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yuppicide

New here.. few questions about additions..

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I'm new around here.. I don't have a Mr. Beer currently. I know it's not really brewing beer, like if I purchased a beer kit, but I also don't feel like doing a ton of work, so thought this would be easier.

My question is, I don't like normal things. I like to do something different. If I can't do that then I won't do it.

Brewing with Mr. Beer.. let's say I choose a beer like a lager..  when can I add something like a fruit to get a good flavor from it? I assume I mash it up.

Will it ruin things to add a piece of fruit to the bottle of the finished product?

I used to have beer with a whole chili pepper in it, but I don't see them around here any more. I'd like to do something like a chipotle cherry, or maybe just a beer with some kind of berry in it (raspberry?).

What about adding juice to a beer? I saw someone on  a real beer forum brew beer using a little bit of 100% fruit juice. Not sure when to add that.

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Based on what you said in your post, I'd suggest that your approach will result in failure, and you shouldn't waste your time.

"I don't like normal things.  I like to do something different.  If I can't do that then I won't do it.".  - You need to do the normal things to LEARN.  Then, when you master them, you start deviating.  If you want to jump to Frankenstein-mode, you'll fail.

"I assume I mash it up.  Will it ruin things to add a piece of fruit to the bottle".  - No, you don't mash it up, and Yes, it will ruin things.  You need to do a lot of reading and do things the right way.  

I'm sure some will jump in and try to help you skip all the learning and just do it and screw up now, but sorry, I won't.  Mr. Beer IS real beer, and tastes ok.  Additions of LME and DME (described all over the forum) make it better.  Adding fruit (there are plenty of Mr. Beer fruit recipes) are fine, by following the recipe.  But first you need to buy the kit and learn.

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Amen to what Rick says.  I am new and learning, and I enjoy learning.  So if you don't want to learn then don't do it, like you said in your post.

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I feel if I am going to learn, then I should buy a real brew kit. Mr. Beer is pretty much a starter into brewing real beer. The reason people buy a Mr. Beer is more because it's easier and they either want to use this as a stepping stone into real beer brewing or just not want to learn if you ask me.

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I think what I meant to say is I am willing to learn a little to a certain degree.. it's just I think something like adding in fruit shouldn't be that complex of a process that I can't do it my first time. I figure it's just when to add fruit is all I need.

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I wouldn't recommend starting with mr. Beer kit if this is what you are wanting to accomplish. Imo it teaches you how to stir water and pre-hopped malt and thats about it.  If you want to get into the very basics of homebrewing there are some very simple extract kits that go into a little more detail of actual brewing without being intimidating. I would recommend something along the lines of a www.craftabrew.com kit for you. Now, on to your main question. Fruits are a fun addition to brewing. A stout is a good place to start when considering fruit adjuncts. Generally, you'd want to add these to a secondary fermentor and rack your beer onto it. If you're doing this in a Mr. Beer kit, crush your berries and freeze them. After your beer is completely fermented, give your mr beer keg a couple good sloshes to rouse your yeast and toss in your crushed, frozen berries in and give them another week or so. You'll kickstart another fermentation due to the natural sugar in the fruit.  

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NarcolepZZZZZZ said:I wouldn't recommend starting with mr. Beer kit if this is what you are wanting to accomplish. Imo it teaches you how to stir water and pre-hopped malt and thats about it.  If you want to get into the very basics of homebrewing there are some very simple extract kits that go into a little more detail of actual brewing without being intimidating. I would recommend something along the lines of a www.craftabrew.com kit for you.

I'm going to disagree with your recommendation.  I think that the Mr. Beer kit is a great way to get into brewing.  It's how I and many others on this forum got into brewing.  It lets you brew 2.13 gallon batches quite easily, and then proceed to dry hopping, adding fruit, etc.  It also allows you to brew 5 gallon recipes, whether extract or all grain, and ferment them in 2 LBKs (2.5 gallons per).  I no longer buy Mr. Beer refills, but I use my two LBKs to ferment my 5 gallon extract recipes.  No racking gain is required, no potentially dangerous glass carboy, and I get 5 gallons of beer.   I don't see how a 1 gallon glass carboy gets someone there cheaper or easier.  

For those looking to add additional LBKs, Mr. Beer sells them for $10.  You can also often find them in garage sales or on Craigslist.  Right after major holidays like Christmas and Father's Day you can sometimes get great deals also.

I still stand by my recommendation that the OP reconsider his goals and how he's going to get there, and reset his expectations.  

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yuppicide said:I think what I meant to say is I am willing to learn a little to a certain degree.. it's just I think something like adding in fruit shouldn't be that complex of a process that I can't do it my first time. I figure it's just when to add fruit is all I need.

