Quantcast

Malt preference poll

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

What type of malt do you use?

  • Extract only

  • Extract with steeped/mini-mash grains

  • All grain

  • Multiple methods


Results are only viewable after voting.

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
All grain, extract, or steep/mini-mash? How do you brew? Add some comments, too if you feel one way makes better beer.

To me, all-grain clearly makes the best beer, but I can understand why people don't have the time and space to do it. Extract brews can be quite good, especially if you do a mini-mash or steep some grains for flavor. I think that's a big step up from all-extract brews. The National Homebrew Competition results back me up on that.

I started all-grain after probably half a dozen batches and have been brewing that way for 12 years or so. I encourage anyone thinking about it to at least give a mini-mash a try. It's easier than the books make it sound. Cheers! :D
 
OP
Janx

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Oh yeah...let's talk varieties here too. I'll start us off with some:

2-row - The base malt for any beer imaginable. Converts in about 30 seconds.

Caramel/Crystal malt - Adds sweetness, body. Usually a bit too sweet for my tastes, but used in moderation can be great.

Chocolate - Very dark...adds a roasted coffeelike flavor and maybe a slight tang. A little goes a long way in terms of color. I use this onre all the time.

Black Patent - Adds a burnt flavor. Great in really dark beers like stout. A very little goes a long way colorwise. I just put an ounce in 12 gallons of bitter and it added some definite color.

Black Roasted Barley - unmalted black barley...the backbone of stout.

Flaked barley - adds a fantastic creamy body that I love in my bitters.

What malts do y'all like or dislike? :D
 

zprime

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2005
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
MO
I'm still a newb at the all grain but I'm never going back to kit-beer/extract (unless someone gives it to me....which hasn't happened yet).

In my first all grain batch I used some 2-row, and some Med Crystal.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2005
Messages
916
Reaction score
4
Location
Saugus, MA
Same here, Im fairly new to brewing, with only 1 batch in bottles aging and one in a secondary mellowing. Both were from kits. My next is a grain/extract and I am looking into moving into all grain. I wont be going back to the beginners kits of dry and syrup extracts, but will definately use some of my brew supply house recipes, as well as try to make some of my own. Some are partial, some are all grain, but either way, they are tutors as I see them.
 

rightwingnut

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2004
Messages
463
Reaction score
4
Location
New Jersey
Hmmm...can I vote for all-grain even though I've never done a batch? All I know is, I'm not happy with extract; which may not be fair, as I've only done three batches so far, but I'm seeing an undesirable pattern. I've got two of my 5 gallon brews sitting in bottles while I buy commercial brews to enjoy. Morebeer called to let me know the parts for my A.G. setup are on backorder, so I'll have to wait longer, but when they arrive, I'm jumping in with much enthusiasm.
 

Hatzie

Active Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2005
Messages
40
Reaction score
0
Location
Waterford, NY
I've been brewing AG for about 2 years, I think my beers have improved. When I brewed Partial mash, I brewed the same recipe as a friend and he could not tell the differnece. I will never go back, because I love the AG process and the ingrdients are much cheaper.

I am using Franco Belges as my base 2 row and have loved the results, I bought 4 bags from North Country Malt in NY and couldn't beat the price.
 

SwAMi75

Banned
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
2,458
Reaction score
10
Location
Midwest City, OK
Extract w/steeped grains here. Just getting started, and it's working for me so far. If I see the opportunity to get into AG cheaply and easily, I'll go for it. Otherwise, I'll keep on keepin' on!

The one thing I've learned about extract brewing combined with botte conditioning...patience, patience, patience!
 

