Question about Mr. Beer cooling

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DD2000GT

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First off - I am an AG brewer for over 20 years, YES I clicked on the link on the sticky about this - it did not take me to the answer, NO I did not read the entire 100+ pages of the sticky, YES I tried to search for this - typing in Mr Beer once again gets me 100+ pages of posts most not even about this, and lastly it is OK if you don't want to post because of this.

For those a bit more forgiving - my son bought a Mr. Beer kit to get into home brewing as I have been a brewer all of their lives and they see my love for the hobby. I warned him - but he did it anyway. Followed their directions and hated the results (an "I told you so" moment). Anyway, I invited him over to brew and had him bring his Mr. Beer stuff and showed him how to use DME, hops, and yeast to make his own "kit". Now, I live in Texas so to get the fermentor under 70 degrees requires a swap cooler method (large tub of water with frozen gallon jugs, tee shirt over the fermentor, fan blowing on the tee shirt). Works great with 5 gallon carboys - not so much with the Mr. Beer fake keg barrel design. Obviously could not turn it on its side to stick the spigot up in the air - the big top lid screws down to a knoched base to release fermentation pressure. I "ass"ume since no beer leaks out of the spigot during normal fermentation - it should be safe to have this submerged underwater in my swamp cooler that is filled with star san water.

Any real life experiences on this?
 

frazier

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I've done small batches in my good ol' MrBeer, by putting it in a cooler and swapping ice bottles in and out. A bit of a PITA, but it worked.
 
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DD2000GT

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I've done small batches in my good ol' MrBeer, by putting it in a cooler and swapping ice bottles in and out. A bit of a PITA, but it worked.
Good idea and does not require water. One more question - at the end of fermentation, did any liquid squeeze out of the spigot on its own from internal pressure?
 

frazier

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Good idea and does not require water. One more question - at the end of fermentation, did any liquid squeeze out of the spigot on its own from internal pressure?
No, but I have had kraeusen ooze out from the vented cap.
 

weirdboy

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Yeah I have done that, before I finally threw that thing away. Stuck it in a swamp cooler with water, just like I do with my bigger fermenters, and it worked fine. But then I didn't use the spigot, either. I siphoned the beer out of it as you would do in a carboy for packaging.

FWIW my Mr Beer lasted a while, and I like doing small batches so I used it a lot, along with some buckets, milk jugs, etc. But there were some manufacturing imperfections that made it extremely hard to get clean and sanitized properly for brewing. Eventually, I had a batch in there that developed an infection and I ended up just throwing the whole thing away.
 

frazier

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Yeah I have done that, before I finally threw that thing away. Stuck it in a swamp cooler with water, just like I do with my bigger fermenters, and it worked fine. But then I didn't use the spigot, either. I siphoned the beer out of it as you would do in a carboy for packaging.

FWIW my Mr Beer lasted a while, and I like doing small batches so I used it a lot, along with some buckets, milk jugs, etc. But there were some manufacturing imperfections that made it extremely hard to get clean and sanitized properly for brewing. Eventually, I had a batch in there that developed an infection and I ended up just throwing the whole thing away.
I think this highlights the great benefit of the MrBeer system - easy to use, learn the process, do small batches, learn the process, experiment, learn more about the process. I would bet that 95% of those who start with a MrBeer system, either give up on brewing (they just weren't into it) or move up to full systems.
 

DaddyP

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I think this highlights the great benefit of the MrBeer system - easy to use, learn the process, do small batches, learn the process, experiment, learn more about the process. I would bet that 95% of those who start with a MrBeer system, either give up on brewing (they just weren't into it) or move up to full systems.
I fit into that catagory.

My first true 5 gal. batch was considerably better than my last Mr. Beer batch. It was beer, it was ok, but stepping up was worth it.

Was it the Mr Beer learning curve? Or was it gear and ingredients? Both? I say 30% Mr Beer curve, 60% gear and ingredients. I won't knock Mr Beer though, it did get me to where I'm at today.

Back on topic, I used a 48 qt. cooler and ice bottles to keep the temps down. It required a lot of checking up on, but it worked for me. We keep the house at 80 degrees here in the AZ summer heat.
 
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DD2000GT

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Thanks for the replies - I "figured" it would be ok but thought I would ask first in case I was heading for a disaster as I have never used a Mr. Beer kit.

BTW - hoping that showing him how to make his own recipes and correct processes to improve results will motivate him to continue. He is a Chef, so experimenting and making food/drinks are his passion anyway.
 
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