The following Mr. Beer Kit instructions are going to walk you through the process of setting up your new beer kit as well as explaining to you the exact steps you will need to take in order to successfully make your first batch of beer.
Mr. Beer is a simple but impressive system of making homebrew that for a malt extract kit surprisingly makes batches of beer that actually turn out quite nice if you follow the instructions and have a little patience.
By following these instructions as well as the ones included with the beer kit and subsequent Mr. beer refills you purchase within 2 -3 weeks you are going to have 8 quarts of tasty suds waiting to be consumed.
So let’s get to it…
Step #1: Assembly
One of the great things about this beer kit is the simplicity behind it.
As far as assembly goes all you need to do is attach the spigot to the fermenter which they refer to as a keg.
Doing so is very straightforward. Simply place the washer on the spigot with the beveled end facing out, slide it into the keg and screw the nut onto the spigot from inside the keg itself. Then simply hand tighten the nut, be sure not to over tighten it, just make it nice and snug.
Now you will want to test your keg fermenter for leaks. Fill it up with water from your tap and let it sit on a dry surface for 5 – 10 minutes. Then check it over to see if it is leaking.
If it has leaked you can try tightening the nut a little bit and also make sure the washer is installed on the spigot correctly as per instructions above.
Step #2: Cleaning & Sanitizing Your Equipment
Cleaning and sanitizing your brewing equipment is one of the most important steps in the whole process of making beer. Whether you are making beer with a malt extract kit like this one or brewing up an all-grain batch, proper sanitization is imperative to making quality beer.
Beer is highly susceptible to bacteria, if even a tiny bit gets in your whole batch can be ruined. If you skip this step be prepared to have to pour the whole batch down the drain.
As far as cleaning goes. If your Mr. Beer kit is brand new you probably do not need to clean it as it should be already nice and clean right out of the box. However, you will still need to sanitize it.
Even though you don’t need to clean it the first time you use it, keep in mind that you will need to do so each and every time you want to make beer moving forward.
The best policy is to obviously clean all of your gear including bottles, immediately after you use them.
Usually, elbow grease will do the trick for you, but you can also use unscented hand soap.
Give the fermenter a good going over making sure to get all the leftover matter out of it. Use a soft cloth to wipe and scrub the residual matter. Do NOT use a scrub brush or any sponge that has bristles on it as it could scratch the fermenter and scratches are places that bacteria love to hide in.
If scrubbing is not doing the trick, you can use a cleaning agent such as PBW or unscented Oxiclean. Simply fill your fermenter up with warm water and mix in either the PBW or Oxiclean and then let it soak.
After 10 – 20 minutes the dirt will come off very easily.
As far as Sanitizing goes you need to sanitize everything that will come in touch with the beer.
The no-rinse cleanser that comes with your Mr. Beer kit will work great to start with. When you have run out of it I highly recommend you start using StarSan.
StarSan is the industry leader when it comes to no-rinse sanitizer for home brewing.
To sanitize your equipment fill the fermenter (keg) up with warm water. Fill it to the 4-quart mark on the back of the fermenter. Then sprinkle in about half of the pack of the no-rinse cleanser. About 1 tbsp.
Now you want to put any piece of your brewing equipment that will fit inside the fermenter into it and let them soak.
Equipment such as the measuring cup, the spoon you are using for mixing, the can opener, etc.
Put the lid on the fermenter and gently shake it or swirl it around. You want the liquid to touch all of the insides of the fermenter including the lid.
NOTE: The lid has an opening in it, this is used to allow the C02 that is going to be created in the fermentation process to escape. So make sure when you are swirling your fermenter around that you do so over the sink because water will splash out through this opening.
Next, open the valve on the spigot and let the liquid flow out. This will sanitize the spigot as well.
Now pour some of the sanitizer into a bowl. You will use this to sanitize the rest of your equipment including the counter space you are brewing on (give the counter a good wipe with a cloth soaked in the sanitizing solution).
After your equipment has soaked in the fermenter for about 10 minutes you are good to go and can drain the sanitizing solution out of the fermenter. There is no need to rinse the fermenter once it is empty of the solution, this is a no-rinse sanitizer.
