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Why do "homebrewers" treat Mr. Beer users like pariah?

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Here's a question I felt deserved some light shed on it.  I went to my local LHBS to pick up some hops for something I decided to "create" with some Mr. Beer ingredients I had on hand.  Seeing this is the only LHBS in the area, it usually is quite packed as I live in Vermont and practically everyone here brews their own.  With this being my 7th batch, I have built enough confidence thinking I have a bit of a clue as to what I'm doing.  When I said that I only needed a half ounce of pelleted hops, I was asked why so little.  I replied because I'm only brewing 2 gallons.  At that point, the guy nodded and said "oh, ok...as long as it isn't for that Mr. Beer $h!t" and laughed.  A few others overheard him, started laughing, and made a few comments.  Some were "syrup that's made for soda machines, Fisher-Price for wannabe beer makers, and the state assistance program for home brewers."  Why the hate?  What I've brewed, my friends, family, and I have enjoyed.  Does this have anything to do with the simplicity of the process or the use of no grains?  Could it be that I live in Vermont and was surrounded by elitist hipsters (often the case)?  Feel free to give your insight on this one, I've already teed it up.

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Well they're doofuses to start.  Second all grain brewers take pride in their extra efforts, as they should. While I haven't had your experience I do know that ay my LHBS there are a lot fewer extract brewers than all grain.  So there is a little superiority in numbers.  When it comes down to it it's just a gear-head mentality.

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Jealousy, pure and simple.  :)

 

I wouldn't be doing any business with those cretins if I had any other choice.  They act like boiling LME/DME for an hour with hops is some hard, intense activity.  Which is essentially all that the HME that Mr. Beer sells is, making it easier for you.  So what, I can't buy a jar of tomato sauce when I make dinner, I must grow the tomatoes, basil, etc. and make my own or it isn't real cooking?

 

Sure, I can understand an all-grain brewer taking some pride in what they do, but even that isn't rocket science (as attested by my ability to do it now).  If it weren't for Mr. Beer, I wouldn't have even attempted it.  Any dipwad that disrespects them should be ignored.

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I agree it is pretty short sighted of any LHBS to belittle extract brewing.  Those are either current or potential customers.  I don't think i'll ever quit doing extract brewing, I do plan to attempt some AG sometime down the road, but extract is really just a super easy way to make a small amount of beer, with very little time commitment and still be able to enjoy it!  My ideal is some of both.  

 

My LHBS has been pretty helpful.  I was somewhat aware I may get an 'elitist' attitude if I made it known I was extract brewing.  But it turns out they sell extract, and they seem to have the idea that it is a good entry point, and it is best to help people out through that stage.  

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The owner of the first HBS I stepped in after getting my LBK walked me through ways to augment my Mr. Beer start.  She never talked smack and in fact was happy to point out some advantages to having an LBK over what they had in the store.

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Short answer: Home brewer snobbery.

It has been my experience that in any endeavor, those who do things the hardest way think they are much better than those of us who choose to do it the easier way.

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The owner of the first HBS I stepped in after getting my LBK walked me through ways to augment my Mr. Beer start. She never talked smack and in fact was happy to point out some advantages to having an LBK over what they had in the store.

Same with the owners of the Hydroponic/LHBS I shop at. The one doesn't even drink beer but he is very knowledgeable and always willing to help.

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I like the toilet idea, have one in the back yard, bowl is cracked, but the tank will hold water, as long as I can get the rusted stained water lines out..... I cud order the winter dark ale on sale!

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I like the toilet idea, have one in the back yard, bowl is cracked, but the tank will hold water, as long as I can get the rusted stained water lines out..... I cud order the winter dark ale on sale!

 

I wish I had a toilet in the back yard (I wouldn't have to run inside so often).

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LHBS:

 

1) Profit.  Because when you brew with Mr. Beer ingredients, supplied by Mr. Beer, your LHBS makes nothing except for some hops or steeping grains sales maybe.  If they do sell Mr. Beer HMEs, they likely price them too high to make their standard markup.

 

2) Future Customer...  Because that idiot doesn't realize that Mr. Beer is a stepping stone for him to gain a future customer.  He should coddle you.

 

3) Ignorance.  Because he's ill informed.  When I emailed my initial questions to my LHBS, the owner told me that you can ferment in the back of a toilet, it's just a closed recepticle.  He realized he had a future customer (he also sells Mr. Beer and other HMEs, as well as wine making products, and is a large ecommerce seller).  Within 6 months I was buying steeping grains from him, then everything.  Now I buy all my steeping grains and LME there, but my hops and yeast and bottlecaps I buy elsewhere because I can get them cheaper and he focuses on making his margin (versus customer lifetime value).  The Mr. Beer fermenters are just fermenters.  You can put anything in them, including stuff sold at your LHBS.  That guy was ignorant.

 

Homebrewers:

 

1) Ignorance.  Lots of hate for Mr. Beer on forums and in LHBS stores, which comes from ignorance.  People enter Mr. Beer brews in contests and win prices.  If someone did a study, they'd likely find that the ratio of success with new Mr. Beer owners continuing past some time period is higher than those that get all grain kits.  I have a neighbor that made one all grain batch and quit.  He was disappointed with how hard it was - holding temps during the mash, etc.  I explained how I started, and what my current process was.  He tasted some of mine and was astonished at how good they were (all were extract recipes, not Mr. Beer).  But he didn't take me up on my offer to get him re-started.

 

2) History.  Prior to the Cooper's buyout in 2012, Mr. Beer's products contained substantially less malt than they do today.  In comparison, they were noticeably inferior to the standard refills of today, and very noticeably inferior to Craft and Seasonal HMEs.  Directions were much shorter time periods - resulting in much inferior results.  

 

3) Snobs.  If it isn't hard, it must not be good.  

 

If that was a salesperson, and not the owner, consider contacting the owner and telling them of your experience.  If it was the owner, then if you have another store available, frequent it.  

 

Rick pretty much hit every point on the nose. This is also a huge pet peeve of mine. As a former employee and manager of several homebrew supply stores, I can't tell how much this really grinds my gears. If it were my store and my employee said that to a customer, I would have fired him on the spot.

 

The owner of the first HBS I stepped in after getting my LBK walked me through ways to augment my Mr. Beer start.  She never talked smack and in fact was happy to point out some advantages to having an LBK over what they had in the store.

 

Same with the owners of the Hydroponic/LHBS I shop at. The one doesn't even drink beer but he is very knowledgeable and always willing to help.

 

^^^This is how that employee should be treating his customers. Like Rick said, if that was an employee, I would recommend talking with the owner/manager about his attitude. If it was the owner/manager, I would recommend shopping elsewhere. Homebrewing should be all-inclusive. It doesn't matter what kit you're using or what method you're using. All that matters is that you're making beer. If an employee of a homebrew shop can't help you without insulting your methods, he should find another job. And preferably NOT in customer service.

