Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussions being started on Home Brew Talk by people using Mr. Beer homebrew kits. The general consensus amongst most experienced homebrewers is that these kits are essentially on par with other single can, “no boil” kits that make mediocre, dried-out, cidery beer. So what’s with their popularity?
I’ve never used Mr. Beer, nor have I ever tried a beer that someone else brewed using the system. Today I was forced to concede that my opinion is based exclusively on heresay. I’ve decided to change that.
Originally, I thought I’d just bypass all the stuff that I thought was causing their bad reputation (the “booster” pack, the pre-hopped extract, etc) and simply use unhopped extracts, a decent yeast upgrade and some hops of my choice. The problem is that I don’t think I can evaluate their specific “system” objectively if I don’t go the whole 9 yards. Additionally, the instructions for these kits don’t utilize a 60 minute boil, so a conventional hop schedule is effectively useless. That being said, I didn’t really want to brew their standard intro recipe either. After looking through their selection, I decided on their Bengal Tiger IPA.
Batch size: 2 gallons
IBUs: 18 (<– can that be right for a 6% IPA?)
1 can Cowboy Golden Lager HME
1 can Mellow Amber UME
1 pouch “Booster”
1 oz. Cascade hops
1 packet dry brewing yeast
I’m going to follow their directions to the letter. I’m not going to deviate and use what I might consider a better idea. My goal is to determine if utilizing their ingredients and their methods can result in decent beer. I figure the worst that could happen is that the beer sucks.
I can live with that.
…to be continued.