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The Mr. Beer Hate?

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bracconiere

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This was why I skipped right past the Mr. Beer kits - it seemed too much like mixing up a batch of Kool-Aid.
i kind of had to catch myself from tripping, my first batch was a mr. beer, but it wouldn't ferment.....so naturally at ~18 years old, and not being able to buy beer, i went straight to all-grain...think i already said that here though.....

My first beer was magical to me because I made it.
well, see above, but my second batch was...but i hated bottling it, so i had my mom buy me a keg...lol, but i bought the fridge for it! kept it in the shed out back....

i remember how good those 44oz plastic big gulp cups were! and i owe it to jimmy, and mr beer!
 

Buick Beer Gardens

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It's only finished fermenting. Yeast still need to finish cleaning up byproducts. Give it another week. 15 years of brewing my rule of thumb is 3 weeks I don't care what style it is. 3-7 days ferment, 10-14 days to clean up, 3 days extra if a diacetyl rest is needed. Leaving a beer in for 3 weeks works wonders on the maturity.
Most definitely sitting for another week plus.
 

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Starsan contains calcium blockers and sulfuric acid.
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/sulfuric-acid/default.html
STAR SAN is a blend of phosphoric acid and dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid. This synergistic blend provides a unique killing system that is unaffected by excessive organic soils. STAR SAN is also a self-foaming sanitizer. It can be applied through a foamer to produce self-adhering sanitizing foam for external sanitation.

this is NOT sulfuric acid
 

kh54s10

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Even if there is a trace amount of sulfuric acid in there. After dilution to proper amounts there is no danger from it. Then you rinse the items you want to sanitize and let the excess drip off. What very little is left on the equipment then gets diluted in the wort or beer. The concentration is now almost nonexistent.

You probably are exposed to worse using one of those disinfectant wipes on your counter.
 

Buick Beer Gardens

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Second Mr. Beer Barvarian Weissbier bottled just a week. Yeah, my curiosity again. I think it is good with just a week conditioning. There is not much to not like about Mr. Beer. It makes beer. Outstanding gold winning beer? Not so much but I think it gets people into the hobby. Mission accomplished.
IMG_20200315_134105.jpg
 

seanjwalker1

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Second Mr. Beer Barvarian Weissbier bottled just a week. Yeah, my curiosity again. I think it is good with just a week conditioning. There is not much to not like about Mr. Beer. It makes beer. Outstanding gold winning beer? Not so much but I think it gets people into the hobby. Mission accomplished.
View attachment 671068
Also the thing about Mr Beer is you can easily add more extract or even use additional grains. Mr Beer extract can just be used as a base. Mr first partial mashes years ago started with Mr.Beer extract and grains. Can even add dry extract for added ABV and taste. I rarely make any beer other than all grain now but Mr.Beer started me off down that road 15 years ago. Mr.Beer isn't world class gold medal but it's decent especially for just starting out.
 

Bobby_M

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The thing about Mr. Beer is that it really isn't anything of substance. It's built around a tiny novelty molded plastic barrel that doesn't seal enough to use an airlock properly. The rest of it is a recipe catalog and you never know how long that junk has been on the shelf.

I'm not knocking the idea of experimenting with small batches but at least start at 1 gallon and just use a small bucket or gallon jug that can accept a propper airlock and is easy to clean. Look for scaled recipes built upon dry malt extract instead of syrups and skip the glucose/dextrose additions. Also, good homebrew shops refrigerate their hops and yeast for better quality. I doubt Mr. Beer ingredients have EVER been cold.
 

Buick Beer Gardens

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The thing about Mr. Beer is that it really isn't anything of substance. It's built around a tiny novelty molded plastic barrel that doesn't seal enough to use an airlock properly. The rest of it is a recipe catalog and you never know how long that junk has been on the shelf.

I'm not knocking the idea of experimenting with small batches but at least start at 1 gallon and just use a small bucket or gallon jug that can accept a propper airlock and is easy to clean. Look for scaled recipes built upon dry malt extract instead of syrups and skip the glucose/dextrose additions. Also, good homebrew shops refrigerate their hops and yeast for better quality. I doubt Mr. Beer ingredients have EVER been cold.
Unless one is will to spend $1000's on brewing apparatus! Mr. Beer lets one interested in brewing a beer an avenue to do so. It does so inexpensively by design. It comes in a box. It was never meant as premier kit that allows for gold medal brewing. But even with that said and both of my Mr. Beers brewed in a nice fermenter with proper air-lock and sealing lids, both are not bad for what they are. No doubt that grains steeped or mashed in the brew pot followed by malts and a hour or more of brewing will make a better beer. Mr. Beer wanted to do it in under 30 minute. No fuss. Funny, my wife said that last weekend when I brewed I was done in 30 minutes. No wort smell around the house. It was the Mr. Beer I was brewing! This past weekend it was a hefeweizen with 45 minutes steeping grains. 60 minutes extract boiling slowly. Needless to say the wort smell was strong with this one!
 

