Converting extract to all-grain

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Converting extract to all-grain

Postby dex0807 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 2:36 pm

I am currently brewing partial grain/extract recipes and am looking to go all grain. I have a few recipes that I like that I would like to brew but need to know how to convert an extract recipe to an all-grain recipe. Anyone have any input?
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Converting extract recipe to all grain

Postby billvelek » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:01 am

It's been a long time (many years) since I brewed with extracts, so I'm not sure how accurate I will be on my advice, but I'll give it a stab and perhaps there will be some info that is useful.

First, let me say that extracts, whether dried (DME) or liquid (LME), are concentrations of someone else's mash schedule and malt; that means that, depending upon the malt that was used (the variety of barley, the actual crop such as where it was grown, and variations in the malting process) and how they mashed them, the extract will contain varying proportions of fermentables versus unfermentables. I can't recall which one, but I know that there is one extract out that which has a rather notorious reputation for low attenuation. As a result, I would not feel very confident in being able to _accurately_ convert an extract recipe to all grain, especially if the 'brand' or maker of the extract is not known.

Second, the concentration of extract that YOU will make from a mash will depend, again, on the grains that you use (varying starch profiles = varying potential sugar profiles), and your mash schedule and how you sparge -- your efficiency. If you use the same grain and the same mash schedule as the commercial extractor, then your sugar profile should be similar, and then it's just a matter of how much efficiency you can attain (how high a percentage of the available sugars you can extract). Most homebrewers fall in the range of 70% to 80% efficiency; that means that they have extracted 70% to 80% of the sugars that should be available in that amount of grain.

Anyway, I hope someone here can provide you with a 'rough' rule of thumb or formula you can use. I use BeerToolsPro software which just makes brewing a much easier endeavor. If you have BTP, just open your extract recipe in one window, and then create an all grain in another window and adjust the amount of grain, based on your past efficiency rate, until you attain the same O.G. and then hope for the best re your F.G. If your F.G. comes out different, it could be the yeast you used (type, health, pitching rate), but more likely it will be because your sugar profile was different than the extract, as per my explanation, above. And if you don't have BTP, it is well worth the money to purchase it, even though it does still have a few minor glitches which should eventually be fixed. Even if nothing else gets fixed on it, the beta version is definitely worth the money.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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Postby dex0807 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:07 am

That was pretty much were I was headed. I heard roughly 10 pounds of base malt equals about 7 pounds of extract, the specialty grains go in pound for pound. I do have BTP as well as the Gold membership online, and I am still messing with it. I have pretty much finished building my equipment and hope to do my first all-grain batch in a week or so.
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At 70% efficiency, 7# LME is approx. 10# grain

Postby billvelek » Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:04 am

That's about right, if your efficiency is 70%, and that seems like a good point for you to include in your recipe before you find out exactly what it is on your first batch. You want consistency, which will come after you've done a few batches, although I seem to stray around a bit between 75% and 80% -- but that's with different recipes and adjuncts and varying from a single batch to a double partigyle to a triple partigyle, so it's hard for me to nail down a good figure since I'm not doing the same things often enough. I think I probably come in close to 80% most of the time.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
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