all grain superior?.....

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

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cubangoose
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all grain superior?.....

Post by cubangoose » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:05 pm

I have been brewing for about six months now and am wondering what the advantages to all-grain brewing are. Is all grain brewing superior? I have a good understanding of the technique I am just wondering is it worth the extra work?

BillyBock
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It's All Up to You

Post by BillyBock » Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:24 pm

There are many reasons to go all grain. The biggest one for me was simply the complete control it gave me. There are simply some things you can't do with extract that you can do with all grain--like changing the fermentability of the wort. With extract, that's already determined for you. If you use steeping grains with extract, you're also limited to only malts for color (chocolate, black, etc.) and caramel type malts, otherwise you'd put unconverted starch in the wort. You also have complete control over the hopping schedule--although if you use unhopped extract you can too. Once you get over the equipment investment, the price per batch is also a big plus--$0.80 to $1.50 per pound for grain typically. It does make for a slightly longer day, and there's a little more equipment to clean, but to me it's a heck of a lot fresher.

That's my 2 cents. Let's see what others chime in with.

v/r
Bill

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A Few others ...

Post by Azorean Brewer » Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:24 am

Billy was right. What I find about all grain (I have been for over 3 years now) is the fermentability I achieve. I get way lower Final Gravities with all grain, plus the complexity that you can achieve by "blending" different malts is amazing. I never made beer this good before all grain. Also I concur with the cost, I buy bulk 50 pound bags of base malt (2 row pale) for $31.00 and I use 6-9 pounds of base malt per batch along with specialty malts, and also Vienne / Munich / Pilsner malts if recipe calls for it, my price per batch using White Labs yeast is around $15 - $18 (U.S.) and the quality of the end product is "Superior" in my opinion. I brew two batches back to back on brew day, it is an 8 hour day start to finish, and sit down to have a home brew... My suggestion is read all you can before taking the plunge, then decide OK? Good luck,

Paul.
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cubangoose
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ok

Post by cubangoose » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:06 pm

ok, you guys have convinced me to try all grain. I am in the process of putting a simple mash system together. Is there an easy recipe to use for my first all-grain?

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Easy and really good

Post by Azorean Brewer » Thu Apr 14, 2005 5:27 am

If you are looking for a good first time batch, try my Best Bitters it is under the recipe archive, simply search for "Containing the text" Azorean, you will see all of my recipes, and you can find this one there, but in a nut shell it is very basic, and very good

8 Lbs. Pale 2 row malt
.75 Lbs. 60 Deg. Crystal Malt
.25 Dark brown sugar
1.5 Oz. Fuggles (90 minutes)
.5 Fuggles (15 minutes)

British ale yeast (starter)

Mash grains at 154-156F for 90 min. sparge and boil for 90 win. add brown sugar at start of boil.
"I drink therefore I am"

BillyBock
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Good Choice

Post by BillyBock » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:10 am

I second Paul's suggestion...Pale Ale's are a good first beer to get your feet wet in all grain. They're pretty uncomplicated in the recipe department, but good. I was going to find my Pale Ale recipe, but Paul beat me to it :D

cubangoose
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thanks

Post by cubangoose » Thu Apr 14, 2005 11:17 am

I will let you guys no how it turns out. I am going to use the single infusion method for simplicity. I read that this method favors highly modified malts because there is no protein rest. When I buy my grains, how do I know which malts are modified and which malts aren't? Again guys, thanks for the help.

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most malts are ...

Post by Azorean Brewer » Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:31 pm

Most of todays malts are well modified with the minor exception of 6 row which requires step mashing to aid in the conversion (acid rest, protien rest etc ...).

If you use a quality 2 row pale or pilsner, or munich, or vienne malt with less than 20% of specialty (crystal malts) you will be in good shape. Todays grains are really well maufactured and it really takes a lot of the complexity out of the hands of the novice home brewer ... We can make great beers with little knowledge ... Does that help ?

Paul.
"I drink therefore I am"

cubangoose
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helps plenty!

Post by cubangoose » Thu Apr 14, 2005 2:21 pm

That helps a lot! Again, thanks for the help. I will use that recipe you gave me. I am going to brew on Saturday. I will let you know how it goes.

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Good Deal

Post by BillyBock » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:43 pm

Good luck to you. I brew next Friday, 22 Apr. It's gonna be a Kolsch. Mmmm, I can taste it now. :-)

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My suggestion is ...

Post by Azorean Brewer » Fri Apr 15, 2005 5:46 am

Goose,

If you make the Best Bitters, let it age 4 weeks after bottling, and it gets even better with age from there, use no more than 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming, with a full 5+ gallons OK? this one doesn't need to be overly carbonated ...

I usually shoot for 5.5 gallons in the primary, yielding me 5.2 in the secondary and this allows me to "fill" my 5 gallon carboy to within 2" of neck, and I have the right amout for kegging. I have not bottled in two years ... Kegging is the only way to go ... good luck and let me know how it turns out OK?

Billy,

Did you ever brew for your picnic at the end of the month ?

Regards,

Paul
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BillyBock
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Post by BillyBock » Fri Apr 15, 2005 2:24 pm

Paul: Yep I did. Don't know if I'll use it though. There was a minor film on the surface. Don't know what it's from. This is the first time I used a hopback though for hop aroma, so I wonder if it's hop aroma oils. Any experience on that? It tasted great after 1 week in the fermenter though. Simple recipe: OG=49, FG=7, IBU=17, 7# Pale DME, 7# Wheat DME, Saaz to bitter, Hallertau for aroma, volume= 13 gals. However, I will take a keg of my Flat Tire that I made in January.

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