Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community

Recommended Posts

I bought an LBK a while back, and brewed the American Light that came with it. I followed the MR. BEER included instructions TO A TEE (correct temperature and sanitizing while brewing, ideal ferment temp and time, exact amount carbo drops and ideal carbo temp and time). I chilled the beers in the fridge for two weeks, like it says to do. It was after tasting my almost unenjoyable "liquid bread" that I figured it was just because it was American Light (light beers are a waste of hops) and there must be a reason they toss this kind in with your kit as a 'freebie'.. So I looked online and found a bunch of awesome sounding refill kits and didn't hesitate to order some beers that I myself would buy at The Beer Store (you guys in Ontario will know what I'm talking about). I received them yesterday and am anxious to get some more brewing today. I got Grand Bohemian Czech Pilsner, Diablo IPA, American Ale, Northwest Pale Ale, Pale BrewMax LME SoftPack, along with a Professional Bottling System. ANYWAY, long story short.. Some cans are bigger than others. Can I use them all in my LBK, or do I need to split into two batches, or get a bigger fermenter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ALSO, I found the Forum section and started reading posts by RickBeer and JoeChianti. Very helpful. I discovered the 3-4 rule, which would have been nice to know BEFORE I started my first batch lol. I'd like to know what other people have done as far as ferment temp/time, carbo temp/time, etc. for the refills I have right now.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, welcome to the obsession that is called brewing.

With regard to the different sizes of the refills, all of them are intended to brew 1 LBK (8.5 liters) of beer. Some of the beer types require more extract than others.

With regard to the American Light tasting like "liquid bread", that may be the result of not allowing it to ferment long enough. If you followed the Mr. Beer instructions you probably bottled too soon and then didn't carb/condition long enough. The experienced members of this forum have a recommendation of 3 weeks in the LBK, 4 weeks in the bottle at room temp (70 degrees) and then 3 days in the fridge.

Spend some time reading the forum and you will brew better beer and be much more satisfied with your results.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't pay attention to those posts by JoeChianti, but that other guy, he's the ticket...     :o

 

You bought some of the basic refills and two of the Craft Refills, which ThatGuyFromDownThere :P  noted have different amounts of malt extract in them - and brew better beers.  Seasonals have even more.

 

The pack of LME would best be used with a basic refill to make it better.

 

All of them are the same as far as time - 3/4, and temperature (ideally keep fermentation temp of the liquid - not the air - 68/70 or less and carb them at 70 or higher).

 

I brew at 64.  I carb at 68/70 for at least 3 weeks before moving them into a slightly cooler basement, but then they sit for a while because I have a pipeline and don't need them right away.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the quick reply! I read that the 3-4 rule is pretty standard for any beer MR. BEER sells. Just wondering if there were any tips/tricks/revisions anybody has for specific refills.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope.  Unless it is a lager, which nearly all of them are NOT.  There are a few recipes (not refills) where they change the yeast and it specifies it needs to be fermented cooler.  Only the Dortmunder Export, a Seasonal Refill, has a version that is a larger (says cold fermenting).

 

Everything else follows the rule.  Some directions might specify a bit longer conditioning time, but it will say that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The refills with extra malt are very good. Your first couple of brews may not be all that great, but they are part of a learning process. Don't rush it, follow recommendations and have patience. You'll be making some great beers, just stick with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you're on the right track. Just be careful with that RickBeer fellow. He can be a little scary when he's not wearing his straight jacket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Dortmunder also comes with warm ferment, which I did. Tastes fine, once I get the froth to subside. Probably fermented too cold and not long enough.. I have been having problems with low carbonation recently , but my storage room is now 65 or less, not too good for normal carbonation I think.

Dortmunder  Export has a bit of gas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One they reach room temp, they will begin conditioning again. 4 weeks total should be enough, longer doesn't hurt.

Will it taste better? Way too vague, depends what it tastes like now. Green apple flavor will go away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its taste resembles nothing of an apple. Just bread and water, with a hint of weak craft beer. I guess we'll see!

Diablo IPA is now in LBK, with a couple pieces of cardboard under front to prevent trub from going through spigot on bottling day. Will definitely try cold 'word escapes me right now'-ing it to promote clarity and the settling of 'schtuff'. My American Light is transluminescent, but cannot see my fingers moving behind it it's so cloudy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
neitherbeernorthere, on 14 Feb 2015 - 9:18 PM, said:

Its taste resembles nothing of an apple. Just bread and water, with a hint of weak craft beer. I guess we'll see!

Diablo IPA is now in LBK, with a couple pieces of cardboard under front to prevent trub from going through spigot on bottling day. Will definitely try cold 'word escapes me right now'-ing it to promote clarity and the settling of 'schtuff'. My American Light is transluminescent, but cannot see my fingers moving behind it it's so cloudy.

cold crashing...don't ya just hate brain farts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bread and water? must have a lot of yeast still in it. Maybe the yeast was old or something? Does it taste sweet? If so may not be fermented properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

T8r's 3 cents worth: Do not, I repeat DO NOT follow anything JoeChianti or RickBeer type, write or say on this forum...EVER. Unless of course you want good sound advice, good beer savvy, and want to brew fantastic tasting homebrew like mine. Joe is a master chef, mad scientist and loony while Rickbeer is full of it (it being solid info and a wealth of knowledge especially research and development on the web). 

