Back in 2009 the thing that got me into Homebrewing was a Mr Beer Kit. I did one batch of that underhopped West Coast Pale Ale and I was hooked. Not because the beer tasted good but because I had so much fun doing it. I thought the beer tasted like total crap. I just remember green apples. Back then I had no idea about off flavors or anything. It was a random purchase from Fred Meyer. I think I dumped like half of the bottles but I went out and bought equipment for all grain brewing… why? because I was stupid.
I had no idea about anything I was doing. I just knew that this was the way that breweries made real beer, and that is how I wanted to do it. The funnier thing was, I hated beer. I could not stand it. Granted, I was drinking the wrong beer at the time but I only drank things such as Long Island Iced Teas, Mai Tais, Mojitos, Gimlets, etc. No beer at all… except maybe some PBR while over at a buddies house playing college drinking games. But, hey. PBR was the best 12 pack 6 dollars could buy.
This year for Christmas I was gifted a Mr Beer Kit… This would be my second one in 3 years and I only used the first one once. I had no idea what I was going to do with this one. So, I took the easy route out. I made beer… or whatever that stuff really is that comes in this package. I don’t really remember the directions to the kit from my first time using it but this time they seemed to be a lot simpler… Maybe I just don’t remember at all. Though, this process does not seem very sanitary.
It was as easy as getting some water hot, mixing that booster pack until it is disolved, adding the can of extract, pouring it into the football keg like thing, and topping it off with water. When I did my first batch I remember seeing nothing wrong with the process. I mean, I was only following the directions. Now, what about the chlorine in the water? Shouldn’t that water be treated just in case there are any microbes in there that will hurt the beer? Don’t I need to boil the extract? Not that I am an extract expert, being I have never done an extract batch, but I feel that it should be treated somehow…
I guess quite a few of my suspicions were addressed when I tasted a sampling at bottling time. I only had three words for the beer. Oily, Slick, Cider-esque. That is what I can remember from my first trip into it too. Once it was bottled all there was to do was wait…
The first pint, or so, of my Oktoberfest Beer. Maybe I should have given it a few weeks in the fridge to let it “properly” lager but I do not think it would have done it any good. Maybe I will throw a bottle in and report back. It is not as oily and slick as it was. It is now more kind of dry and powdery… I do not know what that is. That green apple taste is still there but this is a lot better now than it was back then. Still not amazing or anything but, I guess it’s homebrew? Nothing I would enter into a competition. That’s for sure.
So, I still have two cans of Mr Beer left. I was thinking about adjusting the process and seeing how it comes out at that point. Still use the equipment given but boil the wort, maybe add some hops. Who knows. I am not trying to make fantastic beer with this kit, that is what I have my all grain equipment for, but I don’t want the next batch to taste like crap. Especially since I have another Oktoberfest and that West Coast Pale Ale. I think it would be a fun experiment.