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adam88king

standard refills vs. delux

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My plan is to try the basic refills to figure out which flavor i really like. My question is should i stick with the standars or go with the delux refills right away? Do they add much to the flavor of the beer and what is your guys preference from experience?

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Deluxe is not designed to add flavor, it's designed to increase the ABV% and mouthfeel.  Mr. Beer does pair each beer with the most appropriate LME packet - Golden, Pale, Smooth, and Robust - and some (like Robust) could add a bunch of flavor but they are included with stronger flavored brews like a Porter, so the effect on flavor is negligible.

 

I added a pound of LME to all basic refills I made, 1/2 pound to Craft.  

 

The basic refills will come in at around 3.1% alone, 4.1% with a packet of LME. 

 

By the way, your plan to try them before altering them (other than with LME) is a good one.  Going all mad scientist is one of the top reasons that people quit this hobby.  You need to figure out what something tastes like BEFORE you starting altering its taste.  Otherwise, when you don't like it your don't know why.

 

I recommend the following steps:

 

1) brew straight up

 

2) add LME

 

3) pick recipes from the site

 

3) add steeping grains (and LME) to refills (if recipes didn't give you enough exposure)

 

4) add hops (and steeping grains and LME) to refills (if recipes didn't give you enough exposure)

 

5) move to recipes you find on the web from extract, steeping grains, and hops

 

That's what worked for me.

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My plan is to try the basic refills to figure out which flavor i really like. My question is should i stick with the standars or go with the delux refills right away? Do they add much to the flavor of the beer and what is your guys preference from experience?

 

Great question.  I asked the same thing back in September.  My first batch was St. Patrick's Irish Stout (standard).  But when it was fermenting, I started reading on the Mr. Beer website and on this forum.  I realized that  by Mr. Beer definition I would get 3.7% beer and people on this forum were saying I'd actually get around 3.1% beer.  Given that Guinness is closer to 5%, I immediately felt like I was making inferior beer.  So I ordered the correctly matched LMEs for my remaining refills so I could make Deluxe versions and get the alcohol level at 4+%.

The next month I made the St. Patrick's Irish Stout (deluxe).  So now I have bottles of both St. Patrick's Irish Stout.  Both taste good.  Both taste like Guinness.  But I like the deluxe batch just a little more.  Maybe psychologically I like it because I know it's alcohol content is closer to Guinness, but I do think it just has a better beer feel.

But, you'll still get good, drinkable beer with just the standard recipes and if you don't tell your friends, they won't consider it lesser beer because the alcohol content is lower.

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Thanks for the input again guys. Sdrake what was your opinion on the Bavarian Weissbier in general? Im thinking that will be my next attempt.

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Rick gave you some good advice.  Wait until you have the basics down before going mad scientist.  When you do ask yourself some serious questions.  All I can tell you is for myself I could have save some cash if I did.  I went from MR B to 10 - 15 gallon batches within a year.

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If I had to do it over again, I would have gone straight to their deluxe version for their standard refills, but not for their craft series refills.

 

For what it's worth, I think their Weissbier refill is a fine representation of the style.

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Thanks for the input again guys. Sdrake what was your opinion on the Bavarian Weissbier in general? Im thinking that will be my next attempt.

 

I like it.  I have 3 of my original 22 bottles remaining.  I probably should have let more of it condition before drinking it.  The later bottles I've drank are better than the first bottles.  I haven't found a bad one yet, but my Cherry Wheat hasn't conditioned enough to try one yet.  I do have very low expectations with the Cherry Wheat.

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Maybe ill just go strait for the delux refills rather than waisting time and money on doing the standard refill then the delux then recipes...who knows ill probably change my mind about ten more times before i make another order!

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You probably don't. Booster from Mr. Beer is an option, but you don't have that. Honey works, but dries a beer out. Sugar is a bad idea.

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The booster will not add much flavor but will improve head, abv and mouth feel.

I tried honey and did not like the taste it gave, but that is a personal choice.

You can get some flavor from dark sugar but malt is best and adds malt flavor + the other things, head, mouth feel and abv.

The flavor it adds depends on the malt, darker, the more caramel and chocolate you get.

The other way to change flavor is to change yeast and/or brewing temperature. Check out what the Mr B recipes use when using non standard yeasts to get some ideas.

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I'm following the forums advice on my first batch but I am very interested in all grain brewing. I enjoy cooking, creating food recipes and felt like this first home brew batch was too easy.....like ....if you can boil water you can make beer. I'm sure that is what makes it successful for the masses, and it seems you can get as deep into this hobby as you are able to. First batch is carbonating now so now I have to figure out what to do next!

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going all grain will require lots of study first... if you want good beer. water chemistry is far more important with all grain than with extract. ph...mineral content... salt additions...  then you have different phases and rests that the mash goes through.... phew.  brew in a bag looks easier and will be my approach.  still involves some chemistry and such....

 

TAKE YOUR TIME rokadog.  go at your own pace... study.. research... brew... but don't rush to overcomplicate things.

 

the very point of brewing KITS like mr beer is to MAKE BREWING EASY.  trying to muck it all up with complications is defeating the purpose of beer kits.   it is a foot in the door of brewing and teaches you the basics like sanitation, carbonating, conditioning, hop boils, how what yeast you use changes things... temperature control...etc.

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