IslandLizard

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Unless one is will[ing] to spend $1000's on brewing apparatus!
I hope you don't believe that, it simply isn't true.
The word "Unless" excludes everything under $1000's. Since you've added the plural "s", this would indicate you'd need to spend at least $2000. :tank:

Pretty much anyone can brew good beer with "equipment" they already have around the house and spend nothing on equipment. We're talking a pot (or 2 or 3) that can withstand heating or even boiling the wort, a heat source to do so, and a vessel (container) to ferment in, such as a plastic bucket, or a large mayonnaise or pickle jar, etc. If one doesn't have those, they can probably find them for free or very cheap.

What costs money are the ingredients for brewing beer.
How does the Mr. Beer kit/recipe ingredients cost compare to buying DME and hops loose, not in a kit?
How much are you paying for the box the Mr. Beer kit/recipe ingredients comes in?
 
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Buick Beer Gardens

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I hope you don't believe that, it simply isn't true.
The word "Unless" excludes everything under $1000's. Since it's plural, this would indicate you'd need to spend at least $2000.

Pretty much anyone can brew beer with "equipment" they already have around the house and spend nothing on equipment. We're talking a pot (or 2 or 3) that can withstand heating or even boiling the wort, a heat source to do so, and a vessel (container) to ferment in, such as a plastic bucket, or a large mayonnaise or pickle jar, etc. If one doesn't have those, they can probably find them for free or very cheap.

What costs money are the ingredients for brewing beer.
How does the Mr. Beer kit/recipe ingredients cost compared to buying DME and hops loose, not in a kit? How much are you paying for the box the Mr. Beer kit/recipe ingredients comes in?

Let me reiterate, if one wants to attempt brewing beer then Mr Beer is one of their choices. Inexpensive, it is beer and ok for what it is. It is also for those that do not want to use mayo jars, buckets or the like that are around the house. Plus go get ingredients. It is delivered to your door. All of it. Generally is a gift from what I have experienced. I have seen kits from $50.00 to $350.00(Norther brewer) or MoreBeer at $450.00(kit with kegging/no ingredients). If one is willing to spend $450.00 for a kit that can keg it will certainly not end there with expenditures on brewing apparatus. For many it becomes a hobby that will grow in time that cost money. Many are willing to pay $50.00 and give it try. For me, it was a gift(Northern Brewer). After making some beer with their $49.99 kit the next thing I know is I'm laying out a few hundred for larger fermenters, hydrometers, bottles, caps and better ingredients. And it has not stopped. As of this weekend I'm considering a larger boiling pot and wort cooler. On it goes.

Certainly ingredients cost money. Five gallon ingredients for my hefewiezen is $51.00. The Mr Beer 1 gallon container ain't getting it. So one purchases better apparatus for brewing.

You may answer your last two questions using Google.

Back to the thread and it's intention, "Hate Mr. Beer"? No, I do not. If fills a niche, satisfies a curiosity and does what it is intended to do.
 

seanjwalker1

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Let me reiterate, if one wants to attempt brewing beer then Mr Beer is one of their choices. Inexpensive, it is beer and ok for what it is. It is also for those that do not want to use mayo jars, buckets or the like that are around the house. Plus go get ingredients. It is delivered to your door. All of it. Generally is a gift from what I have experienced. I have seen kits from $50.00 to $350.00(Norther brewer) or MoreBeer at $450.00(kit with kegging/no ingredients). If one is willing to spend $450.00 for a kit that can keg it will certainly not end there with expenditures on brewing apparatus. For many it becomes a hobby that will grow in time that cost money. Many are willing to pay $50.00 and give it try. For me, it was a gift(Northern Brewer). After making some beer with their $49.99 kit the next thing I know is I'm laying out a few hundred for larger fermenters, hydrometers, bottles, caps and better ingredients. And it has not stopped. As of this weekend I'm considering a larger boiling pot and wort cooler. On it goes.

Certainly ingredients cost money. Five gallon ingredients for my hefewiezen is $51.00. The Mr Beer 1 gallon container ain't getting it. So one purchases better apparatus for brewing.

You may answer your last two questions using Google.

