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dcowboys107

Can we just admit it finally?

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Can we finally admit that the new Cooper's/MB just aren't good? I mean at least with the old ones like WCPA you knew you were just getting a decent starter beer with decent flavor. But these new ones are overpriced, overly packaged and flat out just aren't worth it. I'm stocking up on the old 3 packs of the American and International series and with the recipes.

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I think the Bavarian Wiessbier is impressive. Overpriced. But impressive.

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I'm curious what you're basing this on...have you tried a number of the new refills and disliked them compared to the old ones? I've been working quite a bit with the new ones but don't have a good feel for the flavors yet (too early on), but most of the reviews I've seen on here from experienced brewers have been net favorable.

I've also seen a lot about the value proposition, so being a numbers guy I, well, ran the numbers.

So for example, based on buying direct from Mr. Beer:

Old HME = 550g/$9.95. To keep it apples to apples, let's back out the $0.95 cost of the yeast, netting 61g of HME per $1

New HME = 850g/$17.95, but this is the full kit, so back out $0.95 for the sanitizer and 2.5*$0.95 for the yeast (since it comes with 5g vs. 2g per can). This nets 58g of HME/$1

So to me that's a pretty modest reduction in value...I think one of the main issues at the moment is just perception since we're looking at a partial product line and limited availability (meaning we can only buy from MB while Amazon, etc sells the old refills at a discount).

I, for one, am excited about some of the new refills and upcmoming premium/seasonal lines since due to time constraints I'm using more MB ingredients (along with mini mashes and other extracts/hops) now than I have in a year or more.

Cheers!

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I can't quite agree with you yet, as I have not tried any of them yet. MB has always been a good product, pricey? Yes a little but good quality. I am going to go though their new line-up when they get it all done. I have brewed all the old MB refills in the deluxe and Premium.

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KZ $17.95 is over price for 22 3.5% (at best) beers. Especially when you can buy extract kits that make 50 beers at 5% to 6% for only $7 more at any home brew site.

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KZ remeber that Booster is .813# + 1.21# malt + 2g yeast = 2.023# ingredients for the yeast for $14 and a beer that was 3.5-3.7%

Now 1.873# malt and 5g yeast = 1.873 for yeast for $17.95 and only 3.2 -3.5%

If they did a 2# can I would be happier and it would be 3.5-3.7%

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"Gymrat" post=279131 said:

KZ $17.95 is over price for 22 3.5% (at best) beers. Especially when you can buy extract kits that make 50 beers at 5% to 6% for only $7 more at any home brew site.

Agreed, but that wasn't my point...MB has always been expensive compared to other extracts or all grain...but everyone seems to be complaining that the new malt extracts (not talking booster) are overpriced, when, gram for gram, they're very in line with the old extracts.

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Let me clarify. I'm not talking about it being a bad product but I mean you can get a 3 pack for about 30 on Amazon and taste as good. My main issue is that they are even waterier than the other ones. Not bad let's say compared to much out there and I love Mr. Beer, but I was just expecting a bit more for the amount of money. Cost/benefit yields more cost than benefit even though it's still a good product. I'll keep on brewing on and trying more of the refills at some point but I'm going to brew the heck out of the old series since I think for the money it's a better deal.

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The new refills are far better than the old. So far, the beers I have made with the new refills have been my best. Try some of the new recipes like gigantor quad or staggerback stout - they are amazing.

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If you're still stocking up on old HMEs, you'd better hurry. I'm seeing more them becoming unavailable. Hopefully that means that more new products will be here soon, and will be available from multiple retailers.

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The patersbier I brewed with the new pilsners and extra malt and hops is far better then I would have gotten brewing it with any of the old pislner extracts. (I did brew belgians with the old ones, and they came out well... weird!). It ended up costing me 75c a bottle, which is 25c higher then I would have spent if I did it from scratch, but it took an hour and a half less time to brew, so, that was worth something to me.

I haven't used enough of them yet to say I'm a "fan" but I'm not a hater, although I do think they are overpriced for what you get, unless you are using them like I did - to save time making something else.

Based on reviews, I am going to pick up cans of the wheat once it goes back on sale or I have a coupon. Should make a good lazy beer when I'm crunched for time.