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Countering ignorance with inferiority complex isn't exactly ideal either. As a grown man I find it hard for me to be offended by much so I don't understand a lot of what is being said on BOTH sides of the conversation. Conversely I will say that some people are ok with the simplicity of extract and some want a little more complexity and control over their brew. Again, as a grown man I don't care what other people like... I just brew my own.

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  Don't Know. Don't care. I am a Ferm ( play on words) believer in K.I.S.S. Keep it simple stupid. More time for other things to do such as drink the Beer I just created. Enough said. Back to the fridge. 

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Everyone needs to start somewhere. If It wasn't for the Mr. Beer kit I might've not even been interested as the whole process seemed overwhelming to me.

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Everyone needs to start somewhere. If It wasn't for the Mr. Beer kit I might've not even been interested as the whole process seemed overwhelming to me.

I've been reading a lot on all grain brewing and also watching some videos. Still seems confusing at the moment. Well that and I can't afford a rig for all grain yet.

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There are also some great breweries out there such as Black Bottle, Dragoon, and many others with Brewmasters that had their start with Mr. Beer.

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I've been reading a lot on all grain brewing and also watching some videos. Still seems confusing at the moment. Well that and I can't afford a rig for all grain yet.

Brew in a bag is a great way to ease into it. I'm going to make another batch of wheat beer on Monday. I will post a how to in case you want to check it out. You don't need much more than what you already have except a 5+ gallon kettle, brew bag and large strainer.

What I usually do is split the batch into 2 2.5 gallon batches and adjust hops as needed. Only adds about an hour to brew day.

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The elitist snobbery isn’t limited to homebrew supply stores.  I had a similar experience with a local bicycle shop. I went in to buy some inner tubes and the guy at the counter asked me what kind of bike it was for.  I told him it was a Schwinn and he said:   “Oh is it one of those department store bikes?”  He then lost all interest in selling me anything and I left thinking too bad buddy you just lost a potential good customer.

 

In my opinion good beer is good beer.  It doesn’t matter how it was made.   If you try an all grain brew and think it is better than anything you’ve ever made by extract brewing then you might want to give it a try.  If you think your extract brews are excellent, then why waste your time and money re-inventing your beer.

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Brew in a bag is a great way to ease into it. I'm going to make another batch of wheat beer on Monday. I will post a how to in case you want to check it out. You don't need much more than what you already have except a 5+ gallon kettle, brew bag and large strainer.

What I usually do is split the batch into 2 2.5 gallon batches and adjust hops as needed. Only adds about an hour to brew day.

Time is about the only thing I can really afford at the moment. Hence the reason why all the beer I've brewed to this point has been whatever is on sale. Be out Mr. Beer or ingredients at my LHBS.

As I tell my wife: I work to hard to be this poor.

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I didn't read everyone's answers (I'll go back and read shortly), but in my experience, a lot of this comes from old/bad information in a couple of fashions.  One, some people probably tried Mr. B in its early years, and I'd contend that the ingredients have come a long way since then.  Two, I speculate that a lot of people started out with Mr. B kits, made one batch, had a bad experience (likely due to process...  time and/or temps and/or cleanliness and/or "throw a bunch of sugar or waffles or something in" recipes and/or because it was the first time they ever brewed anything), and have a sour opinion based on that.  I would speculate that if I went back and did the exact same recipes with the exact same ingredients that I first used back in '09, I'd make a much better beer now simply based on expertise on handling time/temps/cleanliness.  I'd have to go to that other company to prove that hypothesis exactly, but I guess I could state that I've used similar new Mr. B ingredients from the contest winnings and proved that very point.

 

Also, I think the scale of the fermenters and the "cutesiness" of the LBK barrels.  Some object simply because you can make 5 gallons in the same time that you make 2.  Some see it as a toy that can be purchased at retail stores or on Woot, instead of the "real" equipment that you get at an LHBS.  

 

Finally, some of it is all-grain bias, though their ire seems less for LHBS sourced LME than Mr. B LME (but it's still there for any extract brewing from some people).

 

IMHO, you can make good beer in any kind and size of fermenter as long as you practice good process.  The LBK is simply a fermenter.  You can put good wort into it by extracts or all-grain processes, and can get good beer out of it if you are disciplined, just the same as if you use a carboy or bucket from the LHBS, and just the same if you use a food safe bucket from Home Depot (which I do).  Of course, you can also get shite beer out of the LBK.  You can also get shite beer out of big fermenters.  Same goes for AG v. extracts...  good (or bad) beer can come from either.  Me?  I like AG, and have been doing it for 5 years or so.  I like the "start-to-finish" of it, much like baking a cake from scratch instead of buying a Betty Crocker kit.  I like being able to adjust flavors and styles by changing what grains and what mash temps and what hop boils.  But, I also know that Mr. B got me started, and will defend it to anyone.

 

Anytime I've gone into an LHBS to get ingredients for a small batch, I've never really mentioned Mr. B as it wasn't really pertinent.  My LHBS sells fermenters of all sizes...  1/3/5/7 gallons, so they get scaled down recipe requests all the time.  Even when I moved to AG, I for the most part still do 2.5-3 gallon batches.  That all being said, it shouldn't be an issue to tell them that you are using Mr. B.  There should be no shame in it.  Many got their start with this same style of equipment and ingredients.  If an LHBS wanted to make comments to me about it, I'd tell them to sod off and I would go down the road to another LHBS (luckily I have a few options in town) or I'd order from an OHBS.

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There are also some great breweries out there such as Black Bottle, Dragoon, and many others with Brewmasters that had their start with Mr. Beer.

 

Hell,  Jamil, the owner/brewer at Heretic who is widely acknowledged as a homebrewing legend, started with Mr. Beer.  Charlie started with extracts as well.  

 

[soapbox]People who can't just let people do what they like suck.  If you brew beers that you like with the process you use, then you are doing it right.  Sure...  experiment and expand your process if you want, but don't rain on other people's parade if they are content with what they are doing...  [/soapbox]

 

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When I took my Mr Beer kit to a American Home Brewers Assoc. Brew in at a local Craft Brewery, I got no real bad comments at all. I explained how easy it was and let them try samples. 

The samples were all loved and appreciated, even by folks from the brewery we were at. 

I was doing a steep of grain for a collaboration recipe at the time too not just a plain brew so that may have helped :-).

Still good as the Mr B recipes are, I think a well done whole grain brew will be better, but a badly done one will not be as good. 

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I've been to a local homebrew store several times and have never had any issues with being a Mr. Beer brewer.  They've been overly helpful.  They don't sell Mr. Beer products, but they do sell Cooper's cans of HMEs and LMEs as well as some other brands.  The cans they sell are for 5 gallon batches.  They've talked with me over all kinds of ideas about using the HME cans for 5 gallons in my LBK at creating something still drinkable.  It's given me some ideas although I haven't bought any of their HMEs yet.  I have bought empty 12 oz bottles, sanitizer, bottle caps and a hand capper from them.

