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Old 03-18-2013, 05:13 AM   #1
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After my 3rd kit I think I'm moving on to BIAB

I just want more control over what I'm doing. Extracts are both easy and uninspiring

I don't even know what type of hops I used on the last kit. When they labeled the hops things like flavor or bitters it just makes me feel stupid kind of like calling blue #2 on a paint by numbers painting.
I prefer to call it blue or even indigo

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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I've been doing BIAB for a couple of years now and I agree, kits were a nice way to get started but all grain gives you lots more ways to screw up a brew. A lot more challenging and more fun and I've been able to drink all the beers I've made but it's just the last few that I'm really proud of.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
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BIAB really does open up a whole world of possibilities. It was moving to BIAB that got me interested in the science if brewing. A lot can be done with extract recipe design as well. Use of simple sugar and maltodextrin can be used to adjust attenuation. With extract you don't have to worry about messing up the mash.

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Old 03-18-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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I'm right there with you just did my first BIAB last night after 2 extract batches...little more complicated, but ultimately more rewarding, at least to me...let you know in a month or so whether or not I was successful at stepping up my game...KCCO

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Sounds good! Have fun exploring the recipe database on this site! There are lots of great recipes that people have put a considerable amount of time into. Or take some of those recipes and alter/edit them your self. No more paint by numbers!

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Old 03-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morganamps View Post
After my 3rd kit I think I'm moving on to BIAB

I just want more control over what I'm doing. Extracts are both easy and uninspiring

I don't even know what type of hops I used on the last kit. When they labeled the hops things like flavor or bitters it just makes me feel stupid kind of like calling blue #2 on a paint by numbers painting.
I prefer to call it blue or even indigo
I bought a few kits but ususally did not use the yeast and sometimes other hops.

Even if the recipie did not call for it I steeped grain and made pretty good beer..

I moved on to All-Grain after ten (11) years just because I wanted to brew more like a real brewer and have been very happy.

BUT IMO,,, you can make good beer with extracts...just don't follow their directions...
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #7
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I'm with you OP, I'd like to stick with partial mash recipes for the time being. It was pretty cool having to buy individual ingredients and even toasting some oats in my oven. Reading Palmer's "How to Brew" and Mosher's "Radical Brewing" has been so interesting and informative. I think "uninspiring" is a good word for kits, although to each his own. To use a food analogy, sometimes its easier to pop that pre-made meal in the microwave than to cook something up yourself, fresh.

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #8
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...Reading Palmer's "How to Brew" and Mosher's "Radical Brewing" has been so interesting and informative.
Agreed.

Also, one of the best home brewing books I've read is Gordon Strong's "Brewing Better Beer" It answers a lot of the questions you'd probably ask a very accomplished home brewer. It's very anecdotal and a great read.

Good luck with the all grain adventure! There's a few more consequences to what you do on brewday (vs. extract), but that's half the fun of this hobby...constantly working on little things to make great beer. My advice is; take extremely detailed notes. Even if it seems silly to write it down, record it so that you can refer back to it when you make a kick ass beer.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:16 PM   #9
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It all comes down to the quality of the "kits". The run of the mill stuff is going to give lacluster results. One can doctor them but meh. A quality kit can be as good as a quality BiaB. In blind tasting, no one can tell the diffrence in my brews. 90% of the tasters prefered the extract brew in the blind tasting. Like what was said up top, more can go wrong.

Home brewing isnt looked at as a hobby by some people. Some do it out of necessity. We can't get good craft beer at our store or bar. Not unless you want to pay $20+ for a six pack. We have life and other hobbies we have invested in. In the end were all home brewers no matter how far you take it.

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Old 03-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Kit vs make your own recipe is really a separate topic from extract vs AG. You can certainly make your own extract recipes and learn all about hops and fermenting in the process. You can also buy AG kits and the hops and grains will be labeled similarly to the extract kits.

And honestly, there are people making fantastic, award winning extract brews. If you want to hop into AG, great. It's fun and rewarding. If you are just trying to get away from kits though, you can just as easily make great beer with extract and your own recipe.

It also doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. I prefer the AG process, but if I can't clear out a good 6 hr block on a weekend, I'll gladly knock out an extract batch on a weeknight.

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