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chevelleguy0

Mr. Beer LBK

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Hello everyone I'm very new to home brewing and just bottled my first batch from a Mr. Beer LBK. I was just curious with this setup do I have to buy their pre made cans of hopped malt extract or can I venture into different arenas? Thanks for any help ya'll can provide.

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While it's much easier to use our premade cans, you can experiment with other malts, hops, etc. There are many recipes in our Basic/Advanced Recipe subforums, and there is also a great fan-made forum that has a multitude of Mr. Beer recipes. Happy Brewing!

http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads/

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You can brew anything in almost anything.

 

As Josh noted, Mr. Beer has refills and lots of recipes.  In addition, you can buy other company's canned HME (hopped malt extract), if designed for 2.5 gallon (or less) batches, or buy a can designed for a 5 gallon batch, make 1/2 of it, and store the other half.

 

However, note that those that go all mad scientist real quick tend to give up the hobby.  If you make some Mr. Beer refills, then some recipes, then add things like steeped grains, LME/DME and hops, you are more likely to be brewing beer a year from now.

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There are many companies that make HME, but our's is the best. ;)

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I only made a double 5 gal batch once, my only issue was splitting the hot wort concentrate between the 2 LBKs.

If you get the 5 gal HME you can get another LBK and split it between the 2, saving the storage.

If you do, make sure you will have enough bottles on hand for the 5 gall at the 3 week bottling time. You can get those from Mr B at same time as other LBK if you plan to do that.

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While it's much easier to use our premade cans, you can experiment with other malts, hops, etc. There are many recipes in our Basic/Advanced Recipe subforums, and there is also a great fan-made forum that has a multitude of Mr. Beer recipes. Happy Brewing!

http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads/

Awesome, had not seen this other forum on here before this.  Will be checking out!

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You can brew anything in almost anything.

 

 

You got that right.  Back in the 80's, when I was about 5 years old, I brewed wine in plastic trash cans and totes with a towel over them.  And it was usually pretty darn good.  We're styling now.

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You got that right.  Back in the 80's, when I was about 5 years old, I brewed wine in plastic trash cans and totes with a towel over them.  And it was usually pretty darn good.  We're styling now.

my first attempt at mead was an open fermentation in a stew pot with a towel over it. . . tasted like rocket fuel because I didn't know what I was doing. one day I hope to get insanely rich playing the lotto and spend all my millions on super cool brewing rigs and other sundry gear!

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Hello everyone I'm very new to home brewing and just bottled my first batch from a Mr. Beer LBK. I was just curious with this setup do I have to buy their pre made cans of hopped malt extract or can I venture into different arenas? Thanks for any help ya'll can provide.

No you don't have too, you can ferment most any  @2 gal. beer in the lbk, its a 2.5 fermentation vessel. I personally would use MB refills  and recipes when you first get going (what I did). You can make some really good beer while learning the process. Learn to add some steeping grains to the MB and it gets even better. Maybe some DME or LME and a hop boil and you are on your way.

I still use LBK's

post-53480-0-64300500-1421803687_thumb.j

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I use 6.5 gallon buckets for the most part now, but still have the LBKs for test batches and experimentation.  I used to run with 4 and rotate batches to get variety.  I just don't have as much time now, so I do larger batches less frequently.  The LBKs are nice, no worries about an airlock, and you don't need an autosiphon.  Use what you want, but for Mr. Beer batches, LBKs are great!

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I have 3 LBKs now I use 2 for brewing and the other for secondary or batch priming.

I have a small dorm size fridge with a home made temp controller and my LBKs fit nicely into it.

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Joking aside, think of it this way. You put wort in the LBK to ferment. What difference does it make where that wort came from? The size and shape of the LBK just happens to work out perfectly for my specific needs, and it's the only fermenter I've used for beer in the past 3 years. I've used it for HME only batches, HME with steeped grains, other extract batches, partial mash batches and all grain batches. No matter what goes on in the brew kettle, once the wort is made, it all goes in the LBK and gets fermented.

