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Old 08-18-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
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Default since switching to all-grain.....

There was a recent post questioning whether switching to all grain would overall improve the brewing of beer. As a preface, i am answering this question while drinking my latest all grain cream ale, so maybe i am biased, but without a doubt, my answer is YES!
I can absolutely attest to a SIGNIFICANT improvement of beer since making the move to AG. To quantify this statement, i submit the following: when i brewed extract (and i did for years), i did in the end have beer, but it almost always had a dinstintive "homebrew" taste to it. Also, with brutal honesty here, my HB was never betterthan something i could buy. Right now drinking this latest HB, i can say that this beer tastes 10 x better than the commercial creams i have ever had. No "HB" taste whatsoever. In fact, the taste brings me back to my younger days when we would steal my dads "Gennessee Cream Ale", but like i said, way better. This was my 3rd attempt at AG, and i knew from the first batch i was onto something. I will leave it up to the pro's here (moderators) to dissect my opinion, but here is one man's experience. Cheers my friends!!!

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:17 AM   #2
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I have to agree. I brewed 2 extract kits just to learn the ropes and then switched to AG. I feel confident that I can discern an extract from AG with my eyes closed. The food analogy is a good one. Fresh ingredients vs canned/dehydrated extract? Which do you THINK is going to taste better!?

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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I've tasted some excellent extract homebrews that would be difficult to distinguish from all-grain, but I agree that most of them have that "homebrew" taste that isn't too pleasant.

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Old 08-18-2012, 01:12 AM   #4
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I'm not quite so sure. I made 4 extract and 4 partial mash while collecting my AG gear. A couple of those were among my best.

But I enjoy the process of AG more than extracts. I have read the analogy of baking a cake using a boxed recipe or making the same cake from scratch and which is more satisfying.

I like brewing from scratch. That reminds me, I am waiting for a cooler day to dig into my 55lb sack of Maris Otter!

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Old 08-18-2012, 01:56 AM   #5
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I rarely do extracts but when I do, I do at least, some steeping and 90% of the time, a partial mash and it is significantly better than plain extract.
That said, extract is so much better than what I used in the early 80's, not to mention the quality of the yeast is much better as well.

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:09 AM   #6
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Yes indeed. Stay thirsty my friend.

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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100% agree i recently made the switch from 5 gal extract to 10 gal all grain. I did extract for 3 years and was never 100% satisfied with the results. My first all grain batch was easily 10 x better than any extract I have made. And its the same price to make twice as much beer. Only down side I can think of is the 5 hour brew sessions instead of 2 hours. And the clean up.

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Old 08-18-2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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Ive only been brewing since may and I started on extract kits, they tasted ok but now I do AG mini mash brews 3 gallon batches, this way I can do more brewing and loads of different batches. I think that if u enjoy brewing then AG is best but if u just wanna make a quick batch and care more about time saving then extract is the answer.

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Old 08-18-2012, 06:27 PM   #9
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Some further self-analysis: even though some of my procedures HAVE improved over time (better wort chilling, lower ferm temps, bigger boils), this has been a gradual improvement over many years. The dramatic improvement occurred on my first AG; and i knew right away when i drank the green beer (my FG test vial) coming out of the carboy. No twang, just great "real" beer taste and best of all..........this has been confirmed by others as well.

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Old 08-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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I guess that's one of the great things about the hobby, you can "move forward" at your own pace, when you have the time and money and ultimately....u always have beer to show for your efforts.

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