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Old 03-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #1
Reidman
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Feb 2007
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I have one extract batch under my belt but after reading in this forum I am ready to give that up already to start brewing AG.

Am I crazy for thinking this way or should I at least do some partial mashes first before jumping into AG? Here's the thing, I'm a bit of a beer snob so I like big beers, the kind I think I will only come close to brewing by going with a full mash. Plus I am thinking the flavor and body would be fuller as well.

With a great reference in this site alone, I feel like I can't really go wrong. So I am curious if anybody jumped into all grain brewing right off the bat or is it necessary or maybe even common knowledge to start simple with extract and partials? And if you did was it way more than you expected or overwhelming..?

 
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:33 AM   #2
Orfy
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I don't think it's unknown for brewers to start planning after their first brew. But it normally takes time for them to start making and collecting kit. In this time they, read, ask and learn. By the time they are ready they normally have most of the question answered and a few more extract brews under their belt. Others take years and some never leave extract brewing.

Different strokes.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:41 AM   #3
mysterio
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I think I moved into AG after a couple of months of brewing with kits. I did one extract batch, then did a partial mash lager, then went into AG. Partial mash is a good way to ease yourself in gently. Brewing is a really forgiving process, as long as you keep everything clean, it will still be beer. My first AG was a bit of a disaster but it's still one of the best beers of made. Just read everything you can.

 
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #4
Reidman
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Yeah, I'm debating on a partial mash or full grain for my next batch. Right now as it stands I have a recipe concocted with grains and extract but it could easily be converted to AG. For the sake of taking it slow and learning the mashing process maybe I'll stick with a PM this time around.

I think i"m just overly excited to get into AG brewing.

 
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:00 PM   #5
McCall St. Brewer
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I look at brewing pretty much as cooking (with as little or as much science added in as you like). If you can cook a little bit and follow directions, and if you have your equipment all set up to do it, I don't see why you couldn't do an AG right off the bat.

 
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:21 PM   #6
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People talk about Extract Brewing like banging a fat chick- as if it's something not to be discussed, or something to be avoided.

I have recently made the leap to all grain brewing, but guess what- I doubt I will stop doing Extract batches. Why should I? I can buy the ingredients and brew something in 2 hours. What's wrong with that? Why would it worry you to do this? Why would you avoid it?

No matter how you start brewing, if you're smart about it, you will use LME/DME. And why shouldn't you? The stuff has a large variety of uses (priming, upping the SG, for fortifying barleywines to ridiculous SG's, partial mashing with second runnings, adding flavor/color, etc.)

The only good reason against starting off with AG is the additional equipment. I agree with orfy. All the equipment used in Extract brewing is also used in AG. So buy the stuff you need to do Extract batches and get the basics of sanitation and procedure down. While you're doing that, make some decisions about HOW you want to go AG.

Are you going to batch sparge or fly sparge? What kind of manifold will you use? Are you going for max efficiency, or don't you care about spending an extra dollar per batch on grain? How will you set up your equipment? Are you going to do decoctions? Etc etc etc...

Sure, you can do AG from the start. In fact, I'm helping someone do exactly that. However, I'm recommending the simplest methods possible and when he's up and running, it'll be up to him to learn why I suggested the procedures I did. I guess that's true with anything.

As I see it, there are two recipes that combine in brewing. The first recipe is your ingredients. The second recipe is your process. By starting out AG, the second recipe will be from a cookbook, but the first recipe will be yours to fiddle with. Of course, this is also what Extract brewing does- minimize the amount of control you have over the "second" recipe.


In the end, if you want to run out and buy extra equipment before you've even brewed a batch, then it's your money to spend. But since there is nothing wrong with Extract Brewing, as you assemble your equipment, why not do an extract batch or two just to get your feet wet?


I promise... extract brewing is not like banging a fat chick. Just do it a few times, you'll like it, we won't make fun of you, and then you can move on to better things with a little bit of experience under your belt....

Oh wait. Maybe extract brewing IS like banging a fat chick.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
Organic Mechanics
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All Grain,
The Only way i ever knew...
I was bitten by the Brewyyomyces bug in a brew pub,
The Brewers there were Kind enuff to Allow me to watch a sunday brew
7,Bbls(Honey Wheat) I learned 2 things that day
1) the timer forgives you
2)the thermometer does not
After this i watched 2 more batches a (Czhec Pilz,and an IPA)
So I began Brewing All Grain for the git go.
I would like to try a Kit sometime.Like some time when I want to brew but only have a few hours to work with. My first beer was a Hefe and opinion was Consumed by Passers by in 4 days.
watch that thermometer! Mind the temp closely!
wait for the dinggg
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:51 PM   #8
Cheesefood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
People talk about Extract Brewing like banging a fat chick- as if it's something not to be discussed, or something to be avoided.
I don't think that's the case at all. Some fine recipes have been crafted out of extracts. Having sampled both, I'll take a good extract over a bad all-grain any day.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheesefood
I don't think that's the case at all. Some fine recipes have been crafted out of extracts. Having sampled both, I'll take a good extract over a bad all-grain any day.
Yes. Extract recipes can be quite tasty. I never meant to suggest otherwise. And banging a fat chick can be fun too. (just dont let your friends see)....


Extract brewing is still the easier method that offers less control over the finished product, though it does perhaps offer more predictable results.
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Old 03-16-2007, 01:29 PM   #10
Bobby_M
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I'm glad I started with extract because I feel like I've had a LOT of successful batches which ensured I will stick with the hobby. I also progressed into full boil extract to ramp up for all grain so that I didn't have to deal with so many unknowns. You have a couple detailed parts that when put together can be very daunting for a beginner. Sanitizing, Boil/hop schedules, Chilling, Aerating, Pitching, Fermentation temp control, Racking, Bottling. If you go all right away, add mash/sparge volume calculations and temp control to the long list. I'm glad I got the first items under control first.
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