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Old 09-21-2015, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,192 posts, read 22,275,703 times
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I wonder how often home brewers stick with extract brewing considering that most seem to eventually go all-grain? I mean, this is the only "home brewing" forum I am aware of where those with more than five years of experience are still on extract. Nothing wrong with that, just a curiosity.
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Old 09-22-2015, 05:04 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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K-Luv, I'll go first. Doing all-grain brewing would require a HUGE investment that I really can't afford. Not buying equipment, but the amount of work and time it takes to get a batch ready to boil. I went through a health crisis a few years ago that left me so far short of energy that ~3 hours of work in a day is about all I've got. On brew day, I'm not going to be able to cut the grass or move those boxes to the attic. Making an all-grain batch would mean I'd have to take two days to rest up.

My stepson does all-grain brewing. One day he started when he got home from work (teacher - gets home at 3:00 PM) and brewed an all-grain Steam clone. He got the bed at 2:00 AM. His Steam clone was more cloudy than mine and tasted no better.

Home Brew Talk on Facebook has over 17,000 members. Of course they range from the guy that just got his Mr. Beer kit to the guys with 3 vessel all-grain setups and 20 years of experience. There seems to be a fair number of extract brewers with plenty of experience, but your observation is valid. A majority seem to think that going to all-grain is "moving up."

It seems to me that the beer is no better done with all-grain, although it could save a little on the ingredient costs (offset to some degree by the propane cost). I THINK that the issue with cloudy beer is more likely to occur with all-grain brewed beer (although I am unsure). I understand that all-grain SHOULD give a person more flexibility to make more specifically unique recipes, but that limitation hasn't affected me (yet).
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Old 10-01-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
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I don't remember why I specifically got into all grain other than out of curiosity however once I did that first AG brew I didn't go back.

When I went AG all I really only did was convert a cooler into a mash tun but for the most part I still use my extract set-up to this day. What that really means is that my kettles are five gallon and more apt for 3-4 gallon boils because of hot break and potential boil overs. I do have a 10 gallon kettle and propane burner but rarely use them because it is not so convenient for me to brew out doors at this point. Meaning, I am primarily a stove top brewer and as such typically only do 3 gallon AG batches.

I have been thinking of giving extract a try again, mainly so I can do full 5 - 6 gallon batches until I get a proper AG set up going.

I don't think that AG is necessary to brew good beer and people have won competitions or placed well in competitions (including AHA) with extract brews. To add, some smaller commercial brewers are extract, too.

Anyways, as I have wrote above it was mainly just a curiosity.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:14 PM
 
12,152 posts, read 18,317,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
I wonder how often home brewers stick with extract brewing considering that most seem to eventually go all-grain? I mean, this is the only "home brewing" forum I am aware of where those with more than five years of experience are still on extract. Nothing wrong with that, just a curiosity.
Well you need some specialized equipment for all grain, some additional level of complexity which conflicts with my laziness philosophy, increased kitchen time which means potential wife hassles, and the minimal increase in quality over extract.
But...true, why not? I have perfected my extract craft. Time to step up.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:09 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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I suppose I should investigate all grain brewing some more. When I first started brewing, I thought that, if I could make my own extract, it would save a lot on the cost of a batch. I wonder if it would be practical for me to crush grains, mash it in and sparge, then put it aside and brew with it the next day. I know people have done some DIY projects to make useful stuff for all grain brewing, like grain mills and mash tuns, as well as home built racks for multiple burners.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:45 AM
 
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BIAB is a good intermediary step between extract and all grain.

You kind of get you feet wet with mashing in, sparging.. etc, and you will get the basic concept down.

If you have efficiency problems with BIAB in the beginning, you can always keep a 3 pound bag of DME or a can of LME around to increase gravity during your boil.

I think in all honesty you really don't need to purchase that much high end gear to go all grain. maybe just some older igloo coolers and ball lock valves.

even doing extract you should still have a wort chiller.

I pieced all of my gear together relatively cheap. The only thing I really need now is to build a PVC hop spider, which would greatly decrease my hop sludging.
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Oceania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
Hey! I'm seeing a store not too far from here. I know nothing about brewing but lots about drinkin


What do I need for hardware to get started? Some dude here at work seems to have it wired.


That's how any of us who brew got started.

Go to your local brewer's supply store and tell them you want to get started. You can get started for $50-60 bucks and most of that will be the brewing and bottling equipment. You need about three cases of empty returnable bottles to start. Grolsch bottles are great but you need to drink a lot of beer to have a store of them. You can buy them on the internet. Champagne bottles are good.
You may want to get a book about it and read up on it to get familiar with terminology; it's all Greek when starting out. I got this book years ago when I first started. There are tons of them, look on Amazon. This one is free if you have a Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Joy-H...ewer%27s+guide

What do you mean by "some dude at work seems to have it wired"?


Get to it and enjoy the beer.
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Old 12-14-2015, 03:40 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,405 posts, read 3,590,545 times
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I will never convert to all grain -- life is too short. Don't want the hassles and I'm happy with what I do with extracts and specialty grains. I like what I do and so have the judges whenever I decide to compete ...so extract is fine. I have some cheapo software that I use when I decide to brew and I experiment a little with new hop varieties but I usually stick to the standards. As a new brewer I was all over the place with adjuncts and spices and fruit but settled on English style ales. I'm part of a club that does the fringe stuff with blood oranges or whatever so I still can see how that goes but my personal brewing is pretty standard.
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Old 01-07-2016, 04:51 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,109 posts, read 10,942,489 times
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How much beer do you guys make?

A couple of years ago, I was given a "Homebrewer's Journal" as a gift. I started logging all my beer batches. Last year, I brewed 15 batches of beer. Of course, I had beer in fermenters at the beginning of the year, and I have beer that I just bottled that was brewed in December, but I logged 15 brew days in 2015.

How much beer did you make last year?
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Old 01-27-2016, 01:42 PM
 
12,152 posts, read 18,317,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
How much beer do you guys make?

A couple of years ago, I was given a "Homebrewer's Journal" as a gift. I started logging all my beer batches. Last year, I brewed 15 batches of beer. Of course, I had beer in fermenters at the beginning of the year, and I have beer that I just bottled that was brewed in December, but I logged 15 brew days in 2015.

How much beer did you make last year?
Let's see - last year was a record for me at 5 five gallon batches and 1 two-and-a-half gallon batch. I usually do 3 or 4 batches a year only.
I started early this year - I have a bock I cooked up over the weekend fermenting away at 50 degrees in my dedicated brewing mini-fridge.
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