BitterRat

Banned
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
107
Reaction score
2
Location
Earth
All grain. I can't really say I dislike any grain I've come across. I do favor Brit ale and usually use Marris Otter, but have used Weyermann Pale Ale malt and it was great and now have picked up a sack of Halcyon Pale Ale malt from North Country, so I'll see how that goes!
 

jhudson

Active Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2005
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Location
Taft, TX
Well, I started with extract kits five years ago. I've slowly progressed to partial mash. Now, I'm looking at getting into all grain but I have to wait until I move to a bigger place. I currently don't have the room to have a setup like that. So, I would have voted for all grain because I so desperately want to start it, but I'm stuck with partial mash right now. You know it's bad when you want to buy a new house to have more room for brewing beer. :D
 

DragonTail

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
3,379
Reaction score
10
Location
Genoa City
I use the extract w/steep setup. This is the only way I've done it so far. I got a friend of mine into the hobby and his first batch was a tinned no boil "kit". His second was extract/grain and he said he'll never go back. I would like to try the all grain way, but I need a little more time and room. :cool:
 

uglygoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
2,765
Reaction score
10
Location
Clebland, OH
i've done primarily a mini-mash with some extract. about four to six pounds of grain and three pounds of dried extract. what i'd been doing is bringing an amount of water, depending on my amount of grains, up to about 175F, then doughing in my grain. give it a whirl or six to mix it up, then tossing it in the oven on the lowest setting for an hour or so... i'd been pouring it out into a huge collander that sits atop my eight gallon brew kettle and sparging with about five gallons of liqour at 170... i've used a racking cane and siphon hose to get the hot water from the water kettle onto the grain bed adn driained into the kettle... now i've always been concerned about a stuck runoff from the initial pour, but eveything always seemed to filter out just fine, cause the colander always remained full of wort whith the grains whilst i was pouring... then i could get the fresh/hot water onto the grain bed soon enough to keep a decent level of moisture in the grains...

not perfect, but it improved the taste of me beer by like six hundred :)


i've gotten the gear together for my madien voyage of all grain (not a colman cooler either ;O) and the result is sitting in the primary right now... i know something worked cause the yeast fermented. i initially used about eight pounds of malt grain... i'm thinking of a stainless steel screen above the ghetto manifold i had cobbled outta some tubing to the spigot on the five gallon brew kettle, this should help the grains settle better, without jaming into the holes in the mainifold and also allow for a better bed of water..... i figure i can get about ten pounds of grain and the requisite water in there to mash... that should yield me some pretty decent five gallon batches.

i am a big fan of the carapils malt... it really only needs a short exposure to heated liquor to get you some goodies, and gives a nice taste. i try and put at least a pound of it into all my beer.

after that just plain old british two row pale malt i use as a base. in the past i've used about two pounds of this but will go to six now with all grain.

also liek the belgian biscut malt, but have learned to respect it as it can give your beer a real sharp/bitter taste even before the insane high aa hops i throw in...

the other one i really like is german pilsner malt, i like the flavor and color of this, even if i'm only making ale...

i'm no expert or even very experienced, but the above i've found to bring me a relative amount of success, anyway it's enough to keep me brewing... ;)

oh and if i don't count the cost of equipment, i've gon from thirty bucks a batch to about 15 dollars... not to shabby considering i'm the shantiest of drunkards and can put it away faster than i can brew it ;)
 

Ken Doggett

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Bend, Oregon
After two years of partial grain/partial extract, I moved to AG brewing and will never return. I can target my OG much better, and with the freshest ingredients around, I can almost guarantee a quality beer every time. All grain is the way it all started - the original way of brewing. My beers taste fresher and better. I store my grains in seal packed plastic and try to use them in 6 months, or less. Once I understood mash efficiency, how much sparge water was necessary for the batch I was making, and went through the process once, I was hooked and will never go back to extracts. It takes more time, but, I think, the rewards are worth it.
 

fsinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
Location
Seattle area (Bothell)
Steeped mini grain in a DME wort is the way I have had my most success. I haven't tried all grain yet, but probably won't since, after 5 batches, I finally got the best ale I have ever tasted (not prejudiced at all!) This forum helped enormously by giving me the information I needed. My first 4 brews were too "thin", with a yeasty and "fruity" flavor (kinda the old homebrew taste). By steeping some good grains, and going to extra fresh leaf hops, I solved all my problems.

Acid test was my wife drinking 2 pints the other night, and enjoying it. None of the "we'll make due with your homebrew" garbage. I hate that!

