit to start out with. I received it in the mail about 2 days ago and started right away. I know santitation is one of the main keys, but i dropped my wisk on the floor and rinsed it off and used it to stir the wort in the pot and also in the keg, will this cause any problems?. My main question is that im not sure if my Mr. Beer is fermenting correctly or not. I have checked it everyday and i am on my 3rd day in the fermentation process. I keep it in a drawer and i check up on it with a light, i just flash it on the keg and see whats happening inside, is this a no no? or is it okay. The main thing is that i dont really see any bubbles inside the keg, only a small about like a thin patch thats floating around, is everything okay? or am i just worrying too much because i have never done this before.

thanks for reading and helping!

-cheers !:)
 

Schoffleine

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Probably would've done better to boil it or run it through a flame real quick (from a lighter or such).

Can contaminate something real quick by dropping it on a floor. Whether that'll affect your brew, I can't say as I"m new to this as well.

But from a scientific stand point, your wisk was contaminated by any manner of ubiquitous bacteria. Washing stuff off doesn't always help. Better to boil it and destroy the bacteria instead of just trying to physically remove them with water.
 

USFbulls

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i'm brand new too, so take this with a grain of salt:

but i believe a big metal spoon is better than a wisk because wisk's have lots of little areas that can harbor bacteria.


my first mr. beer brew took about 24 hours to show signs of fermentation, but after it started i ended up with all sorts of bubbles and stuff. once it starts it's pretty obvious.
 

yeoldebrewer

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USP, I'm a Noobie to this too. But most brewers using Mr. B seem to adhere to a minimum 2-2-2 rule--2 weeks in the keg, 2 to carbonate and 2 more for bottle conditioning. But each recipe and batch is different.

Some batches will benefit from an extra week in the keg and much longer in bottle conditioning due to off flavors or characteristics of the wort. Batches that are high gravity and have higher ABV's (this from what I have read) will benefit from added weeks or even months in bottle conditioning after faster fermentation is finished.

This is also assuming you are not racking to some kind of secondary which many Mr. Beer brewers apparently do also.

Re the whisk: If it is sterile, it will probably dissolve solids like DME and MR B Booster faster than a spoon. Choose a design without a hollow handle and keep it soaking in sanitizer until use. Whisks are also great for aerating colt wort prior to yest pitching.

I'm giving advice from very limited experience, so double check and take with a grain of salt.
 

postman

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There's a lot on the web on how to improve your Mr. Beer, making it a Better Mr. Beer. I used it once and have never turned back.

My advice is to chuck the instructions and adhere to advice here. As said previously, 2 weeks in the keg is the minimum, but that depends on the type of brew, 3 weeks is even safer. Ditch the table sugar and get some corn sugar to carbonate. Final advice: Ditch the Mr. Beer, you won't regret it....better beer can be brewed easily and for a cheaper price.

I still use the Mr. Beer keg, and am now brewing 2.5 gal All Grain batches in it. I've gone from Mr. Beer to All Grain in a little over a year, just b/c I like good tasting stuff...and it's so fun!

A new life in brewing awaits you, congrats for getting your feet wet! We'll support you here however you brew. Before you post, just make sure you search the archives to see if your question has been answered. Best wishes. Peace.
 

LoonyBrew

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I just partial mashed
4 lb grain
1 lb specialty grain
1 lb flaked barley

For a stout.
I added 5 lb extract.

I got OG 1.036 which seems on target for 5 lb extract...but it seems it should be higher with the converted sugars.

My mash looks like this.
Heat water to 160F, add to a plastic cooler to preheat.
Dump preheat water.
Add grains and 7.5 liters 163 F water.
Then check temp...too low. I wanted 150, I got 130. Put mash in pot and heated to 159 F. Put back in cooler, let sit 90 minutes. Temp dropped tp 155.
Added it to the wort. Added extract and hops, etc.
Tried a starch test but was inconclusive.
 

