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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > if 90% are extract brewing. why the sudden rush to all grain ?




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Old 07-26-2012, 07:03 PM   #21
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I did two extract + specialty-grain batches. Both came out pretty well (Though the second, quite sadly, went bad after a few months in bottles. The truly unfortunate thing was that I discovered this when the scoresheets came back with dismal numbers and comments about its being astringent, unpleasant, and, "hard to drink," which was completely at odds with my opinion... opened the last bottle that was lying around and, well, there was a bug of some sort in there!)

I've been doing partial mashes since then, mostly because I can. The beers have been as good or better, though I think that's as much a function of some experience and recipe choices as anything. I am just doing BIAB partial mashing, so the additional equipment is just a mesh bag, and it takes an extra couple hours on brew day. To me, though, I enjoy the additional process steps. I'm not just brewing beer for the beer itself, I like to take part in as much of the process as I can. Someday I'll probably go to all-grain, but the space and equipment for that step are not going to fit in my lifestyle right now.

Projecting my own thoughts on the world at large, I think this is probably a common reason. Many people like to DIY all the way, and all-grain is "more DIY" than extract brewing. Note that there is a lot further you can take it---developing and propagating yeast strains, etc---but all-grain is a definite plateau in terms of cost and complexity. Taking over much more of the process at home requires a much larger investment in equipment, time, and expertise, so it's a natural spot for a lot of people to settle.

I don't know that I see people who look down on extract brewers very often, though perhaps people are sometimes quick to encourage others to go to all-grain. That's a bit unfair, as not everyone does or needs to aspire to go to all grain, but at the same time I don't see this as being a serious problem. If you don't want to, just ignore that suggestion. It's been mentioned above that "support" in terms of kits is plentiful for extract brewers. It's perhaps true that recipes are harder to come by on here for extract brewers, but that's probably because the people who are involved enough to be developing their own recipes are more likely to be working with an all-grain process. However, it's not difficult to convert an all-grain recipe to extract or partial mash, so even this isn't a huge hurdle.



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Old 07-26-2012, 07:08 PM   #22
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extract = cake made from a box of cake mix

AG = cake made from scratch

....both cakes can be delicious (or not), some folks just prefer to make their cake from scratch.



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Old 07-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Where did this number come from? It certainly doesn't match my observations over the years.
I wouldn't argue the 90% number too hard as in a total number of homebrewers. Think how many people out there got a Mr. Beer kit as a gift at some point in time. They might only make 5 gallons a year, but they would make a large % of the homebrewing world.

Now, if you're going to measure quantity as in how many gallons of homebrew each year are made from extract vs. AG, I think the 90% is way off.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxBrew View Post
if the extract brews can win countless awards vs all grain. why is there so much effort to push people to all grain?
Agree to disagree. The opposite is true. Though both can be tasty.

The majority of brewers are brewing via all grain.

The majority of beginners are brewing via extract.

Partial mash brewers are the rarest of the bunch.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #25
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Have you ever put anything together that came as a kit (model, furniture, shed, etc...) and then made the same type of thing from scratch?

Which did you take more pride in?
This. Not knocking extract as I started out with Mr. Beer, and then on to a handful of extract recipes, but personally, it was just a little boring.

One of my best beers to date was an extract brew, and I made one of my worst beers on the first AG attempt, so it's up to what you want out of this hobby as both methods can produce great or dismal results.

After going AG, there's no turning back for me. Although it is more time consuming, it's more involved and challenging.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BronxBrew
going on the fact there is 90% of home brewers doing extract. why isn't more HBSS "home brew supply stores" offering more verity for extract brewers ?
I think this should read, 90% of homebrewers started with doing extract.. !!!
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #27
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Partial mash brewers are the rarest of the bunch.
You think so? That seems odd, it seems like a nice sweet spot where you can brew essentially any recipe, but you don't need to invest in (or store) extra equipment.

Without actual surveyed numbers about who is brewing how, I don't think guesses about the relative numbers are worth much. Even trying to work out the numbers from a survey on this site would be untrustworthy---I'm sure there's a ton of bias induced by selecting people who are interested enough in brewing to be frequenting a discussion site dedicated to it!
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:53 PM   #28
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I'm pretty sure about that.

I agree that it makes the most sense in terms of convenience while also achieving flexibility and quality, but a lot of people like all grain better. Even though they're spending more money on equipment, they spend less on ingredients.

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Old 07-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edmanster

I think this should read, 90% of homebrewers started with doing extract.. !!!
Nah, I can buy the way it was written. We don't see it here as these kind of brewers are much less likely to seek out a community, but there are a TON of brewers who stick to Mr. Beer, kit&kilos like Coopers, etc.

I promise you that the number that started with extract is much higher than 90%.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:10 PM   #30
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I've been all 3. The biggest benefit of PM and AG over extract for me was the much larger array of grains to be mashed. The biggest benefit of AG over PM has been the cost savings. I make batches for $13-22, some of them heavy on malt and/or hops. I went 4 extract, 4 PM, and 20+ AG. I felt like this was the perfect progression as I wasn't trying to learn everything all at once. Quality wise, I feel like all 3 can make excellent brews.

Equipment wise with AG and Brew In A Bag, I'm sitting at maybe $150 in extra equipment costs over AG (mainly a grain mill). It takes me an extra 90-120 minutes on brew day, which are enjoyable as ever.



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