Poll: Grain brewing Vs Extract Brewing

Help Support The HomeBrew Forum:

What type of brewing do you do?

  • Extract brewing only

    Votes: 3 2.8%
  • Grain brewing only

    Votes: 74 67.9%
  • Mainly grain brewing but on occasions extract brew

    Votes: 14 12.8%
  • 50/50 Extract & grain brewing

    Votes: 6 5.5%
  • Part mash Kits

    Votes: 3 2.8%
  • Beer kits

    Votes: 13 11.9%

  • Total voters
    109

Richie_asg1

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
822
Reaction score
340
Location
Aberdeen
I'm at the stage where I am trying all methods to see which fits best and what the results are. I am thinking TerryM may be right that just being on this forum may skew results, and would expect it to be in favour of AG brewing here. I'm happy with that because if it were just here for kit reviews it would be pretty boring.

At the moment I seem to prefer a basic bitter kit that is quick to do to keep some beer available, but want to do more AG brews to have something of better quality, but takes time.
 

Keruso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2018
Messages
184
Reaction score
87
I started with liquid malt extract and found it to be an absolute nightmare to handle and weigh out when buying in bulk. It also sank to the bottom of my Klartstein and burnt on the bottom and tripped the element. Messy awful stuff. I then moved to all grain and wouldn't go back.
 

Ghillie

Landlord.
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
1,239
Reaction score
550
Location
Scotland
Nor have I, but using fresh malt extract can produce some very good beer. It occurred to me that someone living in a flat in the city, might have difficulty getting rid of 5Kg or so of wet grain after a mash. I used to use big (25Kg I think) plastic containers of ME aand then the price went up overnight by a frightening percentage. Something to do with VAT, I think, although I had always thought malt extract and sacks of malt were classed as foodstuffs.
In conjunction with AG yes, any form of glucose does.

Also agree with those that have equipment, time and/or space restraints.
 

the baron

Landlord.
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
2,126
Reaction score
840
Location
castleford
I am AG but do agree that it does dominate the forum and kit brewers do have a place and I know some of the brewers on here that do kits are very accomplished at getting a base kit and improving them to excellent beers I also think that we all started on kits and become snobby regards kits. I do not forget my past and started with Boots kits in the late 70,s/80,s and do AG because it gives me total flexibility also I have the time to do it but some people do not have 5 hours to spare on their days off as family commitments get in the way so it is a good compromise for them. This forum would be poorer without these people
 

Lawrence22

Regular.
Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
432
Reaction score
128
Location
Newtownabbey
Started off with Beer kits but have been doing all grain for 2 years now. 20 ag brews later and I don't think I'd go back to kits unless I was under serious time constraints.
 

MmmBeer

Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
Messages
821
Reaction score
350
Location
Bromsgrove
I did about 4 or 5 kits, then tried all grain. I have now probably done 50-60 AG brews, but only one extract (partial mash) brew. Still do the (very) occasional kit, if there is a special offer on or something.
 

Chippy_Tea

Administrator.
Administrator
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
27,551
Reaction score
6,236
Location
South Cumbria.
I am AG but do agree that it does dominate the forum and kit brewers do have a place and I know some of the brewers on here that do kits are very accomplished at getting a base kit and improving them to excellent beers I also think that we all started on kits and become snobby regards kits. I do not forget my past and started with Boots kits in the late 70,s/80,s and do AG because it gives me total flexibility also I have the time to do it but some people do not have 5 hours to spare on their days off as family commitments get in the way so it is a good compromise for them. This forum would be poorer without these people
clapa

A few years ago we didn't have a kit brewing discussion forum and members got fed up with AG brewers negative comments about kits so they asked for a sepereate forum which we set up, as you say the place would be poorer without their input.
 