Back to the thread and it's intention, "Hate Mr. Beer"? No, I do not. If fills a niche, satisfies a curiosity and does what it is intended to do.
Used my 2 Mr.Beer barrels for my first 5 years of brewing beer. Never had a problem with fermentation except 1x I attempted to brew a "Big" 2.5 gallon Russian Imperial stout and blew the Mr.Beer lid off along with 1 gallon of wort...wasnt pretty. I then moved on to 5 gallon buckets which I hated and quickly on to stainless steel equipment. Yes it can get very exspensive very quickly. I spent several years getting to my current setup( "2" 7.5 gal stainless steel fermenters, a 5.5 gal triple ply stainless brew pot, stainless wort chiller, stainless sparge, stainless brew pump, and a fermenter cool brewing bag. I finally have a kegerator because my wife and adult children chipped in this past Xmas to get me one because IT WAS so exspensive. Exspensive is a relative term depending on who you are and how much you can afford to spend at any given time. I, being a disabled veteran am on a limited income so yeah..spending $150 on a basic chapman 7.5 gallon stainless steel fermenter is exspensive. Whereas someone else can purchase a 20 gallon $5000 Blichman with automation and a $1800 all bells and whistles Kegerator and it's chump change. Point being, everyone is different with differing degrees of opinion on what's good equipment or not, what ingredients should be used or shouldn't. I say go with what you want or what you can afford or even pilfer from the family pots and pans antiques. Use granny's 3rd generation aluminium pot if that's all you can do or get yourself $500 brew pot..its all relative. We all are in this for the joy of creating our own piece of beer Nirvana! My 2 cents. Brew it! Just do it!
 

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For me 2 gallons of beer is a good compromise to maximize how much beer you get per batch and how much work and money you have to spend on packaging it. Since the Mr. Beer keg makes 2 gallons, I think that is an advantage. Another is that the keg is short and fits better in a cupboard, bin or cooler than taller fermentors.
 

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Inexpensive, it is beer and ok for what it is.
I looked around on the innuhnets, and found Mr. Beer ingredients being much more expensive than better products I can buy at my local homebrew store or online.

For example, I'd pay $13.95 for 3 pounds of DME ($13.95/3 = $4.65 a pound) at my LHBS. With my 10% homebrew club membership discount, it comes out at $4.19 a pound.
At Mr.Beer's store a (relatively small) bag of similar DME containing only 7.5 oz runs $3.95.
That comes down to $3.95/7.5*16 = $8.43 a pound, double from my LHBS price. Then shipping needs to be added as well.

Similar observations for LME:
https://www.mdhb.com/index.php?cPath=21_27_39_129_26000133

And no, I don't have any love for (potentially old and stale) pre-hopped extracts with an old unrefrigerated pack of some unknown yeast under the lid.
John Palmer was not the first or only one to suggest tossing that pack of yeast and replace it with some real and fresh beer yeast of customer's choice.

Sure, Mr. Beer can be an entryway into homebrewing with their catchy advertising of beginners kits. But it pretty much stops there.

They're merely selling the illusion of brewing any of those beers they offer. Although the end results may yield drinkable beers, they're not very good or even close to their styles, by any measure.

The illusion is brewing an American Lager, a Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner, or Aztec Mexican Cerveza, driven by the beer's style and name, but without using the special fermentables, a Lager yeast, fermented under low and controlled temps, and some sort of low temp lagering/conditioning process, they're nothing like them. They're drinkable ales at best.

Brewing their Diablo IPA from the can without using fresh hops is merely an illusion of an IPA. It won't even qualify as a Pale Ale.
 

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You probably are exposed to worse using one of those disinfectant wipes on your counter.
Check out Triclosan, its baaad stuff. Created as a disinfectant but acts so broadly and for so long it's more like a pesticide. I would never wipe down surfaces that little one's hands might touch. My brother's wife douses their house with it religiously and two of their four kids have developed extreme food and environmental allergies.
 

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I would get them on sale at bed bath and beyond after Christmas. They would go on clearance and I would buy a bunch. Once old they get kind of icky. But sure they make beer. Never hopped one or did anything great. Used a lot of fruit with them. A lot. Anywho, hopped lme to be exact. My uncle would use like two of those porter cans and a booster can and it would make a decent enough brew. I guess if it gets you into brewing thats a good thing.

