Mr. Beer Home Brewery promises to be easy and fun, and certainly the kit I received for review lived up to that. First things first, I eagerly unpacked the contents of the large, friendly box containing the Mr. Beer Premium Edition Home Brewery in my kitchen. In the box I found the promised brew keg, the bottles, the sanitizing packet and the actual beer ingredients. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the instructions or the bottle stickers. I figure the instructions and stickers were simply lost or misplaced when either myself or Brant went through the box earlier. So if you’re like me an have misplaced your instructions don’t worry, a quick trip to the Mr. Beer website and I was easily able to find and print the instructions for my particular kit. [Edit: Watch the video of the Mr Beer kit unpacking]

First step is assembly and sanitizing. The only real assembly is putting the tap on the brew keg, and you’re ready to go. The sanitizing is really straightforward with an included sanitizing pack. Per the instructions: half now for your keg and tools, half later for the bottles- ten minutes soak in the sanitizer, pour it out, and you’re on to the next step. A couple of notes here- Make sure the spoon you’re going to be using fits easily in and out of the brew keg during the sanitizing process. Also being a health conscious individual, I had to wonder exactly what was in the no-rinse sanitizer. I just had an uneasy feeling knowing that without a rinse, some of that would be in my brew, without knowing what it was.   Also, also, the brew keg itself is made of #3 PVC, which I tend to avoid as it is in one of the more questionably safe plastics.   I emailed Mr. Beer and I’ll have an update when I receive a reply.*

Mr. Beer Brewing kitMr. Beer Brewing kitMr. Beer Brewing kittimer to 10 minutes

* Mr. Beer returned my email, very friendly, very prompt, and I’ll pass along what they said here:

“The One Step Cleanser is a No Rinse product, so after you have resolved it in water and have soaked your keg, bottles and utensils, you can then pour out all the liquid and either let it air dry or go ahead and use. You actually should not consume the powder itself.
The keg is made with FDA approved PVC, which does not contain Melamine, Phthalates or the following heavy metals: Pb, Cd, Hg, CR(6.  It is safe to ferment beer in it.”

On to the next step:

The instructions did not say whether tap water would suffice, or to use filtered water, but some research on my own suggest that you should never use distilled water for brewing beer, use filtered, or spring water.  Since my local tap water is chlorinated, and I wanted a beer that tasted good- I opted for spring water, which set me back all of a buck-sixty at my local grocery store. (I retained one of the empty gallon jugs from the spring water for sanitizing bottles in the bottling step later down the road.)


The Brewing process was straightforward and easy.  Dissolve the included booster, bring to a boil.  Now, it will take some time to dissolve the booster into the water, so take your time. Remove from heat, and its on to the mix.

Time to add the Mix!  Warm up the can in some hot water (I took off the label to keep it from getting gummy and falling into the mix.) and dump it into the booster solution, easy as that.  Add the wort into the keg.  Careful here, I accidentally spilled a bit, and it was a gooey mess on the side of the keg to clean.

Add the remainder of the spring water, stir, and you’re ready for the yeast.  At this stage, the brew smells fantastic.  A 5 minute timer, between a couple of quick stirs and I’m ready to put the brew keg in a nice quiet, dark place for 7-14 days to let my little yeast army do it’s thing.

9 comments

  1. I use a one-step, no-rinse sanitizer made by BrewCraft. It only requires 30 seconds of contact time to sanitize and it breaks down into minerals that naturally occur in beer. I don’t know if this is the same sanitizer that Mr Beer uses.

  2. @gservo: No smell from the brew keg at all. Admittedly, it was in the closet in the guest bathroom, but I did check it every couple of days, and never noticed a smell at all. I really thought the closet would “smell like a brewery” after a few days as well, and was pleasantly surprised!

    @Chris: I’ll have to look into that sanitizer for future use. I was going to do some research into Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or tea tree oil as safer alternatives. I firmly believe harsh poisonous chemicals and plastics are causing lots of problems in the general health of modern humans, and am making a conscious effort to cut them out of my home (and diet!)

  3. hey, when the beer is fermenting in the keg is there suppose to be alot of bubbles? Im a first time user and my beer has been fermenting for 4days exact, and my closet smells like beer or yeast or something, and there are little patches of bubble inside, but i dont understand when it says if the bubbles are comming from the airlock. i dont even know what its suppose to look like, if u can can you post a picture of what your beer looks like while its fermenting? If so, thanks !

  4. From the Mr Beer site (http://www.mrbeer.com/info-exec/display/faq):
    The MR.BEER® brew keg does not have a traditional “airlock”. However, the Brew Keg has been specially designed to automatically release built up gases and create an airtight seal between the inside of the keg and outside contaminants. This is done through the two notches in the top of the brew keg’s neck.

    I’ve never used a Mr Beer but in a regular fermenter, you will see 2-3 inches (or more) of what looks like foam on the top of the beer which is called kraussen. You can see a good picture of fermentation in a carboy here (last picture): http://beerutopia.com/2008/08/25/home-brew-brewing-a-belgian-dubbel/

  5. Hey hey, firstimebrew!

    I let my Mr. Beer keg ferment for a total of 15 days. Would have been 14, but I got busy that night. I checked on the brew keg every day for the first 7 days, then every other day till I bottled it up, and the closet I had it in never smelled a brewery- in fact, I had to really put my nose to the brew keg lid to even smell the beer.

    As far as the kraussen, I have a photo of when I tested the beer for realness that I’ll zoom in on to see that there really isn’t much foam visible through the keg, and absolutely none coming out of the lid.

    http://beerutopia.com/wp-content/kraussen.jpg

    Chris is absolutely correct, the Mr. Beer brew keg lid and thread system has small vents to relieve pressure, but no airlock per se.

    The instructions stressed not to open the brew keg under any circumstances during fermentation due to possible contamination, so I took that to heart and never so much as grabbed it by the lid.

  6. Check them out at [url=http://www.bestsellersinfo.com/mr-beer-premium/mr-beer-20635-premium-gold-edition-home-brew-kit-with-st-patricks-irish-stout-refill-brew-pack-and-deluxe-bottling-system/]mr beer premium[/url]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
*