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Major_Brew

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Shaffer,

Thanks for the info! Wow, the Mr Beer directions don't get into that... I'd read about lagering but somehow wanted to believe that the Mr Beer system really was a simple as it claims.

What do you suggest? Our temperatures here in central NC can range from the 20s to the 70s in February (this week it's the 70s), so the garage or back porch is not a great plan.

A thought: I have a cooler big enough to fit Mr Beer. If I keep a thin layer of ice at the bottom and check the temp regularly, you think that's a good plan?
 

Yooper

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Well, to further confuse the issue, I would be willing to bet that your lager kit didn't come with lager yeast. Did the yeast have a label on it? I bet your kit was a "lager style" beer, since that's what most beginner's kits have. If that's the case, you don't need to lager it. It's more of a "steam beer" which is simply a lager beer fermented at ale temperatures. Either way, I'm sure the beer will be fine.

As shafferpilot said, patience right now is your best bet!
 

Major_Brew

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No, the yeast didn't specify "lagering yeast." It was simply labeled "brewing yeast."

So...

Hmmm....
 

Yooper

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So, don't worry about the lagering. You can do it after you bottle, if you want. My friend did a vienna lager that was an ale with Mr. Beer, and it was pretty good. What she did was brew it according to the Mr. Beer instructions, and after it carbonated in the bottle, she stuck them in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before drinking. It was fine that way. A true lager is brewed differently with different yeasts, but it's not really a beginner's technique. I think there are many kits called "lagers" that really aren't a true lager.
 

Major_Brew

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Thanks! My last batch (it was a Cooper's mix and not Mr Beer) bubbled like crazy, so I was nervous with this one so flat...

...but, as I'm learning with this hobby, patience is key. So I'll watch and wait.
 

shafferpilot

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Ya know, I should have guessed that. I started brewing by jumping off the deep end with all grain 5 gallon batches based on recipes, so my experience with "beginer's" stuff is non-existant. I'm sure that's an ale yeast, so disregard my talk about lager fermentation, since that's not what you're doing. It's silly for them to use that term, but marketing departments are experts at lying their way into your heart;) Ok, so don't cool the fermenter or the ALE yeast will just shut down. Now, to get ale yeast to approximate a lager you just need to stay at the bottom end of the temp range, or 65 to 68 degrees. Your basement (if you have one) will probably be a great place. if that isn't enough (or you don't have one), a wet t-shirt draped over the fermenter with a small fan blowing on it should do the trick. Even if the temp goes over 70, that's not a big deal, it just won't taste much like a lager.
 

cola

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hey my refill of vienna lager octoberfest just came in the mail today.

so are you saying that stuff is junk?

there is no way that i can refrigerate the stuff for weeks at a time cause i am 'covertly' in the brewing hobby....
 

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No, no, we're not saying it's junk! My friend loves making it and has enjoyed it.

What we're saying is that there is a real difference between "ale" and "lager" in the beer making world. When you say "lager" to me, I think cold storage and cold fermentation. In some kits, particularly beginner kits, the term lager is misused to mean a style of beer. There is nothing wrong with that- just that it causes some misunderstanding on how to ferment the beer.

In your kit, yeast will come with it. That yeast will be a ale yeast, and the Mr. Beer will be fine fermenting at room temperature.
 

shafferpilot

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internal dialogue:
Damnit Greg stop making this more complicated, you're posting in the beginner's forum about advanced techniques. knock it off


Sorry for the confusion. It'll be great. All the normal rules apply. Down the road, if you get super involved in the hobby, you can try out true lagers. Till then enjoy what you're doing and keep reading and learning. One of the best things about homebrewing is that you get to decide how far down the rabbit hole you go:)
 

edbstratt

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So, I'm still relatively new to this whole Mr. Beer thing. First brew came out fine -now I'm working on the second: "Witty Monk Witbier" http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/102/nm/Witty_Monk_Witbier1.

It's been in the fermenter for 18 days now and I just took a small sample to see whether it was ready for bottling. While it tasted like beer (no hint of sweetness), it was fairly carbonated which tells me it needs more time in the fermenter. It's also in a relatively cool room, about 65 degrees. So..should I keep it in the fermenter for additional time, or.......???
 