See brewing with quality lme or dme is just like that can except the quality. Also the hops are added fresh and separate which is the real difference. And the yeast is a little fresher and better too. The caveat? Extracts are expensive. So thats what I did(accept all grain), I made small batches in them fermenters, 4 of them I think I have and those were some of the best beers I have made. Funny now I can make ten gallons of all grain in no time but am drinking less so am going to go back to 2.5 g brews in my mr beer fermenter. Sure the lid has a built in air lock, Ill get it out of the keg fast enough, and coming out that tap into a house, I have new taps is less oxygen then siphon hose I am sure. Anyways, brew on. Make 30 or 40 of them, bottle in 2 liters make it easy enjoy it. When you want to step it up we'll help you. Theres some real masters on this thread already.
 

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4 years ago, in this same thread, I had already mentioned the illusion of brewing created by nifty niche marketing:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/the-mr-beer-hate.593692/#post-7749145

Marketing is extremely deceptive. It creates illusions that make people buy things they'd never thought of or considered before. You need a big, colorful box...

That's why you see so many Mr. Beer kits being offered around Christmas shopping season. Everywhere!
Then you don't see them the rest of the year, except maybe in Ollies, Marshall's, etc.
 

kh54s10

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4 years ago, in this same thread, I had already mentioned the illusion of brewing created by nifty niche marketing:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/the-mr-beer-hate.593692/#post-7749145

Marketing is extremely deceptive. It creates illusions that make people buy things they'd never thought of or considerethe d before. You need a big, colorful box...

That's why you see so many Mr. Beer kits being offered around Christmas shopping season. Everywhere!
Then you don't see them the rest of the year, except maybe in Ollies, Marshall's, etc.
And those are probably leftovers from Christmas season.

I would say Mr Beer is a good introduction, but if you try brewing one and are interested in the hobby you should progress past it very quickly.
Some have talked about cost. I saw a quote of about $100. My first was a kit - about $25 from Northern Brewer in 2011 and an equipment kit for another $150. So I started with 5 gallon batches for $175. A Mr Beer Kit with everything is about $50 and more.

BIAB was not a big thing back then. If you went all grain BIAB, sourced individual ingredients and one fermenter you could probably start the 2.5 gallon that is the Mr. Beer size for about the same $20 for the pot, $20 for something to ferment in and $20 for ingredients.
 

Buick Beer Gardens

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4 years ago, in this same thread, I had already mentioned the illusion of brewing created by nifty niche marketing:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/the-mr-beer-hate.593692/#post-7749145

Marketing is extremely deceptive. It creates illusions that make people buy things they'd never thought of or considered before. You need a big, colorful box...

That's why you see so many Mr. Beer kits being offered around Christmas shopping season. Everywhere!
Then you don't see them the rest of the year, except maybe in Ollies, Marshall's, etc.

What then creates the non-illusion of brewing?

Of course boxes of Mr. Beer and others are seen at Christmas. It is the time of year where purchases are many. Makes sense to me to stock shelves at various stores.
 

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A few months ago, someone that knows I'm into brewing brought by a Mr Beer kit that's been stored for years. I've been wondering what to do with the can of LME. May have to give it a go.
 

Buick Beer Gardens

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Read: John Palmer's How to Brew

Or buy the book, 4th Ed., read HBT, etc.
This is a book about brewing and how to. Brewing by definition is the making of beer by steeping grains, boiling malts, pitching yeast, etc. By definition Mr. Beer is brewing and not an illusion of brewing. It is not as involved as it can grow to be either. But none-the-less it is brewing by definition. Perhaps not by others who have multiple steps in their brewing process.
 

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I use the 2 gallon fermentors all the time for small bottled batches - mostly Belgian-style.

They are great, the yeast drops into a nice little slot on the bottom. They fit in a standard food fridge for cold crashing.

All I do is 2 week primary, crash in fridge and bottle right off the spot with a bottling wand. So easy.

I bought them for $10 each back when on sale, not sure they still have them.
 

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I kind of enjoyed the illusion of brewing last week when I made a Mr. Beer Canadian Blonde, and last night when I made their Oktoberfest kit. Didn't use their yeast. Just split a pack of Nottingham between them. I have modest expectations for how they turn out, but it was so quick and easy that I have no complaints at all.

As a bonus, after sanitizing the fermenter I filled up the PET bottles with the sanitizer, put caps on them and stored them away until bottling time. Hope that woks out, but if not, then I've learned a lesson.

It does seem like Mr. Beer has stepped it up a bit from several years ago and are making a little more effort to keep their consumers interested. They have a lot of recipes on their site, including some partial mashes. Awfully expensive, though, so I'll just be getting some one-gallon kits from Northern Brewer. But, I like the idea of working in smaller batches. I don't need 5 gallons of anything any more.
 

