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Old 11-05-2012, 12:10 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Qhrumphf View Post
The sad thing is, with people doing things like bacon beer, I wouldn't be all that shocked if someone's actually done something like this.
Nothing sad about it,

http://www.mammamiapizzabeer.com/main.php
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:46 PM   #62
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...As for all grain being less expensive, aside from the equipment. Just out of curiosity I priced out the last Blonde that we made. The all grain version was only $4.00 less than the extract...
This is probably involving a little more that just the basics of the original question, but: you're absolutely right, that if you're brewing kit beers, the all grain ingredient savings are pretty unimpressive. However, if you're interested in working from recipes (or formulating your own) and buying grain and hops in bulk, the savings start to get far more significant. I just brewed up an Imperial Nut Brown Ale, with a 1.073 OG this weekend. I used washed yeast, so the yeast was paid for a few batches ago. My ingredient cost was about $12 - probably $13 once I count the DME I used for my starter. Had I needed to buy yeast, I would've been closer to $20. Not bad at all for a relatively big beer.

To be fair, you _can_ buy extract in bulk too, but I don't think it keeps as reliably as bulk grain and it's still a bit more expensive in comparison to grain.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #63
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I'm going to brew a DIPA coming up. 100% 2-row grain bill = extract all the way.

No part of me is embarassed to admit: 1) I'd like to have more free time 2) Briess malting probably can perform a better mash than I can.

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Old 11-14-2012, 02:16 AM   #64
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Interesting question though, specific to that example: what extract is made up of only 2-row? Not being snarky or anything here, I honestly don't know - I thought most extracts were actually a blend of mostly base malt and one or two specialty malts in varying percentages.

Also, not that it would sway the extract or grain decision on that particular style at all, but it may be a useful tidbit: it's fairly common on DIPA's to use sugar as an adjunct to help dry out the beer a bit, since you're talking about a LOT of malt to get the gravity up that high. The sugar helps keep the beer from being too syrupy. So, maybe it's a 90% or 95% 2-row (or extra light DME?) grain bill, with the remainder in sugar...

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Old 11-14-2012, 05:42 AM   #65
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I recently just brewed my first beer. I chose extract because I didnt know how it would be or even if I would enjoy it. I wanted to get my feet wet before I went all in. It was fun and exciting. One batch down (not even ready yet), and Im already thinking about doing more. Ive read some on AG but haven't familiarized myself with everything about it. Ill probably keep reading and ninja lurking these forums for awhile before I do an AG. But in the mean time, a few more extract brews wont hurt me.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:32 AM   #66
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I do all grain, but because my 5 gallon mash tun is limited to about 8.5# of grain, extract is a lifesaver when I want to do higher gravity beers. Like many have already said, extract is a wonderful tool of convenience: Instead of doing 2 or 3 batches I can mash my base and specialty grains then "spike" my gravity with a compatible extract. Otherwise brewing would become less a hobby and more "Marathon Man," with my refractometer asking, "Is it safe?" I love extract.

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Old 11-14-2012, 02:20 PM   #67
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I do both. I've made excellent beers using both techniques and I've made a few duds using both. I have all the equipment necessary, plenty of space to store it, and I'm not overly concerned about the added cost of either.

I think you should just do what you enjoy. For me, my children take up a huge portion of my time. Extract helps me to be able to brew and not take time away from them. But, that is only a small part of it. Sometimes I just don't feel like taking up a large part of my day brewing. On the other hand, sometimes it is nice to slow down and really tweak a recipe (ag).

I've been brewing for almost 15 years. I really think that very few people could sit down and do a blind taste test and tell me which beers were ag vs extract. Doing both gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility. Oh, and I have accumulated all of my equipment over the years. Much better than shelling out a huge amount of $ for a hobby you may not stick with, if you don't drink much. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 11-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #68
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I started my first brew as an all grain brew. I hadn't realised the amount of space I needed for this (e.g., I can't really fit both a 5 gallon mashing container and a 5-6 gallon pot for boiling). That said, I do live in a small Welsh terrace. So from now on I'll mash a small proportion of grains (e.g., some Munich) and fill the rest with extract.

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Old 11-15-2012, 01:10 AM   #69
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Like most people who replied, I'm an extract brewer. I prefer it for the simplicity of brewing. I do plan on taking the steps into AG, but right now I'm not comfortable nor ready to buy the equipment. I do see how extract brewers can miss out on excellent brews, but I'm just happy to make my own vs. going to the store to buy beer all the time. It's still by far cheaper to make 5 gal of beer than buying it.

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