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Homebrewing Tips

Homebrewing Tips

3 Ways to Prevent Darkening Beer When Brewing with Extract

October 10, 2018
do not darken extract beer

Malt extract, in particular liquid malt extract or LME, is known to create a darker finished beer because it is a concentrated product created with heat and low water content. It allows for the brewer to skip the time- and attention- intensive processes of mashing and sparging, since these processes are completed to create extract. A wort is made through mashing and sparging, then concentrated down to a thick syrup (for LME, powder for DME) by boiling off most of…

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Homebrewing Tips

Is Homebrew or Extract “Twang” a Thing?

September 30, 2018

While homebrew or extract “twang” is a term in circulation, any cursory glance over a homebrew message board will reveal that some brewers believe in it, and some do not. Some brewers claim to notice it in varying severities across different brews, but guaranteed cause-and-effect connections aren’t made. Simply put, the fact that this twang is not present in every extract batch indicates that it is not characteristic of extract brewing. It seems common knowledge that when working with liquid…

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Homebrewing Tips

Partial Mash versus Steeping with Specialty Grains

September 21, 2018

Completing a partial mash and steeping with specialty grains are two very similar processes, so we thought we’d point out the small but crucial differences for our brewers. If you are more interested in the execution of one versus the other, be sure to visit our blog on just that, titled “Steeping and Mashing 101.” A great starting point is understanding the all-grain beer brewing process of “mashing,” which is the process they are standing in for. Mashing is soaking…

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Homebrewing Tips

Why is My Beer Flat?

August 21, 2018
How to stop flat beer

Delicious beer is well-carbonated beer (according to style, of course). If you are finishing with less that fizzy beer, there are a couple of likely culprits. The two most common issues resulting in flat beer are: Not giving the beer enough time in the bottles. (We recommend at least 3 weeks.) Not using enough priming sugar. (Be sure to use our guidelines.) What to do: If your beer is flat when you open it, and it’s been at least 3…

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Homebrewing Tips

Batch Priming: Yes or No?

August 17, 2018
Batch Priming

Batch priming refers to the process of adding your priming sugar (sugar which creates carbonation) to the entire “batch” of beer, instead of the individual bottles. Fans of batch priming list simplicity and consistent carbonation from bottle to bottle as the primary benefits. Bottling 54 separate bottles (as you would with a 5-gallon batch & 12 oz bottles) and measuring the proper amount of priming sugar for each is a particularly daunting task, we’d agree. When beer styles call for…

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Homebrewing Tips Mr.Beer Buzz

Choosing Tea for Your Kombucha

July 23, 2018
Kombucha Tea

Bacteria and yeast (the SCOBY) need sugar and tea for proper fermentation – the sugar acts as food, providing energy, while the tea is a natural multivitamin. Only tea that comes from the plant Camellia senensis provides the necessary nutrients for your SCOBY. Green, black, white, oolong, and pu-erh (fermented black) teas come from the Camellia senensis plant and are all good choices for brewing kombucha. This means no herbal teas or red teas. Teas with added oils (Earl Grey,…

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Homebrewing Tips

Mead: A Definition, Brief History, and Explanation of the Process

June 12, 2018
honey for mead

Mead – it’s what medieval knights and ripped Norsemen drink in every super-edgy warrior film. It’s what they serve at your local Renaissance fair. But it’s got a whole lot more character and room for variability than the super-sweet-and-boozy persona for which it is known. Sure, mead is fermented honey & water (that has occasionally got some fruit, grains, hops, or spices in it) but this does not mean you can always expect a cloyingly sweet mead. Sweet meads are…

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Homebrewing Tips

Brewing Beer with Spices

June 6, 2018
beer herbs spices

Long before hops were ever used, many different spices were used in beer brewing for bittering and flavor. In fact, the history of beer produced without hops is approximately 8,000 years older than the history of beer produced with hops. For those 8,000 years, beer was mostly flavored and preserved using a mixture of spices, herbs, and/or fruits. These types of beers are commonly known as “gruits”. Spiced Beer Styles Nowadays, hops are recognized as a key ingredient in beer,…

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Homebrewing Tips

Is My Beer Infected?

May 16, 2018
beer infection

For new brewers, the fermentation process can look quite alien at times, especially when different batches of beer may behave differently due to different ingredients, fermentation temps, etc. Some people will dump perfectly good beer thinking it may be infected, when it actually isn’t. So before you decide whether your beer is a dumper, you will want to visually inspect and possibly even taste it to make sure it’s still worth keeping or not. Foamy bubbles on top of the…

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Homebrewing Tips

Brewing Hard Cider

May 9, 2018
Brewing Hard Cider

Hard Cider is one of the fastest growing markets in the beverage industry. Domestic cider production rose by 264% between 2005 and 2012. Industry revenue has grown by the hundreds of millions, and Americans, who were once skeptical of cider, are now drinking it up by the gallons. How to “Hack” Your Mr. Beer Cider Kit Our Hard Cider Kit makes crisp, dry cider that is incredibly tasty, but if it’s time for a change, there are many ways to…

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