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Old 02-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #1
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Default Why all grain?

I'm still new to brewing, and I'm just doing extract brewing at the moment..but why all grain? My friend said you get a higher yield from extract, and I can have my LHBS mill the grain and make a dme of exactly what I want at no extra cost.(EX 6 lbs wheat, 1 lb dark)

Is it it more fun, challenging, etc? Just looking for a reason to buy all grain equipment, I guess.



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Old 02-20-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
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My big ones are cheaper (once amortized), more control on the process, ingredients, fermentability, and just plain more fun. Downsides are longer brew days and more equipment to clean.



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Old 02-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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I would say it is more fun and challenging. I do it because I can exercise more control over the process.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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Going all grain gives you complete control over the beer. Once you have the equipment it is cheaper. I have only done one batch using extract and decided that I wanted to go all grain. It is not that expensive to get the equipment I built most of mine myself. I do know that buying grain is much cheaper than buying extract and I control the color, the amount of fermentable and non-fermentables. In my opinion all grain is just plain fun!

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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your LHBS can make custom DME!??!?

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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Wow a LHBS that cooks their own extract in-house?

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #7
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There's nothing wrong with extract brewing, I did it for years. However, all grain gives you control over factors that you don't have control with using extracts. Want a beer with more body? Mash at a higher temp. Want a beer with less body? Mash at a lower temp. Want your base grains to be based on region specific malts? There are all kinds of things you can do differently by going all grain.

After accounting for equipment, it is much cheaper. I typically use 9 lbs of base grain in a recipe, and I'm paying ~64 cents per pound. So, my base grain is running me $6 per batch. The equivalent in DME is ~6 lbs, which runs $4 per pound, so that's $24, or 4X what I paid. If you brew frequently, the equipment pays for itself.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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When I started I went directly to all-grain. Not sure I would recommend that today. The all-grain/extract choice is about how you make wort, or extract. And that's not the most important choice you'll make if you're interested in brewing better beer. If you have satisfied yourself that you're doing all you can do on the cold side with pitching rate, fermentation temp control and aeration then and only then would I recommend the relative distraction of all grain. I love my all-grain process and I get reliable, consistent extract yields. But I'd give up my mash tun long before I'd give up my chest freezer and controller, my oxygen kit or my starters. Build knowledge and control of the fermentation process before going all grain. I know I'm assuming you haven't done all this. If you have, pardon me. Go for it.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Why all grain? Why are bushes bushy?

Its fun. This is a hobby after all.

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Old 02-20-2012, 07:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhamilton View Post
Wow a LHBS that cooks their own extract in-house?
Quote:
Originally Posted by motobrewer View Post
your LHBS can make custom DME!??!?
Yup, that's why I'm kinda debating whether or not I would even want to do all grain. Based on what everyone is saying, I will probably do it once I have money rolling in(I just moved and it took me 3 months to find a job =/ ) Just because I love a challenge, and everyone is saying you have more control...which I like.

The only thing I really do like about extract is that I know the exact outcome every time..There is little to no chance my beer will taste different if I put the exact amount of extract/hops/additives in each time. I've done 2 batches of "my own recipe" and they turned out exactly the same. I don't know if that means extract truly is impossible to mess up, or if I have a talent haha.

I appreciate everyone's input, and I'd love to hear more


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