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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: tomsawyer on April 29, 2014, 03:31:11 PM

Title: Brewing with Mr Beer
Post by: tomsawyer on April 29, 2014, 03:31:11 PM
I have a new friend who wanted to brew and asked if I'd help him.  He said he had some stuff so I told him to come on over last night.  Turns out he had several cans of Mr Beer hopped LME, plus booster packs and smaller "booster" packs of LME and some oz packages of hops.  He also had a 3.3lb can of doppelbock LME.  He wanted to brew up a few of these so we brewed the Northwest pale, an IPA and the doppelbock.  Each of these was to make 2gal or so of beer.

I convinced him to combine the Northwest pale and the IPA because they were similar products.  One came with some Columbus late hops and the other had Falconers Flight.  We put these two can together, added the boosters (just corn sugar) and the packs of LME and brought it to a boil.  I didn't boil long since the stuff was already hopped, just chilled and measured the OG then brought it down to about 1.075.  That made it about 4.5gal total.  I pitched US05 instead of the generic ale yeast that came with these two cans.

We also brewed the doppelbock with the booster and LME packs.  It had Liberty hops for a late addition, I was tempted not to use them but went ahead.  They had sent him S23 lager yeast for this brew, I hated to use it but didn't have another lager yeast to sub so I pitched this and will try and ferment at 55F.  This brew came in at about 1.080, in doppelbock range.

He had a couple other cans of Mr Beer LME (Mexican cerveza and Ofest) and I told him we could combine them and make any number of styles with some specialty grains.  We had enough beer going though so this will be for another session.  We are fermenting the beer in my basement due to space and temp constraints where he's living.

I never used Mr Beer stuff, it seems really simple to use.  I don't like the booster sugar packs, looked like a full pound of corn sugar which seems like too much for a 2lb can of LME.  I explained to him about how boosters like that will change the gravity and therefore the style and balance of the beer he's making.  We have a lot of learning to do but he seems like a good dude and I always like brewing.  No shortage of beer at the house either, in fact we sampled about six of me beers while we were making this stuff.

Title: Re: Brewing with Mr Beer
Post by: gymrat on April 29, 2014, 09:49:08 PM
The old Mr Beer before Coopers bought them actually had pretty good beer. The booster is not sugar. It has sugar as well as some unfermentable stuff. It is supposed to add body as well as ABV. I always liked combining an HME with an LME instead of using the booster. I think Mr. Beer or Brew Demon are great ways to introduce someone to brewing. They are a rather small investment and super simple to do. That was how I started. Then I saw that a 5 gallon extract kit was about the same price as I was paying for premium Mr Beer kits so I bought an Ale Pail and bottling bucket. From there I learned how to steep grains and do my own hop additions. I took baby steps like that up to all grain brewing.
Title: Re: Brewing with Mr Beer
Post by: majorvices on April 30, 2014, 01:33:00 AM
When I got my first homebrew kit as a gift back in '95 I was actually disappointed it wasn't a Mr. Beer kit.....
Title: Re: Brewing with Mr Beer
Post by: Steve L on April 30, 2014, 10:07:38 AM
I started with a Mr. Beer kit way back when. If anything it gave me the general idea of the brewing process. I actually like the "little brown keg" fermenter, it's a sound design IMO. What interests me is why the manufacturers of PET fermenters and better bottles haven't made one that is tinted brown. Seems to me like that would not only let you see the fermentation but allow for a bit more insurance against light struck beers. Makes me wonder if the color may destabilize the PET or affect oxygen permeability... curious. :D
Title: Re: Brewing with Mr Beer
Post by: tomsawyer on April 30, 2014, 06:10:36 PM
True, I did see that the booster was suposed to add some body so I suppose theres a little maltodextrin as well as corn sugar.  I only just tasted a little of the LME and it seemed to have a decent bitterness, didn't taste the boiled wort.  Kind of wonder if I should've boosted bitterness with a bittering addition, although we only boiled the stuff briefly.  I think the young man had fun, thats the important thing.  He works part time in a liquor store and he's getting more familiar with craft beer as a result.  And with a new baby, he could no doubt benefit economically from making his own.