Mr. Beer split batch
Poor Mr. Beer… so maligned and ridiculed by the home brew snobs. I actually own a Mr. Beer fermenter which is great for small batch brewing. I’ve even made one of their kits and it was pretty good beer. I never used their beer ingredients after that but this weekend noticed that BevMo in Glendale, California carried Mr. Beer refill kits. I purchased one of the Bavarian Weissbier Home Brewing Beer Refill Kits and split it to make two different beers.
Strawberry basil is based on the the Mr. Beer version except I didn’t read the instructions correctly so my process is different. That’s the way we roll in the small batch brewing biz. I made the second batch with cucumbers and juniper berries. It seemed like the right thing to do.
OK here are the Ingredients for…
Mr. Beer Strawberry Basil
1 gal. water
Half a can of Mr. Beer Bavarian Weissbier (Approx. 425 grams)
1/2 lb. Chopped organic strawberries
2 or 3 large sprigs Italian basil
1/8 cup sugar
Pinch of licorice root
Process for Strawberry Basil 1 gallon beer recipe:
Place strawberries and basil into quart sized mason jar and cover ingredients with vodka. Cover and wait until wort is ready.
Boil water and licorice root to 170 degrees
Add 425 grams Mr. Beer liquid pre-hopped Weissbier extract and sugar.
Make sure everything is dissolved
Remove from heat
Cool to 70 degrees
Transfer to fermenter and add strawberry mixture
Add half packet Mr. Beer yeast.
Ferment 7 days
Transfer/strain liquid into secondary fermenter
Ferment 3-5 days or so
Bottle for at least 2 weeks
Ingredients for Cucumber Juniper Berries Mr. Beer
1 Gallon water
425 grams Mr. Beer Weissbeir pre-hopped liquid extract
1/8 cup sugar
4 crushed Juniper berries
Pinch Licorice root
Pinch Dried lemon peel
Process for Cucumber 1 gallon beer recipe:
Boil water with licorice root to 170 degrees
Dissolve in Mr. Beer extract and sugar
Cool to 70 degrees
Pour into fermenter and add 1/2 Mr Beer yeast packet.
Ferment 5 days
Add cucumbers and juniper berries that have been soaking in vodka (pour it all into the fermenter.)
Ferment 5-7 more days.
Bottle for 2 weeks
As you can see I reversed the process for adding the solid ingredients to the fermenter. The cucumber brew did not get moved to a secondary fermenter. I added the sliced cucumber mix directly to the primary.
This is an experiment and I wasn’t sure what would happen. The proof is always in the tasting.
2 weeks later… Moments of Truth:
Well, I just sampled both beers and I am happy to report home brewing success!
I sampled the strawberry basil first. The color is lovely and carbonation is perfect. I was concerned that adding the vodka would’ve tempered the fizz a bit but no, it’s nicely carbonated.
The strawberry and basil flavors complement each other really well and the base malts are a perfect match. They stay out of the way. I was pleased to see that even though Mr. Beer is a pre-hopped extract, it wasn’t too hoppy.
The cucumber experiment was a bit of a surprise at first because the beer actually tastes like cucumbers. Yes, I know I added cucumbers to it so what is the problem? As I mentioned before, I added the cucumbers to the wort about 5 days into the fermentation process. This left the brew with a fresher produce flavor and the cucumber didn’t ferment much alongside the wort. Interesting… Next time I will put them in at the start of fermentation. Nevertheless this is a beer that surprisingly pairs well with food. I guess it’s sort of like a beer side salad.
Based on the success of these two brews I went back to Bevmo and bought some more Mr. Beer ingredients. I think they are relieved that someone is helping them clear out the stock.
Beer is easy to make this way. Try it.
The temperature in Los Angeles is over 100 degrees right now and these two brews are a perfect light and refreshing match. They pack an alcoholic punch so please drink responsibly and don’t drive after drinking.