 

How they've treated me seems to make good business sense.  They sell me a few things now, but they keep the door open if I want to expand my beer-making efforts down the road.

 

Your experience at the homebrew store in Vermont stumps me.  A customer today (no matter how insignificant) is a potential bigger customer in the future.  It's rude besides being bad business.  Just buy your hops online and avoid them since they don't appreciate you.

 

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I had an art professor that during a discussion about making things by hand stated "Just because a cake is made from scratch doesn't mean it'll taste good."  That has always stuck with me.

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If you think your extract brews are excellent, then why waste your time and money re-inventing your beer.

More often than not all grain is cheaper than extract not just in short term but long term. It might take a $100 to start up but it does pay for itself. Especially if buying in bulk. A lot of recipes use 2 row as a base. If, over the course of a few brews, you buy rahr 2-row at $1.79/lbs it will cost you ~$90. Buying 2-row in a 50lb sack cost ~$35. Where pale malt syrup is about $3/lbs. But I digress.

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More often than not all grain is cheaper than extract not just in short term but long term. It might take a $100 to start up but it does pay for itself. Especially if buying in bulk. A lot of recipes use 2 row as a base. If, over the course of a few brews, you buy rahr 2-row at $1.79/lbs it will cost you ~$90. Buying 2-row in a 50lb sack cost ~$35. Where pale malt syrup is about $3/lbs. But I digress.

OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

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I have been brewing with Mr. Beer for 3 years now.  My husband bought me the LBK kit for my birthday and I have loved it ever since.  He doesn't even like beer, so the 2 gallon batches are perfect for me. Working full time and being a mom, I love the shortened investment in time required for my brews.  I have shared my Mr. Beer brews with some of my co-workers and just yesterday I had a woman tell me that she has tried several home brews by other people and by far mine was the best!  She and her husband loved my Columbus Cascading Amber Ale and my own modified Honey Lime Ale.  So let the brewing snobs say what they may, we all know the truth!

Kim 

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OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

 

My mantra has always been that if you like the beer you are brewing, you are brewing correctly for you, so good on ya...

I love the chemistry of it as well, which is another draw for me.  And it certainly takes more time.  In terms of space, however, it just depends on what method you do.  You can conceivably do 2.4 gallon BIAB with the same equipment you have now save for a $5 grain bag (and maybe a bigger pot if you are using a small one now).  For me, I have an electric turkey fryer that I picked up for $80 as my primary mash/lauter/boil combo unit.  Takes up very little space, so the space investment can be very minimal.  Of course, you can go the other way and do a tiered brewing stand...  that's where your cost and space investment really kicks in.  Me personally?  I love the BIAB that I do.  I'm sure some guy with the $1K setup would look down upon me as not doing "real" brewing just as he'd look down upon extract brewers...  but I couldn't give a frip.

 

Here's the fryer I got...  convenient spigot to transfer with, and a fish basket that works great for lifting/hanging the grain for sparging.  I spent maybe $10 on a roll of foil insulation and built a sleeve to put between the pot and the external portion of the fryer, and can hold mash temps perfectly for 60-90 minutes.

41CTfe570ZL.jpg

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OK, on the ingredient savings I'll agree, but most of the guys I've seen that do all grain have $100's and sometimes $1000's invested in equipment.  You can't really compare extract prices to bulk grain and hops because you're paying the extract maker to do a lot of the work for you. 

 

I find the chemistry of an all grain brew exciting, but I just don't have the time or space for it.  I can whip up an extract batch in a couple of hrs. whereas all grain can take all day.  Maybe when I retire, all grain will be my new hobby, but for now I'm more than pleased with the quality of my extract brews.

Ya, i never understood the whole equipment thing either. You can get a pre made mash tun for 5 gallon batches for about $130 which is all you need really if you don't mind batch sparging. Half that if you plan on making a 2.5g batch. Maybe $2-3 for some calcium chloride/sulfate. I never understood the "all day" thing. You're only really adding an hour and a half maybe 2 but some people would rather just not deal with it. I do all extract, extract with specialty grain and just recently got into all grain and don't really find any issues. I think small batches (2.5gal) and micro batches (1-1.5gal) are key. With an ice bath and a immersion chiller you can cool down wort in 10min. For a 5 gallon batch it takes a little longer though.

 

Tomorrow is a day off from work and just so happens to be brew day. I'll time how long it takes for an all grain wheat beer and post it. However, tomorrow is a little lengthy because I will be doing a temperature step instead of a single infusion which should take 1 hour 15 minutes as opposed to the 1 hour.

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I like the re-purposed turkey fryer idea.  Very clever.  You've certainly given me some more options I had not thought of for giving all grain a try.  Thanks!

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The elitist snobbery isn’t limited to homebrew supply stores.  I had a similar experience with a local bicycle shop. I went in to buy some inner tubes and the guy at the counter asked me what kind of bike it was for.  I told him it was a Schwinn and he said:   “Oh is it one of those department store bikes?”  He then lost all interest in selling me anything and I left thinking too bad buddy you just lost a potential good customer.

Bicycle shops/cliques are bad... so are motorcycle shops/clubs...  don't get me started on ducati owners...

 

i think every hobby comes with some degree of snobbery/elitist portion...

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I shop at to Home Brew Stores, 1st is located in North Brunswick, NJ the other in West Chester PA. The owners at both locations have been extremely supportive of my brewing efforts. Both locations know I brew with a Mr. Beer Kit and give pointers as well as help me with recipes for the little fermenter.

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About 2 years ago I asked for some hops at the local HB. The "BrewMaster" asked what type of beer and i explained that it was to add to a Mr. Beer extract. His reply was not rude, but something on the order of "I'll put something together for you that will be far superior" Anyway, about 3 or 4 months later, i returned with a bottle made with the MB extract and some hops that I purchased. The owner could not believe that the MB was that good (I don't remember which extract). Anyway, I still shop there, and have had some good advice from them regarding additions to the MB basic extracts.

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I stocked up on some grains and ready to explore, I am not after the mother load so to speak just some flavoring adjuncts for some Mr. Beer refills. I suppose this makes us or breaks us.

 

I normally never bring the subject up of a 2.5 gallon fermentation recipe @ my LHBS because they are all about 5 gallon batches, My mind keeps dividing things by two these days though.

 

Binary Brewing always adds up to 0 or 1 though. It is a blast to visit the store with all the goodies but much is for wine and commercial craft brewing.

Irish stout finished conditioning today and I am looking forward to trying for the first time.

 

Added a 3rd LBK to the mix and it gives room for testing of a LBK Chiller I am making. Found some nice Beverage Refridgerators on ebay but not ready to spring.

 

Lets Make Beer, M

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Different stores have different approaches.

