Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain | TigerDroppings.com
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BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
20674 posts

Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain

How long after you started brewing, before you went form extract to all-grain.

I am definitely going to switch in the future. Right now i'm still trying to get down what styles and tastes I like.

I make my extracts and partial grain extracts (steeping grains) right now from given recipes. I want to be able, in time, to pick out what hops i prefer over others, the reactions of certain yeasts on different brews, and what grains i prefer. Then i plan on switching to all-grain once i have that in mind.


Fratastic423
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2007
5407 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
I changed fairly quickly, but namely because I had a "mentor" brewer who had all of the equipment so i could ease into it. I know people who have never switched over and make phenomenal beer. Do not buy into the hype that all grain beer is inherently better than extract. All grain brewers are typically more experienced brewers than extract which leads people to believe that all grain beer is inherently better. Its not the process but the brewer.

You should be in no rush to change over, especially since you have had 2 out of 4 batches go bad on you, IMO. Its a lot of extra equipment and space and time that is required. While the ingredients tend to be cheaper per batch I don't think I have made that money back with all of the extras I have put into the brewery that are not necessary for extract.

I am brewing on Saturday. You are welcome to come see what goes into an all grain brew day.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
20674 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:


I am brewing on Saturday. You are welcome to come see what goes into an all grain brew day.


Appreciate the offer, i'll be running back forth from new orleans saturday.

But yeah, i'm in no hurry to switch yet. I figure maybe in a year, i'll revisit the idea. Just curious what got people to switch over.


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tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
I'm never switching over unless I have a "shop" or garage, dedicated to brewing. I'm prob a few years away from making that kind of money though.
This post was edited on 10/12 at 1:23 pm


Fratastic423
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2007
5407 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

tetu


Coming tonight?


BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
Nashville
Member since Aug 2010
15162 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

Fratastic423


Solid post.

quote:

Do not buy into the hype that all grain beer is inherently better than extract. All grain brewers are typically more experienced brewers than extract which leads people to believe that all grain beer is inherently better. Its not the process but the brewer.


This is it. I brewed for 2 1/2 years using extract before I made the switch to partial. I did that for 6 months to get used to the mashing process by using a 2 gallon cooler. Then I made the jump to all-grain. By the time I was going all-grain I had a pretty good grasp on things like yeast health, temperature control, cooling, basic mashing, specialty grain flavors, etc.

I invested in kegging and fermentation temperature control long before I switched to all-grain. I'd recommend looking at those two first. Kegging allowed me to pump out more beer and my fermentation temperature helped me nail down consistency in flavors - which then allowed me to experiment with different things.

Another thing to look in to is full boils. Not sure if you're doing that or not, but that can help out early on. Boiling 2.5 gallons on the stove is a lot different than 7 gallons on a propane burner. You can pick up a cheap 10 gallon pot and fit it with a ball valve. That equipment can be used with all-grain if and when you choose to step up.

My first couple all-grain batches were worse than my extract batches. It takes a few brews to get your process zeroed in.

One more thing to look in to is getting the freshest extract. Austinhomebrew liquid extract was always my favorite. They have such a high turn-around that it's almost always fresh. I was never a fan of dry extract.


tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
Yep, trying to get ahold of my babysitter (mom) before I know if I'm on for Friday.

What time is the keg going to be tapped next wed?


tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

Solid post.


Double solid post


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BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
20674 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:


I invested in kegging and fermentation temperature control long before I switched to all-grain. I'd recommend looking at those two first. Kegging allowed me to pump out more beer and my fermentation temperature helped me nail down consistency in flavors - which then allowed me to experiment with different things.


Yeah, i have fermentation control down. I have a chest freezer i converted into a fermentation chamber.

Kegging is also on the to do list. It's just finding the space to place the kegerator that is the problem.

quote:

. Boiling 2.5 gallons on the stove is a lot different than 7 gallons on a propane burner.


i'm doing 3 gallons on a propane burner, but i see what you are saying.

quote:

Austinhomebrew liquid extract was always my favorite.


Yeah, these are my go-to guys for brewing material. I did go to marcello's for this batch, which i am not too concerned with, because they are usually out of the malt extract i was using.

My other choice for brew stores would be northern brewer.


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Fratastic423
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Feb 2007
5407 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

What time is the keg going to be tapped next wed?