You are now ready to brew…
For more details on how to Clean and Sanitize your equipment, I recommend the following article: How to clean and sanitize your equipment and never lose a batch of beer.
If you need to pick up some PBW, Oxiclean, StarSan or want to see the unscented hand soap we recommend you can do so here: Products to clean & sanitize your brewing equipment
Step #3: Time to Brew
Mr. Beer Kit instructions do come with the kit and the refills you purchase. You will find that once you get the hang of it brewing up a batch of their beer is really quite simple.
Once brew day is done it will take anywhere from 5 – 7 days for most of the vigorous fermenting action you will see occurring inside the keg to slow down.
This does not mean that fermenting has finished. The yeast is still working away in the fermenter creating more alcohol.
My advice is to leave the beer to ferment for around 10 -14 days. If you would prefer not to wait that long you can use a hydrometer to determine when fermentation has finished. However, all beers do better when given the opportunity to condition longer, so do not rush it by moving to the bottling stage too soon.
You can learn to use a Hydrometer here: How to read a hydrometer
Note: this kit does not come with a hydrometer which I believe is a crucial part of any homebrew setup, you can see the hydrometer I recommend you get here.
Steps to Brewing a Batch of Mr. Beer
The following are the basic steps involved in making beer with a Mr. Beer Kit:
First, you will fill up the fermenter aka the keg up to the 4-quart mark with cold water.
Take the lid off the refill kit, remove the yeast packet that is there, put it aside for now, and soak the can in some hot water from your tap. This will allow the contents within to liquefy and pour more easily.
Next, take 4 cups of cold water and pour them into a pot on your stove, sprinkle the Booster into the water, and stir in order to fully dissolve it.
Next, bring the pot to a boil and then remove it from the heat.
Stir the contents of the beer refill kit into the pot, stir it well until it is dissolved. The mixture you have now created is called wort. (unfermented beer).
Next, simply pour the newly created wort into the fermenter (keg).
Pour more cold water into the fermenter until the liquid level within has reached the 8.5-quart mark.
With a sterilized (sanitized) spoon give the contents of the fermenter a very good stirring and make sure it is mixed well.
Next, take the little packet of yeast, dip it in the sanitizer, and with sanitized scissors cut it open and pour it into the fermenter (keg).
With your sterilized spoon give the contents of the fermenter a very good stirring.
Put the lid on the fermenter
Now put the fermenter away to ferment. Be sure to put it in a location in your home out of direct sunlight and keep the room at as much of a constant temperature as you can. The temperature range should be between 62 – 72 degrees F.
Once fermentation has finished it is time to move to the botting and carbonating stage.
Step 4: Bottling & Carbonating
If your kits does not come with bottles. You will need to get some. You need enough bottled to hold 256 ounces of beer or approximately 7 liters.
Bottling beer is referred to as naturally carbonating. This is done with sugar and the residual (leftover) yeast that is still alive when you transfer the home brew from the fermenter to the bottles.
The first thing you are going to need to do is sanitize the bottles.
You do this by either using the leftover sanitizer that came with your Mr. Beer Kit or with StarSan
Fill the beer bottles half full with the sanitizing solution, put the caps on the bottles, and give them a good shake. Let them sit with the solution in them for 10 – 15 minutes.
Empty the solution out, again there is no need to rinse the bottles as the solution is a no-rinse sanitizer.
Now add the sugar to the bottles. The sugar wakes the yeast back up and it eats the sugar which creates the CO2, which the beer absorbs and creates the carbonation.
For your first few batches use the carbonation drops that come with the kit. For future batches, you can pick up new drops or you can use a different source of priming sugar such as dextrose or granulated sugar.
Carbonation drops are my favorite way of bottle conditioning beer and I recommend the Coopers Carbonation Drops. You can read about the differences between Carbonation Drops, Dextrose, and Granulated Sugar Here: Carbonation Drops vs Priming Sugar
If you need some priming sugar you can get Dextrose & Coopers Carbonation drops here.
If you are using granulated sugar or dextrose you will need to get yourself a sterilized funnel and add the sugar in the following amounts depending on the size of the bottles you are using:
- ¾ of a tsp for 12 oz bottles
- 1 tsp for 16 oz bottles
- 1 ¼ tsp for 20 oz bottles
- 1 ½ tsp for 22 oz bottles
- 2 ½ tsp for 1-liter bottles.