 

My question is this to the powers that be and this goes back to the Old Mr Beer and now, the New Coopers Mr Beer: Why do you ship the worst beer refill with the kits which are intended for the Newest of Newbies knowing full well it is not going to produce that great of a beer? Why is the stated ABV of most if not all the refills much higher than is actually produced through proper fermentation? And why is the stated fermentation time as well as stated conditioning time so much shorter than it really needs to be to produce a good quality homebrew that is drinkable, enjoyable and ego building for the new brewer as well as us old timers? Once the modified time of both is extended we have been able to enjoy the recipe and take great pleasure in sharing our homebrews with others. Just asking for clarification and possible updating of instructions leading the newbies to continue brewing, drinking and especially purchasing refills from Coopers Mr Beer.

 

Salud my friends.

 

PS...I am still brewing with refills and using my 7-8 LBK's for brewing enjoyment and actually giving them away with instructions to purchase your products, refills and leading some of them to this borg which has a wealth of information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cannot say I have heard "bread and water" before.

Oh come on now RickBeer, your momma or daddy told you when you were young if you didn't straighten up and fly right, you were going to your bedroom and all you were going to get to eat that evening was bread and water!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

My question is this to the powers that be and this goes back to the Old Mr Beer and now, the New Coopers Mr Beer: Why do you ship the worst beer refill with the kits which are intended for the Newest of Newbies knowing full well it is not going to produce that great of a beer? Why is the stated ABV of most if not all the refills much higher than is actually produced through proper fermentation? And why is the stated fermentation time as well as stated conditioning time so much shorter than it really needs to be to produce a good quality homebrew that is drinkable, enjoyable and ego building for the new brewer as well as us old timers? Once the modified time of both is extended we have been able to enjoy the recipe and take great pleasure in sharing our homebrews with others. Just asking for clarification and possible updating of instructions leading the newbies to continue brewing, drinking and especially purchasing refills from Coopers Mr Beer.

 

Both are/were marketing issues into today's instant gratification society.  First, give a short time.  How may people would wait a month and a half plus, especially since I am sure many are given to people who just like BMC products by their better half as a gift.  The other thing is do you pick an IPA for a refill, a stout, or ???  SWMBO for the most part hates stouts so that wouldn't have been an option.  To make everyone hoppy, you would need a whole slew of SKUs which takes up shelf space.

 

I did mention this before and it sounds like in the future they will be making a "build our own kit" where YOU can pick your own refill.  To keep shelf space to a minimum I could see have on kit based on standard refills and another sans refill with a coupon to order whatever standard refill you want.  I personally would add a "20% off on each addition refill" or free shippping or something like that so they stock up.  As an added bonus (or not), the newbie is now on some sort of mailing list.  I can see them keeping the standard, kitted CAL with the same instructions so that Marketing is happy.  But, for those not included in the kit I would suggest the 3/4 method.  That way even if the first batch turns out "meh" the subsequent batches should be much better.  Of course, this will annoy Rick since he won't be able to trick people into sending his beer to his bargain "Beer Disposal Service."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you ship the worst beer refill with the kits which are intended for the Newest of Newbies knowing full well it is not going to produce that great of a beer?

Our refills do produce great beers. The great success of our company and the thousands of return customers we have is evidence of that. We usually ship the most basic beer possible to keep it simple. But as Da Yooper pointed out, this will be changing in the future.

 

 

Why is the stated ABV of most if not all the refills much higher than is actually produced through proper fermentation?

 

I've never experienced this issue. When fermenting our kits here at the office, we always come within .5 of the stated ABV. If you aren't getting that, you're probably doing it wrong.

 

 

 

And why is the stated fermentation time as well as stated conditioning time so much shorter than it really needs to be to produce a good quality homebrew that is drinkable, enjoyable and ego building for the new brewer as well as us old timers?

 

The stated fermentation and conditioning times are the minimum for drinkable beer. In fact, I just made the All-American Gold and 2 ciders using the stated 2-2 times and they came out great. Granted, more time will make any beer better, but what we recommend is the minimum amount of time for the yeast to make beer/carbonation.

I do agree however that we should maybe put on our kits that the 2-2 formula isn't set in stone and there is always room for improvement, but as it stands, the amount of people that call us, email us, or post on the forums about problems with their beers represents a TINY fraction of people that buy and use our kits. We continue to sell thousands of kits per year with great success and many return customers. We provide the ingredients and the basic instructions to make decent beer at home in a minimal amount of time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I've never experienced this issue. When fermenting our kits here at the office, we always come within .5 of the stated ABV. If you aren't getting that, you're probably doing it wrong.

