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ETpro's avatar

Beer Brewers, any great craft beer recipes you'd be willing to share?

Asked by ETpro (34415points) January 6th, 2014

I got a MrBeer brewing kit for Christmas. As a kid, I got a chemistry set one Christmas, and that was a total delight. A brewing kit provides all the fun of flasks, tubing, funnels, bottles plus hopped malt extract, yeast, no-rinse cleanser, and fermenter. My thermometer is on its way. A chemistry set that let’s you make craft-brew beers. Life is truly good.

I’m not going to be content, though, just sticking to the premade MrBeer refills for the hopped malt extract. Any good recipes out there?

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14 Answers

Seek's avatar

Sent the Q to Rarebear.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I won’t give you any of my recipes, but this is a good place to start.

Mainly because most of my recipes are not worth sharing.

ETpro's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Thanks.

@WestRiverrat Great link. Thank you.

Rarebear's avatar

I get my recipes from
Sometimes I alter them.

bolwerk's avatar

Admittedly I never used it, but when people talk about getting someone MrBeer, I usually talk them out of it. It unfortunately doesn’t give you much versatility. I think their schtick is to sell the kits and lock you into their odd batch sizes. The beer should be fine, but you’ll outgrow MrBeer pretty fast if you really get into the hobby. I would suggest trying MrBeer a few times and get the hang of the process, and then move onto a larger, more “standard” equipment.

Most recipes expect you to be able to deal with 5 gallon batches, and usually any deviation from that is 5+ gallons. I think MrBeer’s 2 gallon batch sizes would be annoyingly small, basically yielding about a 24-bottle case of beer; except for the weight factor, brewing more at once is almost entirely the same amount of work. Anecdotally, I think larger batches taste better. A scientific reason might be less exposure to oxygen per unit of beer.

That said, you should be able to use a proportional amount of the various ingredients to fill the MrBeer fermenter. However, some words of caution: they seem to use a proprietary malt extract that is pre-hopped. Their proprietary extract might be designed to assure reduced residue from hops. If you start doing your own recipes, adding hops separately, there’s a good chance the MrBeer system’s design would be prone to clogging, which risks both messy explosions and, more tragically, contamination.

Rarebear's avatar

Agree with @bolwerk, but you already have it so you’re kind of stuck.
My advice is to get a basic brewing kit—costs about a hundred bucks, and you’re good to go. No need to do any mash if you don’t want to, just extract brewing.

bolwerk's avatar

Actually, I could see ways to use most of the MrBeer equipment, just not always for its intended purpose. Once you move onto bigger batches, keep the MrBeer fermenter as a handy container for sanitizing small parts (tubing, faucets, gaskets, any small part that comes in contact with the beer). The plastic PET bottles are probably fine to keep using too.

But after doing a batch with a bigger kit, MrBeer will seem boring.

Rarebear's avatar

@bolwerk I have 5 batches in various stages of deployment right now. A porter, a holiday brown, a pomegranate blond, a pale ale and an apple cider with Belgian yeast. The brown and pale are bottled, the porter and blond are in the secondaries, and the apple cider is merrily bubbling away in the primary.

bolwerk's avatar

@Rarebear: you’re using a lot of your 100 gallon allotment early!

I actually stopped bottling. I just keg these days. It cuts out hours of work, and the beer tastes better.

Rarebear's avatar

@bolwerk Oh, I’m brewing for a big party with over 100 people. I don’t keg mostly because, ironically, I don’t drink that much beer. I give most of it away. But I agree it tastes better.

Seek's avatar

Someone donate a plane ticket to me! I neeeeeed to be at that Bat Mitzvah.

bolwerk's avatar

@Rarebear: do you use quart bottles? I got a bunch of them, and found they tend to keep the beer a lot fresher for those times I do bottle. Again, I think lower of exposure to oxygen (per unit of beer) in the bottle is the reason. Speeds bottling up too.

Some recipes just demand bottle conditioning.

Rarebear's avatar

@bolwerk nah just the regular 22 ouncers

bolwerk's avatar

@Rarebear: Tecate and Carta Blanca use them. They work with standard homebrew bottle caps. A bottling session becomes 20 bottles instead of 48.

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