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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > In Contempt of Extract
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:21 AM   #1
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Default In Contempt of Extract

Anyone else completely despise extract? I am very glad I switched to all grain, the improvement in my brews taste has been exponential.

I have a number of cases of extract brews that I just am not into at all, but I surely will drink them as late night slammers. they all have the same ( or very similar ) taste, they were about all composed of 3.3 lb cans of LME and 2-3 LBs DME plus 1 to 3 oz of hops. Sure extracts potential is dictated by what you do with it, but I have re-brewed beers again as AG batches, and they blow the extract batches away... how old could the extract in my lhbs's kits have been? I know my flavors are unique to my situation, but I am saying this is what I hate about it!


One thing extract did for me ( and you as well I'm sure) was introduce (most of ) the brewing process and basically prepare me for all grain, so I have to have to pay some respect.
Basically what I am getting at is extract does suck really bad, I know that there are a lot of brewers that stand up for it, and that is understood...

Anyone else completely despise extract or have a really bad experiance with it? Anyone really hate it for its demonic flavors? anyone that doesnt stand up for it?

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:25 AM   #2
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I can taste the difference between extract and AG, especially in green beer. Time definately helps. I wouldn't say I despise extract, because, without I might not have ever got into brewing.

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:43 AM   #3
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If you were trying to get someone to try brewing and showed them all your all grain equipment and carboys, kettles, coolers, kegs, bottles, refrigerators and freezers they would respond "Do I have to buy all this stuff just to make beer?".

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:50 AM   #4
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both your guys points ring true, extract definatly has its place, but I think I may have moved beyond it.

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:02 AM   #5
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While I did make some very good beers with just extract and steeping grains, it wasn't until I got away from canned LME that I was able to do so consistently. Using fresher, bulk LME from my LHBS or online stores made a big difference.

Making the jump to partial mash (with about 70% of fermentables from grain) made an enormous difference in quality, and the final leap to all-grain was a lesser but still significant improvement. Beyond that, the opportunities for experimentation and fine tuning are the real benefits of all-grain, and what will keep me interested and enthusiastic about the hobby for years to come. Still, there is a real place for extract in homebrewing, and somebody who knows what they are doing can make excellent beers with it.

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Old 05-06-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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Great point. It was an introduction to me just like bottling to kegging. I brewed one LME batch and bottled it, came acrossed a fridge and my 2nd and 3rd batch will be kegged. It is the same thing w/going from LME/DME to partial and so on. It sounded intimidating to even start brewing beer. Now it's fairly simple and partial mashes intimidate me. I don't want to screw it up. The equipment isn't that much more from what I've read...it's just different! I will get there sooner than later especially if the brews get better. That's is what we're ALL here for!

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #7
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GO the Extract!

I have now produced 28 brews since Christmas (Yeah less than 6 months) and my beer palate has changed significantly. I am happy with my extract brews for 4 reasons.

* I MADE THEM MYSELF
* THEY TASTE BETTER THAN 95% of the beeers I can purchase here in AUS
* I save a LOT of money with every batch.
*I have learned everythign I can about Sanitation, carbonation, kegging, Temperature control Fermenting etc from Extract kits.

When I am convinced that my beers are as good as they can get, and I need to go AG to advance, then I'll do it, but until then, I have nothing but good things to say about extract brewing.

Anyone who says they "despise" extract, has been doing it wrong

As a matter of fact I believe it is INFINITELY easier to screw up an AG batch, which leads me to my next point.... If you can't make good beer with extract, you have NO CHANCE of making good beer from all Grain...especially straight away....

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:31 PM   #8
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in the last 2 1/2 years since i made the switch i've pretty much developed the same opinion steve, but recently i'm thinking that i'm becoming kind of a snob.
here's something to think about. i know the brewmaster at a local brew pub in the area. he used to work at the brew shop i go to, and tasted an extract framboise that i brewed a good while back. when i saw him a few weeks ago, he still remembered the beer and asked me to e-mail him the recipe so he could brew it.
sure the possibilities with all grain are infinitely greater than with extract, but i think what it comes down to though is good beer is good beer.
also, great point wbc. i would have never gotten into it not only due to the intimidation factor, but i couldn't have afforded it all at once and wouldn't have had the patience to wait until i accumulated all the gadgetry.

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindLemonLars View Post
While I did make some very good beers with just extract and steeping grains, it wasn't until I got away from canned LME that I was able to do so consistently. Using fresher, bulk LME from my LHBS or online stores made a big difference.

Making the jump to partial mash (with about 70% of fermentables from grain) made an enormous difference in quality, and the final leap to all-grain was a lesser but still significant improvement.
I believe Monsieur Lemon nailed it. Fresh extract from a place with high turnover is the key to avoiding that "extract twang" or a sameness of taste. Too many award winning beers have been made with extract to dismiss it entirely, though as Ray Daniels points out in "Designing Great Beers," none of those award winners (at least the ones covered in his book) consisted of extract alone. They were all extract+steeping grains or extract plus a partial mash. The jump to AG is one of those margin of diminishing returns things. The potential for quality improvement is there, but at a greatly increased investment in time, energy and money.

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Old 05-06-2008, 01:24 PM   #10
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Is it the extract or the brewer?

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