DeathBrewer

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65 degrees is a perfect temp for fermentation. i'd say it's ready to bottle, though. what do you mean it was carbonated? as long as you've reached final gravity, you're fine.
 

edbstratt

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Well, given that Mr. Beer "has taken the science out of brewing a great tasting beer at home!", gravity measures have not been taken. The beer in the fermenter is slightly carbonated -almost like a slightly flat beer/soda.
 

DeathBrewer

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lol, didn't even realize what thread i was in. i need to go home and get a drink in me so i can feel normal. i'm all weirded out from being at work for 9.5 hours.
 

cola

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YooperBrew said:
No, no, we're not saying it's junk! My friend loves making it and has enjoyed it.

What we're saying is that there is a real difference between "ale" and "lager" in the beer making world. When you say "lager" to me, I think cold storage and cold fermentation. In some kits, particularly beginner kits, the term lager is misused to mean a style of beer. There is nothing wrong with that- just that it causes some misunderstanding on how to ferment the beer.

In your kit, yeast will come with it. That yeast will be a ale yeast, and the Mr. Beer will be fine fermenting at room temperature.

ahh... ok. thanks.
 

cola

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it was a ko blow.

ok so i had my very first batch of mr. beer fermenting for about four days. i opened the lid and tried to take a sniff and lo and behold, the vapors went straight to my brain and almost knocked me out... literally.

good sign yeah?
 

shafferpilot

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Well, yes and no. Good news: It's fermenting and producing lots of alcohol and CO2(the stuff you inhaled). Bad news: You let the CO2 out of the fermenter where it was protecting your brew from oxygenation, and CO2 in concentrations higher than about 10% is poisonous to the human body.... so don't do that again;)
 

cola

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shafferpilot said:
Well, yes and no. Good news: It's fermenting and producing lots of alcohol and CO2(the stuff you inhaled). Bad news: You let the CO2 out of the fermenter where it was protecting your brew from oxygenation, and CO2 in concentrations higher than about 10% is poisonous to the human body.... so don't do that again;)
funny thing is that about an hour later i tried sniffing but the k.o. power was gone :confused:

and i take it that oxygenation is bad?
 

cola

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and an even funnier thing is that when i used to play football i would leave my soaking wet t-shirts in my locker over the weekend... and the same thing would happen to me when i would open up my locker the following monday afternoon...

the k.o. smell was alcoholic-smelling...

was my sweat filled shirt producing beer?
 

shafferpilot

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beer? no
"cola" hootch? well, yeah. I hope you weren't wringing that shirt out into a glass, though.

Oxygenation is bad, but don't worry. So long as you STOP opening up the fermenter every hour, you'll be fine.
 

Mustangfreak

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Major_Brew said:
Yesterday I started a batch of the Mr Beer's Oktoberfest Vienna Lager. I followed the directions explicitly. I used only distilled water and made sure to sterilize everything. After chilling the wort back down to room temperature, I poured it into the fermentor, filled the fermentor the rest of the way to 8.5 qt and added the yeast per directions. After five minutes, I stirred it vigorously per directions.

24 hours later there's nothing going on in there. No foam. There's a tiny ring of something floating in the center; it's hard to tell what it is, but at most it covers 10% of the surface. I drew off a tiny sample and sniffed it to confirm my suspicions. Nothing's happening.

The can is dated to expire in 2010. I ordered this kit through the Army Air Force Exchange Service, and I also got a Mr Beer Cowboy Lager kit with it. So, my question is this:

Can I salvage this batch by pulling the yeast from the Cowboy Lager kit and mixing it in? I can get more yeast for that kit later when I get a chance to hit the LHBS. Or should I dump it?

Thoughts? Thanks!

Dave

Just let it do its thing. I made that a few months ago, and its alright. I thought I'd try something new and made 2 batches at once, and racked them into one 6.5 gal carboy to do clear it up a bit. Like I said, it's an alright beer. Not my fav though. Tastes like its flat but it is plenty carbed.

