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.
That's really the whole issue right there, isn't it? Those that have spent the time and money to go all grain have a vested interest and need to feel that their time and money was well spent. Those that don't have the money (or desire) don't want to feel inadequate and point to the extract competition winners to make themselves feel good. In the end, I'll bet it is almost impossible to find a truly unbiased opinion on this.
There's nothing to be Biased about.
If you are doubting the word of the majority of posters on here then that's an issue you'll have to cope with.
You can make damn good beer with extract and you can make crap beer with extract. But I'd guess it's difficult to compete with the best craft brewed commercials.
With all grain you can make great beer and control every aspect of the out come. If you get it wrong then you may fail. But because you can brew to your own taste and criteria if you get it right then you have a very good chance of brewing beer that is as good as and even better than the commercials.
Most people on here I should imagine have integrity and would like to think tell the truth on how their beer turns out rather than justifying how much money they have spent.
I for one have no need to convert people to All grain just because I have spent £££s on equipment.
All grain is not for every one for many reasons but I believe all those who have done it when they say they have seen a cost reduction in ingredients and a determinable increase in quality and satisfaction.
I love the AG process...the detail...the timing...the mad scientist glasses I get to wear.
My last two batches were indoor extracts with steeped grains (mmmmm steeped grains) because it was 4 below zero and 40 MPH winds outside.
Saturday I am going outside to do an AG version of an English Ale Extract I did about 8 weeks ago and I only hope it tastes as awesome as that batch did.
My favorite right now...my extract chocolate stout in bottles.
My favorite right now...my AG Porter that just got kegged last weekend.
That's right...I have two favorites.
Like I said...I love it all and they both have advantages:
Extract - 2-3 hours total time
AG - More fun and I love my neighbors reaction when I'm in the garage.
Extract - Great results if you steep some specialty grains.
AG - Nothing tastes as wholesome as an AG brew.
They also have disadvantages:
Extract - Expense
AG - Set aside 6-8 hours
Extract - Ya don't get to break out the witches brew kettle and Propane
AG - Ya gotta clean up the kettle and put the propane away
I look at it like this, I can stop by the vegetable stand on the side of the road and buy some awesome tomatoes...or I can put a seed in the ground and sweat, and worry, and labor and love those little b@st@rds until they yield my first tomato.
Truth is...they're both going to taste great...but that one I grew from scratch...?