foxy

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
708
I don't care how folk brew just as long as they are enjoying what they do and the beers they make, I jumped in at the deep end with all grain and was out of my depth. Didn't think I would ever get my head around AG brewing, the joining of a club and entering comps was the best thing I ever did. A huge learning curve and now I wonder why, what I couldn't grasp, is now so easy to understand.
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Regular.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
194
Location
Kent
I don't care how folk brew just as long as they are enjoying what they do and the beers they make, I jumped in at the deep end with all grain and was out of my depth. Didn't think I would ever get my head around AG brewing, the joining of a club and entering comps was the best thing I ever did. A huge learning curve and now I wonder why, what I couldn't grasp, is now so easy to understand.
@foxy I think you’ve forgotten how much you've learned! It’s a bewildering world of acronyms (BIAB, AG, FV, SWMBO!), terminology (attenuation, lauter, sparge), processes (steps, timing, temperatures, ...), ingredients (barley vs malted barley vs grain), methods (stove top, BIAB, ...), equipment (Grain father, chiller plate, coils), science (mash temps, ph, water chemistry), opinions (dry hoping), and much more... Then you have your experience (how much chocolate malt will be nice vs ruin this thing), learning (I’ll never prime with lactose again - ok this one is just a bit of fun). Keg or bottle, pressurisation systems, sterilisation, temperature control, keezers, ball-lock valves, thingys, doofers, and what-nots all over the shop.

The basics are simple but when you’re learning it’s difficult to find your way through all this - you don’t know what it all is and you don’t know what’s important.
 

terrym

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
5,569
Reaction score
2,928
Location
North Sussex
Have amended the poll so now an option, many thanks for your feedback.
Not sure where partial mash brewing like I do (small volume AG mash in conjunction with ME top up) fits into your poll categories. Although some buy their ingredients in kit form I buy mine separately. I suggest you make 'part mash kits' more generic by deleting 'kits' .
 

foxy

Landlord.
Joined
Nov 12, 2013
Messages
1,541
Reaction score
708
@foxy I think you’ve forgotten how much you've learned! It’s a bewildering world of acronyms (BIAB, AG, FV, SWMBO!), terminology (attenuation, lauter, sparge), processes (steps, timing, temperatures, ...), ingredients (barley vs malted barley vs grain), methods (stove top, BIAB, ...), equipment (Grain father, chiller plate, coils), science (mash temps, ph, water chemistry), opinions (dry hoping), and much more... Then you have your experience (how much chocolate malt will be nice vs ruin this thing), learning (I’ll never prime with lactose again - ok this one is just a bit of fun). Keg or bottle, pressurisation systems, sterilisation, temperature control, keezers, ball-lock valves, thingys, doofers, and what-nots all over the shop.

The basics are simple but when you’re learning it’s difficult to find your way through all this - you don’t know what it all is and you don’t know what’s important.
I do know what is important, and as I always advise,don't throw questions out on a forum, for every piece of good advice there will be five respondents with bad advice.
Join a club, enter competitions, and read all there is about brewing and the science behind it.
By entering competitions there is genuine feedback of what your beer is really like, not giving neighbours and friends a beer who are probably being polite with their response.
Seems hard at the outset, like any new venture but as the experience continues the apprehension of starting out becomes a 'What the hell was I concerned about moment'
 

Hazelwood Brewery

Regular.
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
194
Location
Kent
I do know what is important, and as I always advise,don't throw questions out on a forum, for every piece of good advice there will be five respondents with bad advice.
Join a club, enter competitions, and read all there is about brewing and the science behind it.
By entering competitions there is genuine feedback of what your beer is really like, not giving neighbours and friends a beer who are probably being polite with their response.
Seems hard at the outset, like any new venture but as the experience continues the apprehension of starting out becomes a 'What the hell was I concerned about moment'
:laugh8: I didn’t mean YOU don’t know what’s important, I meant as a beginner you don’t know what’s important.

