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Eric F

Newbie Using Secondhand Kit

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My parents handed down to me a Mr. Beer Microbrewery Beer Kit that I remember them getting in the early-90's. The fermentation tank is only 6 qt. The instructions are long gone, and I didn't find any on the website. I'm looking for any advice you might be able to provide. I understand the process pretty well, but don't know how to adjust quantities to fit the small tank. I was given a 2.86 lb Northwest Pale Ale refill. How much of the can and yeast would I use?

 

Thanks!

Eric

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Hi, and welcome to the madness :-D.

Another thing to look at is the age of the kit. Usually they last several years - but always good to look.

Check the packaged date on the yeast under the lid  in that can, in case it is old in which case you should buy fresh. OK is < 2 years after the date on the packet. (May still be OK after this but degrades with time. If 3 years old I would definitely replace it.)

Date code on yeast pack reads  day and year-  e.g. 30216  -   302nd  day in 2016

Date on can is best used by date, usually still good after for a couple more years although it may darken up.

 

With that can in  6 qts you will get ~ 6.5 - 7%  ABV depending on the yeast. Mr Beer/Coopers at the lower end, Fermentis US-05 at the higher end.

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On ‎8‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 7:05 PM, Eric F said:

My parents handed down to me a Mr. Beer Microbrewery Beer Kit that I remember them getting in the early-90's. The fermentation tank is only 6 qt. The instructions are long gone, and I didn't find any on the website. I'm looking for any advice you might be able to provide. I understand the process pretty well, but don't know how to adjust quantities to fit the small tank. I was given a 2.86 lb Northwest Pale Ale refill. How much of the can and yeast would I use?

 

Thanks!

Eric

Welcome to the forum Eric. I am interested in seeing a photo of that fermenter. Assuming the NPA refill is a new standard refill the yeast under the lid would still be good. Look up the refill on the MrBeer Store page and read the directions posted there. Those are generally better than what's printed on the can label. My best advice to you as a new brewer would be to do a few minutes of reading. Head to RickBeer's pinned nuggets of advice. Temperature control, Self-Control, and learning the process are important to enjoying the obsession and learning. As wort ferments into beer, the yeast generate heat. Depending upon the yeast, heat can be either your enemy or your friend. As a Newb, heat is your enemy. Most people brew beer that ferments too warm which stresses the yeast. In return, the yeast begins eating the sugar and begins converting it into alcohol. When stressed, the yeast partially converts the sugars which creates something which you might not like the taste of. Good thing is, after things cool down and the yeast is still searching food, it will finish that conversion process, but it takes time and patience. Ideally, your fermentation temperatures will be held near the low end of the range recommended. As you gain experience and confidence you'll be tempted to try the different styles of beer offered by MrBeer, that's highly encouraged (especially by @MRB Josh R). AFTER brewing a MrBeer kit straight up you'll know what the style is supposed to taste like. From there, most of us on this forum will change yeasts, add hops, add grains etc.,. When a question comes to mind, search the forum, it probably has been asked and answered at least a dozen times before LOL If you still are uncertain, ASK. You'll be surprised how quickly somebody will provide an answer, advice, snarky critique, a link to another site to find your answer... Remember, it's your beer. If you don't brew it, who will? As @BDawg62 and @Nickfixit have stated above, you can do it. The typical MrBeer HME is sized to brew a little over 2 gallons of beer. Your fermenter will/should work, but your beer will be stronger than the typical brewers', it's your beer. If you choose to scale down the amount of extract used make your adjustments according to weight per gallon and save the rest in your refrigerator covered and with a little vodka poured on top to keep it sterile.

Relax. Don't Worry. Have a Homebrew.

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As Nick said, use the entire can, the NW Pale Ale will finish just fine, perhaps even better. We will assume that the can of extract is fairly new, if over a couple of years toss it and buy new. Same with the yeast. Good luck and don't forget to sanitize everything.

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