After you add the sugar to the bottles you now need to add the wort (unfermented beer) to the bottles. If your kit has a bottling wand this is the preferred method. If it does not have one you can pick one here.
If you do not have a bottling wand you can still fill the bottles very carefully and slowly from the tap/spigot. The bottling wand is the preferred method as it reduces the amount of oxygen that gets into the beer. Oxygen is not good for your beer and can cause off-flavors or infection so you want to reduce the chance of that happening as much as possible.
Once the beer bottles are filled, place the caps on them, tighten them by hand and give them a little shake.
Next, put the bottles away to carbonate. You will again want to do this in a room out of direct sunlight. As well keep the room at a constant temperature of anywhere between 62 – 72 degrees F.
Your homebrew will have some carbonation within 7 days, however, it is highly recommended that you let your bottles sit for at least 2-3 weeks. The beer will taste better as you have allowed it to age and condition some and the carbonation will be excellent as well.
If you have patience and can wait for 1 – 3 months the beer from these kits will be even better. Patience and time is the key to making quality beer with any malt extract kit.
Cleaning Your Gear
OK brew day is over and now it is time to clean your gear and put it away until next time.
We discussed how to clean and sanitize your gear previously, however, to recap elbow grease and a little bit of unscented hand soap will typically do the trick. But for stubborn build-ups, you can use PBW (powdered brewery wash or unscented oxiclean)
Remember do not scrub with a brush as it will scratch the plastic and allow bacteria to hide in the scratches. Instead, use a soft cloth.
I always like to sanitize my gear before I put it away.
Bottles can be cleaned the same way. As soon as you drink the beer from a bottle it is recommended to give it a quick rinse.
You can also soak the bottles with PBW and Oxiclean. Bottle caps can be reused many times before they lose their seal. Be sure to clean and sanitize the caps as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What comes in a Mr. Beer Kit?
Everything you need to make two batches of beer comes with these kits to include:
- A 2-gallon fermenter that is shaped and looks like a keg, hence why they call it a keg.
- 11 reusable 440 ml plastic beer bottles with caps and labels.
- 2 refill kits of pre hopped malt extract kits. Each kit makes 2 gallons of beer
- No-rinse sanitizer to sanitize your equipment and bottles
- Carbonation drops to carbonate the beer in the bottles
How long does Mr. Beer take to ferment?
Fermentation will be completed within 10 – 14 days. Due to the keg-style fermenter being open towards the top it unlike other beers it is recommended that you do not let your beer sit any longer than the 14 days or you run the risk of oxygen getting into the fermenter and causing the off-flavors and infections we discussed previously.
How do you know when Mr. Beer is done fermenting?
If you wait the 10 – 14 days you can be assured the fermentation has finished. However if you are in a rush you can take daily readings using a hydrometer, when the hydrometer readings have not moved for 2-3 days that means fermentation has finished. However, I still recommend leaving the beer in the fermenter for the 10-14 days to allow the yeast time to clean up, which will make for a better tasting and looking beer.
How much beer does a Mr. Beer kit make?
They make approximately 2 gallons of beer, enough to fill the 11 bottles that come with the kit. Each bottle holds 25 ounces each or 740 ml.
Where can I buy a Mr. Beer Kit?
A lot of homebrew shops do carry these kits, but it can be hit or miss, the best option seems to be Amazon. I have purchased this kit for myself and as gifts for others off of Amazon.
You may also find the following posts useful:
You may find that you like the simplicity of making beer with the Mr. Beer Kit but 2 gallons of beer is not enough for you and 5 gallons is more to your liking. If so I recommend you check out my coopers home brew kit review, this kit is made by the same company and allows you to make 5-gallon batches.
There you have it, my friend, I trust these Mr. Beer Kit Instructions were helpful. It is a great kit and a pretty simple and easy process to make tasty homebrew.
If you want to order a Kit for yourself or more refills you can do so here on our recommended beer kits page (your support is appreciated!).
If you have any questions on how to use this kit by all means ask me in the comment section below and I will be sure to help you out.
Now go get your brew awnn..
Cheers Big Robb is Out!