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!
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.