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Old 01-13-2013, 12:57 AM   #11
E-Mursed's Avatar
May 2011
Westland, MI
Posts: 881
Liked 114 Times on 65 Posts

Better ask that beautiful, sexy, intelligent wife of yours what you can afford to do first.

She might get pissed, or have her feelings hurt, if you cast away Mr Beer so quickly. Women are funny about having their gifts appreciated.

If she says go for it, thank your lucky stars that you have a very understanding and supportive wife...along with those other good qualities.
Schöne Blondine Brauerei
Closed-System Pressurized Fermentation - the future of homebrewing today...!!!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci
"A set back is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently" - Henry Ford

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:01 AM   #12
Aug 2012
Akron, ohio
Posts: 360
Liked 29 Times on 27 Posts

I did a Mr. Beer kit and wasn't impressed with the flavor and economy. A friend showed me his partial mash setup/process and I got a well-intentioned all grain kit as a gift. Like others have said AG isn't hard so much as it is expensive in initial setup costs. BIAB and some of the smaller 1-3 gallon AG setups can be very economic and practical. It all depends on what you're trying to get out of it.

Following other peoples recipes like those found in The Joys of Homebrewing, Brew Like a Monk, and the many on this website isn't hard. Formulating your own recipes from scratch can be difficult if you don't have some mid-level understanding of the processes in action when you brew.

While the books mentioned in this thread and found at your LHBS are excellent sources of the how and why, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, it is entirely possible to get a thorough understanding of all of the forces at work in brewing from free sources. The members of this site along with brewing blogs such as Science Brewer, The Mad Fermentationist, BKYeast, Grain and Grain, BrewingTV, blogs maintained by members here, and countless others will give you just as much information for free!
1°:Cider; Conditioning: Banana wine, Cider, Orange/Clover blossom mead, Cyser, JAOM, In like a Lion RIS ; Drinking: In like a Lion RIS; Mango Melomel, Blackberry Melomel

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Old 01-13-2013, 01:41 AM   #13
May 2012
Portland, OR
Posts: 1,278
Liked 234 Times on 187 Posts

I would say you're better off doing some more extract batches first, or partial mash. You can still build wonderfully complex beers with extract, but there are some fundamentals that it's really good to master first. My first few all grain batches were much worse than any of my extract batches, until I really got my head around the process. It's taken me several batches to get to where I can consistently make beer as good as my last few extract brews.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:06 AM   #14
Euphist's Avatar
Jan 2012
Jacksonburg, WV
Posts: 501
Liked 52 Times on 37 Posts

AG does not have to be expensive. A stock pot can be had for $40 or less. The material to make a bag is less than $5 at Walmart. A mill can be ordered for about $25. That's really about all you need to add to the equipment for doing extract to switch to AG.

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Old 01-13-2013, 02:14 AM   #15
twalte's Avatar
Nov 2012
Roseville (Sacramento), California
Posts: 393
Liked 30 Times on 28 Posts

Originally Posted by Euphist View Post
AG does not have to be expensive. A stock pot can be had for $40 or less. The material to make a bag is less than $5 at Walmart. A mill can be ordered for about $25. That's really about all you need to add to the equipment for doing extract to switch to AG.
I use a different approach to AG that does not use a mash tun...just a bazooka tube (I paid $9.99 for the tube). I already had a spigot on my brew kettle though.

I'm trying to avoid any additional equipment...the garage can only hold so much stuff before I end up on an episode of Hoarders.
"You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of football team, or some nuclear weapons but at the very least you need a beer"
- Frank Zappa

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Old 01-13-2013, 02:47 AM   #16
ilikeguns's Avatar
Jan 2012
, NY
Posts: 257
Liked 19 Times on 17 Posts

Extract is expensive, but the additional gear you pick up definitely adds up. I know, I know.. you don't have to get a bunch of extra gear.. but who are we kidding?

I started with the idea of being cost conscious.. $1k+ later, i'm still not in the black, but i'm loving every minute of it! And i'm loving the beer I drink too and it's always getting better.
life is too short to drink beer you don't love...

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:09 AM   #17
TrubDog's Avatar
Oct 2011
Cle Elum, WA
Posts: 392
Liked 33 Times on 28 Posts

My setup. Rectangular cooler (Walmart/$17), ball valve and cpvc manifold ($25), Bayou Classic 8 gal SS kettle and SQ14 propane burner ($125), 5 gal kettle for strike/sparge water ($40), Barley Crusher ($125), 2 fermenting buckets ($40), carboys (left over from my wine making days). You don't need to spend a lot to get up and running.

Read up on BIAB and traditional mash tun methods and watch some videos (I watched a ton of them before I started purchasing my equipment) so you get a good feel and can decide for yourself how you want to proceed.

Welcome to the addiction!

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Old 01-13-2013, 04:12 AM   #18
Nov 2012
Houston, Texas
Posts: 313
Liked 59 Times on 38 Posts

I did one extract and enjoyed it, my second was a biab all grain (done today), only 3 gallon to fit my equipment. I'm glad I took this step now instead of later. The cost for the bag was cheap and that was the only additional cost for me, ingridients were cheaper.

I have read this forum and other info about ag for the past few weeks, felt as confident as I could and all worked out well during the brew, all the numbers matched up perfectly. It's more to think about and more to prepare for but its worth it.

Even if in 2 months when this beer is done it tastes like cat piss, the process of actually doing it will be worth it. I can read everything in the world, but without doing it myself things never line up in my head,

Excuse my long drunk ramble

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Old 01-13-2013, 05:12 AM   #19
Aug 2011
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 871
Liked 181 Times on 134 Posts

as others have stated AG doesn't need to be very expensive, for the first five years I brewed, my AG equipment consisted of the turkey fryer/pot combo that I used for extract batches, a 10 gallon cooler, a ball valve that I put in the cooler, a part off of a toilet, (eventually I upgraded to a slotted manifold) and a couple of buckets from the home depot. Hell I know a guy who used the same turkey fryer setup and a zap-pap tun.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #20
Aug 2012
Auckland, NZ
Posts: 102
Liked 16 Times on 12 Posts

Move to AG once you decide that extract brewing doesn't give you the results you are looking for. For some folks that is never. For me it happened 2 brews ago. I'm slowly putting together the equipment. I have a mash tun and a 50L pot. I just need the outdoor burning equipment now.

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