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Old 12-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #61
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No way! Sure, it plays a role in technique, but a much bigger role in recipe formulation, which I purposefully excluded.

There's just not that big a difference in recipes between all-grain and extract with steeping grains. I'd say the biggest difference between the two comes during fermentation and fermentability of the wort (which also comes from mash technique)

If you're talking about straight extract brewing (no grains), I would certainly agree with you, but who does that?
Depending on when the brewer ads the extract, you can get a very different color, and flavors, brewing with it. You can also get different hop utilization from partial boils (very common for extract/extract with steeping grains) brewers.

IMO/IME, there's a significant difference between extract/extract with steeping grains and all grain brewing. Not just in the process and hardware/gear but also with what you get into your glass.

BTW, fermentation and the fermentibility of the wort are HUGE items. With all grain, I can mash so that the batch FG will be low, or I can simply change the mash temperature and have it finish much higher. One simple change can produce very different brews.

Personally, I cannot see ever going back to extract with steeping grains. I did all of one partial mash batch early on. IME, it was just as easy to go all grain, so I did.


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Old 12-05-2012, 05:53 PM   #62
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For Ipa and pales I see no reason not to use extract only. But for more complex beers like Pilsners or German ales grain would be needed.


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Old 12-05-2012, 06:00 PM   #63
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For Ipa and pales I see no reason not to use extract only. But for more complex beers like Pilsners or German ales grain would be needed.
Making that separation is just wrong on so many levels, for me. For one, I don't brew pilsners or German brews. For another, my pale ales, IPA's, etc. are beyond great as all grain. Going all extract with either of those is a travesty, IMO. It's like using canned tomato sauce (not pasta sauce here) and thinking it's fine on noodles. Sure, if your pallet can't tell the difference, but don't mislead yourself into thinking it's something great, or even good.

After the post by OldWorld I just need to take a shower...
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #64
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Especially if you end up picking 8 different types of specialty grains.

Okay, I have already seen recipes that call for different darkness but of the same type... for instance, Carmel 30L, Carmel 60L and then Carmel 130L in the same recipe. I mean, cant all that just be averaged and simplified?
A good analogy for this would be spaghetti sauce (again!).

You can use basil, parsley and oregano in the sauce if you like it. But you cannot sub one for the other- as they are not the same. They are spices- but they are not the same spice.

It's true of caramel/crystal malts also. Sure, they are the same in that they are grains. But they are not the same grain.

Just as basil is not oregano, crystal 20L is not crystal 120L.

Most of my batches of "regular" beer, like cream ale or ambers are less than $10 per 5 gallons to make. Really hoppy beers might be $15-18 per 5 gallons (I buy hops by the pound, but they are still the most expensive part). But I probably spent $3500(?) on my set up with the all-electric HERMS, two pumps, the grain mill, the RO water system, etc. That's just a wild guess, as I really have no clue.

So it's not that I went with my system to save money! It just makes brewing so much easier that it's worth it to me, and it is a hobby after all.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #65
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BTW, just as you can have different versions of basil and oregano, you can also have different crystal malts. You have the typical range for the US/Canada malting companies, but then you have some of the UK companies making others. Such as having the C10-C120 on this side of the pond, you also have British crystal malts (I, II and then Dark I and Dark II) that are at different levels. They will give you something different than the US/Canadian malt versions.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:45 AM   #66
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For Ipa and pales I see no reason not to use extract only. But for more complex beers like Pilsners or German ales grain would be needed.
All grain is cheaper, and if you have the set up, why pay more for extract?
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:01 AM   #67
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BTW, just as you can have different versions of basil and oregano, you can also have different crystal malts. You have the typical range for the US/Canada malting companies, but then you have some of the UK companies making others. Such as having the C10-C120 on this side of the pond, you also have British crystal malts (I, II and then Dark I and Dark II) that are at different levels. They will give you something different than the US/Canadian malt versions.
exactly! I learned long ago that where the crystal malt comes from can have a huge impact on the final result. same with base malts.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:02 AM   #68
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i used to think that also, i am making good beer now why should i go all grain, my best answer to that is if you are happy wit what you are doing then keep doing it, if you are like me and want to get more into it then give AG a try i was suprised at how easy it realy is and you get the satisfaction of saying yes i did it from scratch.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:10 AM   #69
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exactly! I learned long ago that where the crystal malt comes from can have a huge impact on the final result. same with base malts.
The company that does the malting can also impact the product. Just as Great Western will use their processes, Thomas Fawcett uses theirs. Both end up with malted barley, but the actual processes (tweaked by them) and geographical locations, will impact the product. I would wager that the malts processed by US and Canadian companies can be interchanged without any thoughts at all.

I don't expect to ever find out, unless the UK companies start boycotting US sales. Now THAT would be an end of the world sign if there ever was one.
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Old 12-06-2012, 01:12 AM   #70
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The company that does the malting can also impact the product. Just as Great Western will use their processes, Thomas Fawcett uses theirs. Both end up with malted barley, but the actual processes (tweaked by them) and geographical locations, will impact the product. I would wager that the malts processed by US and Canadian companies can be interchanged without any thoughts at all.

I don't expect to ever find out, unless the UK companies start boycotting US sales. Now THAT would be an end of the world sign if there ever was one.
I would have to re-locate my family. and my wife would be pissed.


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