 

The first time I visited my LHBS, I was nervous (because I'd been told I'd be looked down on), but told the guy I was using Mr Beer because I wanted to get appropriate advice. He shrugged and said that I could do anything with my fermenter that he could do with his, except for making 5 gallons at a time. I rarely make small batches these days, but I've returned to that store often, largely because of how they treated me when I was a newbie.

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as much as I hate this town, and complain about the limited stock my lhbs carries... when I first started brewing and doing mr beer kits I never got any grief.  everyone starts somewhere and mr beer makes learning the basics so easy.... and you can make a damn fine beer.

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Words from my brew buddy who never wanted anything to do with extract. LME, HME, DME, doesnt matter, hes a grain man. Apparently the belgian blanc recipe is a winner

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Same here, I shop for additions at LHBS, but use MR BHMEs as base. The Stores give me no grief and are supportive I have had response to samples like " Wow, I could drink this all day!"

The folks that I met that did have bad opinion I think are going from very old data, so I do my best to convince them it has changed.  Several folks I talked to were interested in making smaller batches and Mr Beer offerings for that.

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It's the misconception that you can't get anything good out of a can.  Like eating fresh cooked vegetables vs. opening a can of Green Giant.  It's not just the prejudice toward Mr. Beer, but all canned beer kits like Coopers and Muntons.  The store nearest to me sells Muntons kits and when I started brewing I was curious about several of them.  The owner didn't criticize them, but simply said I would make better beer from their extract kits.  He invited me to a couple of their brewing classes.  I went to an all grain and extract class and ended up taking his suggestion and making a couple of beers from their extract kits.  Although the beer was good I didn't think it was any better than what I made with Mr. Beer.  So the next extract class I took some bottles of Mr. Beer and shared them.  Folks would bring something they brewed and share and ask for feedback.  I didn't tell anybody what they were drinking was Mr. Beer (Dark Winter Ale).  After getting a lot of compliments and requests for refills I informed the group what they were drinking was from a Mr. Beer kit.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  You would have thought I had told them they were drinking dog pee pee.  But one guy simply said "no sh**t".  I guess he liked it regardless of how it was made.

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1 minute ago, HoppySmile! said:

the LBHS in my city carries ZERO Mr. Beer products, but they have Coopers????

My store, 0 mr beer and theres always one dusty can of coopers sitting there. Id love MRB in my LHBS, more chances for sales!!!!

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this LBHS isn't cheap at anything except for their new 3-5 gallon kegs, other than that they're quite pricey, I use them for only two reasons, 1- if i'm in a rush to do something and takes too long to oreder, and 2- the co owner is a absolutely fabulously smoking hot lady!!! there are times I go in there to buy a 5 dollar item just to see her! LOL! she knows it, and so does the husband LOL!

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2 hours ago, HoppySmile! said:

the LBHS in my city carries ZERO Mr. Beer products, but they have Coopers????

My local does not carry any Mr. Beer products whatsoever.  When I 1st started brewing I told him that I was using Mr. Beer kits and he gave me some severe attitude.  A few months later I was in a jam and had to go back for some hops.  We got talking about home brewing and again I mentioned Mr. Beer, but this time he pretended that he knew absolutely nothing about it.  It was very surreal. 

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7 hours ago, M42 said:

It's the misconception that you can't get anything good out of a can.  Like eating fresh cooked vegetables vs. opening a can of Green Giant.  It's not just the prejudice toward Mr. Beer, but all canned beer kits like Coopers and Muntons.  The store nearest to me sells Muntons kits and when I started brewing I was curious about several of them.  The owner didn't criticize them, but simply said I would make better beer from their extract kits.  He invited me to a couple of their brewing classes.  I went to an all grain and extract class and ended up taking his suggestion and making a couple of beers from their extract kits.  Although the beer was good I didn't think it was any better than what I made with Mr. Beer.  So the next extract class I took some bottles of Mr. Beer and shared them.  Folks would bring something they brewed and share and ask for feedback.  I didn't tell anybody what they were drinking was Mr. Beer (Dark Winter Ale).  After getting a lot of compliments and requests for refills I informed the group what they were drinking was from a Mr. Beer kit.  You should have seen the looks on their faces.  You would have thought I had told them they were drinking dog pee pee.  But one guy simply said "no sh**t".  I guess he liked it regardless of how it was made.

 

I just came back from Sierra Nevada Beer Camp promotion and I poured a glass of 2013 Seasonal Saison (Almost my favorite seasonal) bottled 10.23.15 and I think it is every bit as good or better than any of the 6 beers they sampled.  An excellent recipe. Mind you the SN beers were designed by committee and you know what that means - lol.

Beer Camp.png

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HME- easy to use, produces good beer after proper conditioning.

 

All Grain- time consuming, produces good beer, great beer with conditioning

 

thats What I think atleast

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

HME- easy to use, produces good beer after proper conditioning.

 

All Grain- time consuming, produces good beer, great beer with conditioning

 

thats What I think atleast

I think you nailed it!  Hoff agrees, and you don't argue with The Hoff!

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My boss is like that, been making fun of Mr Beer so long he can't let it go. Sometimes I wonder if he understands I started with MrB. I, on the other hand, run a MrB friendly shop...I will mess with you. It don't take long before I start recognizing the amount malt your using and make you admit what your fermenting vessel is. Then I admit I use LBKs also...

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5 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

HME- easy to use, produces good beer after proper conditioning.

 

All Grain- time consuming, produces good beer, great beer with conditioning

 

thats What I think atleast

 

The in-between process of LME/DME boil with hop additions controlled by the brewer is a good middle ground. Full boil (unhopped) extracts or steeped grain/late addition extract beers are easy to brew and will produce very high-quality beers. There's nothing like the control you can get with a decent process for mashing grain to get wort, but one of the consistently most-liked and requested beers I've brewed yet is a simple all-extract recipe that fermented for less than two weeks and conditioned for 3 weeks (I still have a few bottles that are many more weeks old, but they're not substantially or fundamentally better than they were at 3 weeks). 

 

I think fresh HMEs can work well, but the extra conditioning time required for the flavors to even out is a drawback.

And I think that, in general, pitching adequate quantity of healthy yeast will avoid having to wait for acetaldehyde to condition out. With the right process, it's just not there to begin with.

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Do you think that it may also gave something to do with the name?  I know that may sound ridiculous, but think about it.  I realize that it's part of the old trusted Coopers name, but Mr. Beer sounds very generic.  

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There's two lhbs's here where I live ,never caught any attitude from them but they both tried to point me in different directions, which is fine, they are just trying to sell me stuff,but as far as I'm concerned if someone were to look down on me for any of my brewing technics,.... 1# I'm drinking this beer not you!!! #2 it taste great!!! #3 my family and friends think it's great #4 you can go pound sand up your @ss ! 