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"bpgreen" post=279151 said:

Dcowboys--how many of the new refills have you made?

Okay, if you won't tell us how many of the new refills you've made, how many of the old refills have you made?

Based on your posts, you've made the WCPA and you didn't like it.

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I got the international 6 pack, didn't brew any of them straight up, added either malt or booster. All of them are still conditioning except for the Irish stout which I thought was quite tasty.

Also brewed the dark forrest stout recipe + a lb of dark dme, it's been in the LBK a little under 2 weeks now & the taste sample I pulled this morning was delicious.

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"mashani" post=279182 said:

I haven't used enough of them yet to say I'm a "fan" but I'm not a hater, although I do think they are overpriced for what you get, unless you are using them like I did - to save time making something else.

This is my quandary. My brewing pattern was to order from the Homebrew Club every two months. I'd choose three of the Advanced Recipes, and that kept me busy and kept the pipeline flowing nicely, coupled with my 5-gallon AG batches.

I liked the Advanced Recipes. Good variety of styles, usually a higher ABV than a standard refill, tasty beer, convenient and quick to brew. All of these things put it in the plus column.

With the conversion to the new extracts, I guess I'm going to have to wait and see what recipes are developed, and what the prices are, to see if I'm going to re-activate the Homebrew Club and continue brewing this way.

I'm not all that interested in using the new HMEs as base malts and adding DME/LME, hops, steeping grains, and all that. If I'm going to be doing that much work, I'll formulate my own extract/specialty grain recipes and leave off using the HMEs altogether.

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One of my main issues with all HMEs is the lack of information as to what's in them. If I buy a can of soup it tells me the ingredient list, but not true with the HMEs. What type of hops are in them, what type of malts are in them, what type of coloring, flavoring or preservative?

If you've ever tried to tweak a MB recipe that includes their HME it's like throwing darts trying to guess which hop types to add to them. Offering a 3.2% beer is a joke, I'm not sure about how most of you feel but I was almost embarrassed to tell anyone I brewed two of them.

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"Screwy Brewer" post=279201 said:

Offering a 3.2% beer is a joke, I'm not sure about how most of you feel but I was almost embarrassed to tell anyone I brewed two of them.

Same here... My 'sessionable ales' are typically >5%. When I was younger, when visiting West Virginia (used to be all the beer there was 3.2%), the local beer was used as a chaser with shots of whiskey, at least with the people I was running around with.

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Rebel when you buy a "3.2" beer it is 3.2 by weight. ABV is 4 to 4.4%. These new refills are actually more of a near beer than bud light.

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I've made the WCPA and Bill's Brew. WCPA was pretty good and I'd enjoy having more but the Bill's Brew was awesome. Of the new ones, I've had the American Ale and for the money it wasn't that much of an upgrade from the WCPA. Not dissing the taste or quality,etc. That's not my point; my point is on the margin, the difference isn't enough. I'm still looking forward to the new ones I was just expecting a bit more.

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"FedoraDave" post=279196 said:


I'm not all that interested in using the new HMEs as base malts and adding DME/LME, hops, steeping grains, and all that. If I'm going to be doing that much work, I'll formulate my own extract/specialty grain recipes and leave off using the HMEs altogether.

Yeah, if I was going to have to do more then I did, I'd feel that way too. But for this beer, it was just 15 more minutes of work then one of the old advanced recipies, so it was still a significant time saver, and I got 6 gallons of beer out of it, plus a nice yeast cake to pitch my quad onto, and a whole bunch of washed yeast to use later. All of that combined and I'm good with it.

That's pretty much how I see myself using these going forward.

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I don't know why I'm commenting on this because I really don't have much to say because I haven't tried any of the new HMEs.

We've seen several of you slice and dice and analyze the cost, ingredients, and quality of the new HMEs for many months now. The truth is we each have our own reasons and values for MrB products.

I doubt I ever give the new HMEs a try unless they are offered at ridiculous discount for 3 main reasons:
1) cost - I can certainly get ingredients cheaper elsewhere.
2) convenience factor is not that important to me anymore - I always tweak my brews now, so if I'm going to add DME or boil some more hops then I'm going to go with the ingredients mentioned in #1 above.
3) I currently have a huge stockpile of old HME and other ingredients to satisfy my brewing needs for many months.

