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Old 12-13-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
Stigy
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Default All Grain After 1 Batch of Mr. Beer?

So I currently have my Classic American Light beer recipe from Mr. Beer (got it from a kit) fermenting in my brown keg and I am really getting the itch to do something as soon as its done. I have been doing some research and my friend picked up a kit from Brooklyn Brewshop. It seems to be a 1-gallon kit but it uses raw ingredients instead of the can of HME that comes with the Mr. Beer kits - and this is something I would like to try my hand at so I could move to making custom recipes from a collection of raw ingredients.

One of their kits is linked below (which sounded delicious to me):
brooklynbrewshop.com/1-gallon-beer-mixes/jalapeno-saison-mix

My question is few parts:
1. Is it feasible to go from a canned HME straight into an all grain recipe? I want to explore the many options out there, but not sure it would be overwhelming as my second batch. I feel pretty confident I could do it though if given instructions.

2. If I just bought two of their 1-gallon mixes and just doubled everything in their instructions, would I end up with a correct 2-gallon mix I could use in my LBK?

3. Is $30 (2 x $15) overly expensive for a 2-gallon batch of beer for a homebrew?

Thanks in advance for your insight into this!

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Stigy View Post
So I currently have my Classic American Light beer recipe from Mr. Beer (got it from a kit) fermenting in my brown keg and I am really getting the itch to do something as soon as its done. I have been doing some research and my friend picked up a kit from Brooklyn Brewshop. It seems to be a 1-gallon kit but it uses raw ingredients instead of the can of HME that comes with the Mr. Beer kits - and this is something I would like to try my hand at so I could move to making custom recipes from a collection of raw ingredients.

One of their kits is linked below (which sounded delicious to me):
brooklynbrewshop.com/1-gallon-beer-mixes/jalapeno-saison-mix

My question is few parts:
1. Is it feasible to go from a canned HME straight into an all grain recipe? I want to explore the many options out there, but not sure it would be overwhelming as my second batch. I feel pretty confident I could do it though if given instructions.

2. If I just bought two of their 1-gallon mixes and just doubled everything in their instructions, would I end up with a correct 2-gallon mix I could use in my LBK?

3. Is $30 (2 x $15) overly expensive for a 2-gallon batch of beer for a homebrew?

Thanks in advance for your insight into this!
I know many others have used those kits, and found them very good. Northern Brewer also has "one gallon" kits. I think with good instructions you could easily do an all-grain batch as long as you have the equipment you need. You could look at the equipment kit and see what they have listed for equipment, and then check the northern brewer website, to see if they have the same equipment and we can also help you get what you need.

2. Yes, probably. But to make a 2 gallon batch, keep in mind that you will be starting with about 3.5 gallons of wort, so make sure your stove can boil that much! Try it in a 5 gallon pot with water first, before you make a $30 (or more!) mistake.

3. Sure seems that way to me. Most extract (5 gallon) kits are in the $35-45 range, with all grain being less. A 5 gallon AG ingredient kit is typically $25-35.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:54 PM   #3
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1. There are people who have gone all-grain very quickly. It depends on what method you use. BIAB requires a bag. For a 1-gallon kit, you probably already have the boil kettle and adequate heat. Just get a paint strainer. Many all-grain brewers use a mash tun, which requires some purchasing and usually some handywork. How to Brew, by John Palmer, contains a lot of information you should know before brewing all-grain. So, if you do your homework, jumping into all-grain can be a success.

With that said, many brewers don't dive head-first into AG brewing. There are other factors that people consider before that step. One important thing is fermentation temperature control. No matter how you make your wort, temperature control plays a major role in how good or bad a beer can be.

Another factor is boil volume. A full-volume boil can also make improvements to hop utilization and reduce the risk of darkening during the boil. As a 1-gallon brewhouse, this isn't much of an issue. But for 5+ gallon brewers, many cooktops don't put enough heat out to keep 5 gallons boiling.

One thing to consider before going all-grain is your water chemistry. Various chemicals normally found in drinking water can have a profound impact on beer. You may need to alter your water chemistry before mashing.

I'm not telling you this to dissuade you. I just think that if you approach these issues well-prepared, you stand a better chance of making a really good beer.

