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-   -   Why extract? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/why-extract-364540/)

Halbrust 10-30-2012 11:38 PM

Why extract?
I have not brewed beer yet, so I can not be talking down to extrract brewers.

But why brew extract instead of all grain?
And the one that really confuses me are the partial mash recipes.

I was introduced to brewing around 8 years ago and decided to not do beer because the person was brewing extract. It seemed "wrong" to me. I've made lots of mead and a little fruit wine, and I'm now finally going to start brewing all grain.

I am not saying that extract is wrong or bad, just that it fealt that way to me.

So, why do you brew extract instead of all grain?

CK1 10-30-2012 11:43 PM

Still new to the brewing community and have just bottled my first batch a few days ago, but I would assume extract is easier and quicker.

Czm 10-30-2012 11:46 PM

Extract is easier and cheaper on equipment. But it takes a bit for all grain and it is cheaper in long run. I enjoy all grain even though brew day is about 5 hrs or less. I'm still learning and new but it's a lot more fun than extract. You could do biab.

RM-MN 10-30-2012 11:48 PM

All grain requires very good temperature control and it may require some mineral adjustment for your water. It takes more time.

kroach01 10-30-2012 11:49 PM

Extract is easier. You don't have to worry about mashing and getting exact temperatures etc, which can be difficult to manage for inexperienced brewers.
Extract is actually more expensive, with exceptions, but can brew pretty good beers. In my opinion, having recently switched to all-grain, it doesn't provide a very "accurate" malt taste. aka- light tastes simply like light, brown like brown etc. You can't get a great/precise malt profile doing extract IMO.
It takes a lot longer to brew all grain. It takes me 8+ hours because my stove doesn't really get a rip roaring boil and evaporation rate is slow. I tend to overshoot volumes, though, just to extract all possible sugars.

Edit: Wow haha all these posts since I was typing..

Yooper 10-30-2012 11:52 PM

I've had some excellent extract beers and some terrible AG beers entered in competitions I've judged, so extract is only a very small part of the end result.

With good quality extract, really good beers can be made.

Is it like "cheating?" I don't know. But I'll compare brewing to making spaghetti sauce. If you used canned tomatoes and tomato paste, that would be like using extract. But if you started with fresh tomatoes from the garden, that would be more like all-grain. I've had great spaghetti sauce made with canned tomato paste, and I think it would be very offensive to tell someone that their sauce isn't "homemade" because they didn't use fresh tomatoes and peel them themselves.

I think the same is true with extract brewing. Just because someone used extract that was already mashed doesn't make it not their own homemade- it just is one tool in brewing.

madman960 10-31-2012 12:02 AM

I am still new. Having only done 1 extract brew I would say time, space and simplicity are the main factors.


Czm 10-31-2012 12:05 AM

If I were doing extract again (sometimes I do cause ahs has awesome kits) I'd build a immersion chiller. I found scrap copper at junk yard that just needed cleaned and use it for my cfc I built.

Halbrust 10-31-2012 12:06 AM

Yooper with the spaghetti sauce referrence again (I like it)

For me: I brew to brew, not brew to drink. So I wouldn't doctor a bought sauce. That's exactly what I do with actual spaghetti sauce, but in that case I'm cooking to eat, not cooking for the enjoyment of cooking.

I don't think extract can't be delicious. But everything I know about brewing (which is little) says that AG is only slightly more involved, and I don't see how I could get the same enjoyment out of extract.

I appreciate the responces, and I think my own comment above of brewing to brew, and not brewing to drink answers my question. If you're looking to make quick and good beer then extract does male since. I drink about a beer a week, so I will be entering or giving away most of what I brew.

blackcows 10-31-2012 12:08 AM

For me it is simply a matter of time. I enjoy brewing and can make an extract brew during the day, while working in my home office. I don't have the time nor desire to do AG.

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