Author Topic: Felt Like Cheating  (Read 1122 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Felt Like Cheating
« on: June 24, 2014, 03:10:20 PM »
My buddy's wife got him a starter homebrew kit for his birthday a few days ago, and since he wanted to make a hefeweizen as his first batch, she got him some wheat DME and some WY3068, thanks to a helpful LHBS employee. So I'm on vacation today and I went over and helped him brew it.

I occasionally do a small extract batch to experiment with hop varieties but not as often as I used to. It feels like cheating after so many AG batches. I couldn't shake the feeling I'd forgotten something, with so many things to monitor in an AG batch. No need for preboil OG, mash temps, strike water, etc. Weird ! But I was struck at the somewhat darker color of the DME as compared to doing it AG - ironically I brewed an AG hefe a couple weeks ago. It's easy to forget the extent of the color difference.

Anyway, he bought a controller for his garage fridge, we cooled to 64F and pitched, and being 3068 I showed him the art of the blowoff hose. Luckily he's already on board with going AG right away !
Jon H.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2014, 03:18:16 PM »
I have been helping a couple buddies get their feet wet with extract brewing too recently.  It is quite nice and relaxing and I can actually have a couple brews during the process without worrying about screwing something up.

Last week I brewed up a hefe and could not get my typical 3068 so I gave WL 380 hefe IV strain a shot.  Kept the fermentation temp between 63-64F and was pleasantly surprised after extreme amounts of blow off just like 3068 does.  The final profile has subdued banana notes with a moderate spiciness and slight tartness to the beer which makes it quite drinkable.

Offline chumley

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2014, 04:10:59 PM »
I brewed an all-extract tripel last year and it didn't feel like cheating at all to me...it felt great! Ten gallons of 1.080 tripel that tasted excellent, and was done in 3 hours.

Unfortunately, I am way too cheap to brew extract beers on a regular basis.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2014, 04:17:22 PM »
I brewed an all-extract tripel last year and it didn't feel like cheating at all to me...it felt great! Ten gallons of 1.080 tripel that tasted excellent, and was done in 3 hours.

Unfortunately, I am way too cheap to brew extract beers on a regular basis.

Yeah, the short brewday is definitely nice !  And I'm sure you used enough sugar in the tripel anyway to get a low FG. How was the color ?
Jon H.

Offline chumley

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2014, 04:24:38 PM »
Color was just fine.  I used 20% table sugar.  The DME was Briess CBW pilsner wort.  It attenuated from 1.080 to 1.010. I would do it again.

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2014, 05:40:30 PM »
It's amazing how quickly people go all-grain these days. Not only was there a huge learning curve that needed to be tackled before one could brew all-grain beer when I started brewing, the cost of building an all-grain brew house was as much if not more than it is today.   Almost everything was still American made.  Sure, one could steal, oh, I mean not return a keg on which a good faith deposit was placed, but many of us were raised not to do such things. 
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2014, 06:01:49 PM »
It's amazing how quickly people go all-grain these days. Not only was there a huge learning curve that needed to be tackled before one could brew all-grain beer when I started brewing, the cost of building an all-grain brew house was as much if not more than it is today.   Almost everything was still American made.  Sure, one could steal, oh, I mean not return a keg on which a good faith deposit was placed, but many of us were raised not to do such things. 

Yeah, it was a challenge back then for sure. Some of the literature seemed to actually try to intimidate or deter somebody from AG brewing. I'd have given anything back then for the amount of quality info and good ingredients that are out there now !