Now if I can only do it again, and again, and. . .
 

92greenyj

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
305
Reaction score
9
Location
Ocean beach, San Diego, CA
All garin all the time here. We plan to open a microbrewery/ restaurant in a few years and lets face it, if you're going commercial, you really should be brewing all grain.
 

rixport

Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Intervale NH
BitterRat said:
All grain. I can't really say I dislike any grain I've come across. I do favor Brit ale and usually use Marris Otter, but have used Weyermann Pale Ale malt and it was great and now have picked up a sack of Halcyon Pale Ale malt from North Country, so I'll see how that goes!
I hope you keep us updated on the outcome of the Halcyon Pale. The name intrigues me because of an antidepressant medication, by that name, that was on the market that went astray and caused some pretty crazy problems in it's users.. i digress.. sorry. And I'm glad to hear about people using North Country for their malt. It's a 6 hour drive for me to go there, but my next malt run is sure gonna be in that direction for about 10 bags.. gotta stock up at thier prices! Good luck..

Ken
 

rixport

Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Intervale NH
All Grain is the only way to make GREAT beer. I know.. there have been some guys that luck out in the contests with some extract, but I think they are far and few between (and may be claiming extract use only to throw the rest of us off) All you extract brewers that are just starting, I suggest you work you way toward putting the equipment together that you need to do it and do it right. Every shortcut you take along the way is reflected in the quality of your product and that's what it's all about for me.. quality. I brew as good or better beer than I can buy and that is why I brew. Good brewing!! (all grain of course)..

Ken
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
rixport said:
All Grain is the only way to make GREAT beer. I know.. there have been some guys that luck out in the contests with some extract, but I think they are far and few between (and may be claiming extract use only to throw the rest of us off) All you extract brewers that are just starting, I suggest you work you way toward putting the equipment together that you need to do it and do it right. Every shortcut you take along the way is reflected in the quality of your product and that's what it's all about for me.. quality. I brew as good or better beer than I can buy and that is why I brew. Good brewing!! (all grain of course)..

Ken
Whew! Flame on!
 

andre the giant

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
539
Reaction score
5
Location
Southeast Missouri, USA
All-grain for me... For those who use extracts, all-grain isn't a step you absolutely have to take for good or even great beer, but I think it sure helps. You have much better contol over every aspect of your brew... and control is a good thing, right?

I love the flavor of Munich and Crystal malts. So I guess they'd be my favorites, although it seems unfair to good old 2-row pale malt. I mean, geez, I've used maybe 10 lbs of Munich and Crystal malts since I started AG... I've used about 65 lbs of 2-row pale. Pale malt deserves an honorable mention, if nothing else.
 

rixport

Member
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Location
Intervale NH
ORRELSE said:
Whew! Flame on!
Well, I don't really think I had any flames on. Just stating my opinion. If extract was a viable alternative in brewing, it would be used comercially... I don't know of any comercial brewery that has cans of extract around their brewhouse.

Ken
 

cygnus128

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2005
Messages
51
Reaction score
0
rixport said:
Well, I don't really think I had any flames on. Just stating my opinion. If extract was a viable alternative in brewing, it would be used comercially... I don't know of any comercial brewery that has cans of extract around their brewhouse.

Ken
I'm sure there is a component of this related to quality as well but don't you think a substantial reason you don't see extract used commercially is price?
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
rixport said:
Well, I don't really think I had any flames on. Just stating my opinion. If extract was a viable alternative in brewing, it would be used comercially... I don't know of any comercial brewery that has cans of extract around their brewhouse.

Ken

That's not what I meant. You weren't flaming--but you are certainly setting yourself up to get flamed, and comments like that certainly won't gain you any friends on this forum. If you spend any time here at all you'll see that this is a place with probably 90% (or more) new brewers. IMHO extract brewing is a PERFECT way to get into the hobby, and there is nothing wrong with that.
I think your original post on the matter was a bit harsh.
 

