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Old 01-15-2007, 06:07 PM   #11
g0dolphins
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I got started in the hobby back in November, and have only slowly been tweaking my advanced kit (LHBS @ $90) since then, all the while reading about and brewing beyond the initial kit to extracts (ingredients and recipes, etc.)

Then I went to a brew day over the weekend and watched/discussed the AG method. For me, more often than not, it was 'ah, ok, this I have read about, and now I see it being used'. While I appreciate the AG method, for me I want to slowly build up my equipment and experience by continuing to make a few more extract batches. What convinced me this was the way to go was that the brewer stated he could tell a difference in taste each time he improved his ingredients and technique, having started out with extracts and only going to AG when he felt ready to do so. Also, I was thinking and asking about $$$ the whole time, so that is something you might want to discuss as well:
-This is your basic equipment and cost, and how much extra you are going to spend to make AG.
-Also, mention the time element. Extract can take as little as 3 hours. The guys at the brew day said 6-8 for AG, from cleaning and setup to tear down and cleaning.

Good Luck!

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Old 01-19-2007, 01:32 AM   #12
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I have a friend that got interested in brewing while I was still doing extract. He came over and watched me brew a 5 gallon batch. While the water was heating, we bottled the stout that was in my fermenter. I drew him a glass of the flat beer to try. He'd never had dark beer before, but fell in love with what we've come to call the " hoppy goodness". We brewed a 10 gallon batch together a month later. I switched to AG after that. He watched /helped me with the first 5 gal batch. We brewed 14 gallons together after that( 10 gal. stout, 4 gal. small beer, heck, it's still beer!). He's now in the process of building a brewstand. It is a good feeling to bring someone into the hobby and have them take off with it. We work together and our coworkers dread hearing us talk brewing, though they all want some of the beer.
Walk your friend through it without being too technical. Do the mash and explain that what happens is pure magic, don't mention enzymes or chains of atoms. When you reach the boil, you might mention that this is where you'd start if you were using extract, and brew from there. You might also explain that the extra hour plus that you spend on AG more than makes up for the additional cost of extract vs. AG. If you get him to invest in a carboy and airlock, you could do a 10 gal batch and let him take half of it home so that he can witness the wonder of fermentation firsthand on a day to day basis. I have a feeling that once he goes from heating the strike water to drinking the beer, he'll be hooked. Help him all you can. The world needs more brewers

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Old 01-19-2007, 01:44 AM   #13
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good post! I'll be interested to keep an eye on this one (for selfish reasons).

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Secondary: - n/a
Bottled: - Miss Maxine's Nutty Brown Ale
Drinking: - Pancho's Pride Porter, Cooper Duper's Irish Red
On Deck: - Spitfire clone
Brew. Drink. Repeat.
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Old 01-19-2007, 02:00 AM   #14
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I started out last fall with extract and was fairly pleased with the process but not necessarily the product. Being a biologist by training and a chemist by trade naturally I couldn't wait to dive into AG. My investment in AG equipment was probably less than $200.00, but now I make the best beer that I have ever tasted. I have a couple of brews under my belt now and cant wait for Saturday every week because I know that is brew day! My second AG batch was an American lager. Now I know that everyone just let out a collective snicker but believe it or not my wife only like crappy beer, so I made that batch especially for her. It was much more complicated than making "good" beer because of all of the rests involved. I hit most of my temps except the 158 c at the end. I later learned of decoction which should greatly simplify things if I ever have to make "rice" beer again.

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Old 01-19-2007, 02:51 AM   #15
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I started with no mentor last fall because I like beer, and I had been making wine for a while so I already had most of the equipment. I did 4 extract batches with steeping grains before I took the plunge into AG last month. Through out the whole process, my father kept telling me that the only reason people brew beer is to get smashed for cheaper. Last weekend he finally had the opportunity to tast 3 of my batches. During each beer, he said "Hey, this is wonderful!" I tried to get him to brew a batch with me on Sunday, but he was too busy playing with his new grandson. I understand.

After my first AG batch, I had the opportunity to brew with a much more experience brewer, who was seeking to mentor me. We brewed an AG batch together on his equipment, and I learned a bunch. He is pretty old school, brewing with fly sparges, and working out of very old books. He makes very good brew. I was telling him about my batch cooler setup with the toilet strainer and my turkey fryer, and he was criticizing my set-up about how I couldn't get nearly the extraction, filteration, or temperature control. Then he tried one of my Cheesefood Cream Ales. Then I told him my mash efficiency and total brewing time. He then had lots of questions about my set-up.

I think that we both took a lot out of the brewing lesson. I got some great tips, and he has requested that we do it at my place with my equipment next time.

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Old 01-19-2007, 03:40 AM   #16
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Yeah, as a "brewbie" I have to admit that while I'm eager to get more control over my beer and really make my -own- beers without extracts, when I look at the AG equipment and process I get a little worried. Sadly, the only person I know who homebrews is about a 6 hour drive north, so it'll be tough for me to find a mentor who can really help me pick out gear and so on.

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Old 01-20-2007, 01:02 AM   #17
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Lucky for you, there's a crowd of them right here. Some of the people here may disagree from time to time on the proper way to do things, but we all have one thing in common. We make better beer than we can buy. We're all pretty much able to suit a beer to our own individual tastes. Who could want more than that? I'm still fairly ignorant, but I've gleaned enough good advice here that all grain brewing is no longer the big scary monster it once was. Everybody started somewhere,and we're all willing to help you along.

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Old 01-20-2007, 01:07 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whelk
Yeah, as a "brewbie" I have to admit that while I'm eager to get more control over my beer and really make my -own- beers without extracts, when I look at the AG equipment and process I get a little worried. Sadly, the only person I know who homebrews is about a 6 hour drive north, so it'll be tough for me to find a mentor who can really help me pick out gear and so on.
How far are you from the Berkshires? Three hours, maybe? I'm not the *most* experienced AG brewer out there, but you're welcome to come up some weekend and clean up for me.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:41 PM   #19
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being new to home brewing I have looked at all grain and even partial, would like to get into it but have no one around me that I know of for the training, as of know I will keep on with buying the kits reading books and drinking my kit beer and soaking up all the knowledge I can on advancing my setup and brews from you guys! thanks for all the knowledge.

if anyone is in my area I would sure like to have a brew day to see the process all the way through of all grain

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