possible tp make a super high abv beer with mr beer?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by eckstg, Dec 25, 2012.

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  1. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    I would like to at least reach 12% or possibly higher. I dont mind it not tastiing so great as long as i am reaching the 12% abv range or higher. I could always tweak the flavor maybe the next batches i make. Could i simply double or triple everything in the receipe and still finish in the time it takes to normally brew the beer? Any help will be very appreciated and thank you in advance!
    Jimjohson likes this.
  2. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Disciple (315) Apr 13, 2002 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    Yes and no, yes you could just double the recipe and up the abv, but I wouldn't use the LBK or the mr.beer yeast. No you are going to have to ferment longer, and condition the beer longer.
  3. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (721) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    "I dont mind it not tastiing so great "

    Yes! In addition use a high ABV tolerant yeast, lots of sugar, a kevlor shield/containment device for your Mr. Beer, and maybe a little rocket fuel : )
    NiceFly likes this.
  4. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    what would you recommend to use and how long to ferment and condition bottles?
  5. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (721) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Condition bottles? You'll be lucky if you're not picking glass shards out of your eyeballs. No need to condition it if you don't care what it tastes like...in fact it would probably be safer if you didn't.
    TheBrewViking and NiceFly like this.
  6. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    In addition, you'll want to stock up on toilet paper!
    NiceFly likes this.
  7. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    while you are at it, put a shiv in each bottle.
  8. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    All kidding aside--and that's difficult for me--most of us try not to knock Mr. Beer kits. It's not going to make amazing craft brew, and it's not going to make toilet water. It's probably not worth tampering with and your efforts will be better spent making this kit the way it was intended. So, that said, if you want to make hooch, we'll give you a recipe for a headache.

    We're coming off as pretentious, but we generally take a little pride in what we do when we brew beer. We're also trying to prevent you from pouring 5 gal of beer down the sink because it was far worse than you thought it would taste. :slight_smile:
  9. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'm not really familiar with the Mr. Beer recipe. If it gives you a temperature range to ferment at, go with the lower end of the spectrum. I'd think ambient 65F would be great. Ferment for 3-5 weeks and bottle. Don't add all 5 oz of priming sugar. use this instead: http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/carbonation.html

    Give it a month before you crack the first one. They'll probably get a little better every other week thereafter.
  10. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (270) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    I've made several batches of 11 - 13% Barleywines using the LBK and they all turned out just fine. In fact...enjoying one this evening.

    What cannot be recommended is using MrB products b/c even though the quality as improved recently (different malt maker)...they are still over-priced. That and the amount of yeast supplied is insufficient not in quality but in quantity. You'll need ~7# of LME or #6 DME to hit 12.

    Higher gravity beers will not finish in the same time as lower ABV recipes.
    They may ferment in about the same time but take a while longer to mature.
  11. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Whats the point of making a higher ABV beer that doesn't taste good?

    Just wanting some hooch to get jacked up on? Bragging to friends that you made a big beer, double that of their Bud Light?

    If it taste like shit, whats the purpose?
    OddNotion likes this.
  12. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    i want to check into LBK and
    ~7# of LME or #6 DME to hit 12. what do those stand for (lbk,lme,dme)?
  13. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (270) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    LBK ==> MrB's 'Little Brown Keg'
    LME ==> Liquid Malt Extract (eg., cans of MrB malt)
    DME ==> Dry Malt Extract
  14. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    what others would you recommend other than MrB products?
  15. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    cannot figure out which ones your referring to for 7 lme or 6 dme?
  16. inchrisin

    inchrisin Defender (654) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Liquid Malt Extract (LME) doesn't have quite as many sugar points in it as Dry Malt Extract (DME). You'd use a touch more LME than DME. It wouldn't matter which one you want to work with. Flavor would be about the same.

    I was under the assumption that you are the proud new owner of a Christmas Mr. Beer gift. Shall we go from there?
    I think if you own this, you should try make this beer to the best of your ability and the instructions and see if you enjoy the process and the product.

    Elsewise, I think if you want to make some kick ass beer you can do a kit and your first recipe for around $150. You'll need some assumed knowledge and some assumed cookware: If you can make chili, you can make beer. If you have a couple of decent sized stock pots, you can brew beer.

    I haven't heard anything BAD about Northernbrewer.com or Midwestsupplies.com kits and they have all the essentials you'll need to get going from grain to glass. Others can probably chime in on good kits, as I haven't bought one in two years.

    Tell us a little more about where you're at and what you're after. To be candid it's more difficult to brew a good beer at 12% and I'd discourage it for your first brewing experience. You can get some styles into a pint glass in about 5 weeks and they'll taste pretty good. They're usually 4.5-5% abv.
    HerbMeowing likes this.
  17. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    yep got a mr beer kit for xmas lol! it appears it is very simple making the small keg beer in this kit but the 3.7abv expectancy just really appears crappy and a waste to me since im used to drinking 7% abv's and up. i would really at least like to maybe get batches to at least a 7% level and up and wonder if anyone has any knowledge on how i can maybe simply add more booster or yeast or somethin to accomplish this?
  18. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    I'm not clear why you're wanting to do this.
    In the early days of homebrewing lots of us made beer using two kits instead of one.It turned out to be counter productive because it wasn't as enjoyable as two single kits and there was only half as much!
    I'm no fan of strong beers per se. Only if the extra ingredients contribute to the experience , I've had 9% beers with less presence than beers of half the strength which seems pretty pointless to me.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  19. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,351) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Look, just about anyone here can tell you how to increase your ABV. In fact, they already have, but you don't have the vocabulary/context yet to understand what they said.

