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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: gymrat on April 24, 2012, 08:57:20 am

Title: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: gymrat on April 24, 2012, 08:57:20 am
http://blogs.wsj.com/dealjournalaustralia/2012/04/24/coopers-toasts-u-s-beer-takeout/?mod=google_news_blog

They have sold 200,000 kits. That is 200,000 people introduced to home brewing. I had no idea they moved that kind of volume.

I do nothing but all grain 5 gallon batches now. And am trying to learn how to formulate my own recipes. But if it hadn't been for Mr Beer I never would have attempted home brewing. It gave me a very simple inexpensive way to start out. Then I built on that step by step.

Criticize them all you want but here is proof they have been undeniably good for home brewing.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: a10t2 on April 24, 2012, 09:05:01 am
They have sold 200,000 kits. That is 200,000 people introduced to home brewing.

Yeah, but how many of the 200,000 get brewed? ;)

More than once I've had someone say, "Hey, you brew beer, right? Do you want this Mr. Beer thing? I won't use it."
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: gymrat on April 24, 2012, 09:07:43 am
if only 1/4th actually got used..that is 50,000 people introduced to home brewing. If only 1/8th got used that is 25,000 introduced to home brewing. Still a very significant number.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: tomsawyer on April 24, 2012, 09:15:38 am
I saw them for sale in a sporting goods store recently (why there I have no idea) and was tempted to buy it just to see what it was like.  I'd suppose with proper ferm temps and a decent yeast one could make a passable beer.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: Alewyfe on April 24, 2012, 09:32:44 am
I have met many people who got started....and stopped with a Mr. Beer kit. One of our club members still uses hers occassionally and makes really acceptable beers with it. Another person who had disastrous results, met me at a local wine tasting. When discussing the wines, I stated that I was really a beer person and if he ever wanted to try brewing again, to get in touch. Fast forward 3 years...he's now a brewing machine, a BJCP judge and integral member of his local home brew club.

Our LHB shop said his sales of new equipment really fell off when the new Costco opened in our town. (They were selling Mr. Beer kits) Now the number of "kit" sales is surprising him. I believe (based on what he's now stocking) that his beer gear & ingred. sales must be way up. Subsequently, our little brew club has grown from about 10 to over 30 members in the past 8 months.

I love finding folks who are trying to brew with a Mr. Beer. I encourage them with stories of how many of us started with little kit beers, share some homebrew and offer to help or answer questions. I'm getting about an 80% conversion rate.....HALELUYAH!

Yes, Mr. Beers have made a lot of stinky beer, but it's also let a lot of people see/taste/experience the magic that is brewing and yearn for more.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: a10t2 on April 24, 2012, 09:41:01 am
Still a very significant number.

Oh yeah, I wasn't trying to dispute that at all. I'm pretty surprised by how many they actually sell.

I'd suppose with proper ferm temps and a decent yeast one could make a passable beer.

In one of the recent Basic Brewing video episodes they do just that. IIRC the biggest change was to use two bags of DME instead of 50/50 DME/"booster".
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: ccfoo242 on April 24, 2012, 09:46:16 am
I started with Mr Beer.  Really enjoyed it.

-Sent from the future.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: majorvices on April 24, 2012, 09:54:02 am
my first homebrew kit  was a christmas present from my mom. I was actually disappointed it wasn't a Mr. Beer kit at first. ???
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: garc_mall on April 24, 2012, 10:08:00 am
This is what got me excited. Pushing it to all malt will make a good difference all by itself. I would imagine they will tweak the directions too.

Quote
However, American customers would notice some subtle changes aimed at improving the quality of the beer.

"We will replace the current malt extracts with a superior quality all-malt concentrate produced at Coopers with a yeast specifically designed for their size kit," he said.

"This will remove the need for a sugar adjunct and will significantly improve the quality of beer that is produced."
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: weithman5 on April 24, 2012, 10:15:54 am
also seeing one of these kits in the store people walk by and say "I can make my own beer?"  they may not by mr. beer but they may start researching how to go about it. get to the aha forum and .....
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: tygo on April 24, 2012, 10:17:10 am
I started with a Mr. Beer kit as well.  I can still remember how exciting that was to make those first couple of batches, even though they didn't turn out that great. 

