When did you make the switch to AG?

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Desert_Sky

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I still have 17 lbs of DME so I will probably do 2 or 3 more Extract batches.

keep the DME for starters. 1 cup of DME to 800ml water = 1.040. 17lbs really is alot of extract though. I usually only keep 3 lbs around for starters.
 

jmulligan

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Started with 2 PMs, then jumped into AG. Still working out the kinks (4 AGs later), but I am definitely glad I switched. It gives you waaaay more freedom in your recipes, and tailoring them to be what you want. Not to mention it just feels cooler making beer from a big ol' pile of grain. ;)

It's also cheaper than extract - I was at the LHBS Sunday and saw single cans of extract for like $17.50. Considering you usually use two of those, plus probably specialty grains and hops, that adds up fast.
 

SuperiorBrew

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3rd batch here too, I had another extract kit purchased but really wanted to do the AG.
 
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schristian619

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wow...thanks for all the possitive information. I have a feeling it won't be as hard as it seems...just intimidating before your first one. As far as space, is it possible to do in an apartment (assuming I have a small patio for the propane burner)? Keep in mind that I have no problem with brewing equipment taking up most of my indoor space. The more I see it, the more I want to brew!
 

bradsul

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I'm an apartment dweller and I don't have any problems. However I'm on the first floor so I do my boil on the lawn. You might want to check your local regs before you go firing up a burner on your balconey/patio. You can also do split boils on your stove if your stove can handle the volumes (mine definitely can't).
 

Petey

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I've got probably about 15 extract under my belt, and have since started to acquire everything for the AG. I'm hoping to crank out 2 or so extract then do the same recipe but in all grain to really compare the 2 methods here in about 4 months once i collect everything up.
 

ZacMac

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schristian619

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Regulations shouldn't be a problem. I haven't settled on a an apartment yet, just in the looking phase still, so those that don't allow it are out of the question for me. Between brewing and grilling, I definitely need available outdoor space that permits it. Good to know that other people do it while in apts.
 

jmulligan

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As far as space, is it possible to do in an apartment (assuming I have a small patio for the propane burner)?

I too am an apartment-dweller. My "dining" area is half taken over with fermenters, but they are more a conversation piece than an eyesore to me. I actually brew at my parents' house since I don't have a propane burner, but I could brew at the apartment, as long as I did it in the parking lot (not on my first floor patio, which is against the rules at my complex). So, like bradsul said, check your lease to see if it says anything about "open flames" on the patio.

Definitely go for it, you'll be glad you did. Just do a LOT of reading beforehand.
 

Stevorino

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4 liquid extract batches
1 partial mash
and then all grain on batch 6.

My attitude was the same as your own-- I'd rather make ****ty beer the 'real way' than make great beer the 'easy way'.

I think the real reason a lot of people wait is the money or lack of this drive we both have. If you have the money, do it. Feel free to PM me w/ questions on the transition.
 

missing link

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I did 4 or 5 kits, found this site, did a partial mash or 2 then started building AG equipment. It's weird how at first all the steps and terminology made no sense to me, even after reading most of how to brew online, but after going through the steps, there is kind of an Ah Ha moment and it all seems so easy.

Linc
 

jacksonbrown

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It's weird how at first all the steps and terminology made no sense to me, even after reading most of how to brew online, but after going through the steps, there is kind of an Ah Ha moment and it all seems so easy.

Same here. I went through eight extracts with and without grain before deciding it was time to move on. It very much depends on money and space, as you've heard. But good luck, there's no going back! :mug:
 

Saccharomyces

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I'm still a noob, having brewed 7 batches so far(all extract and 1 AHS mini mash). All of my batches have been full boils. I was just wondering when most people make the switch? I have by no means perfected extract brewing, but would like to venture into AG. I'm the type of person who would rather do the best I can and have not as good beer, than make great beer knowing that I'm taking the easy way out. Is it mostly space/money that prevents people or is there some other logic to it? I hope that makes sense.

For me: batch 1 was a minimash, batch 2 was minimash + full volume boil. Batch 3 I went AG and never looked back. :)

AG takes more time but is more rewarding. In the long run it's cheaper since you can buy grain in bulk. And with the mash temp and length to control, you have more control than with extract over how dry the beer will finish.

- Eric
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Sudz

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I'm somewhat new and lovin' my extracts so far. Tell me, why does one go to AG?

I know it's somewhat less expensive and I guess once you know your stuff you can be more creative... but what happens until you know more than just the mechanics?

I'm concerned I'm gonna brew useless stuff if I have to just grab a recipe based on "it sounds good".

Of course, that's basically what I'm doing with the extract kits I choose... :)
 

joshpooh

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Tell me, why does one go to AG?

I know it's somewhat less expensive and I guess once you know your stuff you can be more creative... but what happens until you know more than just the mechanics?