    I recommend abandoning this 7% or 12% ABV for first batch idea and read the free book at this link...


    IMO everyone should read this before their first batch, whether they are making a kit (Mr. Beer or otherwise) as is, or experimenting with their own recipe (usually not a good idea for a first batch).
    MaineMike and HerbMeowing like this.
  20. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    i would really like the advice of how to get started at $150.
  21. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Disciple (315) Apr 13, 2002 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I would just brew using the MrBeer kit for now and use what came with it, you'll gain experience and learn the basic process. I started out using MrBeer and have made some decent brews with it. Once you you've done a few batches you'll get a better Idea weather it's something your going to enjoy doing, then in the meantime READ all you can on brewing, VikeMan pointed a very good, and free site to get some info, if you can you can also by the book "How to Brew", I use it all the time and highly recommend for a beginning brewer. Also, you can try going to the MrBeer.com community forum site for more help.

    Then and only then would I recommend spending money on more equipment.
    HerbMeowing likes this.
  22. FATC1TY

    FATC1TY Moderator (1,229) Feb 12, 2012 Georgia
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Ahhh.. gotcha.. Here's the deal..

    Making a higher ABV beer isn't as simple as just raising up the sugar in it, and letting the yeast go to town on it. In it's simple form, yes, but to make it drinkable take a degree of skill, time and in some cases luck. On your first try, you WILL fail. I won't sugar coat it. If you haven't brewed before, you should really get the process down, and learn your equipment before going big.

    Raising the alcohol, and nothing else will leave it tasting bad, and very hot.

    For instance, you could use more LME or DME, whichever, which is like adding more grain. Thats more "sugar" for the yeast. With that, you'd have to balance it out and add more hops.. If you don't, you'll have a beer that is way too sweet to be drinkable, and will be unbalanced. By doing that, you'll also have to pitch more yeast to handle the extra sugars, and you'll need to step up a starter to do that, otherwise you will get some nasty off flavors from under pitching yeast. From there, you'll need to be able to control the temp on it, because a big beer will get really warm when it ferments, and you'll again get nasty flavors from that. You are dealing with a limited size fermenter, your LBK, which when making a big beer, will limit how much you can make, as it will kick off when it ferments, and you'd need some additional airlocks, and tubing to make a blow off during fermentation. See where I'm going with this? It's a line of changes, that you don't know anything about yet. If you attempt them without knowing what you are doing, you will waste money, time, and ultimately say piss on it, and go buy more beer instead.

    I'd suggest, getting a copy, or reading the old free version online of How to Brew, by Palmer before getting started.

    From there, make the kit with your Mr. Beer and see how you like actually making beer in the most simplistic way. Drink the beer. If you still like what you are doing, then go to your local homebrew store and ask about larger starter kits that run $100-175 bucks with larger buckets/carboys, and all the basic stuff you'd need to make larger batches of beer. They have kits with all the extract and grains, and yeast and everything you need to brew bigger 5 gallon batches, and most will have recipes in the area of the ABV that you want.. 6-7% or so, in styles that you might enjoy.

    Taking a beer, and just deciding to make it boozy, isn't really as straightforward as you'd like to think it is.
    tehzachatak likes this.
  23. brewsader

    brewsader Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

  24. fuzzbalz

    fuzzbalz Disciple (315) Apr 13, 2002 Georgia
    Beer Trader

    I would like to point out a couple things here, there are a few advantages to brewing smaller batches that a new brewer could use to his advantage, with a smaller volume of beer it's harder to under pitch the yeast (as long as you don't use mb yeast), and it's also easier to control your fermentation temps. These are the two things I think that fails for most new brewers, and makes them give up. I still ferment in may LBK, because I can fit two at a time in my fridge.
    HerbMeowing likes this.
  25. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (270) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    More booster isn't the best way to go.
    Instead...use two cans of the Mr B liquid malt extract instead of one and you're at 7.4%. MrB product isn't required b/c you could always buy more malt extract from a local home brew shop.

