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Why do "homebrewers" treat Mr. Beer users like pariah?

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More often than not all grain is cheaper than extract not just in short term but long term. It might take a $100 to start up but it does pay for itself. Especially if buying in bulk. A lot of recipes use 2 row as a base. If, over the course of a few brews, you buy rahr 2-row at $1.79/lbs it will cost you ~$90. Buying 2-row in a 50lb sack cost ~$35. Where pale malt syrup is about $3/lbs. But I digress.

OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

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I have been brewing with Mr. Beer for 3 years now.  My husband bought me the LBK kit for my birthday and I have loved it ever since.  He doesn't even like beer, so the 2 gallon batches are perfect for me. Working full time and being a mom, I love the shortened investment in time required for my brews.  I have shared my Mr. Beer brews with some of my co-workers and just yesterday I had a woman tell me that she has tried several home brews by other people and by far mine was the best!  She and her husband loved my Columbus Cascading Amber Ale and my own modified Honey Lime Ale.  So let the brewing snobs say what they may, we all know the truth!

Kim 

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OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

 

My mantra has always been that if you like the beer you are brewing, you are brewing correctly for you, so good on ya...

I love the chemistry of it as well, which is another draw for me.  And it certainly takes more time.  In terms of space, however, it just depends on what method you do.  You can conceivably do 2.4 gallon BIAB with the same equipment you have now save for a $5 grain bag (and maybe a bigger pot if you are using a small one now).  For me, I have an electric turkey fryer that I picked up for $80 as my primary mash/lauter/boil combo unit.  Takes up very little space, so the space investment can be very minimal.  Of course, you can go the other way and do a tiered brewing stand...  that's where your cost and space investment really kicks in.  Me personally?  I love the BIAB that I do.  I'm sure some guy with the $1K setup would look down upon me as not doing "real" brewing just as he'd look down upon extract brewers...  but I couldn't give a frip.

 

Here's the fryer I got...  convenient spigot to transfer with, and a fish basket that works great for lifting/hanging the grain for sparging.  I spent maybe $10 on a roll of foil insulation and built a sleeve to put between the pot and the external portion of the fryer, and can hold mash temps perfectly for 60-90 minutes.

41CTfe570ZL.jpg

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OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

Ya, i never understood the whole equipment thing either. You can get a pre made mash tun for 5 gallon batches for about $130 which is all you need really if you don't mind batch sparging. Half that if you plan on making a 2.5g batch. Maybe $2-3 for some calcium chloride/sulfate. I never understood the "all day" thing. You're only really adding an hour and a half maybe 2 but some people would rather just not deal with it. I do all extract, extract with specialty grain and just recently got into all grain and don't really find any issues. I think small batches (2.5gal) and micro batches (1-1.5gal) are key. With an ice bath and a immersion chiller you can cool down wort in 10min. For a 5 gallon batch it takes a little longer though.

 

Tomorrow is a day off from work and just so happens to be brew day. I'll time how long it takes for an all grain wheat beer and post it. However, tomorrow is a little lengthy because I will be doing a temperature step instead of a single infusion which should take 1 hour 15 minutes as opposed to the 1 hour.

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The elitist snobbery isn’t limited to homebrew supply stores.  I had a similar experience with a local bicycle shop. I went in to buy some inner tubes and the guy at the counter asked me what kind of bike it was for.  I told him it was a Schwinn and he said:   “Oh is it one of those department store bikes?”  He then lost all interest in selling me anything and I left thinking too bad buddy you just lost a potential good customer.

Bicycle shops/cliques are bad... so are motorcycle shops/clubs...  don't get me started on ducati owners...

 

i think every hobby comes with some degree of snobbery/elitist portion...

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I shop at to Home Brew Stores, 1st is located in North Brunswick, NJ the other in West Chester PA. The owners at both locations have been extremely supportive of my brewing efforts. Both locations know I brew with a Mr. Beer Kit and give pointers as well as help me with recipes for the little fermenter.

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About 2 years ago I asked for some hops at the local HB. The "BrewMaster" asked what type of beer and i explained that it was to add to a Mr. Beer extract. His reply was not rude, but something on the order of "I'll put something together for you that will be far superior" Anyway, about 3 or 4 months later, i returned with a bottle made with the MB extract and some hops that I purchased. The owner could not believe that the MB was that good (I don't remember which extract). Anyway, I still shop there, and have had some good advice from them regarding additions to the MB basic extracts.

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I stocked up on some grains and ready to explore, I am not after the mother load so to speak just some flavoring adjuncts for some Mr. Beer refills. I suppose this makes us or breaks us.

 

I normally never bring the subject up of a 2.5 gallon fermentation recipe @ my LHBS because they are all about 5 gallon batches, My mind keeps dividing things by two these days though.

 

Binary Brewing always adds up to 0 or 1 though. It is a blast to visit the store with all the goodies but much is for wine and commercial craft brewing.

Irish stout finished conditioning today and I am looking forward to trying for the first time.

 

Added a 3rd LBK to the mix and it gives room for testing of a LBK Chiller I am making. Found some nice Beverage Refridgerators on ebay but not ready to spring.

 

Lets Make Beer, M

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Different stores have different approaches.

 

The first time I visited my LHBS, I was nervous (because I'd been told I'd be looked down on), but told the guy I was using Mr Beer because I wanted to get appropriate advice. He shrugged and said that I could do anything with my fermenter that he could do with his, except for making 5 gallons at a time. I rarely make small batches these days, but I've returned to that store often, largely because of how they treated me when I was a newbie.