Around 6.


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LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
None. None More Black.
Member since Mar 2006
61794 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

I invested in kegging and fermentation temperature control long before I switched to all-grain. I'd recommend looking at those two first. Kegging allowed me to pump out more beer and my fermentation temperature helped me nail down consistency in flavors - which then allowed me to experiment with different things.


This. I still do extract, but like tetu I don't have the space for any more equipment. I'm about to go to kegging so I can cut down on all the cases of bottles I have sitting around.

quote:

Another thing to look in to is full boils. Not sure if you're doing that or not, but that can help out early on. Boiling 2.5 gallons on the stove is a lot different than 7 gallons on a propane burner.
I did a 6-gallon batch full boil on the stove once... too much for it to handle, and took for fricking ever to cool down even with a wort chiller.


BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
20674 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

and took for fricking ever to cool down even with a wort chiller.


I was wondering about that. Don't know if my sink could handle ice bathing a 10 gallon pot. I have a wort chiller already, it was one of my first buys, but it is suited for a 5 gallon pot.


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tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

This. I still do extract, but like tetu I don't have the space for any more equipment. I'm about to go to kegging so I can cut down on all the cases of bottles I have sitting around.


Hell, I don't even have room for a fermentation chamber or kegging operation. I once tried to talk my wife into letting me put it in the dining room on the wall behind the table...that didn't fly.

If I get anything, it'll be a kegerator since she liked the pics of the ones I showed her with nice stained wood trim.


LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
None. None More Black.
Member since Mar 2006
61794 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:


If I get anything, it'll be a kegerator since she liked the pics of the ones I showed her with nice stained wood trim.

You can always use a temperature controller and have it as a fermentation chamber when necessary and then keg the beer and switch it to a kegerator. I've done that with mine, it's basically serving as a beer fridge now until I get the standing freezer that I'm going to turn into a kegerator/beer fridge.


Zappas Stache
Snotterburgh
Member since Apr 2009
12234 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
I did 3 or 4 extract brews w/ 2 of them steeping grains. I changed over and was surprised how easy it was. I still have trouble getting good efficiency in my mash (% of sugars extracted) but otherwise its easy.


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tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
Yeah, may do that. was really trying to figure out a way to do a combo. I saw two plans for that.

One used some insulation to make a seperate area the size of one carboy with a heat lamp setup in there to keep the temp up in that chamber while the keg chamber was kept cool. Seemed like a fire hazard and waste of energy w/ the heat/cooling fighting each other, but a good idea.

The second one was a guy who build a cabinet on top of his chest freezer w/ 6" diameter tubes connecting the two. His theory was the hot air would naturally go up (he used some fans to help). He never reposted so I guess it didn't turn out well.
This post was edited on 10/12 at 2:19 pm


LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
None. None More Black.
Member since Mar 2006
61794 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
I feel sort of retarded using my kegerator as a fermenter and the freezer as a kegerator as it will require an additional temperature controller, but I really want the extra space in the standing freezer to use as a beer cellar. I should be able to fit 3 (or 4) corny kegs at the bottom, then have a few racks for cellared beers, and then more in the door possibly. Might have to adjust the racks on the door for the corny kegs. We'll see... I still need to get the freezer from my grandma's house and see how this will all work.


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BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
Nashville
Member since Aug 2010
15162 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

I once tried to talk my wife into letting me put it in the dining room on the wall behind the table...that didn't fly.


I lucked out. When my girlfriend moved in I made it well known that my dining room is actually my brewing room. There's a table in there somewhere, but it's covered with brewing stuff. Add a big shelf, chest freezer, fermentation chamber, and a few bikes and there's not room for much else.

As long as I keep a few batches of wine and mead going it keeps her happy.


tetu
New Orleans Saints Fan
Ascension Parish
Member since Jan 2011
12047 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
quote:

As long as I keep a few batches of wine and mead going it keeps her happy.

Gotta pay the toll. I wish I had built one before we moved in together, that way she couldn't say no. Oh well, I keep showing her nice ones, planting the seed, so one day it'll happen.


LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
None. None More Black.
Member since Mar 2006
61794 posts

re: Homebrewing: Extract to All-Grain
I think my girlfriend knows damn well that if I she ever ends up moving in then the brewing isn't going to stop. She likes beer though, so it shouldn't be an issue.


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