    Pitch both packets of yeast.
    If you have an ice chest / cooler large enough to hold the LBK...use that as a fermentation chamber where you can control manage the temperature by swapping out two 22-oz soft drink bottles of frozen water every 12 hours or so. A cheap digital thermometer placed inside the cooler will help.
  26. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    wow now thats some great advice! thanks! how about the fridge? is it too cool in there?
  27. brewsader

    brewsader Initiate (0) Dec 7, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    yeah ale yeast is best in the mid 60s-low 70s. any colder than that and it'll fall asleep.
  28. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    thanks alot! i got a large cooler the lbk should have no trouble fitting into. if i freeze say half a dozen 2 litre bottles and rotate 2 or 3 of them in the chest once a day it should be fine? i deff will be getting the digital thermometer.

    i got one of those wine buckets that makes like 5 gallons wine but room for 6 gallons i think with the lid for room of fermentation and one of those plastic things u stick in the lids hole to show if its still fermenting or not. sounds like that can be used to ferment beer like the lbk ?

    appears mr b malt at 2 cans per 2 gallons to make 7% abv beer is about the same price of buying craft beer at the local store. maybe mr beer is way overpriced? i realize there is alot of enjoyment out of making your own beer but still it seems it should be cheaper but then again the local breweries make bulk to sell it reasonably. is there cheaper ways of making great beers around 7% abv range and up than mr beer?
    brewsader likes this.
  29. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,285) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Haha I'll bite, sounds like you are having fun inciting replies here, so... Yes, it is cheaper to buy your own ingredients. The airlock is not something to tell you if it is still fermenting it is to make sure nothing bad gets in and the
    CO2 can get out.

    You have ignored the best piece of advice given you so I do hope you will take this echo of this advice to heart this time.

    Maybe if I write it in big letters and bold it you will take this best piece of advice to heart


  30. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,175) May 4, 2008 Manitoba (Canada)

    nozferatu46, FATC1TY and cavedave like this.
  31. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,285) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

  32. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,351) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    You clearly are ignoring the part where OP got "one of those plastic things u stick in the lids hole." There is no need for a beginner's book at this point.
    cavedave and brewsader like this.
  33. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,285) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Hey at least he knew where to stick it.:slight_smile:
  34. dblab33

    dblab33 Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2011 Michigan

    This thread makes me wonder why I read and read and read for over a year before my first brew day... and why I was so paranoid and nervous when the day finally came.
  35. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (270) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

    After you pitch the yeast...place the LBK in the cooler along with three 1/2-L bottles of frozen water and a digital thermometer. The temperature inside the cooler should be in the L60s during first few days when fermentation is most vigorous and throwing off the most heat. Once the fermentation calms down...let the temperature inside the cooler rise into the mid-60s. After a week...the temperature can rise to ~70 after which you're home free.

    A six gallon bucket is the right size to ferment a five gallon batch of beer. There's enough head-space for the foam created by fermentation (krausen) to fill it without (usually) over-flowing onto the floor.

    MrB ingredients are over-priced. There are less expensive options such as buying malt extract and hops from a brick-and-mortar home brew supply shop or buying what you need on-line. The least expensive method of home-brewing eschews extracts and relies instead on mashing malted barley but that all comes after you master the basics.

    Don't pay no nevermind to those folks here having fun at your expense.
    They at times forget the follies of fermentation during their formative years.
  36. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (721) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    You are the other extreme...and no doubt made a good first brew...fear can be a great motivator : )
    Jimjohson likes this.
  37. eckstg

    eckstg Initiate (0) Aug 15, 2012

    well i finished my first wort which consist of 1 can octoberfest's vienna lager , 1 can west coast pale ale ,2 packs alcohol booster ,& 2 pouches mrb brewers yeast. did i overload the lbk? before i pitched the yeast i tapped 8 oz of the wort into an empty coke bottle and put into the fridge hoping since i currently dont own a hydrometer that in the next week or so when i do get one i could still get an accurate beginners reading with the 8oz ? should i wait longer than 3 weeks for fermentation to end or just watch it closely before bottling?
  38. marquis

    marquis Crusader (744) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    Why not simply add some Everclear?
    nozferatu46, dennho, cavedave and 2 others like this.
  39. malweth

    malweth Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2007 Rhode Island

    This thread is awesome! :grinning:

    Great 9-12% beers taste great, but you're not going to make a great one on your first try. As a whole, these beers are much more difficult to make. Making a >12% ABV solution, on the other hand, is easy. Here's a recipe: 5 gallons of juice (w/o preservatives), 5 lbs sugar, yeast nutrient, wine or champagne yeast. You can use that wine bucket you have and cover it with the lid. Use the airlock and fill it with vodka. It will even probably taste pretty good. If you want it to taste even better, use 2 lbs sugar instead. No, this isn't beer -- but neither will the 12% you'll be making in the Mr Beer.

    The only thing stopping you from making decent first brews are your own expectations. (And bad luck, I suppose). If you get a starter kit and a good beer kit (say from that Midwest Supplies Groupon that keeps popping up) and follow the directions to the T, you'll make good beer. It won't be world class, but it will be good.

    As a dedicated book learner I'll still say that I don't think reading for a year will help you do much better than that starter kit. Studying helps you improve more quickly after you start, not beforehand.
    Jimjohson likes this.
  40. hopsandmalt

    hopsandmalt Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2006 Michigan

    The OP's first mistake was stating that he didn't care how it tasted. People on here care very much how their beer tastes. Saying something like that really riles up some people.
    nozferatu46, Jimjohson and NiceFly like this.
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