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Old 02-20-2007, 10:00 PM   #11
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I like mini-mashes, even though I'll still do full boils much of the time. Most people would not be able to tell the difference between a mini-mash and all grain. Until you have access to larger equipment, mini-mashing with late extract addition is the way to go.

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I like mini-mashes, even though I'll still do full boils much of the time. Most people would not be able to tell the difference between a mini-mash and all grain. Until you have access to larger equipment, mini-mashing with late extract addition is the way to go.

I have a Chocolate Stout that's as good as any I've ever tasted and that was with an extract with steeping grains. I was considering going AG, and will probably within the next year, but I think right now I am going to move up to doing full boils with extract and steeping grains. I'm also going to get myself a wort chiller. Once I get my process down a bit more and quit having stupid mistakes then I think I will get my AG stuff together. I really can't wait, but right now the beers I am making are pretty damn good so there isn't any rush.



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Old 02-21-2007, 03:39 AM   #13
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Hi Everybody, I just found this forum and i am glad I found this topic. I have done three extract brews, an Extra Pale Ale, a Califoria Common, and an American Wheat. The Pale Ale is the only one that is in bottles and it is very good. The color probably could be a touch lighter, but I can't say I can complain about the quality.

But, like others, I want to take it to the next level and try a partial mash. I am doing an ESB, which should be good for a PM, since I want it to be somewhat high gravity. In trying to figure out how to do the mash, I found this article, which explains how to do a PM in steps using a two-gallon beverage cooler. The grains are put in a strainer bag so that no modifications to the cooler are required. The cooler is drained after each infusion. I am going to give that a try. I already found a two-gallon cooler for $8, so it is definately an affordable way to try mashing.

That same article suggests the "extract late" method. In this method, the extract is added at the end of the boil (last 15 minutes) so that darkening does not occur as much and so that hop utilization is higher.

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Old 02-21-2007, 03:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RafanBrewer
Hi Everybody, I just found this forum and i am glad I found this topic. I have done three extract brews, an Extra Pale Ale, a Califoria Common, and an American Wheat. The Pale Ale is the only one that is in bottles and it is very good. The color probably could be a touch lighter, but I can't say I can complain about the quality.

But, like others, I want to take it to the next level and try a partial mash. I am doing an ESB, which should be good for a PM, since I want it to be somewhat high gravity. In trying to figure out how to do the mash, I found this article, which explains how to do a PM in steps using a two-gallon beverage cooler. The grains are put in a strainer bag so that no modifications to the cooler are required. The cooler is drained after each infusion. I am going to give that a try. I already found a two-gallon cooler for $8, so it is definately an affordable way to try mashing.

That same article suggests the "extract late" method. In this method, the extract is added at the end of the boil (last 15 minutes) so that darkening does not occur as much and so that hop utilization is higher.
I am going to try the late addition of extract on my next brew which will be an IPA. As far as the bag and grains, I hear people say that you lose efficiency using a bag, which is to say you don't extract as much sugar from the grains. Also someone just posted a cooler that was fitted with some SS braid and they used that as their drain filter...seemed like a pretty cool idea to me.
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Old 02-21-2007, 04:57 AM   #15
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I've only done one all-extract. The rest had specilty grains that needed a partial mash.

The one that was all extract had no mouthfeel. Tasted like beer but felt like water.

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Old 02-21-2007, 05:22 AM   #16
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Just my two cents, but one of my brother's friends has won a few competitions, and he does only all extract and steeping specialty grains. I would say that its possible that many of these people who say all grain is better saw an improvement in quality simply from experience. A good brewer can make a good beer out of either extract or all grain. With that said, I just switched to all grain myself to improve quality and save money. I would say that if you don't need to invest a huge amount to graduate to all grain its the way to go.

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Old 02-21-2007, 11:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedaler
With that said, I just switched to all grain myself to improve quality and save money. I would say that if you don't need to invest a huge amount to graduate to all grain its the way to go.
Young Padawan, you still have much to learn. Do not understate the power of the dark side. Once you start down that path, forever will it consume you!!!

You're right, the minimum $$ required can be small. But before long, you're looking at keggles, brew stands, pumps, mills, plate chillers, etc. I'm quite certain that I've never "saved money" by brewing my own beer. But that's OK with me. I like doing it and I make good beer!
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:37 PM   #18
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Young Padawan, you still have much to learn. Do not understate the power of the dark side. Once you start down that path, forever will it consume you!!!
You're right, the minimum $$ required can be small. But before long, you're looking at keggles, brew stands, pumps, mills, plate chillers, etc. I'm quite certain that I've never "saved money" by brewing my own beer. But that's OK with me. I like doing it and I make good beer!
It is tempting to go that route. The hobby is great the beer is even greater but if you are disciplined you can follow the KISS route. Being broke makes this discipline simpler.
My initial set up of a immersion heater pail HLT converted cooler MT and converted keg boiler with propane boiler cost me £80 and I've stuck with it. Any changes I do make will be homebrew lobuck solutions.
The only other change I've made is to get Kegs which are expensive over here but it's a long term investment. The only foreseeable future investment is a kegorater and I have a fridge will make a Tower or get a cheapy ebay one. I already have 2 spigots but may treat myself to a couple of shiny ones. An like I have said previously I am well infron on the £££ equation already.

The other way I keep cost down is to find a bargain buy double what I need and sell the extras to help cover my outlay.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil' Sparky
Young Padawan, you still have much to learn. Do not understate the power of the dark side. Once you start down that path, forever will it consume you!!!

You're right, the minimum $$ required can be small. But before long, you're looking at keggles, brew stands, pumps, mills, plate chillers, etc. I'm quite certain that I've never "saved money" by brewing my own beer. But that's OK with me. I like doing it and I make good beer!

I'm quite sure I'll save money all I've got to do is brew for the next 150 years and then I should break even and start saving money big time!
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:58 PM   #20
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All this is true. I started brewing in August of 2006 and I already have a grain mill, keggle, and 8 corny kegs. Ok, so I like gadgets.

It is true that you make good beer and even win comps with extracts. I made 8 batches of extract + steep and they're all fantastic (other people even think so, so it's not just a fatherly love thing). An interesting phenomenon is that all grain guys will usually claim they taste the difference while extract guys will use the above arguement. In my case, I decided to convert to all grain for purist reasons. It's how its been done forever and I like that nostalgia. In addition, it's more challenging and likely to get you to cloning your favorite commercial brews more accurately. Bottom line, extract brewing just feels like making instant iced tea.

I'd say that I would let you know if I can taste the all grain difference, but it's too late. I've already invested money and time into the equipment so I can't be a neutral party anymore.

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