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Old 01-04-2013, 08:52 PM   #41
mccullpl
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I was reading 'Brewing Classic Styles' last night (got it for Christmas), and was comparing the recipes to the NB kits I've been making for the last 10 months, and had a bit of an 'a-ha' moment. Please call me out if I'm full of, as I am no expert! I was looking at the NB German Alt, that turned out quite well, but had that extract taste. I've noticed this taste even more pronounced in the two different browns I had brewed too, but not in any of the pale ales. I assumed since the hops are the star of the show in the pales, it masked the extract flavor. Anyway, I noticed that the browns and the alt all used dark extract, whereas every recipe in the book used a very light extract for the base, and much more steeping grain for color and flavor. I'm guessing that is the key to making nice, clean extract beers, but just my theory. I'd love to hear if anyone has an opinion on this...

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:00 PM   #42
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For apartment dwellers and people who don't have big kettles (yet), extract begins to look more favorable.
Or stove top partials, the five pound partial method I use, Deathbrewer's method, saves me a lot of time in equipment setup and take down versus AG. I can do it using only my five gallon kettle and a paint strainer bag. I sparge the grains in two gallons of water in a bucket for an additional ten minutes and done. Also, I fly sparge with my AG setup, so that adds more time.

Personally, I'm kind of happy to be doing a little bit of everything. It lets me choose the method I have the time and patience for on any given brew day.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:02 PM   #43
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Utilizing late extract additions is also a real important tool, I think, to have in your arsenal if you are an extract brewer. One of the owners of my local shop is an extract brewer, her husband brews AG, and she makes some of the best danged beers I've ever tasted!
This comment caught my eye . .. as this is true of MY LHBS, too. Of course, I glance over at your profile, and sure enough, we live in the same town. I assume you're talking Jade over at HopTech . .. and yes she does!

Given that I'm in Hayward, too, we should probably get together and do a brew one of these days!
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:04 PM   #44
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I was reading 'Brewing Classic Styles' last night (got it for Christmas), and was comparing the recipes to the NB kits I've been making for the last 10 months, and had a bit of an 'a-ha' moment. Please call me out if I'm full of, as I am no expert! I was looking at the NB German Alt, that turned out quite well, but had that extract taste. I've noticed this taste even more pronounced in the two different browns I had brewed too, but not in any of the pale ales. I assumed since the hops are the star of the show in the pales, it masked the extract flavor. Anyway, I noticed that the browns and the alt all used dark extract, whereas every recipe in the book used a very light extract for the base, and much more steeping grain for color and flavor. I'm guessing that is the key to making nice, clean extract beers, but just my theory. I'd love to hear if anyone has an opinion on this...
In general, I think most people develop extract recipes around light DME and/or LME and then get the colors and flavors from steeping grains. There are certain grains that require mashing. However, the recent availability of rye and munich extracts, along with wheat extract, does open up more possibilities. I would be more hesitant to brew with a darker liquid extract because I would be concerned about the turn over rate/freshness of the extract. Most shops of any size seem to turn out light LME at a good pace as it tends to be a base for a lot of recipes.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #45
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This comment caught my eye . .. as this is true of MY LHBS, too. Of course, I glance over at your profile, and sure enough, we live in the same town. I assume you're talking Jade over at HopTech . .. and yes she does!

Given that I'm in Hayward, too, we should probably get together and do a brew one of these days!
Yes, I'm talking about Jade and Roberto at HopTech.

I remember at last year's NCHF when Mike "Tasty" McDole was trying one of her beers and his comment was, "Jade, if I could make an extract batch like this I might not be doing all-grain as much!" She just knows the tricks and what needs to happen to make a good quality extract brew.

Always glad to see other Hayward brewers. Have you been to the meetings or belong to any of the local clubs? If you've ever gone to a Mad Zymurgists meetings we've undoubtedly already met...since I'm kind of required to go to them.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:21 PM   #46
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Yes, I'm talking about Jade and Roberto at HopTech.
Always glad to see other Hayward brewers. Have you been to the meetings or belong to any of the local clubs? If you've ever gone to a Mad Zymurgists meetings we've undoubtedly already met...since I'm kind of required to go to them.
Never been to a meeting or joined a club. Have a few friends that brew . . . we get together a bunch. . .but nothing formal. PM me some of the details for those "Mad Zymurgists", and maybe I'll look into it! Sounds like my kind of crowd!
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:29 PM   #47
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Never been to a meeting or joined a club. Have a few friends that brew . . . we get together a bunch. . .but nothing formal. PM me some of the details for those "Mad Zymurgists", and maybe I'll look into it! Sounds like my kind of crowd!
I'll shoot you some details. Jade and Roberto are both members BTW.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:36 PM   #48
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I've personally found that my extract brews were more hit or miss than my all-grain brews. I've been AG-only (except for starters and gravity corrections) since the middle of last year, and the quality of my beers has gone way, way up.

With extract (especially liquid), you're at the mercy of the turnover in your LHBS when it comes to freshness, but I don't think that's the whole story. I tend to think of extract/partial-mash brews as "quickies," and as a result I likely don't pay the complete attention to temps, times, etc. that I would with an AG brew.

Now that I think about it, my perception has been that with all-grain you either get it all right or it all can go way wrong, but of course that's only partially true, and hardly moreso than with extract. AG just has more "moving parts," and as such there's more to go wrong.

I may have to make another extract/steep batch one of these days and try extra-hard to hit all the marks. I betcha I'll be surprised.

-Rich

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Old 01-04-2013, 09:50 PM   #49
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I was a BIAB brewer from the get-go (I skipped extract), but I will say that when I moved to a full AG system last year it forced me to pay more attention to my processes. I'd concur about it being more about the brewer than the ingredients. I just don't think you have many brewers with little experience doing all grain and so it skews the results.

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Old 06-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #50
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I'd also like to add that for me, there was a difference. The flavors in the malt of all grain are much more distinct and the flavors seem to be ready much quicker. I'd have to let extract beers sit a lot longer for the flavor to reach its potential.

One of the biggest differences for me was the actual kit formulation. I popped my cherry on a Rye Pale Ale kit where the OG was 1.042. Back then I didn't know what a weak and thin beer that can produce to a novice. I was a bit disappointed. Personally, unless you market the beer as a "light" beer, it shouldn't be anywhere under 1.050. Even then I like to add ingredients to get the body up if it's not a wheat beer.

Lastly, I will say that there's more areas to mess up in all grain, i.e. volume amounts. But once you get three or 4 brews under your belt, it becomes second nature.

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