EDIT - I might possibly have known a brewer or two who made use of a non-returned keg.   ;)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2014, 06:37:48 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline pete b

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2014, 06:23:41 PM »
I do partial mash/extract batches over the winter when I'm stuck inside. I love the ability to actually brew on a weeknight. Its interesting that the beers I tend to make in the winter are the ones that I feel come out fine with extract:stouts, porters, dark belgians, double ipa. I like doing saisons, ipas, pale ales, etc. all grain because the color just isn't right with extract versions of those beers and I feel I can control attenuation better without added sugar AG.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2014, 07:47:00 PM »
It's amazing how quickly people go all-grain these days. Not only was there a huge learning curve that needed to be tackled before one could brew all-grain beer when I started brewing, the cost of building an all-grain brew house was as much if not more than it is today.   Almost everything was still American made.  Sure, one could steal, oh, I mean not return a keg on which a good faith deposit was placed, but many of us were raised not to do such things.
I started in 92, was all grain early 94. Mashed in a picnic cooler, lautered in a food grade bucket with a plastic Phil's Phalse bottom (I was too lazy to make a ZapPap bucket system). It made beer, was cheaper than what most said back then, and I said "that's it?". The beer turned out pretty good.

I agree that it is not viewed as Voodoo Rocket Science anymore.
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Offline brick pig

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2014, 06:03:42 AM »
Doesn't feel like cheating to me at all. For me, it's a choice between extract brewing or store-bought beer. I simply don't have the time to go all grain. If I went AG, I wouldn't get in more than two or three brew days per year.

On the very, very rare occasion that I have a full day to devote to something, I spend it tending the fire in my offset smoker, cooking something low and slow, to go along with my homebrew.

The science geek in me really wants to go AG at some point, but it simply has never yet been in the cards for me. Mebbe when I retire. If I'm ever able to retire.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2014, 06:29:39 AM »
Doesn't feel like cheating to me at all. For me, it's a choice between extract brewing or store-bought beer. I simply don't have the time to go all grain. If I went AG, I wouldn't get in more than two or three brew days per year.

On the very, very rare occasion that I have a full day to devote to something, I spend it tending the fire in my offset smoker, cooking something low and slow, to go along with my homebrew.

The science geek in me really wants to go AG at some point, but it simply has never yet been in the cards for me. Mebbe when I retire. If I'm ever able to retire.


All-grain only adds on a bit over 2 hours if you batch sparge. Not knocking you, just letting you know the option is there.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2014, 07:45:58 AM »
Doesn't feel like cheating to me at all. For me, it's a choice between extract brewing or store-bought beer. I simply don't have the time to go all grain. If I went AG, I wouldn't get in more than two or three brew days per year.

On the very, very rare occasion that I have a full day to devote to something, I spend it tending the fire in my offset smoker, cooking something low and slow, to go along with my homebrew.

The science geek in me really wants to go AG at some point, but it simply has never yet been in the cards for me. Mebbe when I retire. If I'm ever able to retire.


All-grain only adds on a bit over 2 hours if you batch sparge. Not knocking you, just letting you know the option is there.

True. I start at about 8:00 and am done and more or less cleaned up by 13:30. probably work in a session on the smoker at the same time.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2014, 08:05:53 AM »
+1 on multitasking AG and using the smoker. I often do that weather permitting - made some killer ribs a couple weeks ago while I brewed. I can normally be totally done in ~ 4.5 hours with an  AG batch, unless I'm mashing or boiling long. I usually add my bittering hops, be sure the boil is stabilized, then go out and rinse the mash cooler and get everything put up or rinsed that can be during the boil.
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Offline Delo

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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2014, 08:07:20 AM »
I still fly sparge and can squeeze in a half day brew day.  You have to be organized and do things to shave time. I prepare the night before, mill grain while heating strike water, heat sparge water while mashing, heat the runoff while I am sparging, clean out mash tun and clean and sanitize fermenter while boiling and chilling. It is possible. And I don’t think using extract is cheating. I have been thinking of brewing extract batches to get more brewing in. There are a lot more/better extract options available now than when i started brewing.
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Re: Felt Like Cheating
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2014, 08:08:43 AM »
A 5.5 gal. batch sparged AG batch takes me about 4.5 hours from the time I start heating water until I finish the cleanup.
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