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9 hours ago, J A said:

 

The in-between process of LME/DME boil with hop additions controlled by the brewer is a good middle ground. Full boil (unhopped) extracts or steeped grain/late addition extract beers are easy to brew and will produce very high-quality beers. There's nothing like the control you can get with a decent process for mashing grain to get wort, but one of the consistently most-liked and requested beers I've brewed yet is a simple all-extract recipe that fermented for less than two weeks and conditioned for 3 weeks (I still have a few bottles that are many more weeks old, but they're not substantially or fundamentally better than they were at 3 weeks). 

 

I think fresh HMEs can work well, but the extra conditioning time required for the flavors to even out is a drawback.

And I think that, in general, pitching adequate quantity of healthy yeast will avoid having to wait for acetaldehyde to condition out. With the right process, it's just not there to begin with.

I prefer using LME even over grains.  i dont know why but ive never had any off flavors and it tastes better sooner. Not sure why HME is susceptible to the green apple flavor more that LME. But whatever, HME is still a convienent product and the additional conditioning is what it is.

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I can honestly say I have never caught much static if any at all for using Mr Beer products.

 

I moved down South Illinois and I found a local home brew club and one of the members owned a LHBS. So at this meeting I introduced myself and asked them not to throw stones but I started out as a Mr Beer brewer and still use their products such as the LBK's and bottles and brewtensils. Come to find out, MrBeer is where most of these guys got their start! Nice!

 

As far as the LHBS guy goes, i shop at his shop often and even though I have since bought ale pails and all my AG brewing equipment, I still enjoy tossing a batch or two together in small quantity in the Mr Beer LBK's. I must admit, since the Coopers buy out, I no longer use the refills or ingredients unless they are bought as a gift for me. I just don't like them as much as I did the old mr beer refills.

 

Now that I have moved on, I will never knock Mr Beer users though and as a matter of fact, I just referred a few guys in the last week to purchase Mr Beer to get started. I love how easy it is to brew using the system. Hell if I can pull it off and make beer anyone can!!

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On 5/15/2016 at 9:12 PM, J A said:

 

The in-between process of LME/DME boil with hop additions controlled by the brewer is a good middle ground. Full boil (unhopped) extracts or steeped grain/late addition extract beers are easy to brew and will produce very high-quality beers. There's nothing like the control you can get with a decent process for mashing grain to get wort, but one of the consistently most-liked and requested beers I've brewed yet is a simple all-extract recipe that fermented for less than two weeks and conditioned for 3 weeks (I still have a few bottles that are many more weeks old, but they're not substantially or fundamentally better than they were at 3 weeks). 

 

I think fresh HMEs can work well, but the extra conditioning time required for the flavors to even out is a drawback.

And I think that, in general, pitching adequate quantity of healthy yeast will avoid having to wait for acetaldehyde to condition out. With the right process, it's just not there to begin with.

 

Hello Mr. JA!

 

Care to share this recipe?

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1 hour ago, MrWhy said:

Care to share this recipe?

It's a Quick  English Best Bitter. I'm actually having a glass of the later all-grain version with slightly different and stronger hops as I type. The all-grain version came out with lighter color and cleaner profile and less residual sugar, but very similar. 

 

Bring 1.25 gallons of water with 1.25 lbs light DME.

Boil 17 minutes with 1 oz East Kent Goldings (5.7 AA). That just gives the minimum IBU - boil longer if you're hops are less AA.

Add 1.5 lbs dark LME at flame out (or add and bring to a boil if you're using bulk LME).

Top up to 2.5 gallons (you'll have to make a mark on your LBK at 2.5).

I pitched 1/2 packet of Safale S-04 yeast  at 72 degrees. I wasn't too picky about temperature control during fermentation with the original batch. If you've got an ambient of 68 or 70, the S-04 will be pretty well-behaved, but you'd better be on  the look-out for an overflow since the LBK is a little fuller.

 

You can put this recipe together with Mr.Beer ingredients or buy bulk if you have access to an LBHS.

 

Since the ESB on sale includes the Nottingham yeast (same strain as the S-04, I think) I'd be tempted to dilute it further and get a smaller beer that would be virtually identical to the brew I'm describing. If you dilute the ESB to just over 3 gallons, maybe 3.125, the OG goes to just about the same place as my Quick Bitter. Being a lower-gravity beer, it ferments faster and conditions sooner. 

 

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Many people have asked me how i do it. They all think its a difficult hobby and need tons of equipment and knowledge to do it. I explained to them that Mr.Beer is a very good way to get started and a few people are suposed to purchase a kit and start brewing. Some people you cant change there mind they think its tough, and thats just how it stays.

 

personally I feel Mr Beer kits are the same as any beer. Some like some dont. In overall they are good quality brews and should not be knocked at all.

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14 hours ago, creamz13 said:

Many people have asked me how i do it. They all think its a difficult hobby and need tons of equipment and knowledge to do it. I explained to them that Mr.Beer is a very good way to get started and a few people are suposed to purchase a kit and start brewing. Some people you cant change there mind they think its tough, and thats just how it stays.

 

personally I feel Mr Beer kits are the same as any beer. Some like some dont. In overall they are good quality brews and should not be knocked at all.

 

I always tell them that if they can make Mac & Cheese from a box, then they can make beer.

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1 hour ago, MRB Josh R said:

 

I always tell them that if they can make Mac & Cheese from a box, then they can make beer.

If you don't mind waiting seven weeks for that Mac and cheese

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who cares what people think.. Mr beer is a great way to start learning the process,,, just reading about the breweries opening up that all started with a Mr beer kit proves that...???

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 11:19 AM, MRB Josh R said:

 

I always tell them that if they can make Mac & Cheese from a box, then they can make beer.

That's good, I tell 'em it's only as hard as you want it to be.

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I tell them I do it because I am lazy, I can't carry 5 gal containers down stairs, and  SWMBO hates smell of boiling beer ingredients.

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My brew buddy and I trade 12ers of misc beers quite frequently. Not too long ago I gave him a few of my Grass Cutter Lager beers. A MRB partial mash recipe that i brewed as a true lager, complete with a DR and slowing crashing down to 35 and then lagered in the secondary for 6 weeks. Anywho, he texted me the other day and he brought that beer up again today when i was over there. He said its a delicious beer, really tasty. Then i said to him, thanks, you know thats a Mr Beer brew right? This is my buddy who has never and will never make an extract batch. He doesnt believe in it. The point is, you can make brewing as hard or as easy as you want. In the end, you will always get beer. Now, i do believe the brew day to drinking day on an all grain batch is a lot shorter but some of my best beers have been with ingredients from MRB. As I advance slowly further into the brewing world I have no excuse to do anything but all grain since ive spent a bit of money for the equipment but I will never look down at any extract brewer. That is all my friends.  Now drink a homebrew if you agree with me

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ditto above Creeps! I use a lot of the HME's from Mr. Beer to make my saison's/ farmhouse ales, and they turn out great! however, I do douse the extracts with a heavy hop bill to eliminate any possible " green apple " taste

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If you are satisfied with the results it shouldn't matter. I haven't brewed yet but when I get my kit I will. I probably wouldn't have thought about it if it wasn't for an inexpensive way to start. I may decide to get more technical down the road.

