I used a malt extract for a Weizen or Wheat beer, also boiled the hops which is a new step compared to the Mr. Beer system. Took just over an hour to make the Wort (malt extract 2 gallons of water and hops) Already had 4 gallons of water in the fridge to cool it down so I could add the yeast. I'm using ordinary tap water ran through a Brita filter.
I got a great product for sanitation which is critical to brewing called Five Star that does not require rinsing. Just put a cap full in a spray bottle add water, give it a shake then spray down your equipment. It makes sanitizing much easier and faster. It is acid based rather than chlorine based safer for yeast growth.
Some lessons learned:
- I think a Mr. Beer kit is a great way to start off brewing. The Kegs are small 2.5- 3 gallons are easy to move and get you familiar with the basic steps of brewing. Also the little recipe book gives you ways to expand flavors and some ideas for the future. The little kegs are good for the fermenting and I think 2 of these kits would be great for anyone who wants to start brewing. I recommend 2 of Mr. Beer kits since most non Mr. Beer recipes are for 5-6 gallon batches. I have reused the Plastic bottles and caps with no problem from the Mr. Beer kits.
- Have local supplier of ingredients and equipment. Now I started with a massed produced Mr. Beer, then got some equipment from Rebelbrewers.com I found a local supplier that was about a mile away that has connections for all products and is excited about brewing beer, making wine and cheese. Plus if something goes wrong you got help close to home.
- Start small, If something goes wrong it won't cost you much in lost time or money. If everything works out on this first big batch I'm looking at a cost of 40 cents per bottle or about $10.00 per case. Not a bad compared to a micro-brew case of beer. Add in equipment about $2.00 a bottle. But that's only on the first batch.
- I think this type of beer is healthier than the pasteurized stuff we get in the USA. The foam off the fermentation process can be saved/dried for bread yeast, though it must be bloomed for baking unlike active dry yeast.
- No Sin taxes, The Feds have shown they have no problem of passing laws "for our own good." This is a way to stop paying taxes to them, and starve the beast.