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My 1st 6-7 years of brewing were Mr Beer, then BIAB then all grain last 8 year's. Nothing wrong with the little kits except lower ABV than I liked. I would always add some extra LME or DME. I still on occasion brew up a 2 gallon batch in them when my kegerator is occupied and a friend or neighbor wants a particular batch. They last forever if you take care of them. I still have 2 of them in addition to my stainless fermenter. Great way to start the hobby.
 

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A few months ago, someone that knows I'm into brewing brought by a Mr Beer kit that's been stored for years. I've been wondering what to do with the can of LME. May have to give it a go.
If it's been years, as in more than 1 or 2 it's probably past its usefulness. Most LME has a shelf life of 6-18 months. Worth a try I guess maybe worse that can happen is 2 gallons of water wasted and an hour or 2. Who knows? Might still be good. ?
 
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Kee

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If it's been years, as in more than 1 or 2 it's probably past its usefulness. Most LME has a shelf life of 6-18 months. Worth a try I guess maybe worse that can happen is 2 gallons of water wasted and an hour or 2. Who knows? Might still be good. ?
I still have it on a shelf, and will wait until I'm really bored to use it. But I will be going into this with very low expectations, more as an experiment than anything else.
 

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I still have it on a shelf, and will wait until I'm really bored to use it. But I will be going into this with very low expectations, more as an experiment than anything else.
Haha, I have used many old cans of it and they taste off, skunky and like molasses. It's funny really how many times I have answered this question. Not sure I am glad to be the one who knows. Actually definetly wish I didnt know, but 10 or 15 gallons of molasses grog qualifies me. Jeesh hope it wasnt 20 gallons. Hey, got to start somewhere.
 
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seatazzz

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My two cents. I started with a Mr Beer that was gifted to me by a friend; have no idea how old it was at that time, but I happily followed the instructions, and what came out of it was definitely beer; maybe not great (as I recall it had a super twang and not much hops) but it was MINE. I made one more extract batch in that little barrel, but got stupid and poured my boiling hot wort into it and melted the poor little guy. I then did what I should have done in the first place; went to the LHBS that I had passed many times, and bought proper beginner's equipment, basically a fermenting bucket & a bottling bucket, some bottles, and a few other things that ran me less than $50. That was four years ago.

I know there have been many threads on how expensive our hobby can be, but in my opinion it's only as expensive as you WANT it to be. My setup could be considered ghetto by some, but it works for me, and I've probably spent less than $1000 over 4 years on it; granted, a lot a I got secondhand from friends, but it works. If you are patient and willing to search, you can find all sorts of equipment for cheap, that will do what you want it to do; make beer. Maybe not as shiny or pretty as the +$1000 setups, but your family, friends, judges, etc., don't see your equipment; they see the finished product. I've got three ribbons and three medals that prove to me at least that my beer is good. Not to mention I like to drink it, so do my friends and family.

TL;DR; but if someone has the right kind of mentality, patience, and ambition, starting out with a Mr Beer kit will spark their curiosity/enthusiasm. And maybe, they wind up here, and all of us with our experience/knowledge will lead them further down the dark path.
 

bracconiere

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That was four years ago.
awww, so cute! :)

Not to mention I like to drink it, so do my friends and family.
strangest thing happened to me today, i'm getting the house painted....i went and said i have some crappy homebrew that was supposed to be a brown ale, but tastes like strawberry, offered to pour them glasses....they politley turned me down, and said "thanks for the offer though"...i might not win any medals, but people thank me for the offer! ;)
 

seatazzz

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awww, so cute! :)



strangest thing happened to me today, i'm getting the house painted....i went and said i have some crappy homebrew that was supposed to be a brown ale, but tastes like strawberry, offered to pour them glasses....they politley turned me down, and said "thanks for the offer though"...i might not win any medals, but people thank me for the offer! ;)
I get that a lot...some people hear "homebrew" and their gut reaction is "oh hell no". Then there are others who only hear "free beer" and you can't get them outta the house.....

maybe you should have told them it was a super-expensive batch that was brewed with fresh strawberries...and you nailed it.
 

bracconiere

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I get that a lot...some people hear "homebrew" and their gut reaction is "oh hell no". Then there are others who only hear "free beer" and you can't get them outta the house.....

yeah, i "could have" tried to "sell it" better.....i thought about offering them a shot of my 5 year old whiskey i've had aging, but moonshine is too easy....if they don't go for my 'crappy homebrew', why help them feel cool.....
 

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i'd imagine malt syrup would be good for breakfast cereal sweetener?
As long as it's not been in a can for an unknown amount of years sitting on a shelf somewhere.
The pre-hopped syrup variety is just vile, regardless of age and use. It's hard to believe that stuff can be sold like that.
 
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