So I fermented the Mr.Beer starter kit and bottled it, as mentioned previously. The bottles are in the conditioning phase, which means I can pop them open whenever I’d like. Because I split the batch in two, lagering one batch in the fridge, and keeping the other in the basement, I’ve opened one of the lagers since it’s already cold.
First taste, “Holy smokes, it’s beer!” It was an odd thing. I know that I went through the entire process from fermenting to bottling, and yet I half expected it to be something other than beer. But the sugar added to the bottle sure enough carbonated the flat beer that I added to it. However, I experimented by adding brown sugar to two bottles and let me say unequivocally: Don’t add brown sugar to carbonate the beer, because it doesn’t work.
My logic was that I could add a bit of earthy, molasses flavor to the pale ale mix, and while it did make a dramatically different tasting beer than the white sugar bottles, it also never carbonated. Instead, it was a flat, sweet liquid full of off-flavors. Now, that’s my fault. Mr.Beer suggests a number of ways to experiment with their recipes, but changing the sugar that is added to the bottle is not one of them. Adding brown sugar to the malt—that’s totally different. I’ll experiment more at the beginning, but the white sugar in the bottle is going to stay the same.
I’ll review the actual beer in a week or so, because the bottles are still conditioning. Right now, they’re still a bit sweet, so the yeast isn’t done eating. But I’m pretty happy with the results so far, and I’m going to start my next fermenting process this week.