Update: Come to think of it, there's an even better analogy. Can you use a Kool-aid pitcher to pour out any other drink besides Kool-aid?

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You got that right.  Back in the 80's, when I was about 5 years old, I brewed wine in plastic trash cans and totes with a towel over them.  And it was usually pretty darn good.  We're styling now.

That's hilarious. I had a similar start, except I was making "wine" in 2 liter bottles with condoms or balloons at the top with a tiny hole in them acting as an airlock. I was about 17...lol. That was my first experience with fermentation. Needless to say, it didn't come out tasting very good, but it was definitely alcoholic, and at that age, that was all that mattered. lol

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That's hilarious. I had a similar start, except I was making "wine" in 2 liter bottles with condoms or balloons at the top with a tiny hole in them acting as an airlock. I was about 17...lol. That was my first experience with fermentation. Needless to say, it didn't come out tasting very good, but it was definitely alcoholic, and at that age, that was all that mattered. lol

That's awesome. This all goes to show that while the pursuit of perfection in brewing is all very well, we don't need to take ourselves too seriously, and we surely don't need to get overly stressed either. Definitely the best hobby I've ever had.

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You got that right.  Back in the 80's, when I was about 5 years old, I brewed wine in plastic trash cans and totes with a towel over them.  And it was usually pretty darn good.  We're styling now.

Joe, you were NEVER five years old....

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I have 3 LBKs now I use 2 for brewing and the other for secondary or batch priming.

I personally would not use a LBK for a secondary due to the large amount of headspace.  Although it is the pot calling the kettle black, I personally would not secondary.  Well, yes I would, but I do it in a vessel with much less head space for beers I long term age so as not to tie up a keg or when I get lazy with bottling as I look at it as a giant conditioning vessel.  I also usually give it a few squirts of CO2 to purge any oxygen.

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I personally would not use a LBK for a secondary due to the large amount of headspace.  Although it is the pot calling the kettle black, I personally would not secondary.  Well, yes I would, but I do it in a vessel with much less head space for beers I long term age so as not to tie up a keg or when I get lazy with bottling as I look at it as a giant conditioning vessel.  I also usually give it a few squirts of CO2 to purge any oxygen.

+1  I would only use a secondary if I was brewing for competition.

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I secondary in my LBKs when I do true largers low temp range and long largering times also if I feel it needs a d-rest I'll secondary but as mentioned I'll give a shot of CO2 when doing it.

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That's hilarious. I had a similar start, except I was making "wine" in 2 liter bottles with condoms or balloons at the top with a tiny hole in them acting as an airlock. I was about 17...lol. That was my first experience with fermentation. Needless to say, it didn't come out tasting very good, but it was definitely alcoholic, and at that age, that was all that mattered. lol

 

Wow.  Similar experience here.  17 years old with a cooler in my truck and a fermenter sloshing around full of beer.  It was a different brand than Mr. Beer (Rhymes with "Steer Machine") and it was gross...but alcoholic so it was awesome.  

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3 years after my dad died I found a bottle of home made wine in my mom's basement, my mom said my dad made it some 30 years earlier.. well when I opened it, it smelled just like a good strong whiskey, and when I tasted it :wub: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it was great, it tasted like Maple Syrup, and it's mouth feel was thick and smooth like Maple Syrup..

 

my mother said she thought it was a Tomato wine, I don't know but it smelled very strong and tasted like Maple Syrup, I didn't drink much of it cause I didn't know if it would put me in the hospital or not

 

Jim

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and bad wine is still good for something because you can dilute it and use it for salad vinegar.

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wine turns to vinegar, so when it's bad you know it.

I know this isn't a wine forum, but since I'm also a winemaker, I thought I'd clear this common myth up. Wine doesn't turn to vinegar without a lot of help. That help doesn't happen naturally while the wine is sitting too long. Open a bottle and leave it open too long and you end up with bad, spoiled, oxidized wine, but no vinegar. To make vinegar, you need to add acetobacter bacteria that will convert the sugar and/or alcohol to acetic acid.

