Beer Wednesday – Mr. Beer Home Brewing, Part 1
Happy Beer Wednesday!
I recently absconded with a Mr. Beer home brewing kit from my brother-in-law (his exact words were “I’m never going to use it. If you want it, please take it.”) and have been staring at it in my living room for some time.
I finally decided to step up. The kit was for their American Light Lager, complete with a picture of the Rockies in the background.
My hopes for the quality of this beer are… tempered, to say the least.
This week, however, I will not be commenting on the quality of the beer from this kit, but instead on the brewing process itself.
This kit is mind-blowingly easy to use. You sanitize, boil water, add stuff, and pour.
Basically, if you can make tea, you can make beer.
The first step is to sterilize everything that might come in contact with your beer or beer ingredients. The can opener, the keg, and the metal spoon all get this treatment from an oxygen powder that was included in the kit.
The Mr. Beer kit comes with what they call “hopped malt extract,” which means that when the create the malt extract, they infuse it with hops before canning it. This eliminates the need for steeping hops before adding the extract (if you’re an extract brewer) but it also eliminates the ability to use different hops for a different flavor profile.
Either way, all you have to do is warm the malt extract in hot water until it is thinned out before adding it to the boiling water.
Once the hot water and extract are together, you simply pour it into the half-full small keg, and fill the keg the rest of the way to the two gallon mark with cool water. Add the yeast, cover tightly, and hide the keg somewhere cool and dark for two weeks.
After two weeks or so, you’re ready to bottle that bad boy. Sterilize your bottles and caps with the same oxygen powder used in the brewing process, add 2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar to each bottle. This sugar is to reactivate the yeast and carbonate your beer. Fill each bottle most of the way, and cap them tightly.
Put your bottles in that same cool dark place that you had the keg, wash your keg well with a super mild soap, and wait two weeks.
Then, come back here to see how my beer tastes next week, and compare your brewing experience with mine.
Good luck, and happy brewing!