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woodeneye

Receiving Mr. Beer Gold Edition Kit Tomorrow-Quick Question

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I'm receiving a Mr. Beer Gold Edition Kit that supposedly comes with two recipes.  I also bought an extra recipe kit (American Porter) and 3 Booster Packs.  All of this came from Amazon.  It said the recipes that come with my kit might vary, which doesn't bother me in the least.  If this is true, what are the most common recipes that come with this kit.  Also, regarding booster packs, I was planning on adding one to my Porter at least, to give it a little extra body and kick.  I'm relatively new to brewing.  I've done four 1 gallon kits from Northern Brewer that I'm supposed to review.  If you were in my shoes, and knowing that I have a cream ale, irish red ale, caribou slobber (a nut brown ale), and an American wheat going, which recipe would you brew first for diversity as I'm planning on serving a thirsty crowd coming up in about a month and a halfs time.  Also, would you use the booster pack with the included recipes or hold off for other ones?  I mean, I don't want to get slobbering drunk off two or three of these, but I would appreciate a little bit of a buzz.  Keep in mind my audience will consist of some beer snobs and some not.

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They aren't recipes, they are simply refills. No idea what Amazon is sending you, too bad you bought booster though, I give it a big thumbs down. Use LME or DME.

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I'm sorry, I'm used to calling "refills" recipes due to dealing with Northern Brewer for a while now. I was under the assumption that the boosters would increase alcohol content and give some beers a more full body.

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boosters are largely corn sugar solids.... sugars added to beer make the final product watery, not more full bodied. yep, they also jack up the alcohol but you should chase flavor over alcohol content... unless you just want to get buzzed and don't care what you drink.  if you want to see just what I'm talking about, also order an LME pack from mr beer. make two kits side by side. one with the booster. one with the lme.  when all is said and done I think you will find the one with the lme to be superior.

 

I think you can always use the boosters to prime your bottles to carbonate the beer when its bottled... not sure of the method or amount per bottle.

 

it is suggested by many that if you really want to boost alcohol without sacrificing body or flavor, use the mr beer liquid malt extract pouches.  they have different types ... depending on what youre looking for like roasty or wheaty etc.  adding malt , not sugar increases body and flavor and alcohol.

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Adjuncts have their place and you just need to know what you are in for.

 

My favorite example would be Belgian style beers that use adjuncts to kick a 5ABV beer up to 6, or a 6ABV beer to 7, etc. By adding the adjunct rather than malt you do get a bit more kick without making the beer maltier. Maybe I have this wrong but I don't think of the adjunct as "thinning" the beer, I think it is the malt body kicked up by the adjunct. Now, as brewmaster, you need to decide if you want to add more malt or some adjunct to your brew.

 

Never add rice, corn, or sugar to your beer or it will be bad, is nonsense. But so is, can I just dump a bunch of sugar in my beer to make it really strong?

 

I made a number of the older Mr. Beer refills with one pound of DME and one package of booster and they were good. In theory adding either or both to a newer refill should be fine according to your taste. Ferment in the mid 60s rather than anywhere in the 70s (per a stick on thermometer, not room temp).

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CAL 20150304 182411

This is the light beer with booster.
 

I know you other guys are no a fan of boosters, but I use them and they work OK for me.

I think though in general, you all make/like stronger beers than  I do.

But if I had them I would use them especially if you get light refills.

 

I use them to add ABV and body and head retention and it works out fine for me. I use the DME/LME sometimes and the booster sometimes.

 

The booster does not change the flavor of the original HME. Adding malt will change the flavor, making it more malty and perceptively less hoppy, flavor changes depending on type of malt extract. So depending what you like you can do either. The yeast does not care either way.

 

According to the M B website you will get the AZTEC and GRAND BOHEMIAN refills. 

Both these are fairly light and will benefit from booster.

If you got the better Gold kits they should have these 2 and additional refills.

Both kits could benefit from a small amount of extra hops added IMO, but are inoffensive as is.

If you have access to hops, 0.5 oz pellets added in a sterilized bag 1 week before bottling is what I would do.

Cascade for the Aztek, Saaz for the Pilsner.

Otherwise just brew and enjoy.

 

That's my 2c.

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Thanks guys. I went through my hoppy phase a few years ago when I bartended for 69 Taps chain in the greater Akron area which had 68 different draft beers (since two were bud light) along with various other bottled beers for a grand total of about 100. Fortunately it was my job to taste them all so I could inform customers. Since returning to Missouri I have had a change of taste and enjoy a maltier and more biscuit or bread like flavor to my beers. Currently doing a cream ale to see how I like it along with the others. I'll keep you posted on how I choose to proceed.

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Booster is a quick and dirty way to add alcohol.  Using some form of malt extract (LME or DME) would be better, but hey, live and learn.  Use what you got.

 

It's hard to say what you'll find in the kit.  Probably the Aztec, the Classic American Light, or the Pilsner.  If you didn't have any experience at all, I'd say brew the Aztec since it's not the best refill in the first place so if you screw it up, no big loss.  But since you've done a few NB kits, <shrug>, kind of up to you.  I like the Pilsner with some extra malt, no clue how booster would distort it.  The Aztec will need *something* added to it, or it will be very watery, and needs longer to condition in my experience.

 

Since you said you are having friends over, I guess I'd go with the Aztec for the variety.  I'd use the booster, and when you go to serve it, I'd put a few drops of lime in the glass and a wedge on the rim.  Seriously, it needs it.

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Bluejaye, I really appreciate the input. I was at Sears today and picked up a two pack of American Light and Aztek for $6.88 since they were on clearance and I had a coupon. So even if they taste subpar, I'm not out too much.

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The booster will not change the flavor from what I have made. But as I said all

3 of those could use a little more hops IMHO - or if you like  malty, use DME/LME instead of booster. You can still add hops but it will taste less malty. You can also drink it warmer - tastes more malty.

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IMO and from what I have tasted. When a lot of sugar /booster is used you get a "hot" taste of alcohol in some brews.  Not necessarily a bad thing if your malt bill can support it. Building a big beer that tastes good in much harder to do than most folks think. That's the reason we advise the noobs to chase flavor not ABV. Now having said all that adding 1 booster to an LBK probably won't be noticeable...except in like the CAL or Aztec. However it is an absolute bit*h to mix in.

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 Now having said all that adding 1 booster to an LBK probably won't be noticeable...except in like the CAL or Aztec. However it is an absolute bit*h to mix in.

 

INTO THE LBK?!!!

 

I wonder if he means to a 2.5 gallon batch suitable for an LBK...  No way you're mixing booster into the wort once its in the LBK.

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I'm wondering now if I can add 1/2 booster instead of messing with crapils or carafoam or anything other "foam grain" and get the same effect...

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I wouldn't say it's the same effect, but IMHO the dextrin in Booster does help some with foam.

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So, I lokked through Mr. Beer's recipes and decided to order s few more. I think I'll save those Azteks till I have some lme to add to it, as I wanna shoot for a blonde malty beer next. Decided to do my first batch, the American Classic Light. My hydrometer read the OG as being 1.031. Is this a little low? Oh well, hope it turns out now.

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@Vakko, rather than booster try MaltoDextrin powder.  That is the additive part that does the foam/head and no ABV change.  Also cheap

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