Simple upgrades for your Mr. Beer kit

Old spigot

old Mr. Beer push button spigot = bad

So if you’re like me then you got a Mr. Beer homebrew kit as a gift. You brewed your first batch of #craftbeer and made a decent drinkable beer. Now you want to brew again, but are wondering if there’s anything else that you need to order along with your next batch of ingredients. I was in the same boat, so I asked a lot of questions and came up with the essential upgrades for a new Mr. Beer brewer. Continue reading

Hydrometer – what is it and why do I need one?

A hydrometer is a tool used to measure the weight of a liquid in relation to to water. This measurement is called the Specific Gravity (SG) of a liquid.

In home brewing we use a hydrometer to measure the Original Gravity (OG) and Final Gravity (FG) of our beer. These two measurements, and a little math, help us to determine when fermentation is complete and how to calculate the alcohol content of our brew. Pretty cool, eh? Continue reading

The easiest online beer label maker

Label your home-brew quick and easy

In the past I’ve spent way too many hours in Photoshop¬†coming up with artwork for my craft beer labels. When an all grain brew day is 8 hours, it seemed fair to spend that much time on the label. But with the Mr Beer kit, it’s so simple. The very first brew day is only 90 minutes, (and that is including initial assembly, cleaning and sanitization). So I decided that I’d better not spend more time on the label design than the actual home-brew.

I found a link in the Mr. Beer Fans forum to an online label generator and decided to give it a try. Continue reading

Mr. Beer Soaked Homebrewer – part 4 first pour

Zachzilla Pale Ale

Zachzilla Pale Ale

It is named after my 3-year-old son who helped brew and bottle this one. My son, Zach, earned the nickname “Zachzilla” from his older sister because he likes to knock down blocks way more than build with them. Recently Zach has become more interested in building, so we decided to pass on the “zilla” name. Since this is an easy beer to knock down, at a mere 3.5% ABV, it now has the Zackzilla name. Continue reading

The easiest way to remove beer labels from bottles

Removing beer labels

Go GreenAs a home brewer I have been recycling bottles long before being “green” was the “in” thing. Saving my bottles is second nature for me now. Often times, I’ve got so many bottles saved up in the garage and nothing ready to bottle, so I have to purge the empty bottles in the recycling bin at curbside. I know it’s unfortunate, but there’s only so much room for empties, and I don’t brew as often as I should. On the occasions that I have something in the fermenter that needs bottling, the first thing I need to do is remove the labels. And here’s the best way I’ve found to do that.

Continue reading