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Mr. Beer Cowboy Lager | Golden Lager

I recently purchased a Deluxe Mr. Beer kit, so I’ve got a LOT of Mr. Beer beers to brew.  There are several levels of beers offered by Mr. Beer.  My kit came with 3 Premium, 3 Standard, and 2 Deluxe.  The Standard options are the most basic of the Mr. Beer offerings, and come with a can of pre-hopped LME, a bag of booster, and yeast.  The booster helps add alcohol content, I think, but doesn’t contribute much complexity to your final product.  The Premium and Standard options have a second can of LME instead of just booster.

Brewing Mr. Beer Cowboy Golden Lager

March 13: For my first batch of Mr. Beer, I chose the Cowboy Lager, which I describe as “beer beer” when I’m sharing it with people.  For people who don’t like anything ‘fancy’, this beer is pretty similar to your Bud or Miller, only quite a bit better if you ask me.

After doing several Brewer’s Best kits, it feels like cheating to make Mr. Beer beer.  It’s really, really easy.  You start off by sanitizing everything with the included one step no-rinse sanitizer.  Just follow the Mr. Beer instructions.

Start making beer by boiling 6 cups of water.  After you’ve reached a boil, slowly add your Booster.  Slower is better with the booster, to avoid having a clumpy mess.  Even if you do, though, it’ll eventually dissolve.  At this point, you’re DONE boiling… really.  Remove from heat and add the can of LME.  It’s best to soak the can in warm/hot water first to help soften up the mixture.

Time to add the wort to your Keg.  Add 4 quarts of cold water into the keg first, then add your warm wort to the Keg.  Fill with cold tap water to the 8.5 quart mark.

Next up you need to add the yeast.  The instructions say wort temp should be between 70-103°F, but cooler is better.  Just sprinkle the little packet of yeast on the top and let it sit for about 5 minutes, then stir the wort vigorously.  I think you want the yeast pretty mixed in, as well as adding some oxygen to help the yeast do their thing.

That’s it!  In less than about an hour, you’ve created a batch of beer.  In theory you should be ready to bottle in about a week.  I sometimes have procrastination issues, so this cowboy lager sat in the Keg for 3 weeks before I got a chance to bottle it.  That’s fine, though, I think I’d suggest a min. of 2 weeks anyway.

Bottling Mr. Beer

Trub Left in Keg / Filled Bottles

April 4: Bottling can be done the same way you would bottle any other beer, OR you can do it the Mr. Beer way.  As this was my first Mr. Beer batch, I just followed their instructions.

First of all, and probably most important, SANITIZE the bottles.  Use the remaining One-Step sanitizer from when you originally brewed the beer.  Add some to each bottle, shake, and let sit for 15 minutes or so.

My Mr. Beer Kit came with 8 plastic bottles, so that’s what I chose to use this time around.  I mentioned in my Mr. Beer Hard Cider blog that I love these plastic bottles.  They are handy as hell.

My brewing closet. Lager up top, Cider in the middle, and the Hopnog 2009 in the bucket.

The part that still throws me when bottling a Mr. Beer batch is the use of table sugar as primer.  It works great, but seems to cheapen an already simple process, I guess.  At some point I’ll research differences between table sugar and priming sugar.

Anyways, bottling… my kit came with a measuring spoon, great for adding table sugar to bottles.  I added the sugar to all 8 bottles, then filled them using the tap on the keg.  This part is one of the setbacks of the Mr. Beer system.

Filling bottles from the fermenting vessel means that you’re going to stir up some of the sediment that you’d otherwise prefer to leave behind.  Your carbonated bottles are going to have a little more sediment than I’d prefer, but it’s not a huge issue for flavor or drinkability.

As you fill each bottle, just screw the cap on and you’re good to go.  Again, screw caps are another bonus of these plastic bottles.  Not to mention the decreased chance or mess of a bottle bomb during fermentation.

Drinking the Cowboy Lager

Now for the best part.  Drinking!  I’ll be honest… I’ve had better beer.  With the lowest level, or standard, Mr. Beer kits, you’re adding “booster” instead of LME or DME.  You’re obviously not going to have the world’s most interesting beer.  That said, there’s nothing bad about this beer.  I’d rather drink this Mr. Beer Lager than most of your domestic beers you’ll find on the grocery shelf.  At the very least, the Cowboy Lager is a decently refreshing beer to throw back during the hot Summer months.


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