However, I never say never.... but I defer judgment of the new HME until I have actually try them (if/when that ever happens).

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I don't mind using the MB HME's as a base, but first you have to try them as is, then if you like it you can add a litte DME, maybe a steep and fine tune with a hop selection that would compliment it. Yes it is a little hard not knowing what hops are in the original HME, but that gives you some experimentation.
Here's an example and it turned out to be a nice beer.
Jefferson Colonial Ale ( my version)
English Nut Brown HME
Mellow Amber UME
steep 1/4 carapills
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 oz nugget @ 20 min
1/4 oz UK Kent Goldings @7 min
US-04 yeast.
EDIT: as I said in a previous post have not tried the new ones yet, but I will.

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I will reserve my opinion since I havent tried any of them. I have a new can of the american porter for an upcoming recipe. On the same note I have only been brewing since January and the website looks like its been aroubd for a while since some of the reviews were 4 and 5 years old. In the short amt of time Ive been using the products, MRB has earned the benefit of the doubt with me. So I will give them time to work out the kinks and merge type problems. I am sure there will be more than a few diamonds in the ruff but like any diamond it takes time and a lot of it. Some of it may be pricey but a little research and some due diligence and you can make a nice brew. Besides, if I was really that worried about the money.....I wouldnt drink at all

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"FedoraDave" post=279196 said:

With the conversion to the new extracts, I guess I'm going to have to wait and see what recipes are developed, and what the prices are, to see if I'm going to re-activate the Homebrew Club and continue brewing this way.


I have also put my homebrew club on hold until I figure the newones out.

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I have brewed 8 of the new CMRB HME.
Drinking 5, aging 2 and one in the keg.
I plan on a detailed write up some time.

Summary, Mex, Am Lite, Can Blonde , ZIP NADA. Would not use these. Would not buy the base and add 'cost' that equates a 5 gal Extract recipe for the same price.

Two are OK. Baviran Wies and American Ale. OK means not as bad as the others. I would brew these again when I can get them on sale. Quick and easy.
But then so is the Munton one can extracts and the beer is great. These cost about $15 per LBK 2.5 gal.


 Stout and Porter are due the end of the month.
The Bav Pils Lager is in the keg as a real lager with S-23. That one will be ready in a few months.

Cost to vol and quality is not there for me.
I scored a great buy on 12 cans of HME/UME ori MRB. Add that to my stock on hand, I will be brewing the original MRB for the next 5 months.

When the current stock pile is depleted, I will start with extract kits and DIY extract/steep recipes. The time required to brew is not an issue for me.
I can make a great 2.5 gal batch of beer for around $15 +/- .

I looked at the new recipe kits. Price WAY over the top. I can brew a 5 gal extract for less then most of them.
The new CMRB might work for the new brewer who wants to brew a few recipes of beer in the spare time. The price may not be an issue.

The new products are not appealing to me.

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I've brewed two of the new refills straight up: Aztec Cerveza and Classic American Light. The cerveza was average for me, however my neighbor friends loved it. With a lime wedge added, I found it enjoyable. The Classic American Light, on the other hand, has a taste I cannot describe and I don't find it pleasant at all. I have to add a lime wedge just to make it drinkable. I will not be getting that one again.

I've also brewed up 2 recipes using the new HMEs, but haven't sampled them yet. The "Beach Babe Blonde" should get sampled this weekend. The "Blue Patriot" needs some more conditioning time.

One thought I had regarding the new refills is that perhaps they are targeted toward the new homebrewer (not necessarily a bad thing) -- one just getting started and/or coming over from more typical commercial type brews. It didn't take long for many of us to move past the previous "standard refills" and onto the deluxe, premium and other recipes. Now those other coming soon HMEs we saw in another thread look to be more like the deluxe or premium refills and probably more like what many of us are seeking.


Rick

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"rickbray66" post=279238 said:


One thought I had regarding the new refills is that perhaps they are targeted toward the new homebrewer (not necessarily a bad thing) -- one just getting started and/or coming over from more typical commercial type brews. It didn't take long for many of us to move past the previous "standard refills" and onto the deluxe, premium and other recipes. Now those other coming soon HMEs we saw in another thread look to be more like the deluxe or premium refills and probably more like what many of us are seeking.

