Author Topic: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?  (Read 826 times)

Offline hubie

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What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« on: December 28, 2013, 06:42:44 PM »
My normal brewing session is 5-gallon all-grain batches.  In the past I have been given extract kits as gifts, which I am always happy to receive and use.  This Christmas I was gifted a Mr Beer Kit.  It was mailed to me from afar, so it isn't something I can easily return or take back to a store.  I could always regift it to someone, but I don't have anyone in mind who might be interested in it.  It comes with a 2-gallon PET fermentor, ten PET beer bottles, two 850 gram cans of Coopers hopped LME (the Aztec Mexican Cerveza and the Bohemian Czech Pilsner), two 5g sachets of "ale yeast" and some other misc stuff.

Anyone have any suggestions?  I might go ahead and make the two 2-gallon batches, probably with some tweaking of ingredients and yeast (850 grams into 2 gallons only comes to something like 1.035), but after that, I don't know.  I might use the fermentor for small batch brewing, mead making, cider making, etc.  Maybe it could be my dedicated souring vessel.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 07:58:12 PM »
Wow... this is just like sending a skilled chef an Easy Bake Oven and a lightbulb, or an artist some finger paints and crayons and construction paper, or... just wow.  Reminds me of the year I asked for Belgian imported ales and they gave me a case of Shock Top.  Er, um, thanks?!

I guess you could use the extract for yeast starters, try the yeast for a random pale ale or two, and yeah, try the fermented for cider or mead.  Not sure I would *ruin* it for sours but it could work.  Guess I am not a lot of help...
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 08:47:42 PM »
I bought one a few weeks ago at a thrift store just to see how the beer would come out with a little skill.  All their kits are 3.5% abv.

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Offline bigchicken

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2013, 09:08:21 PM »
I started on a Mr. Beer kit and though I haven't used it in years, I still have it. I kept the fermentor for making yeast starters, the bottles for test beers when checking for carbonation on a batch I can't wait to drink, and the instruction book when I need a laugh. The bottles are also handy when you goof and run out of glass bottle caps on bottling day or if you have less than 12 ounces left in the bottling bucket.
As far as the extract it came with, I'd say make a beer with them, but not what they were meant for. I'd say only half of those kits are worth drinking. I did make a fabulous vanilla honey wheat beer based off one if their kits once. They can make good beer.
TJ Cook
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Offline gymrat

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 09:22:46 PM »
I would make the beers that came with the kit but I would add a pound of LME to each one. You can actually go from start to pitching in 20 minutes flat with one of those.
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Offline Steve in TX

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 09:40:08 PM »
I think the fermenters are cool. Only $10 right now.

Didn't the kits get better when coopers bought the company?

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2013, 10:00:22 PM »
I would accept it as a challenge and see how awesome you can make it.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2013, 10:30:31 PM »

I would accept it as a challenge and see how awesome you can make it.

^ This.  James a Spencer of Basic Brewing Video/radio attempted to freshen up a Mr. Beer kit on 1-7-12. Jamil Zainasheff used some Mr. Beer extract for a no-boil black IPA challenge on the 10-6-13 episode of The Sunday Session on The Brewing Network.

Curious, I attempted this twice with mixed results.  The dry stout with added malt and hops came out nice.  The no boil APA was okay until I keg hopped too long.   


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Offline gymrat

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2013, 07:26:58 AM »
I think the fermenters are cool. Only $10 right now.

Didn't the kits get better when coopers bought the company?

No they got nasty after coopers bought the company. They really weren't too bad before that.
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Offline pjkunkel

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2013, 07:39:22 AM »
Just my opinion, you can have some fun with the kits.  I use my old one for doing sours.  You can also tweak the recipes for some experimental small batches.  I used an old Mr. Beer extract kit to make a fun Ginger Pepper Pale ale.  I found changing the yeast and adding in some either specialty grains or a little more DME/LME make the Mr. Beer kits much more drinkable.  Also I know some people use the little Mr. Beer kegs to lager beers, since they are smaller and can fit in a cooler.  I used mine to make a nice California common in a small cooler.

Online erockrph

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2013, 09:31:18 AM »

I would accept it as a challenge and see how awesome you can make it.

^ This.  James a Spencer of Basic Brewing Video/radio attempted to freshen up a Mr. Beer kit on 1-7-12. Jamil Zainasheff used some Mr. Beer extract for a no-boil black IPA challenge on the 10-6-13 episode of The Sunday Session on The Brewing Network.
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Yeah, I think they added steeping grains, DME and late hops in the Basic Brewing Video episodes. They might have also used a good dry yeast like US-05 instead of the one that came with the kit.

I don't have one yet, but I'm always looking out for kits on clearance this time of the year. I think at the right price the fermenter would be perfect for my purposes.
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Offline hubie

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2013, 09:35:33 AM »
I'm fine with beer kits, especially if given to me as a gift because to me it means the person was putting some thought into a personal gift.  I'm not sure the motivation of the person who sent me the gift; perhaps they thought it was an ingredients kit.

In any event, I think I can put the fermentor to work.  I think it will fit in my fermentation chest freezer alongside anything I'd have in there.  I think I'll use it for ciders and meads, but I like the idea of using it for a lagering vessel.  Or I just might decide to use it as intended and make 2-gallon batches.  That way I'll get to brew much more often than I do now.

Since I bottle, the PET bottles will be of immediate use.  The yeast that comes with each can of LME is unspecified.  I assume it is a Coopers ale yeast.  Anyone use hopped extract?  I'm trying to figure out how many IBUs I'll get out of these cans but there is little info on them.  The Mr. Beer website says the final value in a 2-gallon batch, so I'll work backwards from there.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2013, 09:49:58 AM »
You could always put it on Craigslist and let it go to a new brewer. 
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline Steve in TX

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What can I do with a Mr Beer Kit?
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2013, 10:14:06 AM »
I think at the right price the fermenter would be perfect for my purposes.

http://www.mrbeer.com/product-exec/product_id/377/nm/2_Gallon_Fermenter_Beer_Keg_1

$10 each plus $7.95 shipping. Not bad considering they come with lids and a spigot. No more racking small batches, just add a wand and use sugar directly into the bottle.

I think I will order 4 of them.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2013, 10:18:27 AM by Steve in TX »