Once you add the bacteria, it will convert the alcohol, so it won't be alcoholic. It will be vinegar. But again, this only happens when action is taken to cause the conversion. It doesn't usually happen by itself (unless your house is teeming with airborne acetobacter bacteria waiting for open bottles of wine). Cheers!

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3 years after my dad died I found a bottle of home made wine in my mom's basement, my mom said my dad made it some 30 years earlier.. well when I opened it, it smelled just like a good strong whiskey, and when I tasted it :wub: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, it was great, it tasted like Maple Syrup, and it's mouth feel was thick and smooth like Maple Syrup..
 
my mother said she thought it was a Tomato wine, I don't know but it smelled very strong and tasted like Maple Syrup, I didn't drink much of it cause I didn't know if it would put me in the hospital or not
 
Jim

 

The maple syrup flavor most likely comes from oxidation over the years (this can cause sherry-like flavors, which are normally unwanted in wines). It won't hurt you, and if it tastes good, go for it!

By the way, I think we may be a bit off-topic. lol.

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Update: Come to think of it, there's an even better analogy. Can you use a Kool-aid pitcher to pour out any other drink besides Kool-aid?

Of course you cannot.  It's illegal, governed by Federal Law.  If you have a Koolaid pitcher, it must be used ONLY for Koolaid.  Who doesn't know this?  

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JoshR, on 22 Jan 2015 - 11:08 AM, said:

I know this isn't a wine forum, but since I'm also a winemaker, I thought I'd clear this common myth up. Wine doesn't turn to vinegar without a lot of help. That help doesn't happen naturally while the wine is sitting too long. Open a bottle and leave it open too long and you end up with bad, spoiled, oxidized wine, but no vinegar. To make vinegar, you need to add acetobacter bacteria that will convert the sugar and/or alcohol to acetic acid.

Once you add the bacteria, it will convert the alcohol, so it won't be alcoholic. It will be vinegar. But again, this only happens when action is taken to cause the conversion. It doesn't usually happen by itself (unless your house is teeming with airborne acetobacter bacteria waiting for open bottles of wine). Cheers!

 December 1982, in Kitzingen Germany. I got ahold of a bottle of 7 year old Müller-Thurgau, Qualitätswein, It was a Franken wine. That sure as sh...taxes tasted like vinegar.

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 December 1982, in Kitzingen Germany. I got ahold of a bottle of 7 year old Müller-Thurgau, Qualitätswein, It was a Franken wine. That sure as sh...taxes tasted like vinegar.

Yes, it can happen, it's just not very common as most people think.

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No secondary here, either.  I probably shouldn't be admitting this, but I've become so lazy that I usually bottle and condition each batch in 3 three liter bottles.  Makes for a super easy bottling day.  I slightly over carbonate them.  Then when I feel like it, I break one out, decant it all into a gallon pitcher, leaving all the sediment behind in the 3 liter bottle.  Then I usually fill 2 one liter bottles and 2 pint bottles for short term drinking.  Sometimes I even make a few 12 ounce glass bottles, especially for gifts.  Thanks to the slight over carbing they hold up real well.  It's kinda like a weird cross between using bottles and using a growler, or bottling from a keg.  I couldn't be happier with the results.  Since I bottle and brew on the same day, it makes things very nice that day.  And the day I divide it into a few smaller bottles is a day I had no pressure on me at all.  

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I do a secondary when I brew in my carboys, but only if I'm dry-hopping or lagering. There's no need for a secondary with the LBKs.

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While it's much easier to use our premade cans, you can experiment with other malts, hops, etc. There are many recipes in our Basic/Advanced Recipe subforums, and there is also a great fan-made forum that has a multitude of Mr. Beer recipes. Happy Brewing!

http://www.mrbeerfans.com/ubbthreads/

WHEN WILL LARGER FERMENTERS BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE?   IF YOU GUYS DO MAKE ONE AVAILABLE SOON I AM GONNA GET A CARBOY AND BE DONE WITH IT!!

