Looking to go all grain

My start into home brewing came about 2 years ago when my wife purchased me a Mr Beer kit for
christmas. That lasted about 6 to 7 months after I figured there was only so much you could do with
pre hopped extract out of a can. So I went to a local home brew store and purchased a starter kit and
began brewing extract kits with differant grains and hops and tweaking most recipes as I went along.
Now I want to get into all grain brewing where I tweak things even more to the way I think something
should taste. Do any of you regret going all grain and then went back a simpler extract brewing
because of time or money or simply was not the results you where hoping for?

Not me. The jump to all grain was very intimidating at first but no regrets now after a year. It does take a little more time and some more equipment, but that is the fun part

Not one bit. I love the control of all grain. And I love the cost savings. Buying in bulk will bring you batch cost down greatly.

And it really isn’t difficult. after you do a couple batches you can do it with your eyes closed.

I think the “step to all grain” is really overstated on this forum. It’s not some huge mind blowing change to a brew day. All grain is pretty dang simple, wether you do BIAB or use the DC method. Its just takes longer, you use more water in the process, and a bit more grain is involved. There are a few more other considerations…strike temp, sparing, varloufing, the list goes on. So don’t let any of this dissuade you. Compare the price of an AG kit to that of an extract kit!! And now if you don’t have a grain mill NB mills your grain for free.

And to more answer your question, you can ALWAYS go back and do an extract kit. A lot of people still do.

I went AG after 17 batches and have not gone back to extract yet! I feel that there is a marked improvement in beer quality, and as others have mentioned, a significant savings. Especially when you buy bulk grains & mill your own.

You’ll invest another 2 hours of time, more or less, but it’s really pretty simple. The biggest improvement for me came when I began to adjust my brewing water. Go for it. You won’t regret it.

If you are not doing full boils now, look for a turkey fryer on sale and purchase/make a IM chiller.

Then work on a picnic cooler for a MT.

Now you are set for AG brewing.

As far as time, being prepared helps keep the time to 6-8 hours. And doing things in the “down time” like sanitizing the fermenter. I’ve even mowed the yard while mashing.

edit: spelling :oops:

You can go AG the Cheap’n’Easy way…


Nope - love it.

The simplest and cheapest way to maybe “test the waters” is to simply buy a bigger pot (8-10 gallons) - check these factory seconds out - http://www.williamsbrewing.com/%2FWeb-O … -C203.aspx

A big pot is something that would be great regardless of being all grain or extract. Once you have the bigger pot, do some BIAB beers. All grain, and you basically don’t need much of anything you don’t already have. NBrewer has a good primer for BIAB on Brewing TV.

Worst case, you end up back doing extract with the ability to do full boils. But, I don’t think you will end up going back:) If you stay all grain, the bigger pot is something you need anyway.

I did two extract batches and then found Denny’s link to batch sparging on here. Went AG at that point and it was the best decision I ever made. Well, other than buying my own crusher. :slight_smile:

It takes me about 4.5 hours to knock out a 5 gallon batch.

The only reason going AG was an issue for me was the full boil. I didn’t have the space or equipment for boiling or cooling (you can do smaller batches just to get going, though). Once I got the right equipment and made the switch using the DC method, it was a piece of cake.

I will be doing batch number 50 in December(two years in), the last 16 AG. I went to some classes for AG, and Kegging at NB Milwaukee and found the hands on experience the best thing I could have done. I can’t emphasize how much they have helped me. good luck, have fun, and buy a good thermometer.