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Old 09-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default What's the best part of going All Grain?

I recently made the leap myself. Some will say cost savings. Others, better control over your end product.

Personally, I believe the biggest advantage is no more sticky arm hairs from dumping bags of DME into the kettle!

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Old 09-08-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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I think the best part is owning more of the process, turning grain in to beer is satisfying more than mixing extract was for me.

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #3
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I agree with oneandahalf. There's a personal satisfaction I get from the processes of crushing the grain, extracting the malt sugars, etc. My extract beer was/is good, but I like the "hands-on" feeling of making beer from all-grain.

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:04 AM   #4
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Yeah... but those sticky arm hairs!

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:10 AM   #5
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It is like cooking...one of my best meals is opening cans (olives, artichoke hearts, pesto) and tossing in a few other raw ingredients like cherry tomatoes, feta and red onion (the only thing I have to chop) then mix it with pasta...this is extract brewing to me.

All grain would be the same recipe but you make the pasta fresh, break down the artichokes for the hearts (and steam them) buy artisan olives at a specialty store and make the feta from raw goats' milk. Growing the tomatoes yourself is akin to growing hops.

Is one better than the other...depends on how good you are at each step. Is one a lot more work...sure. Is one potentially cheaper if you have all the "stuff" to do it...you bet, especially when you buy in bulk.

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:32 AM   #6
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AG is lots cheaper, especially if you buy malt and hops in bulk, and reuse yeast.

Otherwise, the beer can be comparable quality if well made. I've had terrible AG beers given to me, and excellent extract beers. And vice-versa.

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #7
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I'd probably make objectively better beers if I did extract batches again, with the skills and equipment I now have regarding sanitation, temperature control, etc. But I wouldn't enjoy it anything like as much.

I love planning my malt bill. I love measuring the grain at my LHBS, grinding it myself, and I love every part of the mash from doughing in, to sitting beside the kettle with a good book and a bottle of Adnams to pass the time, to sparging, pouring myself a Hot Scotchie, and kicking the burner back on for the much-anticipated boil.

Drinking the beer is fun and all, but the brewday is eight hours of working with my hands, in the sun, smelling every step of the process and sneaking tastes of the ingredients and wort. It's washing bottles with my son, and telling my wife about what I'm doing and how it's different from last time. It's being excited when a new malt changes the color in a way I didn't expect.

When I brew, I get to have the kind of day I wish I could every day. All grain means there's more of it, and it means I have more details to obsess over when I'm not drinking. Prost!

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Old 09-09-2013, 12:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
AG is lots cheaper, especially if you buy malt and hops in bulk, and reuse yeast.

Otherwise, the beer can be comparable quality if well made. I've had terrible AG beers given to me, and excellent extract beers. And vice-versa.
Wish I had storage to do bulk grains... still $1.75/lb is a lot cheaper than extract.
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:10 AM   #9
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The other thing i forgot to mention is "tinkering" as my wife says. AG gives the shadetree mechanic much more to tinker with and build. Milling tables, mash tun maybe even a false bottom, wort chiller RIMS HERMS E-kettle...you get the idea, for the man or woman who likes to tinker AG is an awesomer hobby than extract

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Old 09-09-2013, 01:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneandahalfshepherds View Post
The other thing i forgot to mention is "tinkering" as my wife says. AG gives the shadetree mechanic much more to tinker with and build. Milling tables, mash tun maybe even a false bottom, wort chiller RIMS HERMS E-kettle...you get the idea, for the man or woman who likes to tinker AG is an awesomer hobby than extract
True story. Done my share of tinkering with extract, but I'm already 2 coolers deep into tinkering with AG.
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