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Doing a true lager yeast in my LBK currently (2014 seasonal dopplebock). Plan on lagering in the bottles.

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WHEN WILL LARGER FERMENTERS BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE?   IF YOU GUYS DO MAKE ONE AVAILABLE SOON I AM GONNA GET A CARBOY AND BE DONE WITH IT!!

We have a larger fermenter called the 24Lx. It holds up to 6 gallons (24 liters). You can ferment in it, then go to secondary if you wish, or you could just bottle straight from the fermenter like the LBK and 8Lx.

http://www.mrbeer.com/mrbeer-24l-beer-kits

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Sorry, my bad. Just realized the term was larger, not lager. Had a few that evening and thought a "lager fermenter" sounded odd.

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I find the MB LBK the right size for my brewing , which I'm expanding beyond the basic MB refills. What I like is that with the LBK I don't fiddle with air locks, filling bottles from the LBK is easy, and it fits into my sink for cleaning. My local home brew store has other brands of HME and unhopped extracts. You'll have to judge on your own the quality of other brands, but let me just say some are good and others definitely are not so good.

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I find the MB LBK the right size for my brewing , which I'm expanding beyond the basic MB refills. What I like is that with the LBK I don't fiddle with air locks, filling bottles from the LBK is easy, and it fits into my sink for cleaning. My local home brew store has other brands of HME and unhopped extracts. You'll have to judge on your own the quality of other brands, but let me just say some are good and others definitely are not so good.

Same here. LBK just happens to be perfect size for me. Easy to lift and move around, especially with bad back. Easy to keep in cooler to control temps. Easy to make 5 gallon batch and just use 2 LBK's instead of one. All this is true for any type of brew at all, HME, Extract plus hops, Partial Mash, All Grain. Just works out great. Couldn't be happier.

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I do a secondary when I brew in my carboys, but only if I'm dry-hopping or lagering. There's no need for a secondary with the LBKs.

 

+1 here.  I rarely secondary, unless brewing a true lager, fruit beer, or sour.  But for a secondary, the best vehicle is a glass carboy.  This debate could fill an entire thread...

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I have used the HMEs from Mr. Beer, done 5 gal batches with Steeping grains and split to 2 LBKs, I am now in process of getting info completed for an 2 1/2 gal BIAB batch. In all of the brewing I have ( not that many ) I've got to say the Mr. Beer LBK is the common thing with all my brews, its easy to handle, ease of bottling (with the wand) and it fits so snuggly in my fermentation chamber( dorm size fridge). Even if I upgrade to a bigger fridge I'll continue to use the LBKs.

Just note I've done a full blown Vienna Larger in the LBK (required primary, D rest, secondary, and Largering for 6 wks. total time 2 1/2 mo.) no problem at all.

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my first attempt at mead was an open fermentation in a stew pot with a towel over it. . . tasted like rocket fuel because I didn't know what I was doing. one day I hope to get insanely rich playing the lotto and spend all my millions on super cool brewing rigs and other sundry gear!

 

AMEN to that!!!!!

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Same here never did the secondary. For me too, being (ahem) of advanced years, LBK or 8LX is perfect size, can take it up/down stairs (brew/bottle in kitchen, ferment in basement), fits into a tub for spills, can wash it in the sink, do one handed lift for exercise, fits in the cooler for low temp fermentation, etc. etc. I guess a 5 gal batch might get a little stronger in 2 LBKs :-)?

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I guess a 5 gal batch might get a little stronger in 2 LBKs :-)?

Fill each LBK to 2.5 gallons. I do it every time I brew.

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I won't make 5 gallons of anything.  I have 12.5 gallons of temperature controlled brewing capacity.  So I'm going to make the most out of and keep making different recipes.

 

Besides, I had a 5 gallon kit boil over with my back turned... and my wife told me "never again."

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Yeah, I fill mine to the 8.5 mark or more if I have a bag of something in it so I still get my bottle count.

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