Getting Mr. Beer His Doctorate


My girlfriend’s parents got me a Mr. Beer brewing kit for Christmas along with all the little extras (plastic bottles, refill kits, and a copy of John Palmer’s How to Brew). I’d heard mixed things about the Mr. Beer kits in the past but I thought it was a generous gift if an albeit mixed-message to tell your daughter’s boyfriend he should be drinking more. Regardless, the Mr. Beer set up is generally for people who have never brewed before; I’m by no means an expert but I wanted to add a little degree of difficulty to my brewing so that I could learn from it and hopefully make better and better beers as I progress.

My first attempt at brewing was a barleywine which was great… until some wild yeast got a hold of it in the bottles and over-carbonated and soured what was left of the rather large batch. But before that disaster struck it was a very drinkable beer, similar in taste to Anchor’s Old Foghorn (but obviously not as good or refined).

My second batch I brewed with my friend Joe who has been homebrewing off and on for ten years. That’s an imperial stout that is currently in the process of fermenting.

This third batch will be my first all by myself (unless Joe shows up to help) and I will be using the Mr. Beer American Porter malt extract that I got for Christmas. I won’t, however, be using the Mr. Beer yeast (I’ve heard it isn’t stellar), and I will be making a few additions to try and bring this closer to an all-grain brewing experience.

Here’s the recipe:

Dr. Porter Recipe

Dr. Porter Recipe

The Dr. Porter is a doctored (get it?) version of the Mr. Beer American Porter, using Mr. Beer malt extract and a partial mash of grains with smaller-than-normal hop additions. My hope is to increase the size from your standard Mr. Beer 2.5 gallons to a regular 5 gallon batch. I’m hoping it to have a very light touch of hop bitterness and a general chocolaty tasty and creamy texture. It’ll probably look and taste like motor oil but a fool can dream. As they guy at the homebrew store said, “Hey, it’ll still be beer.”

Sage words.

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