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Old 01-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
jenkinsw
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Default tossing out the training wheels

when do you graduate to AG? I've just tasted my first batch of mr beer (that my beautiful, sexy and wonderfully intelligent wife bought me!) and though i've rushed the tasting, I think this is something to try again!
Should I go ahead and try a basic AG recipe or do a few more batches with training wheels first?

Also, I've done wine brewing in past and have ample 5 and 6 gal carboys. Guessing I can use these with the airlocks I've used for the wine. If I use these, shall I add enough water to elimate as much air in the carboy as possible or will the fermentation CO2 keep it happy enough that it won't matter?

Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #2
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AG isn't cheap. I'm still trying to figure out brew in a bag. And even that can be a bit tedious at times. Personally, I'd say if your gonna move up. Move up to brew in a bag. It's more work, and as you learn. I'm just starting out myself, and brew in a bag is a lot easier for me, due to lack of space, and funding for a full setup.

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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I went all grain after my first extract kit (it was a LHBS in house recipe), but i went off the deepend immediately. I've since learned a ton about brewing beer and every part of the process with it.

I would say maybe give some in-house kits a try (something like NB or Midwest or your LHBS may have, even a brewers best kit would help) Those are going to give you another taste of the process with adding a little bit more than just heating up hopped LME for the Mr. Beer kits.

You can still make great beer using extracts and there are plenty of people here that do, or you can maybe try a stovetop all grain or partial mash to give you some more experience. But without all the added equipment (mash tun, HLT, larger kettle, false bottoms, hoses, etc..) it is going to be a big jump from mr. beer to AG.

Please don't interpret this as me trying to talk you out of anything, i certainly can't be swayed when i've made up my mind on something. But definitely give a look to some of the smaller extract/partial mash kits that many places have to offer. AG is fun, and the process has more control, but if you don't fully understand what it is youre doing and why, you also have the ability to create some various off flavors in your beer.

whichever you choose, goodluck, and don't be afraid to ask a ton of questions here

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Old 01-12-2013, 10:54 PM   #4
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when do you graduate to AG
That is up to you. Some people start with all grain, some do extract kits and never go all grain. There isn't anything wrong with using extracts for as long as you like.

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(that my beautiful, sexy and wonderfully intelligent wife bought me!)
I'm sorry but this kind of statement cannot be believed. You have to provide us with pictures.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Do a few extract recipes, then move to partial mash and finally to AG. Doing this lets you buy things as you progress, learn something at each stage and enjoy the fruits of your education.

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:09 PM   #6
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Do a few extract recipes, then move to partial mash and finally to AG. Doing this lets you buy things as you progress, learn something at each stage and enjoy the fruits of your education.
This is certainly one way to approach it, but there's no reason it has to be this way. I've helped a few folks jump directly into AG and they're glad they did. If you can afford it, I say go for the gold!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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This is certainly one way to approach it, but there's no reason it has to be this way. I've helped a few folks jump directly into AG and they're glad they did. If you can afford it, I say go for the gold!
Man, I wish I could afford to go AG. But, BIAB isn't so bad for someone just learning on a budget.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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man, i wish i could afford to go ag. But, biab isn't so bad for someone just learning on a budget.
biab = ag :d
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:39 PM   #9
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:50 PM   #10
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AG does not have to be that expensive. I batch sparge and use a rectangular cooler that cost me less than $30.00 and that much again to put in the ball vaulve. That allong with a brew pot that can do a full boil is enough to get you going. It may not look as cool as some set ups but works great. I have get 75+ effenciency on most of my brews.

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