Rick


+1

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"dcowboys107" post=279223 said:

I've made the WCPA and Bill's Brew. WCPA was pretty good and I'd enjoy having more but the Bill's Brew was awesome. Of the new ones, I've had the American Ale and for the money it wasn't that much of an upgrade from the WCPA. Not dissing the taste or quality,etc. That's not my point; my point is on the margin, the difference isn't enough. I'm still looking forward to the new ones I was just expecting a bit more.

So, you've tried 1 new refill and your trashing the whole line up and calling all of them "no good" ? :huh:

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I dont think the OP said that at all directly. I dont know but Ive read all the reviews on this forum and all of them support this notion.

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"Photon Brewing" post=279256 said:

I dont think the OP said that at all directly. I dont know but Ive read all the reviews on this forum and all of them support this notion.

Thank you! I'm not basing it just on my experience but the various other posts on here saying essentially the same. I think people wanted to come out and say it but weren't sure. I just thought it was time we admitted what we've all been saying to ourselves. I mean for someone who is willing to pay that much for an "upgrade" over the WCPA great but for me the value is still in the old cans which I will be using "as is" and making my own creations.

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Naaa.... I don't feel like admitting nuttin! Have not tried but 2, one stunk and one grew on me. What I feel like is wait and see where the recipies, prices and taste goes. Still too early, give them time, every company will have growing pains...

Like I aways say.... patience grasshopper, patience. Good things come to those that wait.

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"Gymrat" post=279131 said:

KZ $17.95 is over price for 22 3.5% (at best) beers. Especially when you can buy extract kits that make 50 beers at 5% to 6% for only $7 more at any home brew site.

This really puts it into perspective. For some reason paying $35 to $45 for a kit from NB would make me second guess the purchase. When I look at $45 kits from Mr. Beer for things that I could get double the amount of for the same price its a no brainer.

My biggest lure of Mr. Beer is that I wouldn't have 50 bottles of the same recipe. I do like variety and it would take a long time to go through 50 bottles compared to 16 (1.5 liter) or 25 (12 ounce) bottles. I would rather give 25 bottles away to friends for the same cost though. Its value based purchasing I guess. The quality may be great but the value isn't so hot.

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I believe the MB recipes were always priced a little on the high side, for the amount of beer you got, to be honest. Some of the Advanced Recipes floated in the high $20s range, and while they were first-rate, IMO, that's still over one dollar a bottle, and I know I'm making AG recipes for much less.

The thing is, I was willing to pay for the convenience and ease, because I also like variety, and a full pipeline. My AG recipes were where I put my effort in, and where I got the most satisfaction creatively and economically. But I can't keep my pipeline full and full of variety that way. The compromise was MB recipes that only took an hour from start to finish.

I might try some of the refills just to see what they're like, but if the prices seem too high, and the quality/variety isn't forthcoming, I'll find other avenues of brewing quick extract recipes for the LBKs. Yes, a hop boil will still take longer than using an HME, but I'm willing to sacrifice the convenience if I feel I'm getting hosed when it comes to price vs quality.

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"ulster" post=279362 said:

"Gymrat" post=279131 said:

KZ $17.95 is over price for 22 3.5% (at best) beers. Especially when you can buy extract kits that make 50 beers at 5% to 6% for only $7 more at any home brew site.

This really puts it into perspective. For some reason paying $35 to $45 for a kit from NB would make me second guess the purchase. When I look at $45 kits from Mr. Beer for things that I could get double the amount of for the same price its a no brainer.

My biggest lure of Mr. Beer is that I wouldn't have 50 bottles of the same recipe. I do like variety and it would take a long time to go through 50 bottles compared to 16 (1.5 liter) or 25 (12 ounce) bottles. I would rather give 25 bottles away to friends for the same cost though. Its value based purchasing I guess. The quality may be great but the value isn't so hot.

The best thing about NB is they post the entire recipe and instructions online. You can scale any of their recipes down to an LBK size. And NB has 5gal kits that start at around $20 that are damn good (ive brewed the Irish Red and Cream Ale and both were great beers). Cost wise...its a no brainer.

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