Author Topic: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?  (Read 2179 times)

Offline dano14041

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How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« on: September 02, 2010, 10:28:04 AM »
Good morning!
I am a noob who is going to start brewing. I ordered a brewing kit and receip kit this morning. I have almost finished reading "How to Brew" (am getting bogged down in the math at the moment) and have started reading "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing."

It looks like All Grain is more "fun" than doing the extracts and steeping methods. How fast (or slow) would you suggest going before jumping into all grain?

Thanks!
Dano
Tulsa, OK

Online tschmidlin

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2010, 10:29:33 AM »
There's no single answer, it just depends on when you are ready for it.  Mentally, financially, have the space, have the time etc.

If you're ready, go for it!
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Offline bonjour

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2010, 10:31:13 AM »
AG requires more equipment (more cost in equipment) but lowers your ingredient costs.

AG is simple enough, so if you are so inclined I'd make the jump.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2010, 10:38:54 AM »
Mufasa would say you're already moving too slow   :D

If you got the money and space, do it...you won't regret it.
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Offline saintpierre

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 10:39:38 AM »
For me the equipment cost and space is what delayed me but if you got the space and $$ I would go for it!
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Offline hokerer

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 10:42:24 AM »
It's really up to you.  One of the benefits of starting with extract kits is that you can get a feel for how much you're gonna like the process of brewing your own.  Once you're comfortable that you're in it for the long haul, then you can go ahead and upgrade to all-grain.  And don't forget, it doesn't have to be all at once.  There're incremental upgrades you can make on your path from extract to all-grain.
Joe

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 10:52:18 AM »
If you're ultimately going to do all-grain and you have the equipment, do it as soon as possible.  You'll have less bad habits to unlearn.

Go see someone do it end-to-end before doing it yourself, though.  A lot of what you do is visual, so you need to know what "looks right."
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Online tschmidlin

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 10:56:37 AM »
Go see someone do it end-to-end before doing it yourself, though.  A lot of what you do is visual, so you need to know what "looks right."
Yeah, if you have a club in your area and can go watch/help someone brew some day that will really help you know how to do it and figure out if you really want to.  Don't be afraid of it though, it can sound all complicated and mystical when you're getting started but it really doesn't have to be that hard.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2010, 10:57:11 AM »
Brew your kit beer to see whether you even enjoy brewing. Assuming you do, you don't have to jump right in to AG brewing. There are alternatives such as partial mash (aka mini mash) brewing, which is a hybrid of extract and AG brewing. Click on my links below for visual examples of both partial mash and AG brewing processes. Good luck!
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2010, 11:02:42 AM »
+1 on whenever you're comfortable
+1 on finding someone in your area to help out

I always advise someone doing 1 or 2 two Extract with Steeped Grains recipes to get the hang of the boil, sanitation and fermentation and then go for AG if you're having fun.

I moved to AG on my 6th batch. (Oddly enough I switched to kegs then too)
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Offline denny

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2010, 11:22:40 AM »
Go see someone do it end-to-end before doing it yourself, though.  A lot of what you do is visual, so you need to know what "looks right."

While that's undoubtedly the best way to do it, that's not the way I did it.  I'd never seen anyone do AG before I started.  I just read a lot of books and the usenet group rec.crafts.brewing and jumped in.  Once I was done, it was kind if like "wow, is that all?".  The point being that if you can't brew with someone else to learn, don't let it stop you.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 11:59:36 AM »
Go see someone do it end-to-end before doing it yourself, though.  A lot of what you do is visual, so you need to know what "looks right."

While that's undoubtedly the best way to do it, that's not the way I did it.  I'd never seen anyone do AG before I started.  I just read a lot of books and the usenet group rec.crafts.brewing and jumped in.  Once I was done, it was kind if like "wow, is that all?".  The point being that if you can't brew with someone else to learn, don't let it stop you.

I had no one to watch either, but I did read, and ask Denny and others at the HBD lots of annoying questions.  For me, I wish I had never bothered with extract brewing.

Don't let the math scare you.  Most of the brewing software programs do it all for you, and there really isn't all that much to do anyway.

One other thing.  Be careful with what, and how much equipment you buy.  A lot of newbies think they need everything.  Don't go buying 150 bottles thinking you're going to really dig bottling your own beer.  Try not to fall for gimmicky brewing crap.  Don't buy the smallest boil kettle you can get away with.  You will likely want to do some double-batches, especially if you have friends who are sucking your kegs dry, or if you have a brewing partner.  Take a look at Mike Dixon's homebrew site and see how little you can easily get by with.
 

http://www.ipass.net/mpdixon/

Offline weazletoe

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2010, 12:00:04 PM »
Huge +1, Denny. That's how I did it too. I had 3 extract batches down, before switching. I would recommend you do a couple extract, just to get the boiling, sanitation, racking processes down. That way, if there is a question with your finished, you have fewer things to second guess.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2010, 12:30:35 PM »
You'll know pretty quickly if this hobby/obsession is for you. I knew it as soon as I was finished brewing my first batch. My third batch was all-grain. I did it with minimal equipment, a cooler and a couple pots. My only advice is to get the biggest brew pot you can afford, you'll use the capacity, I promise. And focus on temp control. That's where I spent my dough, and it has paid off.
Mark Gres

Offline svejk

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Re: How fast is too fast to move to all grain?
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2010, 12:36:01 PM »
I went to all grain after only a few extract batches.  In addition to doing lots of reading, I also suggest searching youtube for videos of homebrewing.  If there is something that doesn't make sense to you, sometimes it helps to see it done.