If you do your first batch using fruit, you'll wonder on the flavors which of them was added by the fruit, by the yeast, or by the base refill.  Some hops add fruity flavors.  And adding fruit sometimes yields off-flavors that might be unexpected.

Adding a can of fruit sometimes doesn't result in strong fruit flavors - actually most of the time it doesn't.  Depending on which base you start from, you'll get a vastly different tasting outcome.  I recently did two batches with raspberries, one the old High Country Canadian Draft, the other Oktoberfest.  As expected, the Oktoberfest has more body, but the raspberry flavor comes off stronger in the HCD as I expected.

By starting with the base refills, then progressing to the recipes, and comparing side by side, you'll see the impact of changes you make.  

But the real reason to start in this manner is that by doing so you stand a much better chance of not giving up the hobby.  Those that come to the forum and say "I want to go all Frankenstein" or "I want to brew stuff to get really drunk" tend to disappear quite quickly - which is good for those looking for great deals on used equipment.

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I love it how some non-MrB extract users consider what they do as brewing and MrB as not brewing.  Extract is extract and a fermenter is a fermenter.  Then some people consider that unless you are not spending 6 hours on a brew day doing all grain you are not brewing.  I do pretty much anything from MrB to AG depending on my goals:  save time, save money, want to try something off the beaten path, etc.  Starting with MrB gave me a baseline to see what those other steps were and which ones should I spend time on.  An example is fruit beer - I realized it was not worth the time and effort using fruit as it is almost impossible to control batch to batch consistency so in most cases use extract.

We are not saying you have to stay in this spot forever (I didnt) but it is a good place to start and you can always use the LBK down the road it only to split batches between two.  But, I do "appreciate" the people who go all wonka from the beginning, make terrible beer, and give up as it has allowed me to expand my LBK collection by finding them at garage sales for a buck.  :)

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I am one from the GO FOR IT camp. Your main question seems to be about when to add the fruit.

Considering this is not a "real" beer forum, I'm not sure why your asking any questions here, and why you are not willing to use an ounce of energy to use the search function, and/or go to one of your "real" beer forums and ask that question. As RickBeer will tell you, that question has been asked over and over. Five minutes of research will get your mind working, and lead to hours if not days of learning what others have done. Then post this question, laying out your ideas, and ask others advice.

So I say GO FOR IT, throw the fruit in whenever the mood strikes you. Just do not dare to come on here, or any "real" beer forum, and state that Mr Beer sucks, because it is 100% your fault, and not Mr Beer's.

By the way, other companies sell beer kits( with grains), which I assume you consider "real" brewing. Fact is, ingredients are the same, just pre-assembled a little differently. There only so many ways to "brew" beer.  Buy one of those, go all crazy on it, and when it sucks too, is it Mr Beer's fault, that companies fault, or still yours because you couldn't be bothered to do research?

If you don't feel like doing a ton of work, I suggest stamp collecting.....

I don't mean this to sound like a trashing of you, but this is coming from someone that has spent hours and hours doing research here and other places before asking questions. And I don't like "normal things" , like you.  If your " I also don't feel like doing a ton of work" includes not typing google.com into your browser, you have destine yourself for failure. Come back with a plan, we will help you.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm going to get a kit next week when I get paid and do some experimentation. I'm not "going all Frankenstain" as I'm not trying to get that crazy other that something a little different. I don't think a little different = Frankenstein. I do understand that different ingredients will yield different results, but if I don't try then I'm not going to be satisfied. If I don't like my first attempt it's not that much of an investment to worry about. I'll get another and try again.

It's been 20 or 25 years ago, but I did some beer a long time ago in a similar kit. I modified the recipe slightly, I can't remember what, but my friend goes "I swear it tastes just like O Douls". I asked "How would you know what that tastes like?" and we all joked for awhile, because O Douls is a non-alcholic beer and my friend is a drunk.

So, I wasn't saying these aren't real forums, I was saying the kit isn't really brewing beer. It's basically just adding and stirring ingredients.. as people over at Homebrewtalk.com will tell you. I have no problem getting something smaller like this, because I'm not a heavy drinker, I'm more into making something I can share with people when they come over. I like cooking.

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No, I never ever said Mr. Beer sucks. My Uncle has one and he loves it. I buy him refills every Christmas. Although, last year I got him a Brooklyn Brew kit instead.

dfwddr said:

So I say GO FOR IT, throw the fruit in whenever the mood strikes you. Just do not dare to come on here, or any "real" beer forum, and state that Mr Beer sucks, because it is 100% your fault, and not Mr Beer's.

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Hip Hip Hooray! All good advice. Mr. Beer users unite!

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