As for your second question, on the nanobrewing scale, most things are going to scale linearly. With that said, you may be able to save yourself some money by making sure you use the appropriate amount of yeast. It's likely that these kits use 5.5g sachets of yeast. This would be an appropriate pitching rate for about 2.5 gallons, for many beers. You can double-check it at http://mrmalty.com. If you plan on brewing a 2-gallon batch, you would only need one 5.5g satchet.

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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All grain usually requires more equipment and time. Some people even skip the extract kits entirely and go AG. It is all down to how much time you are willing to put in and all. I say go for it if you want. I love doing AG now.

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Wow thanks for all the replies!

So the kit I posted is in fact an all grain kit correct? It seems like it from the instructions on their website.

Might I be better off moving to an extract kit in between before going all grain on my second try or as long as I am patient and follow the instructions, I should be fine with all grain?

Also my final question (for now since youre all so helpful) - does Northern Brewery have 1 gallon all grain kits because I couldn't find them. If not, is there someone that does?

Honestly I might spend the $30 just so that I can be experienced with grain recipes and brewing. It also makes sense price wise because a case of craft beer is probably a bit more expensive if not the same price for 2 gallons.

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Old 12-13-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigy View Post
Wow thanks for all the replies!

So the kit I posted is in fact an all grain kit correct? It seems like it from the instructions on their website.

Might I be better off moving to an extract kit in between before going all grain on my second try or as long as I am patient and follow the instructions, I should be fine with all grain?

Also my final question (for now since youre all so helpful) - does Northern Brewery have 1 gallon all grain kits because I couldn't find them. If not, is there someone that does?

Honestly I might spend the $30 just so that I can be experienced with grain recipes and brewing. It also makes sense price wise because a case of craft beer is probably a bit more expensive if not the same price for 2 gallons.
Malted Barley Blend, Belgian Candi Sugar, Hops and Yeast (Jalapeno not included, but nice to add) being whats included, yeah I would say it is all grain. Not an extract in sight.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stigy View Post
Wow thanks for all the replies!

So the kit I posted is in fact an all grain kit correct? It seems like it from the instructions on their website.

Might I be better off moving to an extract kit in between before going all grain on my second try or as long as I am patient and follow the instructions, I should be fine with all grain?

Also my final question (for now since youre all so helpful) - does Northern Brewery have 1 gallon all grain kits because I couldn't find them. If not, is there someone that does?

Honestly I might spend the $30 just so that I can be experienced with grain recipes and brewing. It also makes sense price wise because a case of craft beer is probably a bit more expensive if not the same price for 2 gallons.
You may want to do an extract kit first, or you can do the AG small batches. The AG has a steeper learning curve, but you can definitely do it if you're interested and have good instructions.

I saw the 1 gallon batches in the Northern Brewer cataglogue, so I looked on their website. I found them here: http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/b...ch-starter-kit but they may very well be extract batches and not all-grain kits. It's not clear, but that's how it seems to me.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:17 PM   #8
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I really wanna go AG myself, but I am taking it a bit slower...I went from Mr Beer to partial mash. I have a LOT to learn before I go AG.

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Old 12-14-2012, 12:53 AM   #9
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Do your homework and you will be fine. I skipped extract altogether and my first batch was very drinkable - Yooper's right about the learning curve though: it takes a few batches before you get your process down. Read a lot and make checklists for brewday to be sure you have everything at hand. HBT has helped me a lot, read all stickies in the forums.
There are a ton of recipe calculators on the interwebz, use them.
Once you get your process down, AG brewing is no harder than cooking a meal from scratch.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:03 AM   #10
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I would not recommend doubling up a stovetop AG recipe for your first one. Aside from the long heating/boiling times, that kit has you mashing and sparging with normal household pots and strainers. You might find that doubling the amount of grain would be too large for a household pot/strainer.

I think you should go for the 1gallon kit you linked, see what you think, and if you want to make bigger batches, you could start investing in a brew in a bag (BIAB) set up or regular all grain at that point. I've never done BIAB but people rave about it for 3g batches and larger. 30 dollars for a 1g batch of beer is expensive compared to regular all grain brewing, but as far as an introductory lesson into the concepts of mashing and sparging, I think it's pretty cheap.

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