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Mr Beer Pilsner Witbier : One Time Only

It came down to two final Mr. Beer kits left.  I’d recently brewed the IPA, and it was so awful most of that needed to go down the drain, so I wasn’t looking forward to wasting my time.  I think my processes made the IPA less than awesome, so I wanted to find a way to scale up the size of the batch so that I could use my normal brewing equipment.  Then it hit me… combine the Pilsner and the Witbier!  Sure the two styles aren’t exactly made to be combined, but they’re both light beers.  How bad could it be?  I also made the decision to do a 30 minute boil and add some hops, using some leftover Chinook hops that I had around.

Ingredients:  One Time Only Ale

Recipe Products

  • 2 Cans of Mr. Beer “Witty Monk” Witbier
  • 2 Cans of Mr. Beer “Pilothouse” Pilsner

Hop Additions

  • .3 oz Chinook (11.4%) – added during boil, boiled 30 min
  • .3 oz Chinook (11.4%) – added during boil, boiled 15 min
  • .3 oz Chinook (11.4%) – added during boil, boiled 0 min


  • Safale S-05 – Reused from Black IPA & Blonde Ale
  • Generic Mr. Beer Yeast packet (after slow start from the 05)

Additional Details / Notes

  • SG 1.042 / FG 1.010
  • 4.22% ABV
  • Brewed 03/26/11, Kegged & Bottled 04/16/2011
  • Fermentation temps:  ~60° in Primary, ~64° Secondary

The Extended Mr. Beer Boil

This key to this batch of beer was to use Mr. Beer elements in a way contrary to their usual instructions.  Generally you boil water, then dissolve the cans of hopped extract in to the hot water.  I wanted to add my own hops, so I decided to change up the processes quite a bit.  I started by bringing the 2.5 gallons of water to a boil (2 gal filtered, .5 gal tap water).  Once the water was boiling, I added one can of the Pilsner extract, and one of the Witbier.  I then returned the wort to a boil and started my hop additions.  I added .3 ounces of Chinook hops at 30min, 15min, and 0min.  At the 0 minute mark, I added the remaining 2 cans of LME, stirring until dissolved.

With all the hops and LME added, it was time to cool the 2.5 gallons of wort.  I used a simple ice bath in the kitchen sink.  While the wort was cooling, I filled my fermenting bucket with about 3 gallons of cool water.  Once I got the wort down to a decent temp, I strained it in to the bucket of cool water.  Using cool water allows me to transfer the wort at a little warmer temperature.

For fermentation, I had saved about 2 cups of yeast slurry from my Blonde Ale.  I poured this yeast in to my fermenting bucket and gave it a good stir.  At this point I capped the bucket and placed it in my temperature controlled fridge.  After about a day, I wasn’t happy with the speed of the fermentation, so I broke down and added one of the generic yeast packets from the original Mr. Beer kit.  A day later, my fermentation was rolling perfectly!

Drinking the Mr. Beer Pilsner Witbier

I ended up calling this beer “One Time Only”, as there’s no way I’d ever be able to match it, even if I wanted to.  In all honesty, after dumping most of the Mr. Beer IPA, I didn’t expect much better results from this batch, especially after combining two very different styles.  This beer was crystal clear out of the primary, so I opted to skip the secondary and just get this in the bottle.  That meant I was drinking it a little sooner than usual, but even with that said, this beer wasn’t bad at all!

Not only did this beer turn out okay, it was actually pretty great.  When it was all said and done, the beer came out to be a slightly sweet, orange flavored, Pilsner.  Not exactly something I would try to emulate, but people really took to it.  This was introduced to my test drinkers (aka friends & family) at the same time as my recent Blonde Ale, and for the first couple of months, the OTO was the preferred beer of the two.  Go figure.

I should also mention my hop additions.  While the Chinook didn’t exactly make it’s presence known, I think it did a nice job of tying everything together, and combining the flavors of the Pilsner and Wit.

The downside of this batch was that it didn’t age well.  It was decent at first, but got a little stale with age.  In contrast, the Blonde Ale improved over time, and eventually became the better beer.