During the holidays there is an influx of new Mr. Beer brewers, which is great. In January, many rush to make their first brew, and many follow - or not - Mr. Beer's instructions. Most never find this forum. You did.   Fact - the drop out rate, i.e. the number of people that brew a batch and quit, is quite high. Why? Top reasons: 1) Not following directions - Like anything else you do, if you deviate from the instructions you'll get a different result, sometimes a bad tasting result. 2) Goin