Pogo

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Hey, guys,

I'm way back on page 50 of this thread right now, plowing my way towards the end of this thread.

This thread is even more interesting, to me, than EdWorts "Man, I love..." thread, and I dearly love that thread!

I've yet to brew any beer, though I intend to soon.

I started with wine, hard lemonade, hard cider, Apfelwein, etc.

I've never even seen a MR. BEER kit yet, other than pictures, and don't really see the need for one, since I've already got all the hardware I need to do five gallon batches, even all grain, except bottles, caps, and a capper.

However, I wouldn't mind having the little keg to use as a fermentor for smaller sized batches of wine.

I do have concerns about the lid, though!

I have the impression that the lid can be adjusted for a tight seal, or loosened to create a vent for the co2, is this correct?

If so, then I'm thinking the lid can be drilled and fitted with a rubber grommet to take an airlock.

This would turn it into a 2.5 gallon carboy with a built in spigot, which would make a nice addition to my carboy arsenal.

Am I wrong on any of this?

Pogo
 

Parks

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I have had my West Coast Pale ale in the Mr. Beer fermenter for two weeks, and tasted it. It had a pretty cidery taste to it, but I bottled it since most posts I've seen recommend 14 days or so.

My temperature was 64 to 68 degrees.

Should I have waited a few more days or a week? I only wonder because the Mr. Beer instructions say it shouldn't taste sweet after 7-10 days.

I looked it up and saw that a cidery taste could also mean contamination. Is that just standard green beer flavor that will go away in the bottle with time?
 

yeoldebrewer

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Pogo,

The threads on the Mr. Beer keg are slotted in such a way that gases can escape with the lid tightened. This apparently works in lieu of an airlock because of the CO2 atmosphere and positive pressure inside the keg. As far as I know, there is no way to completely seal the MB keg by tightening the lid.

Parks,

My WCPA is 2 weeks into bottling after a 10 day fermentation and also has a slight cidery taste. Another few weeks of bottle conditioning is supposed to remedy the problem.

I'm new to this also, so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Good luck, guys
 

Parks

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I have a couple of the Englishman Nut Brown malt extracts lying around.

I am interested in brewing something over 3.7% ABV but I would rather not purchase a UME for the Mr. Beer as I am just using it to learn before moving on to a larger setup and possibly all grain brewing. I also do not wish to add sugar/honey/whatever since I understand that would make it too sweet and reduce the body of the beer.

Would using two of those Nut Brown cans, rather than an unhopped malted extract, produce a decent beer with a higher alcohol content?

Would it be too bitter?
 

Saccharomyces

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However, I wouldn't mind having the little keg to use as a fermentor for smaller sized batches of wine.
I use mine because I already have it. If you already have a siphon, I recommend picking up a 3gal glass carboy instead.

If so, then I'm thinking the lid can be drilled and fitted with a rubber grommet to take an airlock.
There are two notches in the fermenter if you look closely. You can drill the lid and affix and airlock/bung if you figure out how to plug those two notches.

I have lagered for a month in a Mr. Beer fermenter and had no problems with oxidation FWIW. As long as it isn't disturbed the CO2 blanket will stay in place.
 

Revvy

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madewithchicken

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I am not sure why there is all this hate for Mr. Beer. Are these people hating because they grew up brewing beer? Was there never a time when they were new to home brewing? Did they wake up one day and say, "Hey, I am going out and spending several hundred dollars on fermenters, kegs, bottles, mashing stuff, 55 pound bags of grain, ...."

I have to know why these people are hating on it. We all had a calculator before we bought a laptop. We all rode a bike before we drove a car. And we all looked at tranny porn before moving on to bestiality. . . Wait I may have gone too far.

I never had a Mr. Beer. But I know people who got started that way. And most of my money is spent on things that MIGHT lead to a new hobby, which is what a Mr. Beer kit is.
 

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