Originally Posted by sause
Actually doing a full boil will help your hop utilization. So if you like hoppy beers all grain is really a help.
You don't need to do AG to do full boils. I was doing full boils by my second extract batch, but only because I had the means. I still didn't know exactly what I was doing, though.
For me, AG and yeast harvesting cuts my costs dramatically, about in half! I have better control over the finished product (especially with light colored beers), the beer tastes fresher, and I love the smell and tast of the mash!
Timewise, it is still pretty quick. I keep all of my ducks in a row and clean. From "go" time when I start pulling water to heat for the mash and preheat the cooler to pitch time, I average about 4 hours 15 minutes. That is leaving my brewing stuff to soak over night, not shine everything up. That's not much more than an hour more than my extract brews were.
You really need at least 1 turkey fryer (or better) for doing AG. I can't imagine trying to do it on my stove top. I bought a second fryer (aluminum 30 qt) on Christmas Clearance for $18, and use it just for heating sparge and pre-heat water. My good 40 qt. stainless one gets used to heat the strike water, and do the boil.