All-Grain Brewing Vs. Extract Brewing - Home Brew Forums

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View Poll Results: Which Do You Prefer?
All-Grain Brewing Only 73 55.73%
Extract Brewing Only 5 3.82%
Extract With Specialty Grains Only 21 16.03%
All of the above! Depending On What I'm Making. 32 24.43%
Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-30-2007, 01:34 PM   #1
Jan 2007
Posts: 179
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Papazian makes some great points in his books about the pros & cons to both AG & E/SG Brewing, and even admits that AG is not the end-all-be-all of beer making techniques; E/SG can make an equal and sometimes better brew.

We all have our opinions on this one, so let 'em fly, but try to explain your responces to the poll.


Primary 1: The Astronomer: An Imperial Stout
Primary 2: NA
Secondary 1: Potion #6: An Irish Stout
- Vander Maass German Wheat
- Mad Tiger: Honey IPA
- Vander Maass German Wheat
- Mad Tiger: Honey IPA
Up Next:
- undecided

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Old 07-30-2007, 01:42 PM   #2
anthrobe's Avatar
Nov 2005
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 578
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I have done one all grain and mostly PM and extract. Depending on the time that I have to brew, I will do either or. Although I am still learning the AG stuff too
On Deck -
Primary1 -Hop Knot 10/04/07
Primary2 -
Secondary1 -
Secondary2 -
On Tap
Tap1 - Kelly's Rasberry Cream Ale 7/11/07
Tap2 - Black Stap Porter (8/25/07)
Tap3 - Hefeweizen 7/05/07
Waiting for tap\Conditioning
Keg1 -
Keg2 -
Keg3 -


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Old 07-30-2007, 01:52 PM   #3
magno's Avatar
Feb 2006
Austin, TX
Posts: 900
Liked 9 Times on 6 Posts

Im just breaking into AG. I have done two extract only batches, plenty of extract with steeping grains and around 15 partial mashes.

I think from a recipe formulating standpoint AG wins hands down, also from the standpoint of saving money (after the initial equipment cost).

Extract comes out ahead for a nice easy learning curve, and for saving time on brew day.

Ive made some great beer, and some not so great beer with extract, and I imagine that will be the same with AG.

I voted all of the above, although I doubt I will ever do another extract only brew.

- magno
Planning: New brewery at new house!!

Primary: Barley Wine

Secondary: Red Ale, Pale Ale


Drinking: Brown Ale, 75 min. IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Poor Richard's Ale, Chocolate Cherry Stout

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Old 07-30-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
10th-Level Beer Nerd
the_bird's Avatar
May 2006
Adams, MA
Posts: 20,909
Liked 529 Times on 425 Posts

Nothing wrong with extract, and lots of people are content making very good extract brews for years and years and years.

With that said, I have never ONCE heard anyone who "graduated" to AG brewing ever, ever say that they regretted it. I know some AG folks will continue to make an extract brew on occassion, but I don't know of anyone who has ever gone back to extract.

If you love making beer, you will LOVE doing AG, how much flexibility and control that you have in the process.
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:59 PM   #5
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
Posts: 25,595
Liked 153 Times on 144 Posts

Mostly I do partial mash (which wasn't a choice). I'm most likely to do AG for a recipe that has a high percentage of specialty grains that require mashing.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:01 PM   #6
East Mountain Brewer
Jun 2007
Tijeras NM
Posts: 13

All grain brewing just adds another dimension of control that is only needed for certain styles. The mash temp. knob on fermentability / attenuation is a big one for Belgian styles. I have not had an acceptable Saison made from extract. For typical American style ales though, there are lots of folks making them every bit as good with extract. As long as you have fresh extract, the possibilities are endless. In the long run, all grain is much cheaper but more time consuming and addictive. I guess I should get a penny back for my two cents but there you have it.

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Old 07-30-2007, 02:18 PM   #7
FlyGuy's Avatar
Jan 2007
Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 3,605
Liked 181 Times on 51 Posts

To me, making beer is a lot like making food. I really enjoy cooking (and brewing!), and if I have the time, I really enjoy spending an evening in the kitchen doing either. Almost always, the results are worth it.

But if I am pressed for time, I will still cook instead of ordering take-out (gets expensive). But I will cut corners and use a lot of ready-to-go ingredients instead of making them myself. Almost as good, but not as satisfying.

To me, AG brewing is similar. I like making my own recipes or tweaking ones I find. I like the control I get to make exactly the beer I want. I also get great satisfaction out of making something from scratch. Plus, for me, the beer is far better, and far cheaper to make.

But if I am pressed for time, I will still do an extract batch. I just don't enjoy the process or the beer as much.

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Old 07-30-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
Buford's Avatar
Oct 2006
Richmond, VA
Posts: 1,383
Liked 10 Times on 7 Posts

To me, doing AG is a lot of fun. It's all about the process from weighing out your grains, to crushing them, to doing the mash that I find interesting. I'm not doing it just to create a finished product.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:08 PM   #9
Lil' Sparky
Cowboys EAC
Lil' Sparky's Avatar
Feb 2006
Honolulu, HI
Posts: 3,959
Liked 73 Times on 46 Posts

I've only ever brewed AG. It's fun, simple enough, and makes great beer. I've got no reason to ever brew w/ extract.

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Old 07-30-2007, 03:17 PM   #10
Got Trub?
Apr 2007
Washington State
Posts: 1,538
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

Like other who have already posted I love the process of making AG. For me this is a fun hobby so I enjoy spending 4-5 hours making a batch of beer. That said if I'm in a hurry or an extract recipe catches my fancy I'll brew that too and am pleased with the results. For those of you just starting out in this hobby we are in the "Golden Age" with access to a huge variety of good quality ingredients for either extract or AG. Enjoy!

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