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Old 07-30-2012, 07:17 AM   #1
ahaley
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Default I've been saying this for a while...

And I haven't done it yet because I'm sill nervous, but! I want to step up to all grain! I want to really feel like I **MADE** this beer instead of extract and speciality grains... Thoughts? I'm on my 3rd 5 gal batch. I've made like 3 of the 2 gal mr beers but I don't count those.. Time to read more about AG until I'm not intimidated by the terms and temps needing to be right! I don't know any AG methods except BIAB, what else is there?

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:31 AM   #2
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Start with BIAB it's so easy. You can even make your own bag with voile material at any fabric place.
I did BIAB as my first try at all grain and trust me, even if you screw up your tempts the beer still turns out great!
I have done plenty of BIAB and accidentally gotten my tempt too high or didnt hold the exact tempt to mash and I've never had an issue. Efficiency is super easy with BIAB and as long as your pot is big enough the only cost will be $5 to get the material to make your bag.
If you do sew a bag try to make it a little conical shaped, helps when you are draining. Good luck!

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Old 07-30-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
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I started doing biab after my first extract beer. Its not a big leap in required know our tools, but its a huge leap in control .

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Old 07-30-2012, 10:21 AM   #4
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I had about 5 or 6 partial mash/extract brews under my melt and just went 100% All Grain in May. DO IT! Don't be intimidated -- just look at it as a learning experience and getting to know your brews better. Start with something simple like a pale ale, blonde or Hefe. The coolest thing for me while doing my first AG recipe was actually missing my temps. I ended up hitting 148* instead of 153* and the final product was a really dry hefe do to the low mash temp. Guess what? Turns out I like dry hefes better than the fuller bodied ones to style. You can also tweak you temps while brewing by using ice or boiling water.

I pult a Cooler Mash Tun for less than $70 and get about 78% efficiency, PM me if you want the run down on how I put it together.

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Old 07-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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These are good suggestions. I'll add one: I started w/ 2.5gal batches to make things manageable and leave half as much if I messed up. Made my first three AG brew days very enjoyable. Also, prep & measure all you ingredients ahead of time so you can focus on the new process.

Above all, don't be afraid of it. After switching I wondered what the big deal is

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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Trust us. The one common thing I always hear from people who went AG is how much easier it really was than they thought it was going to be. If you've done extract batches, then you have most of the process down. The ONLY things different are mashing, which is mostly knowing how much water to put in your grain and what temperature. Lots of people here can give you those numbers and show you how to get them yourself.

The rest of the process is exactly the same. Get temp down ASAP, oxygenate, pitch correct amount of healthy yeast and control the fermentation temps.

The mashing part is actually pretty easy. I would suggest having a bag of extract on hand just in case you miss your OG wildly though. It's better to have that to fall back on than make something that is not close to what you wanted.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
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Heh. Remember, beer was probably made by accident the first time, by leaving barley out in the rain. If it can be done by accident, how hard can it be?
Seriously, if you start with BIAB, it's cake. You put the grains in the bag, soak them in water, take the grains out and boil. Dead simple.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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I made the jump to all grain after a year of doing extracts and mini mashes.

I made a zapap mash tun with buckets i had lying around to 'feel the process' out before i went out and built a cooler mlt.

All grain is definitely easier than it seems and grants you much more control over your final product.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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I would switch to a couple of partial mash batches. Use the BIAB method for these. You can even start with 5 gallon paint strainer bags if you want to (about $3 at Home Depot). You will get a little more trub than a true fine mesh BIAB bag, but it will work fine for the 3-4 lbs of mashable malt in a PM batch. The beautiful thing about PM is you still have extract to back you up if you miss your efficiencies. More forgiving of mistakes. If you like it (and you will), you can decide if you want to BIAB or use a mash/lauter tun for all grain.

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Old 07-30-2012, 04:19 PM   #10
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I remember being nervous and frazzled the first brew day I decided to jump into all-grain (it was my third brew ever). In the end...I made beer. Decent beer, too.

Jump into it, (BIAB is a great starter method, check out deathbrewer's sticky on it). You'll laugh at yourself when you see how easy it really is.

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