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Same here, I shop for additions at LHBS, but use MR BHMEs as base. The Stores give me no grief and are supportive I have had response to samples like " Wow, I could drink this all day!"

The folks that I met that did have bad opinion I think are going from very old data, so I do my best to convince them it has changed.  Several folks I talked to were interested in making smaller batches and Mr Beer offerings for that.

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It's the misconception that you can't get anything good out of a can.  Like eating fresh cooked vegetables vs. opening a can of Green Giant.  It's not just the prejudice toward Mr. Beer, but all canned beer kits like Coopers and Muntons.  The store nearest to me sells Muntons kits and when I started brewing I was curious about several of them.  The owner didn't criticize them, but simply said I would make better beer from their extract kits.  He invited me to a couple of their brewing classes.  I went to an all grain and extract class and ended up taking his suggestion and making a couple of beers from their extract kits.  Although the beer was good I didn't think it was any better than what I made with Mr. Beer.  So the next extract class I took some bottles of Mr. Beer and shared them.  Folks would bring something they brewed and share and ask for feedback.  I didn't tell anybody what they were drinking was Mr. Beer (Dark Winter Ale).  After getting a lot of compliments and requests for refills I informed the group what they were drinking was from a Mr. Beer kit.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  You would have thought I had told them they were drinking dog pee pee.  But one guy simply said "no sh**t".  I guess he liked it regardless of how it was made.

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this LBHS isn't cheap at anything except for their new 3-5 gallon kegs, other than that they're quite pricey, I use them for only two reasons, 1- if i'm in a rush to do something and takes too long to oreder, and 2- the co owner is a absolutely fabulously smoking hot lady!!! there are times I go in there to buy a 5 dollar item just to see her! LOL! she knows it, and so does the husband LOL!

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2 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

the LBHS in my city carries ZERO Mr. Beer products, but they have Coopers????

My local does not carry any Mr. Beer products whatsoever.  When I 1st started brewing I told him that I was using Mr. Beer kits and he gave me some severe attitude.  A few months later I was in a jam and had to go back for some hops.  We got talking about home brewing and again I mentioned Mr. Beer, but this time he pretended that he knew absolutely nothing about it.  It was very surreal. 

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7 hours ago, M42 said:

It's the misconception that you can't get anything good out of a can.  Like eating fresh cooked vegetables vs. opening a can of Green Giant.  It's not just the prejudice toward Mr. Beer, but all canned beer kits like Coopers and Muntons.  The store nearest to me sells Muntons kits and when I started brewing I was curious about several of them.  The owner didn't criticize them, but simply said I would make better beer from their extract kits.  He invited me to a couple of their brewing classes.  I went to an all grain and extract class and ended up taking his suggestion and making a couple of beers from their extract kits.  Although the beer was good I didn't think it was any better than what I made with Mr. Beer.  So the next extract class I took some bottles of Mr. Beer and shared them.  Folks would bring something they brewed and share and ask for feedback.  I didn't tell anybody what they were drinking was Mr. Beer (Dark Winter Ale).  After getting a lot of compliments and requests for refills I informed the group what they were drinking was from a Mr. Beer kit.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  You would have thought I had told them they were drinking dog pee pee.  But one guy simply said "no sh**t".  I guess he liked it regardless of how it was made.

 

I just came back from Sierra Nevada Beer Camp promotion and I poured a glass of 2013 Seasonal Saison (Almost my favorite seasonal) bottled 10.23.15 and I think it is every bit as good or better than any of the 6 beers they sampled.  An excellent recipe. Mind you the SN beers were designed by committee and you know what that means - lol.

Beer Camp.png

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

HME- easy to use, produces good beer after proper conditioning.

 

All Grain- time consuming, produces good beer, great beer with conditioning

 

thats What I think atleast

I think you nailed it!  Hoff agrees, and you don't argue with The Hoff!

sarcastic-thumbs-up.jpg

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My boss is like that, been making fun of Mr Beer so long he can't let it go. Sometimes I wonder if he understands I started with MrB. I, on the other hand, run a MrB friendly shop...I will mess with you. It don't take long before I start recognizing the amount malt your using and make you admit what your fermenting vessel is. Then I admit I use LBKs also...

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5 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

HME- easy to use, produces good beer after proper conditioning.

 

All Grain- time consuming, produces good beer, great beer with conditioning

 

thats What I think atleast

 

The in-between process of LME/DME boil with hop additions controlled by the brewer is a good middle ground. Full boil (unhopped) extracts or steeped grain/late addition extract beers are easy to brew and will produce very high-quality beers. There's nothing like the control you can get with a decent process for mashing grain to get wort, but one of the consistently most-liked and requested beers I've brewed yet is a simple all-extract recipe that fermented for less than two weeks and conditioned for 3 weeks (I still have a few bottles that are many more weeks old, but they're not substantially or fundamentally better than they were at 3 weeks). 

 

I think fresh HMEs can work well, but the extra conditioning time required for the flavors to even out is a drawback.

And I think that, in general, pitching adequate quantity of healthy yeast will avoid having to wait for acetaldehyde to condition out. With the right process, it's just not there to begin with.

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There's two lhbs's here where I live ,never caught any attitude from them but they both tried to point me in different directions, which is fine, they are just trying to sell me stuff,but as far as I'm concerned if someone were to look down on me for any of my brewing technics,.... 1# I'm drinking this beer not you!!! #2 it taste great!!! #3 my family and friends think it's great #4 you can go pound sand up your @ss ! 

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