I got my first shipment from Mr. Beer today. Actually, it is my second shipment, as my sister had the first one sent as a Christmas Gift. My first batch of beer has been carbonating for almost a week, which means it is almost ready to put in the fridge to condition. I'll probably try my first taste of it on Super Bowl Sunday, which will be three weeks since I started brewing the beer. People on the Mr. Beer discussion forum seem to agree that it is better to follow a 2 - 2 - 2 pattern. That means two weeks to ferment, two weeks to carbonate, and two weeks to condition. The forum entries say that is the minimum, and for higher fermentable sugars (more alcohol) you should ferment longer and usually condition longer. So, I am not following the wisdom of the masses, but I think it will be OK for my Classic American Blond Ale, which is very low in alcohol. I am following exactly what the instructions said to do for this one.
I will start following the 2 - 2 - 2 for my next batch. 6 weeks!!! Man, it takes patience to brew beer!
So, now that I got my first shipment, I am going to start brewing batch #2. I have decided to try a recipe from the Mr. Beer site called 1776 Ale. It is a hoppy, amber beer with a modest bitterness (IBU 11) and an alcohol by volume of 6%. My guess is it is going to be sort of similar to a Sam Adams Boston Lager or maybe a Breckenridge Brewery Avalanche, but I do not really know. The recipe includes the hopped malt extract "Cowboy Golden Lager", and a "Booster", both of which I already had from my original kit. It also calls for an unhopped malt extract "Mellow Amber" and some extra hops both of which were in my shipment.
My shipment also came with another hopped malt extract and unhopped extract for which I have a plan. I may or may not describe this brew on the blog once I start brewing it.
I really want to get it all going. I want to know how they all taste now. The hardest part of brewing your own beer is the waiting. Of course, right now, I do not even have enough bottles to bottle any more. By the time I am ready to bottle batch #2, I will though. Shipment #2 includes another set of the PET bottles , and of course more beer ingredients.