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Old 01-09-2013, 02:43 AM   #41
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I have never brewed extract... I know nothing about it so it intimidates me. Just for perspective.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:16 AM   #42
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I brewed an extract batch for my first, then extract with steeping grains, then went AG and have to say I think I had a harder time trying to figure the difference between partial mash and all grain till I realized it was the SAME PROCESS. Your just "mashing" base malt and "steeping" the specialty grains. Cut it any way you like it's all the same process.
Grain+hot water+time=wort
Wort+yeast+more time=beer.
And it really is just that easy. I had a harder time trying to decide if I wanted to fly or batch sparge than I did "figuring out" mashing.
As said earlier. It's only has to be as complex as you want it to be.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:19 AM   #43
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I'm almost done getting AG stuff together. I was intimidated by it for a while but mostly because of all the different equipment you can buy. Once I got looking around on here and look at the catalogs with a clearer head I realized that's its not as scary and decided to start getting my AG brewery together. I did have a similar experience at my LHBS when I was buying stuff for a partial mash and they were telling me I needed a mash tun and everything and I should just buy their oatmeal stout recipe. I really wish I had another LHBS.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:35 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
This is a presentation I did at 2010 NHC about going all grain....

http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-cont...Denny_Conn.pdf
Great presentation Denny. To the point, simple and fun.. That's what brewing really is!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:13 AM   #45
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at $5/lb.. i hate buying extract... especially for the beers I like to make.

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Old 01-09-2013, 12:00 PM   #46
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I started out extract brewing with a small kettle on the stovetop, using icewater to cool the wort and get volume for pitching yeast. Liquid transfer consisted of pouring water into a bucket, racking to a bottling bucket, and using a bottling wand. Simple, effective, cost only one pot. Recipes are like making hot chocolate, add syrup and or powder to hot water.

The switch to all grain CAN include quite a bit of equipment costs, however I sourced everything for my mash tun plus a cooker plus an 11 gallon kettle new, and used 316 stainless fittings, and I am still under $200. I don't rack to a second vessel either, I leave it on the cake till I bottle. Many things can start to add costs, and many make them sound like necessary steps to making good beer, and it's just not so. Many make it out to be this intimidating task, but the reality is, you follow a recipe. That recipe can be complicated, or simple, and it is a lot like making coffee. Award winning beer has been made with very simple processes on very basic equipment setups. If you like, or even just are ok with variety, you can stop here. Gaining real consistency and repeatability can bring on a whole new slew of requirements, anything from knowing ambient temperature and being able to control your cooker, to an automated setup....

I think many people who are interested get confused by those who make claims about something being the best way to make the best beer, and then they get lost. This is one of the biggest problems with the internet, and this forum as well. there are literally thousands of threads about the same topic, each with different responses (I missed my og, fly or batch, etc). Read through it all, sort the wheat from the chaff for yourself, and you will find what works for you. It takes time to do it. Once I found the stickies, it went a lot faster though. :-)

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Old 01-09-2013, 01:21 PM   #47
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We will all encounter turds in all hobbies. I fooled around with extract brewing about ten years ago and never felt like I was getting the results I wanted, I stopped and decided to go AG once I hade the time and money and space, that was ten years ago, I'm now gathering all the parts and equipment to build a single tier system. The system will consist of three kegs with tops cut off and feature a HERMS system controlled buy a PID, build thread to follow soon, any way my point is we should do what we feel comfortable doing, dam the naysayers!

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Old 01-09-2013, 01:28 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilSwillBasementBrews View Post
Grain+hot water+time=wort
Wort+yeast+more time=beer.
And it really is just that easy.
Yes! For me, once I wrapped my head around that simple fact the rest fell into place. More or less, steeping grain in hot water MAKES EXTRACT. After I realized I could make it, why should I be tricked into spending $5/pound for extract? No wonder the LHBS guy wants me to stay an extract brewer. He probably makes more profit from the extract sales.

It's exactly like making french press coffee.
1. Grind the beans
2. Heat water to a specific temp
3. Add the beans, stir them, and let them steep for a while
4. Drain out the juicy goodness.

Steep for too long, or too hot, and you get bitterness. Keep your process the same only add more beans, and you get a bigger bolder cup of coffee.

I thought making french press coffee was intimidating until I did it. Now I can't imagine drinking coffee any other way. I still make coffee in my coffee maker when I don't have the time, but I can immediately tell the difference. French press coffee is richer and smoother. More flavorful and aromatic. Drip or "K-cup" coffee has a stale and bitter flavor that we've been convinced is normal, but fixable (add cream for the richness and sugar to neutralize the bitter).
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:43 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippyclown


It's exactly like making french press coffee.
1. Grind the beans
2. Heat water to a specific temp
3. Add the beans, stir them, and let them steep for a while
4. Drain out the juicy goodness.

Steep for too long, or too hot, and you get bitterness. Keep your process the same only add more beans, and you get a bigger bolder cup of coffee.

I thought making french press coffee was intimidating until I did it. Now I can't imagine drinking coffee any other way. I still make coffee in my coffee maker when I don't have the time, but I can immediately tell the difference. French press coffee is richer and smoother. More flavorful and aromatic. Drip or "K-cup" coffee has a stale and bitter flavor that we've been convinced is normal, but fixable (add cream for the richness and sugar to neutralize the bitter).
Exactly! Amazing how making an excellent cup of coffee is similar to making a good home brew. I recently go into espresso, some will say its too expensive and not worth the effort, much like putting together a good AG set-up it can be pricey but the pay off is worth it, not to mention its much cheaper in the end and WAY more fun. I can't wait till I have my single tier up and running and tasting the fruits of my labor.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #50
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I don't think AG is "hard," but it is more finicky than extract. Specifically, you have to pay more attention to temperatures. With extract, you can ignore temperatures. All you need to know is "is it boiling yet?" All grain demands that we nail a very specific temperature range, and that can take a little experience.

As others have mentioned, there is also the added cost of additional equipment, such as the aforementioned thermometer, as well as a scale (for weighing grains), mill (for milling grains), campden and fermcap tablets, irish moss, gelatin or isinglass, a chiller capable of cooling 5.5 gallons of wort rather than merely 3 gallons, a mash tun, possibly an outdoor propane burner, and a bigger boil kettle. But those don't really add much in terms of difficulty - merely expense. To me, the only hard part is nailing that mash temperature.

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