 

 

 

I actually experienced the reverse of the complaint.  I bottled "Rose's Rambling Red" yesterday, which is listed as a nominal 5.5% (OG 1.055, FG 1.014).  I ended up with an OG of 1.058 and an FG of 1.010, which equates to an ABV of 6.3%.  It sure tasted good going into the bottles!  Can't wait for it to condition.  I brewed it for my mother-in-law who likes Killian's, and this is a nice red.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all the Mr. Beer batches I made, I never hit the numbers.  The regular refills were 3.1%, the two Craft Series were 4.8 and 4.9.  I believe if you review the forum's posts you'll see that these are the norm.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My deluxe version of the Irish Stout came in at 3.5% ABV at bottling.  Three weeks in the fermenter at 65F.  Also used S-04 yeast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all the Mr. Beer batches I made, I never hit the numbers.  The regular refills were 3.1%, the two Craft Series were 4.8 and 4.9.  I believe if you review the forum's posts you'll see that these are the norm.  

I am pretty cheap with making sure I get EVERYTHING out of the can!!!  I know many people just dump it without using hot water and sloshing it around to get all the yummy goop out.  But, I know that's not Rick's case as he is as "frugal" as me!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish the cans were much wider so I could stick my head inside and get every drop...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty cheap with making sure I get EVERYTHING out of the can!!!  I know many people just dump it without using hot water and sloshing it around to get all the yummy goop out.  But, I know that's not Rick's case as he is as "frugal" as me!

LOL I make sure that I don't open the lip very far so I can pour hot water on it to wash off more extract goodness.

 

ProTip:  Do not use a glass to pour your hot water from your heated wort to rinse your HME cans.  IT GETS REALLY HOT!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh had a good response to some of the questions regarding why we market the Classic American as our main can.  In our testing, and we have done a lot, we have found that if a beer kit has our Classic American in it and the kit purchaser is normally a light beer drinker, they will accept that as something that they are used to.  If we were to put in the kit an American Ale, an Oktoberfest or one of our craft cans, there is a much higher chance that they will be turned off by that experience.

 

We have found that introducing them to brewing with a simple brew has proven to keep people brewing over the long run.  It is the same reason why a person who starts out grain brewing and does not do their homework or have a friend to help them has a lower chance of success.  To the majority of people in the forum, you may use Classic as a base and go from there.  It is not something you use regularly as you have all moved on to bigger and better brews.  You all have experience and your tastes have changed to appreciate this great hobby.

 

We have branched out to introduce the Craft kit which sells in stores with the craft cans.  The buyer now knows that this is closer to that craft experience that they may have had.  

 

I do hear your message and understand what you are saying.  Tastes are changing and we are constantly looking at what is going on.  Thank you for your comments and please feel free to keep them coming.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh is right, You have to keep it simple.

 

Frst time brewers would have a hard time tuning the recipe if the kraft becomes a desired hobby.

 

I used the CD and found the 2/2 but did not find the sugar conditioning chart which brought me here. Glad I followed through with it as the rules are different here.

 

For the better it seems and creating a long lasting hobby.

 

Bottling today Aztec, 1.025, 1.01,Cold Crashing Octoberfest, 1.065, 1.015, carbing 6 weeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bottling today Aztec, 1.025, 1.01,Cold Crashing Octoberfest, 1.065, 1.015, carbing 6 weeks

 

I hope that OG or FG reading for Aztec is wrong...  Otherwise, you have a 2% ABV brew... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum, and to Mr. Beer in general. I'm so far a week into the bottling portion of the American Light Lager in my LBK, and all seems good so far. I'm wondering if anyone here has used the actual Coopers HME refills in their Mr. Beer fermenters? I live on the west coast of Canada and we don't have a retailer that carries Mr. Beer refills, only Coopers ones. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone. I'm new to this forum, and to Mr. Beer in general. I'm so far a week into the bottling portion of the American Light Lager in my LBK, and all seems good so far. I'm wondering if anyone here has used the actual Coopers HME refills in their Mr. Beer fermenters? I live on the west coast of Canada and we don't have a retailer that carries Mr. Beer refills, only Coopers ones. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

Greetings! Welcome to the community! The Cooper's kits are intended for 5-6 gallon batches, but you can split them up between 2 LBKs. I usually make the wort first, then split it in half.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

welcome to the forum, Ravage187

You can  use any HME in the LBK, it don't care. I use mine for all grain brewing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that OG or FG reading for Aztec is wrong...  Otherwise, you have a 2% ABV brew... 

 

It was the reading, I am sure it was wrong, both batches had a strong High Klausen and formed trub in considerable amounts.

 

The Octoberfest was a bit stronger, Both had light cider taste but aditional conditioning might get what I was after. They are smooth enough for drinking now but not as good as the first. American Light plus a Mr. Beer 8.8oz LME.

 

I am sure the added corn surgar threw my ratios off a bit. Octoberfest computed 6.9 Flavored paint thinner for special occasions. LOL :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...