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Old 04-29-2008, 02:32 AM   #1
beerme70
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I've been brewing for about 6 or 7 years now, and have always brewed using extracts. I've seen tons of stuff on all grain brewing, but it all seems a little too complicated...but I digress. Anyhow, what are the positives and negatives of all grain brewing as opposed to using extracts? (obviously AG uses what it looks to be a hell of alot more equipment)
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:34 AM   #2
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Pros for all grain:

More control over recipies
more controll over your beers
cheaper after initial investment
more rewarding final product

cons for all grain:

brewdays slightly longer?
Very addictive



Thats all I got
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:36 AM   #3
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I agree with Deathweed. As far as more complicated, yes, but only slightly so. Once you do your first, you'll realize it's quite easy.
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:51 AM   #4
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Not to sound like an idiot, but what exactly do you mean by more control over your recipes and beer?
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Old 04-29-2008, 02:58 AM   #5
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Pros for All Grain :
1) Freshest beer possible. Age/quality of extract will always play a factor in how the beer turns out.
2) Most control over the beer profile
3) Greater sense of accomplishment once the beer has been made
4) Cheaper (in the long run)

Cons
1) Way more variables to take into account
2) Requires more equipment, greater initial cost
3) More complicated brewing process, takes more time.
4) More break material in wort, possibly requires irish moss

I can't think of any more.

 
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerme70
Not to sound like an idiot, but what exactly do you mean by more control over your recipes and beer?
You're not limited by the extract, so you are free to substitute your own grains in the place of others, so you can tweak your favorite recipes based on your own personal preferences. With extract, the bulk of the wort is supplied to you pre-made, so you have little control over the finished product.

 
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:04 AM   #7
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AG can use a bunch more grains that are "mash only". Gives you much more flavor variables, which is a great way to tweak any recipe to your tastes.


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Old 04-29-2008, 03:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerme70
I've been brewing for about 6 or 7 years now, and have always brewed using extracts. I've seen tons of stuff on all grain brewing, but it all seems a little too complicated...but I digress. Anyhow, what are the positives and negatives of all grain brewing as opposed to using extracts? (obviously AG uses what it looks to be a hell of alot more equipment)
I had the same feeling, especially since I'm new at this and have only done 3 extract brews. They've all been fantastic, but I wanted to get into the recipe formulation a bit more and try something new. I will say that it doesn't take "alot more equipment", I did mine with just a spare 5g cooler I had laying around, and $20 worth of hardware from the store. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't that difficult to go all grain...you just really need to do your homework. My reasons for trying it out:

1. Curiosity
2. More complex recipe formulation
3. I wanted to make beer more like a brewery does
4. Cheaper (debatable, but per recipe it pencils out)
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:14 AM   #9
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+1 on all of the above not to mention way cheaper beer. figure around $10.00 per 2 cases of beer as opposed to $25-$45 for extract. Granted this is if you buy in bulk but if you are going to brew on a regular basis there is not reason not to buy in bulk.

Also it is not that complicated, watch some of the youtube videos, listen to the all grain podcasts, and read up on all grain brewing via papazians or howtobrew.com and it will make perfect sense.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:19 AM   #10
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If you already do full boils, the switch to all grain is only $30 away for a converted cooler/mash tun. And it is really very simple.

Pros:
Just look at the variety of base malts that you can choose from yet alone all of the other grains. The mash temp can change the outcome of the beer (how fermentable the sugars are, how much sweetness or dryness the finished product will be) vs. whatever that particular batch of DME/LME was made at. You get more out of the specialty grains (than you would just steeping them). Its cheaper in the long run. It makes your brewing process a little more involved.

Cons:
It makes your brewing process a little more involved.

 
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