May I Introduce Mr. Beer

2012-March
As I’m sure with a lot of other home brewers, I started with the great Mr. Beer Kit. I saw these kits in the store before, but never paid much attention to them. Then, around Jan 2012, I had begun chatting with a friend, who I knew brewed beer, about all the details. This was a completely new area of knowledge for me, so it took some time to get the basic terminology down…and a lot of repetitive questions. To this day, I am still asking questions, and learning.
Early March, I walked into a Bed, Bath & Beyond and noticed they had a whole wall full of Mr. Beer Kits…and they were 50% off. I thought, why not, and picked up two kits – granted I only needed one, but since they didn’t have refills, I figured I’d get two for the ingredients.
I had brought the instructions to my friend a couple days later, and coming from an extract/all-grain brewing method background, he was curious as to how it worked. All I know is he kept on stressing how much cleaning was involved with brewing and all these other steps…I started to get worried.
Back at home, I just decided to open the box and go for it. The instructions were easy to follow and I had everything already in my kitchen – no other purchases necessary, except the bottles.
Here is a rough overview…
  • Stir in some Booster (helps with the alcohol volume and adds body to the beer)…bring to a boil
  • Mix in the HME (Hopped Malt Extract) – to me it smells like a type of terriyaki sauce, and is just as sticky as one…this creates your Wort
  • Pour it into the Mr. Beer fermenting barrel (which already has some ‘cool’ water in it)…it’s necessary to cool the wort prior to putting in the yeast
  • Top off the barrel with more water as necessary
  • Add the yeast and mix well…this is called pitching the yeast

Then just stick it in a cool/dark spot and 2 weeks later its ready to bottle.

For bottling, you just add plain old sugar and the beer into a bottle; let it sit for another week or so, and its ready to enjoy…this is the carbonation step

Once you’ve waited long enough, pop the bottle open and Salud!

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As simple as that all seemed…yeah, it was just that simple. There were a few minor things in between, but these kits I found to be really easy, cheap, and pretty good tasting.
Some people may knock using Mr. Beer, but you have to start somewhere.
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