Also, the cowboy lager, I made that as my very first beer, and I liked it! Hell I'm gonna be making more when I get back from kyrgyzstan. :rockin:
 

jasno999

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Cola- YOu need to learn how to read and follow the directiosn man. I mean Mr. Beer has made it so simple all you have to do is follw the instructions and you get beer at the end.

Don't open the lid man... Let it be...
 

cola

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^ roger that.


update: HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!

it's been seven days of mr. beer canadian draft brewing in the fermenter.

but the funny thing is that the beer tastes good to go now! i mean, it tastes delicious i just wish it was a little sweeter. and also it tastes carbonated.

so my question is: can i just drink the beer now and will it still get me drunk if i just drink it out of the fermenter without bottling up the bottle for the next seven days?

cheers to mr. beer!
 

flyboy

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If you think it tasts good now just wait about four week after it's had a chance to condition. Good things come to those who wait. :)
 

Revvy

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cola said:
^ roger that.


update: HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!

it's been seven days of mr. beer canadian draft brewing in the fermenter.

but the funny thing is that the beer tastes good to go now! i mean, it tastes delicious i just wish it was a little sweeter. and also it tastes carbonated.

so my question is: can i just drink the beer now and will it still get me drunk if i just drink it out of the fermenter without bottling up the bottle for the next seven days?



cheers to mr. beer!

A good rule of thumb is 3 weeks to bottle condition...Before that the beer is "green" and not carbonated. Some off flavors take time to dissipate. Patience, grasshopper :D
 
OP
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I new a guy once, ate the sugar and the yeast. Saved him seven days in the feremneter.
If you're that desperate what's wrong with a cheap bottle of vodka!
 

ArcaneXor

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I had retired my Mr. Beer after my first three batches were very disappointing. The ingredient kit it came with (I forget what it was) tasted bland and yeasty, the Nut Brown Ale tasted like metal, and the (expensive) Quiet Creek Kolsch was completely undrinkable, tasting harsh and sulfury.

I just tried my first bottle of the final batch, an all-malt APA (i.e. no booster), and it was actually quite drinkable - very much like an American Lager with slightly more body and mouthfeel.
 

tokyo

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hello all,

I am 12 days in the Mr Beer thing. I put it in the basement to try and maintain a consistent temp. However, I knew it was cool, just not as cold as it is, 45-47* (misread humidity for temp). Since this is suppose to be a cut and dry operation I did not take a specific gravity at the start. I pulled a sample tonight and there are bubbles, so I'm guessing it is fermenting. Specific gravity now is 1.06ish @ 60*, from what I understand it still has a way to go. I also understand that the Mr Beer fermenter is not a sealed container so it is not recommended to keep beer in the keg for longer than two weeks. Where do I go from here? I am looking for any advice, tips, suggestions, and/or support for this problem child.
 

bobbydigital

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i started with mr beer to as a gift.....
threw it out cause it was terrible... but now i can brew
 

Thwizzit

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I’m on the Mr. Beer bandwagon as well. My brother has had one forever and a buddy of mine used to home brew a Pumpkin Ale for our Darts team but for some reason I never had any interest in brewing my own beer until now. I’m not sure why but I just decided I wanted to give it a go. Maybe because I’m going to a Craft Beer Festival next month and I’ve never been to one before so it sort of got me thinking about it. I will say that I really like the small size and unobtrusiveness of the Mr. Beer set up as I can just put the mini keg and the bottles in the cabinet and just let it ferment. I know most folks use Mr. B as a stepping stone to the larger set up but I really don’t have the space for that so I'm not sure I’ll ever graduate to the 5 gallon set up but you never know. Hopefully I’ll be able to perfect the Mr. Beer set up to my satisfaction.

I’ve been reading through the forums and copying and pasting the helpful advice and printing it out for my Beer Notes notebook. I set my first batch fermenting last night which is an Irish Stout and hopefully following some of the suggestions I’ve read will help make it a success.

My schedule will be as follows:

• Fermenting 2 weeks until Feb 28
(the recipe only calls for one week but from the advice I’ve read I’m going to double it)

• Bottle and let carbonate for 3 weeks until March 20

• Condition for 3 weeks until April 3

• Chill for two days before giving birth to my first batch on April 5

• Does that sound right?