The kit was a present from my wife for my birthday.  In retrospect I think she probably wishes she'd gotten me a watch or something  ::)
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: nateo on April 24, 2012, 10:23:39 am
My only Mr. Beer related experience was giving a couple gallons of wort to a friend who had one. I don't think it fully attenuated before he bottled, because he had a lot of bottle bombs. Do the kits come with a hydrometer? It's kind of dangerous to bottle beer in glass if you don't know what you're doing. Do they came with PET bottles?
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: Delo on April 24, 2012, 10:27:15 am
Coopers kits seemed better quality than the Mr. Beer kits so if they do modifications,  I would think that should help with the quality of Mr Beer. My first kit was a Mr Beer gift from my wife. I made an ESB and it was pretty good. It was cool, but I already knew I wanted to brew and was eventually going to get a more advanced setup.

It’s pretty much a crapshoot whether the beer will be good or not with these kits. It's cool if it turns someone on to brewing, but it's unfortunate that it may turn someone off easily if the beer doesnt taste good.  What doesn’t help these kits are people trying to brew lagers and/or pilsners.  My coworker was going to brew with a Mr Beer kit and he had two ingredient kits,  a lager and a stout. I told him that a good lager would be harder to make the first time brewing. He brewed the stout and I'm hoping that it tastes good and he enjoys brewing.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: gymrat on April 24, 2012, 10:47:05 am
My only Mr. Beer related experience was giving a couple gallons of wort to a friend who had one. I don't think it fully attenuated before he bottled, because he had a lot of bottle bombs. Do the kits come with a hydrometer? It's kind of dangerous to bottle beer in glass if you don't know what you're doing. Do they came with PET bottles?

They don't come with a hydrometer. And you start out with 1 liter PET bottles.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: Slowbrew on April 24, 2012, 10:48:00 am
I looked at the Mr. Beer kits for a long time.  We were broke and $50 was out of the question at the time.  After Al G. invented the internet I started reading up on brewing and all the nasty reviews of Mr. Beer kits.  I finally bought an "Advanced Brewing Kit" from Wally VonKlop at the the VonKlop Wine and Cheese Mart in MN.

Short version: Mr Beer got me thinking and kept reminding me to look into brewing.  Our 3rd kid finally wore out SWMBO  :P and she agreeded to let me buy a kit.  14 years later even she has come around to the craft (or at least became a beer snob) and all I do is all grain brews.

Whatever works is sometimes a good motto.

Paul
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: gymrat on April 24, 2012, 10:53:38 am
Delo you have the same risk of making bad beer your first batch or two with a 5 gallon kit as you do with a MrBeer kit..the difference being Mr Beer is only a $25 to $35 investment. So there is less at risk. That was why I bought mine a few years ago. All of the beers I made with mine came out pretty good. Not as good as what I am making now. But pretty good. I went to 5 gallon batches because after equipment purchase Mr Beer recipes broke down to $1.00 per bottle, 5 Gallon extract kits, after equipment purchase, broke down to around 60 cents a bottle. My all grain, unless I do something really hoppy or really  strong, breaks down to 44 cents a bottle.

I have started 3 people out in brewing. I started them with Mr Beer kits to insure they would be successful on their first brew. From there I helped them with more advanced processes a little at a time. They are all doing 5 gallon extract kits now
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: erockrph on April 24, 2012, 10:56:13 am
I'd suppose with proper ferm temps and a decent yeast one could make a passable beer.
In one of the recent Basic Brewing video episodes they do just that. IIRC the biggest change was to use two bags of DME instead of 50/50 DME/"booster".

Actually, if its the episode I saw, they also did a mini-mash. I think they used a packet of US-05 as the yeast.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: djt17 on April 24, 2012, 11:34:46 am
I too started with Mr Beer; it was $39 on Woot for the full kit with the WCPA mix. I only made a few batches with Mr Beer ingredients, too expensive. But; it led me down a path to DME, partial mashes, then to full on AG. I sold the Mr Beer keg with a bottle capper, & 2 cases of empty bottles for $15. The person I sold it to hasn't used it (3 yrs ago).
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: bigchicken on April 24, 2012, 11:52:40 am
I also started with Mr. Beer. I don't make them anymore, but I kept the mini fermentor. It makes a nice test vessel or a large yeast starter vessel.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: tonyp on April 24, 2012, 12:01:05 pm
I started brewing with friends that had all of the equipment but after i moved away my wife bought me a Mr Beer as a xmas present and that got me back into it and where i am today.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: Delo on April 24, 2012, 01:26:56 pm
Delo you have the same risk of making bad beer your first batch or two with a 5 gallon kit as you do with a MrBeer kit..the difference being Mr Beer is only a $25 to $35 investment. So there is less at risk.

