Mr. Beer and alternate brewing attempts.

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by AllenWeber, Feb 22, 2014.

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  1. AllenWeber

    AllenWeber Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2014 Ohio

    Well, the best way to put this thought, as it is now, is that I got a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas (not the first time this happened) and my father and I have, at the same time, been sampling beers and thinking of different styles/ideas we'd like to brew if we tried this from 'scratch'. But, at the moment, it's just one Mr. Beer kit (and a second with a cracked lid) and, I think, a lager style.

    Is there any way to 'customize' a pre-packaged kit to get a specific style, or alteration of beer for it. Specifically, my father is more interested in brewing a lager a the moment. But, we're up for just about anything (Particularly Dortmunder and Kolche as it stands.)
     
  2. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Grand Pooh-Bah (5,303) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Pooh-Bah Society

    Will this be your first time brewing? Welcome to this insane hobby.

    I'm not familiar with the ingredients that come with a M. Beer kit, but it would seem to me that they could be adapted to other recipes....maybe just not to become a Dortmunder or Kolsch though, depending on what you have.

    If you'll list what ingredients you have (including the type of hops and yeast) then I think you'll get some suggestions for alternate brews.

    If you are new at brewing then you should be made aware that you'll need to have the capability of fermenting your lager at a fairly constant temp around 50 degrees. Do you have the fridge space to accomplish that?
     
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Grand Pooh-Bah (3,338) May 21, 2010 Texas
    Pooh-Bah Society

    I still use my mr beer keg for custom 2-gallon extract and partial mash experimental batches. Recipe formulation is almost an afterthought tho, see below. Big concerns:

    • fermentation temperature (below 70F, 65F better, ales)
    • pitching temperature for yeast (same as above)
    • sanitation
    • full boils
    • KISS methodology when formulating recipes
    On recipes, simple = good, moderate gravity = good, complicated or high gravity = good friggin' luck, you'll need it.

    My next recipe will very literally be 2-ish lbs of amber malt extract + hops, nothing else. It won't be fancy but I have a nearly 100% chance of making tasty beer (because my fundamentals are solid).

    2 lbs of a good wheat extract* plus an ounce of hops (perhaps hallertau or saaz) would make a tasty wheat beer. This was one of my early recipes** and it came out great.

    Any imperial stout recipe and you're probably gonna need drainpour ale labels for the results. :rolling_eyes:

    Stepping up to steeping grains and mini-mashes is the natural next step, and is easier than you think. Fundamentals first tho. Making a simple beer that comes out good is far superior to making a masterpiece that's a failure.

    *liquid and dry are different, some scaling needed if switching between the two. use a recipe calculator
    **scaled to 5 gallons
     
  4. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Maven (1,271) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia
    Trader

    At this point in your home-beering career...use the kits...as is...to learn the basic brewing processes (cleanliness..santitation...organization...following directions...relaxing / not worrying...and patience).
    The MrB kits can be 'customized' with additional/alternate ingredients such as extracts...steeping crystal malts...and yeast more attuned to the desired end-product.

    A more better approach IMO would ditch buying more of the over-priced MrB kits and brew a recipe using scratch ingredients sold on-line or from your local home brew shop (LHBS). Patronizing your LHBS may be the best course of action at this stage because there's an even chance someone on staff will know what they're talking about when you visit the store.

    ---
    As for lagers...they require more overall attention and control than ales.
    No reason not to go-for-it if you know where you're going.
     
  5. kjyost

    kjyost Initiate (0) May 4, 2008 Canada (MB)

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