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On ‎10‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:35 PM, RickC1970 said:

If you are satisfied with the results it shouldn't matter. 

 

 

That statement right there is what homebrew is really about.  Who cares how you got to the beer you like - if you like it, everyone else can (insert your words of choice here).  

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5 minutes ago, SilverBrewerWI said:

 

 

That statement right there is what homebrew is really about.  Who cares how you got to the beer you like - if you like it, everyone else can (insert your words of choice here).  

 

I couldn't agree more with that.  It's what I'm doing in this hobby - not to try and mimic everything that has already been done by better brewers than myself

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ok, time for my 2 cents worth (cause I'm broke and I ain't got more).

 

Mr. Beer is how I started brewing.  Point blank, if you can make soup, you can brew their beer.  Don't like it, then you didn't do something right.  Brewing beer takes time and patience.  You have to learn the "art" of cleaning, sanitizing, waiting for fermentation, waiting for carbonation, waiting for conditioning.  Home brew isn't quick, but Mr. Beer's kits and recipes make it very easy to get started, and make nice tasting beers.  From here you can grow further, and from here you can help others start in the hobby.

 

Want a cheese burger, go to McDonalds, or grill it yourself.  Want a nice sit-down meal, go to a restaurant, or make it yourself.  Want a nice beer, go to the store and buy it, or brew it yourself.  "Yourself", means you can make something creatively, learn how to do it, and do better/different next time.  Or else, go to the gas station and buy some over-produced American lager, and drive through McDonalds for supper on the way home.

 

This is a great place to get started, and learn the art of the science.....or the science of the art.  If an all-grain home brewer snuff their nose at you, fine.  Your are having fun brewing, learning and sharing.  And if you want, you can expand.  I'm almost ready for all-grain, and about ready to start studying to be a ciceron.

 

All because of Mr. Beer...…….And Cooper's.  Cheers

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16 minutes ago, MiniYoda said:

ok, time for my 2 cents worth (cause I'm broke and I ain't got more).

All because of Mr. Beer...…….And Cooper's.  Cheers

 

If MRB hadn't made things so easy (to get started) I doubt I'd been starting myself.  I happen to live in a state where Craft Brewing should probably be made the State Industry.  Very blessed with a plethora of small, craft brewers in just about any town big enough to have a jail and a post office.  I owe MRB a lot and am in sync with you  on your sentiments.  Here, here....

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not only does mr beer make it easy... they are kind enough to provide us a support group. in my entire life i have NEVER stuck with anything for very long. i get bored. i get lazy. i walk away. ive never had any lasting hobby... or anything that gives me a modicum of pleasure.. until i discovered brewing.. and cheap wine making... and mead.

 

where else can you experiment... get as complicated or simple as you want .. and drink your mistakes AND get buzzed while doing it?

 

i just checked.. ive been brewing since 2012! time flies. i have never had a hobby this long.

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Lol, I'm on another forum occasionally and for sure there is a segment of AG guys that are all about my equipment is superior to yours type of thing.

Those guys are all about bigger and better, shinier more heavy duty bragging stuff. They pretty much dismiss small batch and extract brewers as not being "real brewers."

 

The funny thing is in the same forum there's a tremendously expanding segment of small extract brewers AND a significant group of traditional 3 vessel system guys that are overhauling their system to make it simpler by going to BIAB.

 

I think it's great that you can pick from so many levels to fit your preference, style, capacity, budget, whatever and still produce not only good beer but more importantly "your beer." Each batch you produce has your unique signature on it. That's what craftsmanship is all about, to me anyway.

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52 minutes ago, Cato said:

I'm on another forum occasionally and for sure there is a segment of AG guys that are all about my equipment is superior to yours type of thing.

Those guys are all about bigger and better, shinier more heavy duty bragging stuff. They pretty much dismiss small batch and extract brewers as not being "real brewers."

 

Most of those guys don't brew decent beer either.  They tend to deflect to their equipment because their product does not speak for itself.  In my experience in my brew club the guys more interested in equipment and who's is better don't bring beer to share and when they do it usually isn't that good.  Those of us who concentrate conversations on processes are the base that bring beers to share and surprise, it is usually good beer.

 

We also as a club support anybody that brews with Mr. Beer and try to help them through any issues.  It is how I started and even though a lot will not admit it, they started the same way too.

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7 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

where else can you experiment... get as complicated or simple as you want .. and drink your mistakes AND get buzzed while doing it?

i just checked.. ive been brewing since 2012! time flies. i have never had a hobby this long.

 

If beer drinking is a 'hobby' then I've certainly been at that 'hobby' longer than any other!

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3 hours ago, BDawg62 said:

 

Most of those guys don't brew decent beer either.  They tend to deflect to their equipment because their product does not speak for itself.  In my experience in my brew club the guys more interested in equipment and who's is better don't bring beer to share and when they do it usually isn't that good.  Those of us who concentrate conversations on processes are the base that bring beers to share and surprise, it is usually good beer.

 

We also as a club support anybody that brews with Mr. Beer and try to help them through any issues.  It is how I started and even though a lot will not admit it, they started the same way too.

 

THIS^^^ 

 

This hobby is easy to get into.  Has a huge dropout rate.  And, because it's really hard to not make something that someone can drink, all too many brewers make beer that's crappy tasting.  Multiple reasons for this, chief among them many don't know what good beer is because they drink swill and like it.

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The thing that I like about MR. Beer is that it doesn't take up much space. I don't have a lot of space to dedicate to equipment. It also looks like you can goe a little more advanced that just the recipe packs if you choose which I'll probably do later after I get the hang of the easier methods. 

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18 hours ago, Cato said:

Lol, I'm on another forum occasionally and for sure there is a segment of AG guys that are all about my equipment is superior to yours type of thing.

Those guys are all about bigger and better, shinier more heavy duty bragging stuff. They pretty much dismiss small batch and extract brewers as not being "real brewers."

 

 

 

 

i get emails from another forum that runs a contest to win a free stainless steel uber fermenter with dials and knobs and shiny bits and.... no thanks. why over-complicate brewing to that extent? do i really need to have the ability to drain the yeast out from the bottom with a lever? or am i just being lazy? yeast washing is as simple a process as it gets. do i really need something that requires gaskets and misc part replacements, and a masters degree in rocket science from MIT to figure out? lol. now if you ask me, THAT is NOT brewing.

