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Old 01-29-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
pinarphan
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Jan 2009
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After 10 years of brewing 6-8 batches a year, the bug has re-bit me.

I want bigger batches to show for my time though. There is a used HERMS fashioned out of kegs for sale locally for $700. But I own a keg and could cut the top off and convert it to a nice kettle for larger scale extract boils. I've been very satisfied with my results using extract with specialty grain additions.

(sidebar question: when using specialty grains, I bring the water to 150 then steep the grains, 1-2lbs - for 1 hour...am I adding significant fermentable sugars by doing this?)

I have the carboys to ferment 15 gallons at a time.

I can't decide which way to go...



 
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:35 PM   #2
Jumbo82
 
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I would go all grain, but thats just me. Others would say stick with extract. Its really up to you and what you want to get out of it. Do you have plenty of spare time? Do you want more control over you brewing? If you answered yes, go AG. If you want more beer for less effort, stick to extract.



 
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:23 PM   #3
Southwood
 
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When I got my 15 gal kettle, I just used it to kick my extract brews up with a full boil. Then I decided that 10 gallon batches would be better than 5. One thing I'll say is that the ingredients for a 10 gallon batch of extract are expensive. Cost was one of the driving forces behind my jump to AG. Now I brew 10 gallon AG batches that cost the same (or less) than my 5 gallon extract batches.

Through my progression through various processes, I have generally taken one step at a time. First I steeped grains with a partial boil, then I started countertop partial-mashing. This let me get comfortable with the mashing process. Then I got my big kettle, this let me get used to dealing with large volumes & brewing outside. Finally, I built my 10 gal MLT. With every step along the way, I only had to deal with one new component making for a painless progression & alot of great beer.
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:56 PM   #4
FireBrewer
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinarphan View Post
I've been very satisfied with my results using extract with specialty grain additions.
Nothing wrong with that. To help you make the decision, I'd do a batch of all-grain first. Maybe brew on a friend's system---put your location in, I'm sure there's homebrewers around you if you don't already know some. After you do the process and taste the result, you should be able to make an informed decision.

 
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:57 PM   #5
david_42
 
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Quote:
(sidebar question: when using specialty grains, I bring the water to 150 then steep the grains, 1-2lbs - for 1 hour...am I adding significant fermentable sugars by doing this?)
Only for certain grains: crystals and roasted.
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:26 PM   #6
Bobby_M
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Actually, you'd only be extracting significant sugar from your "mini-mash" if you have some base grain in the mix (pale, 2-row, vienna, or munich). If none of it is base grain, a 20 minute steep is the same as 60, just less time wasted.

You can do large scale extract batches in a small pot and get similar effects of full boils by doing late extract additions. I like brewing all grain. I can't tell you that it would be better for you but the only place extract has in my brewery is for starters.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:36 AM   #7
Haterade
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Heck, if you've been brewing for years, I would go to AG. It will really open your eyes as to everything you may have missed. Nothing wrong with extract but you'll likely get a new interest in brewing once you try AG. It's a whole 'nother world. Might add some You'll definitely be reading a lot more on this website...

 
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Old 01-31-2009, 03:07 AM   #8
PUD
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brew costs go way down with AG, yeast washing or culturing, and growing hops. extract brews did seem to be a little heavy on the old pocket book.



 
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