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Old 10-13-2008, 02:07 PM   #1
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Default Cost: Extract vs. All Grain $$$$

Ok, I've been told all grain requires a mashtun and and extra pot for sparge water.

Once these pieces of equipment are bought, the price of producing a batch of beer is reduced.

For me I dont believe I have a brewstore nearby, so I guess what I'm trying to figure out is:

Will the shipping costs absorb any gain by going all-grain?

Does the grain have to used within a given period of time (crushed vs whole)?

Does all grain taste better?

Thanks

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:10 PM   #2
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Boy we've never had this discussion before....at least in the last hour...

Sorry, for the sarcasm but there's certain topics that get done to death here...and all the info is really one search function away already.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/cost-all-grain-vs-extract-80526/

Here's what search has to say about it the rest of them....

Search Results for all grain vs extract

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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Don't try to justify it economically. Yes, your ingredient costs go down, but you're only going to get sucked more into obsession. Once you do...

Chest freezer $100
cornies 5@35= $175
double body regulator $135
Pump $137
Mat'ls for brew stand $200+

It never stops man. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm saying don't do it because you think you're getting a bargain.

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:15 PM   #4
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I've decided NOT to purchase bulk ingredients. While the ingredients are considerably cheaper that way....I can see myself brewing 5x a week if I've just got all that grain and hops laying around.

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:16 PM   #5
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I don't know about the shipping costs, as I have not proced that out. No doubt, you get more bang for your shipping buck with DME over grain, but I don't know how the pricing works out in total.

Crushed grain should be used with in a few days or so, but that does depend a bit on the humidity in your area and how you store it. I'm in Houston, so the humidity is high. However, I've vacuum packed crushed grain before, and it kept just fine. Uncrushed grain lasts until the weevils start hatching.

Does all-grain brewing taste better? Well, typically, yes. If you can get some good quality extract that is fresh or well-kept, and if you do a full wort boil, and if you brew a beer that does not call for anything too fancy in the mash, then you really shouldn't be able to tell the difference between an extract beer and it's all-grain analog. However, those are some big "if"s up there, and it is hard to get all those tumblers to spin into place at the same time. It happens, but you don't bet your brewing on it.


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Old 10-13-2008, 02:19 PM   #6
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Also, "taste better" is a subjective thing....It's not the method you use, it's your skills as a brewer that makes good beer.... Plenty of extract batches have one awards...

It's not a "holy grail" of beery perfection unless you have your process down...I've choked down some foul AG batches (including some of my own) and tasted and made some awesone extracts....

Read this,

http://blogs.homebrewtalk.com/Revvy/Why_cant_we_all_get_along/

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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You guys Rock!

Thanx

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Old 10-13-2008, 02:23 PM   #8
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A quick look in Northern Brewer showed the cost of the same batch of beer (kit) for

Extract = $43
AG = $30

And they have a flat shipping rate. Now that is not buying bulk grain, where you can also save even more, especially if you crush your own.

But I also agree that the savings is merely a bonus. If you go to AG you should be doing it for the experience and improved process, not for the cost.

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:04 PM   #9
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The one thing I found was the extra time it takes for AG - two more hours???

The "taste" thing always comes back to haunt me though - I have never gone AG but would LOVE to see a comparison between two recipes one AG and one Mini Mash.

BTW - I looked at a Mini Mash recipe vs. AG and it was about $7 cheaper AG - just one example.

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Old 10-13-2008, 08:16 PM   #10
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All things being equal, I'm guessing that all grain would be cheaper over the long haul. But of course all things AREN'T equal, and generally going all grain represents a committment and obsession that will ultimately cost MORE as a result as one continually seeks out gadgets and equipment to perfect the process even more.

Or so I think.

Doesn't matter though. Anyone who takes up a hobby like this under the pretense that it'll somehow save money is either trying to fool a spouse, or themselves. But whatever works.

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