The Mr. Beer Experiment Begins

The great Mr. Beer experiment will begin this weekend.

Truth #1: I was sent a free Mr. Beer kit, the Premium Edition Beer Kit to be exact, by the company to try out. There was no obligation to write anything about it on my blog, but clearly I am doing so. As a side note, this is the first time I can remember being sent anything at all because of having a blog. I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  😀

Truth #2: I’ve been really excited about making beer with a Mr. Beer kit for years. No kidding, no sarcasm. I’ve known brewers who’ve started on those kits. Some stopped there, and some moved on to more advanced equipment and less processed ingredients. It has been a minor obsession. I just want to see what these things can do.

Perhaps you might think I’m viewing it as a Top Chef challenge where they have to cook a meal with an Easy Bake Oven. Maybe. There certainly is a challenge in that. But I view any entry into brewing your own beer as a wonderful thing. I’ll take that stepping stone drug.

I’m planning to brew with this kit in, at least, two different trials:

Trial #1:

The game plan here would be to brew the “West Coast Pale Ale” kit that came with it while following the instructions to the letter. This will be a test of the Mr. Beer equipment AND their kit. In theory, as someone who has been homebrewing since the mid-90’s, I should be able to pull this off at a pretty high level. I understand sanitation and I can follow directions. Well, almost as good as Brooklyn’s Garrett Oliver.

What I’m testing: What is the quality of beer that someone can expect from using a Mr. Beer kit as it is intended? This is the control.

Trial #2:

The idea here is that I will use the Mr. Beer Kit equipment but, like any curious homebrewer, I’ll design my own extract beer recipe. The concept is to use high-quality DME, hops and yeast, and to brew it inside, on my stove, like any budding homebrewer would.

What I’m testing: What are the limits of the Mr. Beer equipment? Is this system flexible enough to crank out great beer for the homebrewer who wants to keep his brewery small for space or monetary reasons?

Is there a third experiment? Maybe a gueuze? OK, I’m going a little crazy there.

Stay tuned.


5 Responses to “The Mr. Beer Experiment Begins”

  • Robert French Says:

    I can’t wait for trial #2, Is there an air lock?

  • BarlowBrewing Says:

    Thanks, Robert.

    There’s wasn’t an airlock. Well, not like we are used to. There is a screw on lid which should let CO2 escape but keep air and particles out. Not much different than foil over a carboy neck or a starter.

  • Tom Wallace Says:

    I remember reading that a homebrew club in the midwest did an Top Chef like challenge with Mr. Beer kits, where everyone had a month to make something with the Mr. Beer equipment (and only that equipment to ferment with) and then judged the resulting beers. I remember that they said it was a lot of fun. Good luck.

  • Mike Hebel Says:

    I’m just curious how this turned out. A friend is sending me a couple of Mr. Beer fermenters to get me started and I’ve heard good and bad about them.

    I found this post when searching for info about the kits but I don’t see a follow-up post so I was wondering…

  • BarlowBrewing Says:

    I made the first batch and that turned out….ok. I’ll give it a full review at some point. It was beer but very basic and very corn-like. The next stage would be to use the same vessel, but to use better ingredients. That will tell me/us much more about the equipment itself. Thanks for reading.

Leave a Reply