 

the guy working on a stove with pots and pans and buckets....  and doing things manually... or who uses a panty hose filter as a hop sack... who makes due by improvising equipment.. this is the true homebrewer. screw all your fancy toys. there is also nothing wrong with extracts. all you are doing is using a prefab base to build your kit around. there's nothing wrong with ready mix malt. it's like a fine chef using a box of chicken stock then building a recipe up around it. whats wrong with that?

 

the aussies take this approach to extremes of work smarter not harder.  biab came about as a means of water and work conservation. no chill method for the same reasons. if you can get it done with less work and cost, where's the problem as long as the end product is still good? biab- toss in a bit more grain, mash in the full volume of water... dunk dunk..swish swish.. no sparge.. boom. bob's yer uncle.  boil, flame out. cover... walk away til the morning. no sitting there for a half hour wasting gallon upon gallon in a chiller to lower the temp to pitching temp.  myself, i like and dont mind working a little harder for my craft. i enjoy it.

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Ive used LBKs, MRBs 6 gallon fermenter, buckets, PET carboys, glass carboys, 1 gallon glass jugs, and of course my 10 gallon SS conical. Each has its own purpose to me. I like the ease of buckets, and i like my PET carboys but if you dont take care of them then youre screwed. Glass can break. My conical is my go to. I know when i clean it thats its truly clean. Temp control is a lot easier with a temp controller, a fridge and a carboy or lbk. But for my saisons and wheats and anything else that can ferment at room temp, ill use my conical every time.

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5 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Ive used LBKs, MRBs 6 gallon fermenter, buckets, PET carboys, glass carboys, 1 gallon glass jugs, and of course my 10 gallon SS conical. Each has its own purpose to me. I like the ease of buckets, and i like my PET carboys but if you dont take care of them then youre screwed. Glass can break. My conical is my go to. I know when i clean it thats its truly clean. Temp control is a lot easier with a temp controller, a fridge and a carboy or lbk. But for my saisons and wheats and anything else that can ferment at room temp, ill use my conical every time.

Wasn't sure which of you I was going to quote when I replied, but @Creeps McLane hit on a HUGE point. Temperature control. Most of the guys starting this obsession have absolutely no idea how important temperature control is. They talk amongst themselves and are universally convinced the ale yeast doesn't need any more than a 70 closet. I only recently added a 3rd LBK because I discovered saisons. I can place that on top of the kitchen fridge, tune out SWMBO for the first week ( I'm usually not home LOL) and have the other 2 LBKs in the Inkbird controlled dorm fridge. 

I am slowly adding to my inventory of equipment by purchasing from the guys who are quitting. The next 3 months are like an extended Christmas season. I'm not always a procrastinator... I'm a usually an analyzer and planner, and upping my game to larger batches, leaving MrB HME's or extracts all together isn't in the plans. Full size refrigerators and lots of shiny equipment are expensive and take up space. LOL. 

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9 hours ago, RickC1970 said:

The thing that I like about MR. Beer is that it doesn't take up much space. I don't have a lot of space to dedicate to equipment. It also looks like you can go a little more advanced that just the recipe packs if you choose which I'll probably do later after I get the hang of the easier methods. 

 

Actually, you can get a lot more advanced.  All beer is fermented.  Mr. Beer's LBK is a fermenter.  Regardless of how you make your wort (can of HME, LME/DME with steeping grains and hops, Brew In A Bag, or all grain brewing in a big pot over a burner, wort is wort.  There are some features that make a Mr. Beer LBK "unique" over some other fermenters:

 

1) The fermenter is made of plastic.  That means you must cool the wort to a temperature that will not damage the plastic before pouring it in.  Given that all brewing requires the wort to be cooled to a proper pitching temperature (which varies by type of yeast used), that's not a big deal.  However, if I had a big metal fermenter, I could choose to put hot wort in it and then cool it down overnight before pitching.  Can't do that with a Mr. Beer LBK.  And gradual cooling gives the chance for infection.

 

2) The fermenter has no "blow off" device.  This means if you have a very active fermentation, it can overflow out the lid vents and make a mess.  Fancy fermenters have a blow off device that during active fermentation can send overflow into a bucket and keep things tidy.  Once active fermentation is over, you replace the tube with an airlock.  No airlock or tube with Mr. Beer, but it's not needed.

 

3) Like any fermenter, the Mr. Beer LBK is limited to it's capacity.  Basically that's around 2.5 or 2.6 gallons.  And if you fill it to the 2.6 mark, you'll probably get overflow.  I put in 2.5 gallons regularly, ferment at 65 or lower, and rarely get overflow.  I used to regularly make a 5 gallon batch of extract beer, and split it evenly between two LBKs.  I now do BIAB, and due to stove limitations I make one 2.5 gallon batch each time.

 

4) Because it's a plastic fermenter, it can be damaged, either by cleaning improperly (scrubbing) or by a beer that gets a bacterial infection.  If an LBK gets a bacterial infection (rare), it's possible that it can't be cleaned well enough to be used again without transmitting that infection.  Same goes for a bottling bucket, or anything else plastic.  That's why good sanitation is important.

 

Any beer you brew can be fermented in an LBK.

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7 minutes ago, D Kristof said:

Wasn't sure which of you I was going to quote when I replied, but @Creeps McLane hit on a HUGE point. Temperature control. Most of the guys starting this obsession have absolutely no idea how important temperature control is. They talk amongst themselves and are universally convinced the ale yeast doesn't need any more than a 70 closet. I only recently added a 3rd LBK because I discovered saisons. I can place that on top of the kitchen fridge, tune out SWMBO for the first week ( I'm usually not home LOL) and have the other 2 LBKs in the Inkbird controlled dorm fridge. 

I am slowly adding to my inventory of equipment by purchasing from the guys who are quitting. The next 3 months are like an extended Christmas season. I'm not always a procrastinator... I'm a usually an analyzer and planner, and upping my game to larger batches, leaving MrB HME's or extracts all together isn't in the plans. Full size refrigerators and lots of shiny equipment are expensive and take up space. LOL. 

 

+1 on temp control @D Kristof! Once I got that under control in a cooler with frozen pint bottles then it started to snowball.

 

Got the mini fridge w/inkbird that could hold 2 LBK's and that really jump started my plan to acquire equipment for small batches up to the occasional 5 gal. batch. 3 LBK's, plus a 3.5 and 7 gal. Ss fermenter now give me my best flexibility.

 

I rotate MB HME's in my queue always with PM, but my fav recipes are mostly BIAB AG with some LME or mostly LME. I haven't had any off flavor or twang from using LME and it stores really well if you use a partial can.

 

Producing more than 5 gal a month is perfect for me and anymore would give me storage issues.