JacktheKnife

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Messages
344
Reaction score
1
Location
Texas
Ya'll,

I have brewed extracts with a little grain sparged in there,
but mostly extracts. Of course, one day... all grain brewing, kegging,
and a private bar, my own personal bar, or bars... would be great.
One in the knife shop,
One in the house,
One in the boat!!!
And if there wouldn't be **** all over everything, I would like to have a 'bar' in my Guinea pens.
Guineas are profoundly interesting to watch,


Anyway...

About extracts, I can brew ale so tasty, so clean and good, so un -over carbinated
not to mention 6-8% alchohol...
so profoundly better than anything one can buy at the beer store,
for 20% of the price, with extracts,
that I am, in effect, an 'extract snob.'
Don't laugh, don't laugh...
Really, not having, to my memory,
tasted real whole grain homebrew,
I have been kinda living in the dark ages.
I live down here in south Dallas county.
South of Lancaster,
along the creek,
and actually out in the country.
On 25 my acres,
surrounded by thousands of uninhabited acres,
and I know the people who own all of the land around here.
Any other homebrewers live around here,
lets get together and get ignert.
Do some racoon hunting.





Later Ya'll


J. Knife
 
OP
Janx

Janx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Messages
1,677
Reaction score
24
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
rixport said:
Well, I don't really think I had any flames on. Just stating my opinion. If extract was a viable alternative in brewing, it would be used comercially... I don't know of any comercial brewery that has cans of extract around their brewhouse.

Ken
I know a guy who is starting an extract brewery. Personally, I think all-grain quality is better and you have more control over the outcome, especially color, but great extract beers can be made if you use some adjunct grains.

Also, the contents of extracts are unregulated, and finding a good supplier of quality all-malt extracts would be tough. The vast majority of extracts contain non-malt sugars.

I think on the commercial side of it, the profit margin would be way less with extract. I imagine that's why it isn't viable. But on the other hand, you'd save a lot on energy costs and be able to make more beer more quickly.

Hmm...I just don't know...
 

Dude

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
8,768
Reaction score
116
Location
Ramstein-Miesenbach
Janx said:
I know a guy who is starting an extract brewery. Personally, I think all-grain quality is better and you have more control over the outcome, especially color, but great extract beers can be made if you use some adjunct grains.

Hmm...I just don't know...

I just read an article yesterday as a matter of fact that mentioned an all-extract brewery in New Mexico. I wondered to myself how expensive that would be.....
 

Turricaine

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
205
Reaction score
1
Location
Leicester
What I like about all grain is that it allows me to get more creative than just brewing from kits. Kits are good but all grain is good for people who get satisfaction out of making their own beer. Partial extract also sounds like a good option but since I have already invested in the all-grain equipment it would seem like a shame not to use it. I have only done 2 batches all grain so far. It is my target to get at least 10 batches done. I would really like to see some more recipes coming through because I can handle the theoretical side of things, but I want to see people with more definate and less experimental views.
 

JeffPhD2005

Active Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2005
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Palmer, Alaska
I just have to weigh in here with my 2-bytes,
I statrted all grain brewing about two and half years ago after my second extract batch went down the drain (it was a stout that tasted more akin to 100,000 mile motor oil than a good hopped stout). I decided I wanted to take the plunge and invest the time and abit more money in equipment.
Grains - Two-row English either Crisp or Munton's and if I can get it Maris Otter.
Specialty grains - Carafa I for browns, porter's and stouts. Make a batch with some and you will be hooked, smooth, smooth. Carapils for head retention and body, along with wheat. Biscuit malt for crispness and lots of melanodin for color and taste.
My recipes tend to be simple and tasty.
Jeff
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
179
Location
Oak Grove
I brew all three ways plus a fourth. That's doing a grain mash and adding extract to bring the gravity up. I only use that for Imperials and Barley Wines. I do it to avoid buying new equipment, as my mash tun will handle only 10 lbs.

Generally, I'll do all grain, but something like a ginger beer I'll go extract. If I want to do two batches in one day, one has to be extract. I'll start the mash and heat sparge water, which goes in a cooler for storage. Then I start the extract batch. I'll batch sparge the mash while the extract boils, then swap the AG into the kettle once the extract is in the primary.

