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Old 05-27-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Stupid Question regarding PM vs. AG

I'm about to ask a very noobish question, but will really help me understand the difference between AG & PM.

It seems to me, the only difference between AG & PM is that for AG, you will use a lot more grains during your mash to make up for the LME you would otherwise have with a PM. This is why you need bigger pots, MLT, etc...?

So for example purposes only a difference in a recipe would be like this:

PM:

5lbs Grain
5lbs LME


AG:
10lbs Grain

All mash temps, quarts/lb grain would be exactly the same, but since you are using almost double the grain's for your mash, you would need a very large pot.

If this is accurate, then I don't see why I shouldn't just switch to AG. I have everything I need (besides the big pot).

Cheers!
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD87 View Post
If this is accurate, then I don't see why I shouldn't just switch to AG. I have everything I need (besides the big pot).Cheers!
No difference except for equipment that can handle the larger volume of wort. This includes the mash tun, pot and cooling method. The only reasons for PM are space and time.

Edit: Oh, I forgot money, but in the long run AG is cheaper. Equipment expense vs ingredient expense.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:05 PM   #3
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Yep, you got it. PM is replacing some of the extract with grains that will be mashed. Some people who don't have the space/equipment for AG use this as an intermediate step between extract and AG. It can also be a good way to practice the various aspects of mashing before going on to AG.

I skipped the PM step and went right to AG ... come on, you know you want to.
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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When I switched to AG I was actually going to do PM for awhile. I got the equipment big enough to do PM and when I actually went to brew my first batch I decided to go AG. I had some LME on the side just in case of low efficiency.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:35 PM   #5
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I did a PM just to practice the procedure while I was waiting on some equipment. However, I agree that, if you have the supplies and the space, AG seems like just the same work as PM. The major advantage to PM that I see is that you don't have to boil the full 5 gallons, which can be a problem for some people that are limted on space.
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Old 05-27-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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Also, with a PM you're usually only going to be doing a partial boil then topping off. With AG you get the benefit of a full boil
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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With a PM, you reduce the sparge volume. This gives you the option of doing partial boils and/or reduce total brewing time. You can even eliminate sparging by using a large grain bag and tea-bagging.

I do PM & AG. PM takes 60-90 minutes less, even when I do full boils.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD87 View Post
It seems to me, the only difference between AG & PM is that for AG, you will use a lot more grains during your mash to make up for the LME you would otherwise have with a PM. {snip} If this is accurate, then I don't see why I shouldn't just switch to AG. I have everything I need.
That is my (limited) experience, and unfortunately it is a lesson many people seem to learn far too late. I made the decision to go AG, started the equipment acquisition, and in the process realized all I needed was a mash tun and a little more time on brew day.

Had I realized that, I probably would have made the switch a long time ago...
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Old 05-27-2008, 07:02 PM   #9
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I didn't think that malt extract and grain were a direct 1 to 1 ratio.

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Old 05-27-2008, 07:09 PM   #10
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Thanks for the reply's. I thought that sounded about right.

Just to summarize - The reason you need a 6-7 Gal pot is because when you mash 10lbs of grain, at 1.25 quarts/lb + another 1 quart/lb for sparge = ~5.5Gal. These are completely made up, as it should be more like 6-7Gal pre-boil.

Then it's the same ol, same ol that you're used to doing as PM or Extract. (Except maybe using a wort chiller)



Did not want to start a new thread, but I have another silly question.
I use one-step for sanitizing purposes, which cleans by oxidizing. If you use one-step prior to transferring to secondary or bottling, are you introducing oxygen into the brew, or is this completely different then the O2 that typically spoils?
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