Quantcast

Why AG brewing?

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

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

woodside

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
It seems that most people eventually move to AG brewing from extract brewing. I'm curious why people feel the need?

A. Better beer?
B. Cheaper (raw ingredients)?
C. More control
D. All of the above
E. Some other reason

I'm just a newbie brewer but I wondering what makes people move to AG setup.

Thanks.
 

RoaringBrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
1,782
Reaction score
4
Location
Lancaster County, PA
Definitely would have to be D.

I've only been on all-grain for a few batches now, but every AG batch has been noticably better than the extract and steeping grains beers I made... Could just be I'm gaining experience, or it could be that using AG, as opposed to pounds and pounds of extract makes better beer? (E.g. no "extract twang" that I and many others have noticed)

It's definitely cheaper as well - extract prices are ridiculous...

An lastly, and probably most importantly, you have a lot of control with AG. You can only buy extract in certain base-malts (pale, pils, maybe munich if you're lucky, etc.), but you can use any combination at all of base malts in AG. Further, many grains need to be mashed, as opposed to just 'steeped', to get to their maximum potential. If you are going to mash your specialty grains, you myswell mash the whole darn thing, IMO. Oh what else, mash temp determines body and fermentability of the beer - extract is only so fermentable and you can't change what the producer of the extract intended. With AG, you pick your mash temp to determine the body you want to achieve... Etc. etc. etc.

One more thing - if you do single infusion mash and batch sparge, it really isn't that much harder than your normal extract + steep day. A little bit of extra time, but nothing significant. I was taking about 3.5-4 hours to brew extract batches with steeping grains (steeping takes 30 mins in itself!) a while back - now I'll gladly sacrifice the 5 hours (yes, only an extra 60-90 minutes I've experienced) to brew AG beers...

I'm sure others will go on and on as well. This is not to say that you can't make very solid beers with extract and steeping grains, but AG is the way to go IMO... If the evidence of everyone eventually converting wasn't enough...

EDIT: Forgot one more important facet of it, at least for me. When brewing with extract, I kind of felt like I was just following a recipe book and just cooking up something that someone else took all the hard time to create (e.g. mashing grains to create the extract). With AG, you are starting with the most simple ingredient of beer, milling it, mashing it, etc. You feel much more accomplished when you complete, IMO... The smell of the grain when you are mashing, etc. You just can't beat it. :)
 

ohiobrewtus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
7,762
Reaction score
72
Location
Ohio
I'd answer D as well, but one of the most important aspects is that it's just more fun. Having complete control over the process is really friggin cool.
 

PseudoChef

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
3,401
Reaction score
117
Location
West Chicago 'Burbs
D and E. E being that I like a challenge. With extract, I know I'm going to hit my O.G. every single time no matter what. There's nothing to screw up and I just don't have that much fun doing something that's a breeze.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
975
Location
St. Louis, MO
Nothing wrong with Extracts and partial mashes. They make great beers.

There’s also nothing wrong with a glass of juice from frozen concentrate.

But it ain’t the same as fresh squeezed orange juice.

Or if you prefer…

Ragu VS Mama’s home made marinara.
Duncan Heinz VS made from scratch brownies
Maxwell House Instant VS fresh roasted, fresh ground coffee.


Plus, you get to play with more toys: :D
Crusher_3.jpg

10Gallon_Setup@.JPG

Bulk_Order_1.jpg

And ain't no way you brew a beer that looks like this out of a can.
HappyFri_4.jpg
 

blacklab

Banned
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
2,379
Reaction score
52
Location
Portland, ME
BM, you beat me to it. I was going to post a pic of a light, tasty AG brew.

To the OP - it is worth the effort!
 

TexLaw

Here's Lookin' Atcha!
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
3,673
Reaction score
36
Location
Houston, Texas
ohiobrewtus said:
I'd answer D as well, but one of the most important aspects is that it's just more fun.
That's exactly what I was going to say. With all-grain, I have more fun creating recipes and brewing them. If I just want to have some homebrew on hand, I can brew with extract. If I really want to make beer, I brew all-grain.


TL
 
OP
W

woodside

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the replies. I've only brewed 2 batches so far, probably stick to extract for at least a few more.
 

BierMuncher

...My Junk is Ugly...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
12,443
Reaction score
975
Location
St. Louis, MO
Willy Boner said:
:mug: Is your junk getting better looking or did your Dad's drill give out?:confused: :D :mug:
Yepper...the old Craftsman burnt up real good about 4 batches ago.

I still have it though. Might just need some new brushes.

If she's dead, I'll mount her on the wall and pay tribute.
 

Tonedef131

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2008
Messages
1,891
Reaction score
34
Location
Fort Wayne
I agree with what BierMuncher said. It's like making box mix brownies or pie filling from a can. Sure they turn out alright, but the same every time. Once you learn how to do it from scratch there is no turning back, it's too much fun putting your own flair into it.

That's not to take anything away from extract brewing, because most people would be too intimidated by AG to ever start. You get the process down and build confidence with extracts, then if you love it you take it to the next level.
 

Beerthoven

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
2,173
Reaction score
38
Location
Cary, NC
A lot of the art and science of brewing is in the mash.

AG brewing is more challenging, it takes more 'craft' to get it right, and it allows more possibility for exploration compared to extract.

That said, I still do extract batches from time to time and really enjoy doing that too.

Each type of brewing has its place.
 

Poindexter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
8
Location
interior Alaska
Yah, it is D, all of the above,

I am plateaued at PM for now because I am such a gypsy. but I am pushing the envelope on my gear. Yes, you can make great beer with *ME. But, the more grain (and less extract) you use, the better your beer gets.
 
Top