Mr.Beer Premium Beer Kit
There are folks who know how to brew beer and then there’s me. I could probably cook up something that would ferment, but I don’t think it would taste very good. Thankfully, Mr.Beer makes it easy to brew at home. I received the Mr.Beer Premium kit which contains everything needed to ferment and bottle 2 gallons of beer. The fermenter and bottles are all reusable—they’re made from PET-plastic—and Mr.Beer sells liquid malt refills for further batches.
The malt that came with the Premium kit is called West Coast Pale Ale and it uses additive called Booster that adds sugars to round out the flavor and add alcohol content of the finished beer. With the malt and Booster, the finished beer is estimated to be around 4% alcohol. By combining the many different malts that Mr.Beer offers, all sorts of different styles of beer can be made at home. Mr.Beer also offers different hops, in pellet-form, and yeasts, and has instructions and ingredients for fruit-flavored beers, ciders, and even root beer.
Making the initial wort, by heating up the liquid malt, is very simple. From opening the kit to securing it in a dark site for the fermenting process took about a half-an-hour. The beer ferments for at least a week, but it’s recommended to leave it for two or three weeks. I let two weeks go by before I began the bottling process. Table sugar is added to the quart-sized bottles to get the beer to carbonate. Adding the sugar and tapping the keg to fill each bottle also took about a half-an-hour, with an additional 15 minutes for clean up.
I’ve moved my filled bottles into the dark, cool area where I had my beer fermenting. The carbonation and conditioning—keeping the beer resting in the bottle after carbonation finishes, allowing the flavors to mellow—takes about 2 weeks. After a week, though, I can decide to keep my beer an ale, by keeping it in a relatively cool room, or I can lager my beer by putting in a refrigerator. Since I have so many bottles, I’ll split my beer batch in two, lagering half in my fridge and keeping the others in my basement.
During the bottling process, I added brown sugar, instead of table sugar, to two of the bottles. I’ll find out if the small amount of sugar will make a difference to the finished flavor—2.5 teaspoons per 30 oz. of beer, keeping a bit of space in the bottles for the carbonation.
Now that this batch is bottled, I think I’ll next go for a stout. They’re notoriously difficult to home-brew, and if Mr.Beer can capture that genie, I’ll be hooked.