I'm concerned I'm gonna brew useless stuff if I have to just grab a recipe based on "it sounds good".

Of course, that's basically what I'm doing with the extract kits I choose... :)

Couldn't one say this about brewing in general? I mean its a hell of alot easier to just buy the beer. Right? Seriously though, we should all brew the way we want to and feel comfortable. Although AG is nowhere near as hard as it sounds.
 

JustDave

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I switched to AG in December after about 6-8 batches. All of my extract batches were partial boils (1.5 gallons or so), and they all had that same flavor (which, looking back, I believe was extract twang). The beer was OK -- drinkable out of sheer necessity -- but nothing I'd have a major craving for. After reading the posts here, I decided I wanted to go to AG since:
  • I read many people saying that switching to a full boil is one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your beer
  • All of the "cool" brewers on here were doing it
I could have stuck with extract and still done full boils, but I figured why not go all the way? It's way more fun to fill a cooler full of grain and mash .... plus, I enjoy grabbing a handful of grain to snack on more than a handful of extract :)

My first AG, Edwort's Haus Pale Ale, was outstanding! After I switched, I made an extract batch I had laying around at home (this time a full boil), and it was great.

And I think what took me so long to switch was just intimidation. With mash temps, sparging, etc., it was intimidating to make that leap. But, like most things, once you do it a few times you realize it's pretty easy.
 

MyBeerPants

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My first batch was an extract kit with specialty grains.
After that I did six partial mash batches mostly my own recipes. My eighth batch was my first foray into all-grain with some cobbled together equipment/techniques.

Looking for deals on Coleman Xtreme coolers this week so I can really get my all grain on in the coming weekends.
 

bradsul

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My first batch was an extract kit with specialty grains.
After that I did six partial mash batches mostly my own recipes. My eighth batch was my first foray into all-grain with some cobbled together equipment/techniques.

Looking for deals on Coleman Xtreme coolers this week so I can really get my all grain on in the coming weekends.
Welcome to HBT! :mug:
 

Beerbeque

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Just like the OP, my first 7 batches were full boil extract kits. Since then I've done 2 all grain kits and I've only been brewing since the beginning of the year. Next step up is buying 50# bags of base malt and custom recipes. Yeah, I'm havin' fun!!
Beerbeque
 

xamers

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I went nearly 5 years doing partial mashes before going AG.

I have no idea why I waited to long.
 

bottle-o-jeff

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I've done 3 extract kits (with steeping grains) and been fairly disappointed in them all. Two are good, but not great. The third (a wheat) was just ok. Really, they all tasted almost the same. After doing some reading, I saw that full boils would make a huge difference in the final quality of the product. At that point I was $30 away from AG.

I'll be brewing my first AG (AHS Honey Blonde Ale) in another week and a half.

I want to make great beer, not just good beer.
 

BrianP

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Started out AG. If you do your homework it's not as hard as you think.
 

harley03

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Well I had about 15 extract batches under my belt. I then took a few years off and am in the process of going all grain as soon as I can finish building my new system. I would say as long as you feel comfortable what the heck! go for it. Sometimes that is the best way to learn. Believe me I have made allot of mistakes and learned from each one.
 
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I did a few extract batches about 12 years ago and hated every one of them. I'm not sure what it was, I just could not get over the awful flavor I could taste in them.

I did another extract about this time last year and hated it. I decided to give it one more shot with all grain. Oh man did I butcher the first brew day, but the beer tasted good. I'm certainly not a great brewer, but I like most of my beer now:mug:
 

bigbellybrewery

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I switched to AG for the challenge and also I enjoy the chemistry ( I am a pharmacist). I can PM a beer that is good as anyone's AG. For most of those who AG, constant tweaking of your equipment increases the $$. Switch if you enjoy the hobby, the beer, ans the challenge.:mug:
 

dcunitedfan

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I did the first 16 batches extract, then went straight to allgrain and am on my 8th AG. I realized on about match 6 that extract was hindering the potential quality, and would have made the jump sooner but for the cost of the mash tun, wort chiller, and SS kettle.
 

Jesse Seymour

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2 extract brews and then I went straight into AG. My first AG is currently sitting in the carboy.... I hope it turns out OK.

My advice is to research AG extensively before jumping in. It can be a tad overwhelming at first, considering the added cost of equipment and a more involved brewing procedure, but I think it is ultimately worth it. You get the freshest beer possible because you are making everything from scratch, and your brewing will actually be cheaper in the long run. Extract is expensive to make so it is expensive to buy. An extract kit that would normally cost $37 dollars might be as cheap as $21 if you do an all grain version.

+1 on this advice, I did four Mr. Beer batches and two 5 gallon extract batches before making the jump - however I have been studying all grain brewing since I started my first Mr. Beer batch (about 6 months total studying before diving in).

But at some point you have to be like Nike and just do it
 
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