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Want to take the next step

I have been extract brewing for some time, and want to take the step. What would be the best, to go all grain, or start a keg system. Any input would be welcome.

Only you can answer that question.

How much to you like the bottling process? If you despise it, start kegging.

If you like the idea of making beer from scratch, go AG.

Some might say that if you go AG and can make your grain/hop purchases in bulk, that your savings can add up and be used for a kegging system.

Kegging for sure. I hated bottling and i hated it when the yeast at the bottom got stirred up even more.

you can set up an all grain system much cheaper than kegging. If that helps you decide.

I started kegging first, then went to full boils, then (after 13 years of using extract) started AG. if I could go back in time, I’d started AG 12 1/2 years ago. but that was me.

Time was important to me…and I hated bottling…so I starting kegging back in March…and I love it! I love the ease of kegging vs bottling and enjoy the beer more (no stuff at the bottom of the glass)! And, since I wanted to save time, obviously AG was not a practical option…I’m sure whichever way you go, you’ll enjoy the hobby a little more!


How long dose an AG brew day take? From heating the water to pitching yeast?

Starting out, i would give yourself around 6 hours from start to finish. i have my day down to about 4.5 hours now, but to make my day easier i get all grain crushed the night before, measure out all my water, set up mash tun, burner, kettle, all misc. tools, finning, and anything else you need. i went all grain before i kegged and was very happy with that!

I have started legging and begun brewing via all grain, both in the last year. If I had a choice between going all grain and the convenience of kegging, I would choose kegging. I LOVE walking to my kegerator and pulling a pint when I get home at night.

Brewing all grain is awesome and I am loving it. But keg first is you can swing the set up. The costs are not directly comparable.

This is another great homebrewer question that has a million answers. I will add myself to the kegging before AG club. I hated bottling and often did not have anyone to help. Plus the time involved is terrible i think i usually planned on close to 2 hours to clean the area, sanitize, bottle, store, and clean again. If you keg and keep up on cleaning your kegs, you can keg and clean up in 30 minutes.

That being said, I also love my AG brew days. I still plan on 6 hours from start to finish but i always end up at least an hour short of that, and I am doing 10 gal batches now.

It really is only a question you can answer. If i were to do it again I would have gone all grain sooner because it really is Cheap and Easy (search Denny Conn’s batch sparge) but at the same time I would be cruising craigslist for a fridge, kegs, co2 tank/regulator etc. So that i could piece together a keg kit slowly and cheaply while still making great beer.

I would say go AG first. For me it’s about the process and all grain gets me more involved in it and keeps me excited about improving and experimenting. My consumption is low and I frequently brew beers that benefit from bottle aging.

Why not do both? Going AG doesn’t have to be expensive, coolers are cheap and BIAB is an option. And you can pick yourself up a kegging setup.

You could easily pay for a kegging system after a few all-grain batches with the money you save vs. extract.

Just my 2 cents.


[quote=“teresalgl”]You could easily pay for a kegging system after a few all-grain batches with the money you save vs. extract.

Just my 2 cents.

:cheers: [/quote]

Agreed, I am so astonished at how cheaply I can brew using all grain that I actually showed my wife. Of course that does not take into account all the money I have spent on gear to get to this point. :cheers:

I say go all grain. Having complete control over your beers is awesome.

I went AG recently and it really is cheap and easy! Did mine for $50
Kegging will cost you around $300. A cross section I drew to help me part out AG equipment…

Getting into kegging doesn’t have to cost 300. I shopped around and got my co2 very cheap on ebay. New doesn’t matter because most places swap the tank. Also, i hate to point a crooked finger at our host, but i have found that their kegging equipment is quite expensive compared to some other places.

[quote=“mvsawyer”] A cross section I drew to help me part out AG equipment.[/quote]If you add a short section of copper or stainless tubing to the inside of the valve, bent so that it touches the bottom of the cooler, then attach your braid to the end of that tube, you will create a siphon that can suck the tun dry if positioned correctly. The way you have it set up creates a deadspace (everything under the nipple), even if you tilt the tun towards the valve.

+1 on the BIAB. Its pretty cost effective and really easy to do. Also, ask around about kegs. You never know what bar has them sitting in the back room just waiting for a homebrewer to show up. Or get to be friends with the local Pepsi guy.

Start kegging and you’ll never look back.

The cooler I bought didn’t have a drain so I was able to drill a hole right at the bottom. I got 80% efficiency on my first batch.

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