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First all grain batch. Kit or recipe?

So I am pretty sure Santa will be bringing me the parts to build a cooler-type mashtun. So my next brew will most likely be an all grain brew.

My question: should I just grab a kit from NB for my first one or would I be better just going with a recipe? I was thinking just a simple APA with 10lbs of 2 row, 0.5lb crystal 40, and 0.5lb of biscuit, mash at 154 for 60 min and a 60/10/0 hop schedule.

I’m curious what to expect from a NB all-grain kit. When buying their specialty grains for extract recipes in the past the crush wasn’t all that great as far as I could tell.

I’d say it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

If you’re mail ordering from NB, then the all grain kits are convenient because you don’t have to individually pick out every ingredient on the website. That and you don’t have to buy grain in whatever increment their shipping facility requires. Going to the brick-and-mortar store, though, the same “kits” are just a binder of ingredient lists in the grain room. You’ve still got to measure out and crush the grains yourself. There the biggest difference between a kit and a recipe is with the recipe I tend to have trouble reading my own handwriting.

Well if I did a recipe I would probably go to my LHBS to get the grain. I’ve never bought grain there before so I’m not sure what I’m going to get with them but at least I would be crushing it myself.

I don’t really see much of a difference between the two options. In my situation, beer kits like this have never been readily available, so I’ve only ever done my own recipes.

This has lead to some pretty sketchy ones in my begginer days as I really had no mentors to help me out.

You already know way more about brewing than I did when I started out. Plus you have a whole bunch of resources on this forum.

So if you want to do a kit, do a kit. If you don’t, then don’t.

NB’s kits are “good” recipes. If something doesn’t turn out right with the beer produced by the kit, there’s a good chance someone here has done that kit and can offer some relevant feedback.

If you are concerned with the crush in their kits, you can ask for a double-crush.

Just my 2cents.

cheers.

[quote=“StormyBrew”]NB’s kits are “good” recipes. If something doesn’t turn out right with the beer produced by the kit, there’s a good chance someone here has done that kit and can offer some relevant feedback.

If you are concerned with the crush in their kits, you can ask for a double-crush.

Just my 2cents.

cheers.[/quote]

+1

All of the above info is great, but since i started all grain (BIAB) early this year, all my recipes are my own with the help of Beersmith2. Maybe it’s psychological, but they’ve all been better than any extract kit i brewed last year IMO. I never brewed an all grain kit, so i can’t critique them. If you have that software, or are willing to spend the $25, i think you’ll really enjoy it. You can use the ingredients from a NB kit & tweek them to create your own recipe. Very rewarding in the end! You could also keep the recipe as is & adjust for your equipment. Regardless, i vote for Brew Your Own!! Just my opinion. Have fun!! :cheers:

You can see the recipes for all of the NB all grain kits if you go to the listing on the website and click on “additional information.” If you want the security of a proven recipe you could always copy one of the kit recipes and buy the ingredients at the LHBS so that you control the crush. I’ve only done 2 all-grain batches so far, but I wish I had gone all-grain a long time ago.

I did a few kits when I first started AG for the simplicity. Unless you’re gonna start buying bulk from the git go it’s probably a bit less expensive to buy a kit rather than the ingredients separately.

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