QUESTIONS:

The Irish Stout recipe calls for the Irish Stout, Unhopped Malt Extract, Hops and yeast but I accidentally also added the Booster pack as well. Is that a bad thing and will it ruin the batch?

Does it matter what kind of water you use? Should I be using bottled water like Poland Spring or just water from the tap?

Since I put extra sugar in the fermenting stage will there be too much sugar and present a problem when I add sugar in the bottling stage?

The room where I have to keep the fermenting keg only gets up to about 65 degrees this time of year, is that warm enough?

My commercial beer preferences are Guinness, Bass and Old Speckled Hen, are there any Mr. Beer recipes that are comparable to them that anyone could recommend?

Is it worth it to buy Swing Top bottles or should you just buy a case of Grolsch and drink it to get the bottles?

Thanks :)
 

Yooper

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Let's see if I can answer some of the questions here:

QUESTIONS:

The Irish Stout recipe calls for the Irish Stout, Unhopped Malt Extract, Hops and yeast but I accidentally also added the Booster pack as well. Is that a bad thing and will it ruin the batch?

It sound be fine. It might have a little more alcohol, and be a little thinner and drier than you expected.

Does it matter what kind of water you use? Should I be using bottled water like Poland Spring or just water from the tap?

If your water tastes good, the beer will taste fine. If your water is full of chlorine and/or sulfur, then it won't taste very good.

Since I put extra sugar in the fermenting stage will there be too much sugar and present a problem when I add sugar in the bottling stage?

No, it will ferment out.

The room where I have to keep the fermenting keg only gets up to about 65 degrees this time of year, is that warm enough?

That's a perfect temperature.

My commercial beer preferences are Guinness, Bass and Old Speckled Hen, are there any Mr. Beer recipes that are comparable to them that anyone could recommend?

No idea, sorry!

Is it worth it to buy Swing Top bottles or should you just buy a case of Grolsch and drink it to get the bottles?

I use Grolsch bottles all the time! Remember, though, that since they are green to store them in the dark. Light skunks beer, and green bottles are notorious for skunky beer. Brown bottles are best, but green works fine if you store them in a closet.
 

Jumbo82

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My schedule will be as follows:

• Fermenting 2 weeks until Feb 28
(the recipe only calls for one week but from the advice I’ve read I’m going to double it)

• Bottle and let carbonate for 3 weeks until March 20

• Condition for 3 weeks until April 3

• Chill for two days before giving birth to my first batch on April 5

• Does that sound right?

Bottle carbonating/conditioning are good after 3 weeks total. About a week to carb, then at least a couple weeks to condition. I'd drink my first bottle 3-4 weeks after bottling.

QUESTIONS:

The Irish Stout recipe calls for the Irish Stout, Unhopped Malt Extract, Hops and yeast but I accidentally also added the Booster pack as well. Is that a bad thing and will it ruin the batch?

No, the booster pack just gives it a bit more alcohol, you didn't ruin it.

Does it matter what kind of water you use? Should I be using bottled water like Poland Spring or just water from the tap?

It depends on the quality of your tap water. Remember, beer is mostly made of water, so if your water sucks then that will affect your beer. I use tap water with no problems. If you're worried, use bottled water.

Since I put extra sugar in the fermenting stage will there be too much sugar and present a problem when I add sugar in the bottling stage?

By the time you get to bottling, that additional sugar you added will have been completely converted to alcohol by the yeast. Add the recommended amount of priming sugar per the directions (usually 3/4 cup).

The room where I have to keep the fermenting keg only gets up to about 65 degrees this time of year, is that warm enough?

65 degrees is a good temp. Since you're keeping it in the mini keg for two weeks, fermentation will have been completed by then even if the temp is slightly lower.

My commercial beer preferences are Guinness, Bass and Old Speckled Hen, are there any Mr. Beer recipes that are comparable to them that anyone could recommend?

Check the website. I only made one Mr. Beer kit, so I can't help you much here.

Is it worth it to buy Swing Top bottles or should you just buy a case of Grolsch and drink it to get the bottles?