 

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57 minutes ago, RickBeer said:

 

Actually, you can get a lot more advanced.  All beer is fermented.  Mr. Beer's LBK is a fermenter.  Regardless of how you make your wort (can of HME, LME/DME with steeping grains and hops, Brew In A Bag, or all grain brewing in a big pot over a burner, wort is wort.  There are some features that make a Mr. Beer LBK "unique" over some other fermenters:

 

1) The fermenter is made of plastic.  That means you must cool the wort to a temperature that will not damage the plastic before pouring it in.  Given that all brewing requires the wort to be cooled to a proper pitching temperature (which varies by type of yeast used), that's not a big deal.  However, if I had a big metal fermenter, I could choose to put hot wort in it and then cool it down overnight before pitching.  Can't do that with a Mr. Beer LBK.  And gradual cooling gives the chance for infection.

 

2) The fermenter has no "blow off" device.  This means if you have a very active fermentation, it can overflow out the lid vents and make a mess.  Fancy fermenters have a blow off device that during active fermentation can send overflow into a bucket and keep things tidy.  Once active fermentation is over, you replace the tube with an airlock.  No airlock or tube with Mr. Beer, but it's not needed.

 

3) Like any fermenter, the Mr. Beer LBK is limited to it's capacity.  Basically that's around 2.5 or 2.6 gallons.  And if you fill it to the 2.6 mark, you'll probably get overflow.  I put in 2.5 gallons regularly, ferment at 65 or lower, and rarely get overflow.  I used to regularly make a 5 gallon batch of extract beer, and split it evenly between two LBKs.  I now do BIAB, and due to stove limitations I make one 2.5 gallon batch each time.

 

4) Because it's a plastic fermenter, it can be damaged, either by cleaning improperly (scrubbing) or by a beer that gets a bacterial infection.  If an LBK gets a bacterial infection (rare), it's possible that it can't be cleaned well enough to be used again without transmitting that infection.  Same goes for a bottling bucket, or anything else plastic.  That's why good sanitation is important.

 

Any beer you brew can be fermented in an LBK.

Nicely stated @RickBeer!

 

I love the footprint of the LBK and it's a great fermenter but you hit the nail on the head with the hot wort issue, which I ran into with my first couple BIAB batches. I've never tried more than 2.25 gal. in one because I hate cleaning up overflow.

 

I tried an immersion chiller to solve the hot wort issue but being much farther south the ground water temps in summer were to warm to really make it effective. Getting a small stainless fermenter with blow off tube took care of the hot wort issue, as I could just put it in the mini fridge set for my pitch temp. Downside was it cost $130 vs $10 for an LBK.

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21 minutes ago, Cato said:

I tried an immersion chiller to solve the hot wort issue but being much farther south the ground water temps in summer were to warm to really make it effective. Getting a small stainless fermenter with blow off tube took care of the hot wort issue, as I could just put it in the mini fridge set for my pitch temp. Downside was it cost $130 vs $10 for an LBK.

I live in Ohio where this time of year the ground water is awesome for chilling.  But it is a different story in July.  My solution was to buy a 50' coil of 1/2" copper tubing and wrap it around a pot or something  a couple of inches smaller than the inside dimension of a 5 gallon bucket.  Make it so that you can get to both ends when submurged and using tubing and some fittings make it so that you can connect it to your garden hose and then to your other immersion chiller.  Either plan ahead (I never do that) or buy a bag of ice at the store and run that immersion chiller in the bucket filled with ice and then into your immersion chiller in your wort.  I can cool 3 gallons of wort to 62 degrees with 70 degree tap water in about 15 to 20 minutes using this method.  The ice cost about $4 each time but I don't have to wait to pitch and risk infection.

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1 hour ago, BDawg62 said:

I live in Ohio where this time of year the ground water is awesome for chilling.  But it is a different story in July.  My solution was to buy a 50' coil of 1/2" copper tubing and wrap it around a pot or something  a couple of inches smaller than the inside dimension of a 5 gallon bucket.  Make it so that you can get to both ends when submurged and using tubing and some fittings make it so that you can connect it to your garden hose and then to your other immersion chiller.  Either plan ahead (I never do that) or buy a bag of ice at the store and run that immersion chiller in the bucket filled with ice and then into your immersion chiller in your wort.  I can cool 3 gallons of wort to 62 degrees with 70 degree tap water in about 15 to 20 minutes using this method.  The ice cost about $4 each time but I don't have to wait to pitch and risk infection.

Great idea Dawg!! I'd thought about something similar to that by using the groundwater first to bring it down and then attaching a hose to the immersion chiller and pumping ice water from a cooler.

So far I've not had a problem with putting my stainless fermenters in the mini fridge in to cool down to pitch temp in the summer weather. If I finish in the mid afternoon with the IC and put the fermenter in the fridge it's been ready to pitch at bedtime for most yeasts, but been a time or too that I left them in overnight and pitched in the morning and no issues at all.

 

Still I'd rather be done with it as soon as possible and may try that next summer. Temps should be fine here now too for the IC and looking forward to a rapid chill down on my next brew day!

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14 hours ago, RickC1970 said:

The thing that I like about MR. Beer is that it doesn't take up much space. I don't have a lot of space to dedicate to equipment. It also looks like you can goe a little more advanced that just the recipe packs if you choose which I'll probably do later after I get the hang of the easier methods. 

 

Exactly.

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10 hours ago, zorak1066 said:

 

the guy working on a stove with pots and pans and buckets....  and doing things manually... or who uses a panty hose filter as a hop sack... who makes due by improvising equipment.. this is the true homebrewer. screw all your fancy toys. there is also nothing wrong with extracts. all you are doing is using a prefab base to build your kit around. there's nothing wrong with ready mix malt. it's like a fine chef using a box of chicken stock then building a recipe up around it. whats wrong with that?

 

I especially like the panty hose idea.  Is this before she wears them for a date...or after?

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2018 at 3:42 AM, Cato said:

I'm on another forum occasionally and for sure there is a segment of AG guys that are all about my equipment is superior to yours type of thing.

Ya gotta figure they are over compensating yeah?  Maybe its about the size of their.... batches. :)   Who knows?  You have this kinda thing with all sorts of groups of people like car guys, motorcycle guys, hell even camera dudes (I once sold a ton of prints of a pic I took of Garth at the Opry that I took with a cheapo-depot camera and I was called a liar when I showed my camera - that was 18 years ago and it still makes me laugh).   Equipment don't make the man or in this case, beer. :)

I often refer to Manfish as "Home brewer's on steroids".  We don't have fancy equipment, that's for sure.  No stainless steel conicals anywhere in the brewery. Yes, we have bigger equipment than most home brewers do, that is true.  All that really means that without the knowledge of what to do to fill those properly, we would end up with bigger batches of garbage brew.  I've said it many times, here, in real life, on Facebook and anywhere I get the chance... "There would be no Manfish Brewing if it weren't for Mr. Beer." A 100% correct statement.  I had *NEVER* thought about brewing my own beer, ever, until I got that fateful Christmas gift in 2009.  People can say whatever they want about Mr. Beer,  most people don't like facts anyways, it only confuses them. :)

#PROST!

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