As far as kits go, the basic MB refills are what they are: basic. There is plenty that one can do to make them better (as I am trying to show), but if you don't feel like making that effort...what is one to do? Enter MB "premium" kits! They are 2 cans of hopped malt extract, that, from the reviews I have seen, make a pretty solid beer all on their own. I received 2 of these kits as presents, so here is the first straight up MB premium recipe I tried out:
Sticky Wicket Oatmeal Stout - brewed on 6/27/2010
I followed MB's directions to the letter. First I boiled 4 cups water, then added both cans of SWOS @ flameout, and pitched 2 packets of MB yeast @ 70*. As per my normal routine, I was keeping ice packs in the cooler with the MB keg and trying to keep the fermentation temperature around 68-70*. With a little effort (it was topping 100* outside a few times!), this was pretty well achieved.
ferment through: 7/11 carb through: 7/25 room temperature condition through: 8/8 - at this point I will then put a few into the fridge 1st tester (trub bottle!) approximately: 8/15 ***the trub bottle was not bad, but I think I will give it another week before taste notes
8/22: pitch black with a tan head that dissipated quickly. there is a nice roasty aroma that hits the nose, and that roasty-ness faintly follows through to your taste buds. hints of coffee and a touch of chocolate as well. this is an EASY drinking and light stout. if St. James's Gate brewed a Guinness light (and skipped the nitrogen pour!), it would probably loosely resemble this beer.