If you can find the Grolsch with swing tops, get them. If not, you can buy the swing tops if you want. Personally, I'd save that money and invest in a 5 gallon set up. It really doesn't take up much room, just a corner of a closet.

Hope this helps
 

Thwizzit

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Thank you Yoop and Jumbo, I appreciate the replies and the answers to all my questions. I'm relieved to hear that the extra Booster won't be an issue. as far as the water is concerned, I actually used a gallon of Poland Spring and then the rest tap water. I think the water is OK to drink (I drink it once in a while) but I think it's rather hard because we get lime deposits on the faucets periodically and a white crusty substance forms on the fish tank from the tap water. My dad was from Brooklyn and he said his favorite beer was Schmidts until they moved and stopped using NY water.

Bottle carbonating/conditioning are good after 3 weeks total. About a week to carb, then at least a couple weeks to condition. I'd drink my first bottle 3-4 weeks after bottling

Oh, OK. The booklet says "Step 3 Bottling: For Optimum carbonation let beer sit for 2-3 weeks and Step 4-Conditioning: After carbonation it will be ready to drink. However, to improve the flavor you may want to Condition it for weeks." So, I figured I would need some more time to make it decent.

Thanks again. I guess I'll post my results in a month or so. Talk about hurry up an wait! I suspect it will be worth it though and you never know, I may end up with a 'real' kit soon enough.

Thanks again :)
 

ArcaneXor

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Thwizzit said:
My commercial beer preferences are Guinness, Bass and Old Speckled Hen, are there any Mr. Beer recipes that are comparable to them that anyone could recommend?

Thanks :)
Don't use Mr. Beer ingredients. Look up clone recipes for the above beers (preferably extract with steeping grains), scale them to the size of the keg (8.5 quarts, I think), and buy them online or from your LHBS. You'll get much better results.
 

Thwizzit

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Don't use Mr. Beer ingredients. Look up clone recipes
Will do, thanks for the advice. I was hoping to try some of my own recipes one day instead of just getting premade ones.

I also picked up a dozen bottle of Grolsch with the Swing-Tops and it's actually cheaper than what I've seen on the web and at Mr. Beer AND they come full of beer. Woot!

My local place has a lot of great beers and while picking up the Grolsch and some Old Speckled Hen I discovered a new favorite beer called INNIS & GUNN (Oak Aged Beer)


If I could once day brew a beer like this I'd be a happy man...
 

cola

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omg i can't believe this

i am drinking my very first beer that i made.

this has far exceeded my expectations.

the beer tastes way better than the usual old english and mickeys i usually buy

i am very impressed with mr. beer.
 

85 Haro Designs

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OK, I have a specific question about Mr. Beer's instructions.

To be honest I've moved on since Mr. Beer but I still have at least 6 cans of Malt Extract that I want to use. I found a recipe that utilizes 2 cans of Malt Extract (that I happen to have).

Here's the ingredient list: (directly from Mr. Beer's Website)..

Hill Town Honey Wheat
This crisp golden beer is just like the one you remember from back home. A nice smooth yet dry profile makes this beer go down easy. With a slight fruity undertone and delicate floral aroma, this beer will have you thinking of the old days with a smile on your face.

RECIPE INCLUDES:
1 Can West Coast Pale Ale
1 Can Whispering Wheat Weizenbier
2 Packets Dry Brewing Yeast (under lid of beer mix)
1 Packet Tettnanger Pellet Hops
1 Muslin Hop Sack
1 Packet One-Step™ Sanitizing Cleanser

YOU PR0VIDE:
1/2 Cup Honey

So my question is this........if I follow the Mr. Beer instructions they never have you boil the wort at all? Is this right - because Papazian says in his book that you should ALWAYS boil the wort for a minimum of 45 minutes.

I've done 4 batches from Mr. Beer's instructions (all using just one can of extract each) with booster in all, and then talbe sugar in the bottle for carbing. Well, the first batch was "good" and the rest either tasted like vinegar, chlorine, or champagne. I was impeccible with my sanitation of all the equipment on all 4 attempts. I used bottled water in every attempt as well.

Using the ingredients above - how would YOU brew this 2.5 gallon batch? I would LOVE to be successful this time.
 
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