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Old 06-25-2012, 10:01 AM   #1
ratsathome
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Hi,I'm new to HB made my first kit and finished all the beers.Did one wine and have some own recipes going in my demijohns.
My question.
I want to go the route of "All Grain". Can I go directly to All Grain or do you suggest doing it in stages to get to All Grain?
Thanks

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:22 PM   #2
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I say do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you have the money and willingness to devote more time & effort into your brew days then try all grain. Its more time consuming but I find it more rewarding and fun to brew with grain then extract. Both make fine beers just my preference.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
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It is all about what you are comfortable with. All grain is slightly more time consuming and requires more equipment, but very doable. It also allows to do recipes that cannot be done with extract.

I started out brewing doing extract/steeping grains and made a lot of good brews using that method. I progressed to partial mash BIAB, and still do that a lot, either because I have some recipes that were designed that way and turned out good. Or I will do a partial mash if the weather is terrible and I want to brew. I also do all grain, again BIAB, mostly now. But I do not hesitate to do the other methods sometimes.

They all work if you pay attention to detail. Pay attention to sanitizing everything, Pitch the proper amount of healthy yeast, and control fermentation temperature, and good beer can be made using any of those methods.


Welcome to the hobby/addiction.

BTW this forum is a wealth of information. There a lot of people on here that have a ton of good info to pass along and are very willing to help. This is a great place.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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You might want to start out with an Extract kit (such as from northernbrewer.com or midwest supplies.com).

The problem with All Grain is you need to spend extra time mashing your grain, and need to be reasonably accurate with the mash temperature. Plus you will need more (expensive) equipment.

An All Grain Alternative (which I will soon do) is BIAB - Brew in a Bag.
Put the grain inside a Voile bag (cheap curtain material), place the bag in the kettle , add water, mash, then lift up the bag.
The bag acts as a filter, and you wont have a stuck sparge. This can save you a few hundred $$$ and its easy, and easy to clean.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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Tanks for the info.Well time is no problem(4 out of 7 days I play with my thumbs )

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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You should start with extract. It isn't that AG is "too hard" though. It just introduces a TON of new variables. That doesn't mean you can't do it, however, it makes troubleshooting a whole lot more difficult when everything is brand new.

If you start with a simple recipe using extract and some steeping grains, you get a chance to work on the basics of fermenting. ie if something isn't quite right, you know if happened in the fermenter - eg too hot, too cold, not enough aeration, not enough yeast, wrong yeast for the job etc. Once you know you can turn wort into tasty beer, you can then work on creating your own wort from scratch in AG.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #7
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If you read up on all grain, watch the videos available and it doesn't look too intimidating, I say go for it.

As already stated there are a lot more variables and things to watch for and you really have to pay attention.

It is a lot more involved but if you plan things out in advance it is not really that difficult.

That said, I went the full, extract - partial mash then all grain route.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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We went the extract to steeping for over a year. One day, one of my brew buddies bought an all grain kit and we went the igloo cooler route to do it. We have never looked back. If you can afford the equipment as you have the time (I would say it adds about 2 1/2 hours to a brew day), I would do all grain. You need a MASH tun and a converted igloo cooler with a stainless bazooka is an easy start. We have a 40 gallon MLT from Stout Conicals and a 30 gal HLT with HERMS and 45 gal Brew Kettle to be delivered this week. After the Zombies apocalypse, all grain brewers only need to find a barley field.
Brewing your own beer from extract is a bronze medal, steeping is silver, but all grain is gold. All are great, but I personally find that making beer from barley a very rewarding and tasteful experience.

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