Good advice regardless!
 

terrym

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
5,569
Reaction score
2,928
Location
North Sussex
I do know what is important, and as I always advise,don't throw questions out on a forum, for every piece of good advice there will be five respondents with bad advice.
Join a club, enter competitions, and read all there is about brewing and the science behind it.
By entering competitions there is genuine feedback of what your beer is really like, not giving neighbours and friends a beer who are probably being polite with their response.
Seems hard at the outset, like any new venture but as the experience continues the apprehension of starting out becomes a 'What the hell was I concerned about moment'
I think that's a bit harsh.
Seeking and giving advice is one of the reasons this forum and others like it exist. If there was the degree of poor advice you indicate given on a forum like this far less people would bother with it.
So although there will be bad advice, you just have to look at what's been said overall, sift through it and form your own opinion, try it and if it doesn't work as you would like learn from the experience.
And if you personally don't really agree with the principle of seeking and giving advice, I'm puzzled to understand why you bother you respond to questions.
Finally not everyone wants to read about brewing in detail, join clubs or similar, one reason being that whilst they enjoy it as a worthwhile hobby they have other stuff to do in life. So they may be quite happy to just join in and learn by reading stuff on here as an extension to what they would otherwise do. In other words different strokes for different folks.
 

Dutto

Dutto
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
7,123
Reaction score
3,745
Location
East Lincolnshire
............., for every piece of good advice there will be five respondents with bad advice.
..............
Maybe it's just "alternative advice".

Sorry, but just because someone proffers an alternative way of doing things and/or doesn't agree with you, doesn't necessarily mean that their advice is "bad advice".
 

Dogtooth

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
I've never brewed beer before. But last month I went in at the deep end with an AG BIAB one gallon kit I bought off ebay.
I'd always wanted to brew beer, but was put off by the inflexibility and quantity of beer produced by traditional kits. To be honest, I was also a bit intimidated by all the tech speak that comes with beer making. For me, small batch BIAB ticked all the boxes. I was able to use kitchen equipment. It cut through the jargon to emphasize the key processes to produce good beer (e.g sterilization), it was quick & not too messy and most important, it produces a decent pint. My first beer, an IPA, was certainly drinkable.
I'm already adapting a Burco to scale up, but I'll still be doing gallon brews because 1.I enjoy it 2.There are some beers, such as stouts and barley wines that I just want to brew a few bottles of.
In the end, I'm an uncomplicated bitter drinker (brought up in Bathams). But with small batch brewing, I can experiment with more complicated brews & it won't matter too much.
 

Mrhandsome

Active Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
93
Reaction score
48
I've never brewed beer before. But last month I went in at the deep end with an AG BIAB one gallon kit I bought off ebay.
I'd always wanted to brew beer, but was put off by the inflexibility and quantity of beer produced by traditional kits. To be honest, I was also a bit intimidated by all the tech speak that comes with beer making. For me, small batch BIAB ticked all the boxes. I was able to use kitchen equipment. It cut through the jargon to emphasize the key processes to produce good beer (e.g sterilization), it was quick & not too messy and most important, it produces a decent pint. My first beer, an IPA, was certainly drinkable.
I'm already adapting a Burco to scale up, but I'll still be doing gallon brews because 1.I enjoy it 2.There are some beers, such as stouts and barley wines that I just want to brew a few bottles of.
In the end, I'm an uncomplicated bitter drinker (brought up in Bathams). But with small batch brewing, I can experiment with more complicated brews & it won't matter too much.
This is pretty much where I'm at. I got a 5l AG starter kit last year which turned out ok despite terribly vague instructions, and have gone on from there with my own concoctions.

Once I'm more confident with the processes and have a few recipes I really love I may upscale past 5l batches, but tbh I love having a variety to choose from and I don't drink that much so I'd end up with far too much stockpiled.
 

Dogtooth

New Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
6
It's not said enough but some of the new (but in fact old) brewing techniques such as BIAB has taken brewing back from the brewery/ garden shed/ garage/ laboratory /man den into the kitchen.
I think it's a good thing. Brewing a decent beer can be about the quality of the ingredients, in just the same way as a pasta sauce tastes better made with fresh tomatoes rather than out a jar.
Like most people, l'm up for a takeaway on a Friday night. But it's also good knocking together something decent at home as well.
After all, back in the day it was women who brewed beer in their kitchens https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alewife_(trade)
 
2

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top