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Old 01-08-2013, 08:21 PM   #21
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The newsletter email I got from BeerSmith today was a one-pager on switching to all-grain and even that was kind of wordy!

Now, while I'm still very new at brewing, I did two extract batches and two all-grain BIAB. I mean it took all of an extra hour and barely any extra equipment.. my immediate thoughts were exactly that... "why do people freak out over this?".

The door you open to all-grain isn't much bigger or harder to open than the door to extract brewing... it's just the room you're entering that is so much larger.

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Old 01-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #22
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IMO, I think the biggest problem with a small faction of homebrewers, is that they forget we were all beginners once. That and everyone wants to try to impart all the wisdom they've acquired over the years into your first brew. Amongst this smaller group, you find a lot of "This is the only way and that to make good beer, you have to do it exactly this way." It's easy to get system overload when watching what other people do. I think after gaining all the knowledge, it's easy to forget that for the first timer, get the basics down, then work on perfection.

There are a bunch of things that over all, will make the process much smoother, but if you already are brewing extracts, really, the only other thing you need to go all grain is a mash tun. Once you get that squared away, I say go for it and brew a beer. The only real water quality issue I would worry about this early in the game is chlorine/chloramine in the water. If you have it, you either want to remove it or use pure water from the store. This is the one thing that will flat out ruin a beer, no matter how well you completed all of your other steps.

So, with that, go for it. it's not hard at all, it does take some more time than extract, but it's well worth it in the end. I've only brewed 5 all grain batches so far and just as a reference, I started heating my strike water at 7:30 am on Sunday morning, by 1 pm, I had everything cleaned up, yeast pitched and was sitting, drinking a beer watching football. Once you do a couple of batches, you learn your system and it becomes really easy. It still takes the time, but it can easily be streamlined.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:00 PM   #23
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It's only as difficult as you make it. It can be as simple as a single infusion and batch sparge or as complicated as a triple decoction and fly sparge. Take your pick.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:04 PM   #24
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This is a presentation I did at 2010 NHC about going all grain....

http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-cont...Denny_Conn.pdf

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:07 PM   #25
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I actually just decided one day to do all grain. That was before I'd ever brewed anything, and I was actually in Afghanistan at the time. I did one extract recipe to get started while I was still assembling the brew stand. I don't think it's hard. I've only done 5 so far, and can say that I'm happy with the results of all of them. Except the wort volume of the porter. Undershot the amount of water needed for that one.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:17 PM   #26
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I think the beauty of this hobby is that it can be as simple or complicated as you make it. Some guys are perfectly happy following both extract and all-grain kits. Other guys want to get way into the nitty gritty of hopping schedules and techniques, water reports, etc.

Either way good beer is made (and drunk!) and it bums me out when some people put down extract brewers or make AG seem like rocket science.

This hobby is what you make of it - and in the end the beer will be good either way.

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabass07 View Post
It's only as difficult as you make it. It can be as simple as a single infusion and batch sparge or as complicated as a triple decoction and fly sparge. Take your pick.
This ^^^^, some people like to get technical, I have done it numerous ways. Currently I am using the K.I.S.S. method, some of my best brews have also been some of the very simplest.

That being said, if one day you want to enter your beers in a competition, you will need to track certain details of the brew.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:41 PM   #28
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I will say this though. Considering that you are relying on enzymes to do your work for you and you have to get them in the right temperature range, I still haven't gotten over the "amazement" phase of the AG brewing process. Probably never will. I spend the bulk of a day mashing, boiling, chilling and pitching. But it never fails. I wake up the next day and see a layer of Krausen on my wort and think ... "I'll be damned. It worked again."

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Old 01-08-2013, 09:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbiLynn View Post
Because, you know, we aren't worthy.
Like Gordon Strong put it... Extract is like making Koolaid. All hail to the all-gainers! Good Grief.

In my experience, the switch was not hard, I actually enjoyed it more than any other brewing experience. What's funny is, this never crossed my mind before I did it. It's seriously a lot of psych-out. Just have to get the volumes right and that's about it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
This is a presentation I did at 2010 NHC about going all grain....

http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-cont...Denny_Conn.pdf
My man, that is some good stuff right there. You have communication skills and left your ego out of it. Wanted to just convince people that it's easy. Then ease them into some nitty gritty.

I have to say, one of the best videos I've seen on all grain brewing is this one:

Just a guy with a Virginia Tech t-shirt drinking beer and showing you how it's done in his tiny apartment kitchen while his girlfriend films it. You can almost brew along with him if you pause and play the video as needed. Just simple, and he even explains fly sparging.

My advice to anybody interested in what it takes would be to grab a beer and just watch that video straight through. Then watch it a second time, but this time get a piece of paper and see if you can create a simple set of instructions in your own words. Also have a beer. If you get upset for any reason, stop watching, have another beer and then watch this nonsense to clear your head.


Then try again.

It's so startlingly easy it will motivate you to place one order on amazon for $87.45 for the 10-gallon cooler and parts you need to build your mash tun (assembly takes 10 minutes). Forget the money... You'll save that money in the long run by not buying extract trust me.

The only issue I ran into was I needed a 1/2 inch adapter to connect the bazooka screen to the valve. Female on both ends. Got that for under a buck at Home Depot. If you find that you need it just bring the valve and screen to home depot and tell the guy you need the piece to connect them. EASY EASY EASY!

Yes there are various options. But if you just want to get going, buy all of this in one order and you're ready. I promise it will work for you, and really that's all you want right? You can expand your horizons later. Your friends will think you're a genius just for getting this far.

EDIT-Get yourself a 10 gallon boil pot too. Not cheap! But for a 5 gallon batch you'll want to boil about 7 to 7.5 gallons in one pass.

And then you can get your own blog... And the cycle of all grain intimidation starts again...

http://www.amazon.com/Igloo-Gallon-B...+gallon+cooler

http://www.amazon.com/Weld-Homebrew-...homebrew+valve

http://www.amazon.com/Bazooka-Screen...ref=pd_sim_k_1

zc
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