I have started 3 people out in brewing. I started them with Mr Beer kits to insure they would be successful on their first brew. From there I helped them with more advanced processes a little at a time. They are all doing 5 gallon extract kits now
It is a good, cheap way of getting people into brewing, but I would think there is a higher chance of things going wrong with Mr Beer.   Maybe the kits have changed since I first brewed with it or I may not remember too correctly, but I had to use a lot of sugar and it came with a cleaner not a sanitizer.  I guess it’s also because when I look at what I use now as far as equipment and ingredients go, and look at what I used back then its hard to believe good beer can be made from such a simple kit.  I do wish I still had my fermenter, but I melted it in the dishwasher.
BTW its great your helping people get started.  It would have been cool to have someone to help me when I first started. Maybe they would have taught me how to read directions.  :)
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: bonjour on April 24, 2012, 02:38:15 pm
I too started with a Mr. Beer kit.
My son got it from a department store (Bed Bath and Beyond).  My kit did not say to add sugar, just to add one can (1.121 lbs) of Oktoberfest mix (LME).  I got Charlie's book which said 6-7 pounds of extract for twice the beer.  I added DME to my first brew.

Mr. Beer is sold in stores so someone shopping for a present (There are always more kits available for the holidays), so the shopper can say hey so & so really likes beer, I bet he/she would like to brew beer.

The rest is history.

Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: Malticulous on April 24, 2012, 04:54:13 pm
Now they come with a tiny can of hopped extract and a half kilo of booster (that is just brewery grade corn sugar.) The two together make 9 quarts of 1.038 wort. It comes with 2 grams of dry yeast. It's not much different than the five gallon can and kilo kits I started with.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: tomsawyer on April 24, 2012, 05:01:16 pm
I too started with a Mr. Beer kit.
My son got it from a department store (Bed Bath and Beyond).  My kit did not say to add sugar, just to add one can (1.121 lbs) of Oktoberfest mix (LME).  I got Charlie's book which said 6-7 pounds of extract for twice the beer.  I added DME to my first brew.

Mr. Beer is sold in stores so someone shopping for a present (There are always more kits available for the holidays), so the shopper can say hey so & so really likes beer, I bet he/she would like to brew beer.

The rest is history.
Leave it to you to bump up a Mr Beer kit Fred!
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: heavyeng on April 24, 2012, 06:37:12 pm
Another Mr. Beer guy here! circa 1996-7.

Made some halfway decent swill with it too!
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: bo on April 24, 2012, 07:09:38 pm
I've heard of Mr. Beer brews taking ribbons.
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: g-s on April 24, 2012, 07:39:14 pm
Got one for christmas '96 , wasn't bad , just remember I was drinking flavorless beer back then . my palate has changed a lot since. but it got me brewing. moved on to 10 gal & 40 gal s/s all grain systems and now it is more of an obsession . Homebrewing , like heaven dosn't matter  how you get there just as long as you get there ! :o
Title: Re: Mr Beer has really been good for home brewing
Post by: alcaponejunior on April 25, 2012, 07:46:39 am
several friends and me started with Mr Beer.  My buddy brewed an excellent first beer with it (canadian lager kit), and his subsequent batches were good too.  Not world class but plenty good enough.  I had trouble with it at first, but I discovered that it was my water that was the culprit.  It did get me into the hobby though, and now I've got multiple buckets and carboys, plus tons of equipment and I'm hooked.  I'm actually going to use the Mr Beer keg for a secondary fermentation of part of a batch of stout I'm going to brew in may (I'm going to try a small amount of vanilla bean).  So while Mr Beer may not be the greatest kit ever, it clearly has some value in that it gets people into the hobby.  If done right, it actually makes pretty decent beers too.