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-   -   Should I go All Grain or go with an Electric Brewery (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/should-i-go-all-grain-go-electric-brewery-270256/)

madbird1977 09-22-2011 03:52 PM

Should I go All Grain or go with an Electric Brewery
I've got 15+ extract and partial mash 5 gallon brews down and am looking to take the next step up to All-grain or electric brewing?

So for those that have an opinion, I'd like to hear the pros/cons on either option. Not considering the overall costs. I'm not wealthy by any means but can make the investment in electric, since I feel I'll be brewing for a long long long time :) The sooner the better, might as well get some use out of it.

I'm thinking of going with a minimum 10 gallons system, likely larger 20+. :mug:

Again, just looking for the next step up from extract/partial mashing. I still have a lot to learn but I figure I might as well dive right into the next phase and want to know what others have done and how.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

ayoungrad 09-22-2011 04:36 PM

Not sure I understand what you are asking. You could go all grain. You could go electric. And you can go all grain electric.

h22lude 09-22-2011 04:50 PM

^^^ agreed. Why can't you do both?

I don't know much about electric brewing but I would assume it is better for all-grain than extract. I could be totally wrong here but if you have an electric coil in your pot and put extract in it, I would think the coil would burn the extract easily...again I don't know much about electric and could be totally wrong.

Look at these. Electric all grain in one pot.


20+ gallon batches will be pretty expensive to buy equipment for.

Goaltender66 09-22-2011 04:51 PM

Agreed. It doesn't have to be an either/or thing. When I first went all-grain it was as simple (from an equipment perspective) as punching holes in the bottom of a bucket and placing it into another bucket with a spout on it.

Get the theory down, then get the equipment that makes applying the theory easier. That way if something breaks you still have a solid grounding in technique that allows you to continue making good beer.

onipar 09-22-2011 05:07 PM

My guess is he misspoke. He probably means should he go electric or not for AG. Like go electric or just start with some burners, pots, and MLT? I could be wrong.

I'm still stove top myself, but if I had the money, I'd probably go all out with a slick electric set up. Due to my money constraints, as I progress, I'll have to start small, probably with a turkey frier burner and MLT. But again, if you don't have the money hang ups, those electric set ups look awesome.

I *have* heard some brewers say things like "well, if you want a machine to brew for you..." So I guess you have to ask yourself how much of the process you want automated, and how much you still want to do yourself. I'm sure there is some middle ground. :mug:

LandoLincoln 09-22-2011 05:49 PM

All grain is not that big of an investment over extract. It might not cost you anything at all if you happen to have a big cooler at home already. Looking over the electric threads, going electric really is a sizable investment. I'd recommend getting the all grain stuff down and then worry about making an electric setup later.

passedpawn 09-22-2011 05:54 PM

Your next step would be AG. Take that step, and later when you get your head around the equipment, convert to electric.

fdben 09-22-2011 06:08 PM


Originally Posted by passedpawn (Post 3318464)
Your next step would be AG. Take that step, and later when you get your head around the equipment, convert to electric.

Agreed. It is relatively inexpensive to get the basic all grain gear setup. Get familiar with your process then make the call if you want to upgrade to electric. You'll figure out what techniques you like using and which gear you'll need to accomplish it. What gear do you have now?

With regards to batch size, I'm sort of in a similar quandary. 5 gallons just doesn't stick around long enough to age properly :cross: All I needed to do to get to 10 gallons was upgrade my kettle, which I have now done, so that is the route I am going for the short term.

I do have a couple 55 gallon HDPE barrels waiting for conversion to a large HLT and MLT, but I need to find a kettle for a reasonable price before I start that project. Going large can definitely be a significant cost.

madbird1977 09-22-2011 06:12 PM

Whoops, I should have explained my thoughts a bit more. I have a few brew buddies that said that they wish they would have skipped the all grain (gatorade coolers) and just gone straight to electric brewing systems. They noted its pretty much the same but you don't have to "waste" money on some of the all grain items.

Electric is more costly due to equipment pricing. I have a 7.5 kettle, 180k burner, 4 6 gallon carboy (2 better bottle, 2 glass), 5 corny kegs, kegerator, and the small basics you get with a kit and a few additional small add ons. Some of this I can reuse on all grain but I would assume the majority will be up for sale if I go with Electric.

So say I have $5,000 to spend....I think electric would be optimal...however the all grain approach would be much cheaper and I could "test" it out for a few years and get the methods down before making the next jump.

Idea is to use my next investment as a simple pilot brewery, since the goal is to work on starting a nano brewery. :) Gotta have dreams right!

Again, I need to think it through a bit more but I find this forum to be a great place to bounce ideas around.

Thanks again and now back to brewing. :)

eastoak 09-22-2011 06:32 PM

another grand or so and you could buy a sabco

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