Makes for a long day, but there is no more cleanup than there would be for one AG batch.
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
114
Location
Cheshire, England
I guess it's down to if you want to make beer from raw ingredients or from processed stuff, but there again If you wanted to go the full hog you would malt your own grain.

I reckon the reason most people don't is because they'd rather leave the effort to the industry. (That's what the extract brewers are doing.)
 

BlightyBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2005
Messages
707
Reaction score
1
Location
Leicestershire, UK
Hey y'all!

Different strokes for different folks...Whatever floats ya boat!

As long as it's beer at the end, then who cares how it got there...enjoy! :)
 

anthrobe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
578
Reaction score
1
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I have only been doing extracts with steeping in grains since I started brewing a couple years ago. I would love to and plan to and move to AG brewing but space is a premium at my residence as well as my knowledge on the matter. Primarily why I joined this forum is that the people here are excellent, knowledgable, and will definately help me get the the "Dark Side." Although, I do believe that you can get a great bear with using grain with extract. Last year I did a christmas porter that everyone loved and got great reviews. Even the local cigar shop wanted me to keep brewing it and put it on tap there. My local HBS still asks if I have any left!! :p
 

david_42

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
25,584
Reaction score
179
Location
Oak Grove
As far as making great beers from extracts, it is quite common for people to win awards up here in the PNW using all-extract. One meeting a year at the Oregon Brew Crew has a "theme ale" of all-extract. There are ales where 97% of the flavors are generated by the yeast and controlling the fermentation environment, that lend themselves to extract brewing.
 

Baron von BeeGee

Beer Bully
Joined
Jul 20, 2005
Messages
5,374
Reaction score
30
Location
Barony of Fuquay-Varina, NC
I'm AG because it's a bigger PITA than extract and that's just my personality. Plus it gets me in the garage for half the day with a good excuse. I think extract-only is ultimately limiting for most people despite the infinite hopping schedules and yeast variations, but I defy anybody on here to blind taste test a good extract or extract/grains beer beside a good AG beer and be able to determine which is which.
 

Orfy

For the love of beer!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 27, 2005
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
114
Location
Cheshire, England
It's getting there. I hopefully have 8 kegs arriving next week. (I only wanted 1 but at the price and considering the lack of availability I thought I'd take the lot)
I need to decide layout etc.

I got set back a week by the Venice trip.
I went without the swmbo so I don't think I should do to much beer related stuff this week.
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
good call! and you did good by getting more kegs. you'd be kicking yourself if you hadn't.
 

brackbrew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
361
Reaction score
2
Location
Lancaster, PA
I've been brewing sporadically, sadly, for five years. I started right with extract brewing and because of space and $$ limitations have remained there. While I've been happy with most of my brews--I had an iffy porter and an ale using honey that turned out to be a disaster--but more importantly, brewing with extracts has let me refine my brewing technique and given me time to understand the different processes on as deep a level as I'd like without some of the extra variables that come into play with all-grain brewing.

I'm finally at a residential and financial place in my life where I can start using a full-wort boil (see my question in the equipment forum if you'd like to give me some advice), so hopefully my next step will be all-grain. I have no doubt that all-grain makes the best beer, but I'm glad I've taken the time to understand everything that goes into brewing before attempting it.

I think had I tried to start all-grain, it would have been a disastrous mess. I think I'd recommend anybody starting out to begin with extract brewing, until they're comfortable with their level of knowledge and understanding of how everything in brewing works.
 

DeRoux's Broux

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,959
Reaction score
6
Location
Beaumont
it just depends on each persons level of confidence and comfort level w/ their brewing. a friend of mine has been brewing for a lot longer than me, yet he still does extract w/ grains, and makes damn good beer. he doesnt make starters or have any control over ferm temps. me, i do the all-grain with the big keg-kettle system, controled ferm process, yeast starters, etc. i think it has to do more with the personality of the brewer. i am never content and my worst critic. so, i tend to be always jacking w/ technique, gadgets, recipes, etc.
as long as we have fun, enjoy our brews, and buy less of the big 3!
 
Top