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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > THE MAIN EVENT: All Grain vs Extract

View Poll Results: Extract or All Grain
Extract 25 35.21%
All Grain 36 50.70%
Polls are dumb 24 33.80%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 71. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:51 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeratier
Been reading this thread and I just gotta chime in on the topic.

I have to say I totally disagree with the people who say that Extract ("if the ingredients are fresh") can be just as good as All-Grain.

Imagine going to a Two Michelin Star Restaurant and going back to the kitchen and finding that all of the meat is in plastic, the vegetables are from cans and the bread is made from a quick mix box. So you ask the head chef, "Whats going on here? Where is the fresh food?", and he says "Not to worry!, everything we cook with here is fresh. Yes, it may come from a can or box but we have been guaranteed by our supplier that nothing is more than 1 month old."

This picture may seem rediculous but its no different than people saying malt extract can make as good a beer as all-grain.

Malt Extract beer is like eating from a can while All-Grain is eating food that was made from scratch.

Extract beer can never, ever be as fresh as an All-Grain beer. Fresh ingredients are key to anything we consume. Nobody argues that pellet hops are just as good as whole fresh hops. Yet people have this idea that a malt syrup from a can or bag can be just as good as making your own fresh extract and brewing with it right then and there.

Randy Mosher states in his book Radical Brewing:

"Malt extract has been largely stripped of aroma, which is why a pound of crystal malt or a mini-mash makes such a dramatic improvement."

Nuff said.
On the flip side, there's plenty of food made from scratch that is nasty. And old.

I'm not sure how you figure a can of extract is not as fresh as grains. Either one could be old or recent. Plus I'm not convinced that 'fresh' really matters in terms of malt, you're mainly dealing with sugars here and as long as it's not spoiled, I'd imagine most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a beer made with 1 month old extract or grains, and one made with 6 month old extract or grains...

Personally, I'm planning on switching to grains just for the cost. Liquid Malt extract at my LHBS is $14 for a 3.3 lb can and it's a pain to bulk mail order in a quantity that you can use up in time. And DME is even more expensive. All grain solves that problem. Instead of the $28 I spent on my last extract batch (2 cans at the LHBS), I can just use $10 worth of grain.
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:41 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debtman7
On the flip side, there's plenty of food made from scratch that is nasty. And old.

I'm not sure how you figure a can of extract is not as fresh as grains. Either one could be old or recent. Plus I'm not convinced that 'fresh' really matters in terms of malt, you're mainly dealing with sugars here and as long as it's not spoiled, I'd imagine most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a beer made with 1 month old extract or grains, and one made with 6 month old extract or grains...

Personally, I'm planning on switching to grains just for the cost. Liquid Malt extract at my LHBS is $14 for a 3.3 lb can and it's a pain to bulk mail order in a quantity that you can use up in time. And DME is even more expensive. All grain solves that problem. Instead of the $28 I spent on my last extract batch (2 cans at the LHBS), I can just use $10 worth of grain.

My original statements are based on the assumption that the grains you are using are fresh. It would be foolish to think that you can use old and stale grains and make better beer than fresh extract. I'm talking about making beer using the absolute freshest ingredients possible.

A friend of mine at the local brew club who is a BJCP officer is obsessed with the freshness of his grain, hops and yeast and thats why he wins a lot of styles and categories he enters. When he gets his Wyeast it was actually made only about a week before. Freshness of ingredients can be the difference between a good beer and a great one.
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:45 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beeratier
My original statements are based on the assumption that the grains you are using are fresh. It would be foolish to think that you can use old and stale grains and make better beer than fresh extract. I'm talking about making beer using the absolute freshest ingredients possible.

A friend of mine at the local brew club who is a BJCP officer is obsessed with the freshness of his grain, hops and yeast and thats why he wins a lot of styles and categories he enters. When he gets his Wyeast it was actually made only about a week before. Freshness of ingredients can be the difference between a good beer and a great one.
I don't dispute that fresh ingredients are good. I don't dispute that beers that perfectly match BJCP guidelines win contests.

I DO dispute your comment about extract - it's either canned or dehydrated and sealed. It doesn't really go bad. If you use a good recipe, it doesn't even add much flavor, since that comes from hops, specialty grains, and adjuncts.

AND I hate BJCP. Admittedly, I sometimes reference the styles as a guide. But who the F$%^ ever said that my beer has to meet some snooty criteria? I may not ever win a contest with my beer, but I may not ever enter it in one...because I like it. My friends like it. People I don't even like like it.

I stick with the gist my original post on this one:
If you like the end result of whatever you call brewing, it's beer. And it's good beer. Even if you made it from horse$hit...after all, that's got grains and converted starches in it, right?

Why am I bothering to post in this thread? ...I hate this argument.
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:14 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
AND I hate BJCP. Admittedly, I sometimes reference the styles as a guide. But who the F$%^ ever said that my beer has to meet some snooty criteria? I may not ever win a contest with my beer, but I may not ever enter it in one...because I like it. My friends like it. People I don't even like like it.

I stick with the gist my original post on this one:
If you like the end result of whatever you call brewing, it's beer. And it's good beer. Even if you made it from horse$hit...after all, that's got grains and converted starches in it, right?
I actually agree with all of the above

I dont ever plan on entering any competitions and I can't really think of anything more unpleasant than taking a bjcp exam.

To me the whole bjcp/judging/styles guidelines thing takes beer and puts it in a box. It turns beer into an educational thing and takes away the inspiration.

Yeah, alot can be learned in the whole judging thing but why not just brew from your gut with passion and creativity. Trust your own palate. This is exactly how the best chefs in the world work. So why not apply it to beer making.
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Old 10-20-2006, 04:46 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
I DO dispute your comment about extract - it's either canned or dehydrated and sealed. It doesn't really go bad.
FWIW LME does degrade over time as the water in it dissosiates and the sugars oxidize - even inside a can.



The main reason I'm posting in this thread is to thank everyone who participated in the debate for keeping it above the belt, as it were. This one always has huge flame war potential.

Thanks for keeping this a great forum!

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Old 10-20-2006, 05:42 PM   #36
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The main reason I'm posting in this thread is to thank everyone who participated in the debate for keeping it above the belt, as it were. This one always has huge flame war potential.
I probably went a little overboard in my rant above. There's some pretty good info in this thread if you weed out the opinions (including my own). Echo the Chairman's thanks, this is a great forum!
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:03 PM   #37
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Whew!
I think we can all just agree that homebrew rules.
Lets brew!

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Old 10-20-2006, 09:11 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
I probably went a little overboard in my rant above. There's some pretty good info in this thread if you weed out the opinions (including my own). Echo the Chairman's thanks, this is a great forum!
I think you were fine. It's ok to have strong opinions, as long as you are open-minded about opposing views and don't get personal. Just because we try to respect each other doesn't mean we have to agree about everything.
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:52 AM   #39
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Well I for one appreciate all the viewpoints, so many opinions out there that sometimes I think ppl just say its not cool to even have an opinion.....
How long does a minimash take overall, it sounds really cool, but do I need any special equipment? And how do I findout how many pts it adds to the wort?

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