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Old 12-03-2012, 05:12 AM   #31
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I know Gordon Strong gets a lot of flak for that comment, but I agree with him: to some extrent it's the difference between baking a cake out of a box and making the cake yourself from scratch. Part of it is just meaningless pride, but its fun and gratifying to do it yourself.

That said, I still do extract batches all the time if it fits what I'm trying to do - if I want to make a simple pale ale to figure out what a new hop varietal tastes like, I'm not going to spend three hours doing a mash. I also make simple fruit-wheat beers out of extract as well.

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Old 12-03-2012, 06:22 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by mooshimanx View Post
I know Gordon Strong gets a lot of flak for that comment, but I agree with him: to some extrent it's the difference between baking a cake out of a box and making the cake yourself from scratch. Part of it is just meaningless pride, but its fun and gratifying to do it yourself.
I understand what you are saying, but it seems nothing but arbitrary to say that AG is the difference between actually maker beer or not. Sooner or later some other pretentious homebrewer will come along who malts his own grain, or grows and harvests his own grain. He'll proceed to thump his chest and proclaim that if you don't harvest your own grains, you're not a real brewer. I don't dispute that gordon strong knows a lot about beer, but that has always pissed me off that he dismisses extract brewers so arbitrarily. For the record I'm an AG brewer myself.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:29 AM   #33
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If you are asking why use grain instead of extract, then the answer is that it's not for you. That simple.


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i hope one day i can try algrains brewing it sounds fun but what do u do with all the leftover grains or does it all dissolve into the beer?
The grain is mashed. The water converts the starch to sugar and the sugar is carried in the water. You drain the water and throw the grain away or use it for whatever you want.
Go to youtube and do a search for mashing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:45 AM   #34
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AG is a lot more work. You also, IMHO, get a lot more out of it.

For any given recipe (my rough estimate):
% Technique during and after fermentation is 75%
% Technique during the boil is 5%
% Technique during the mash is 20%

In my opinion, you're letting someone else create 20% of the beer. That's not a *bad* thing... and you can still make amazing beer, but (again, IMO) it's true.

Technique during malting (or any other ingredient) is a tiny fraction of the above. Choosing malts, hops, etc. is recipe formulation (not technique).

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Old 12-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by TheBeerist View Post
I understand what you are saying, but it seems nothing but arbitrary to say that AG is the difference between actually maker beer or not. Sooner or later some other pretentious homebrewer will come along who malts his own grain, or grows and harvests his own grain. He'll proceed to thump his chest and proclaim that if you don't harvest your own grains, you're not a real brewer. I don't dispute that gordon strong knows a lot about beer, but that has always pissed me off that he dismisses extract brewers so arbitrarily. For the record I'm an AG brewer myself.
I think that's kind of a false equivalence. The difference between extract brewing and all-grain and all-grain and estate brewing is pretty vast since there really isn't some variety of malt you can't get beyond making it yourself. I don't see how its arbitrary at all in the sense that you flat out can't do a number of things in brewing a beer without mashing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by TheBeerist View Post
Sooner or later some other pretentious homebrewer will come along who malts his own grain, or grows and harvests his own grain. He'll proceed to thump his chest and proclaim that if you don't harvest your own grains, you're not a real brewer.
I think it's fair to say that you don't have to raise your own cattle to be a chef, but if you only making TV dinners, some would question it if you're calling yourself a cook.

It's kind of like making ice tea from a powder mix and calling it homemade because you added a lemon.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:30 PM   #37
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I think it's fair to say that you don't have to raise your own cattle to be a chef, but if you only making TV dinners, some would question it if you're calling yourself a cook.

It's kind of like making ice tea from a powder mix and calling it homemade because you added a lemon.
That's not really fair, though. The amount of work difference between instant and homemade is easily 1000%. (Not that it's difficult to make tea at all). The difference between extract and all grain is probably more like 20% overall.

Both sides in the conversation are taking extreme points of view. That's an argument, not a discussion.

Regarding Estate Brewing - that is another step that someone could take to gain more control over the process, but each step is increasingly minute. There are many, many grains to choose from to the point where you'll have more control over the end product than if you malted and/or grew the grain yourself. The same goes for growing your own hops. At a homebrew scale it's practically impossible to accurately determine the effect the hops will have. Even craft breweries can't determine the exact effect when fresh hopping.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:25 PM   #38
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You have to remember it's not just homebrewing. All hobbies that have various degrees of complexity and fanaticism deal with this. In the end you have to do what gives you the most personal satisfaction. An example is that If I can I would rather buy brewing equipment off the shelf and ready to go. Others would rather make the equipment themselves. One is not better than the other.

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Old 12-04-2012, 12:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malweth View Post
AG is a lot more work. You also, IMHO, get a lot more out of it.

For any given recipe (my rough estimate):
% Technique during and after fermentation is 75%
% Technique during the boil is 5%
% Technique during the mash is 20%

In my opinion, you're letting someone else create 20% of the beer. That's not a *bad* thing... and you can still make amazing beer, but (again, IMO) it's true.

Technique during malting (or any other ingredient) is a tiny fraction of the above. Choosing malts, hops, etc. is recipe formulation (not technique).
I think you are vastly underrating the ingredent selection and quantity as well as quality of each which takes your mash technique up a bit higher since they are related in some fashion.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:59 AM   #40
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I think you are vastly underrating the ingredent selection and quantity as well as quality of each which takes your mash technique up a bit higher since they are related in some fashion.
THIS!!!

and I enjoy the process. extract can NOT replace the whole process. I brewed with extract for about 13 years. made some great beers. I finally expanded and enjoy it.
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