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Why? Ag Or Partial Mash?

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hupnupnee

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Gidday all,

I have been reading alot about AG and partial mash brewing etc. I have done a few kits and I have really enjoyed the beer and the whole beer making process.

I was wondering if those more experienced might like to tell me what is the attraction with AG and partial mashing over kits.

I can understand the attraction of "doing it all yourself from scratch" something that definitly interestes me but is the final product significantly superior to a kit or heaven forbid a premium beer from a big brewery. If so in what ways is it better?

Thanks

Tim
 

tangent

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well, you can actually taste and smell a more complex beer
better mouth feel i reckon as well
nothing wrong with extract brewing tho
the most recent big partial i did had a really strong banana pancake smell coming off the boil for the first 10 minutes
it's worth it just for the smells in my opinion etc.
 

johnno

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For me its the taste.
I remember tasting my first AG after (I cant remember now) maybe 6 mths after Istarting brewing.
I had only made a handful of kits by then.
I really liked it and thought that if I will make my own beer I may as well try and make the best tasting for me.
You can make great beers with kits abd if you are happy with that then thats fine.
I started doing partials with extract and new I would go to AG.
It took me just over 18 mthds from buying a kit to making my first AG.
That was only 11 litres and I just progressed from there.

johnno
 

vlbaby

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I started brewing kits about 5 years ago, and maybe i was doing it wrong or something, but i always could tell that a homebrew beer tasted far inferior to a commercial brewed beer. I couldnt really put my finger on it, but it just taste different. When i finally got the gear together to do my first AG beer, I could honestly say it tasted like "real" beer for the first time. From there on, I became addicted to brewing and have never looked back.


vlbaby.
 

Borret

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I like it from 2 perspectives. Although just starting out in AG myself after a bit over a year since my first brew kit I can honestly say,
First it is the potential taste and ultimate control over what is going into your beer and how it is constructed .
and seconly.... it's all part of the sport. I've always got into my hobbies fairly well and once I got past liquid yeasts kits and bits like grumpy's etc AG was the next natural progression. I only ever did 2 partials which seemed senseless if the same time could be used for an AG brew Designing and building the gear to do it has been alot of fun but is obviously not everyones favourite thing, and now using all the equipmrnt I have crafted to craft some tasty beverages is great.
At the end of the day it's a whole lot more satisfying to me than dumping, mixing and pitching although that was good at the time too.

Cheers

Borret.
 

sinkas

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Hupnupnee,

Try and get along to one of your local areas meetings of brewers from this forum, and tast the AG brews, if they are anything like the amazing beers the AG brewers here in WA make, then you wont think twice about making your destination AG in the future
 

jgriffin

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Borret said:
I like it from 2 perspectives. Although just starting out in AG myself after a bit over a year since my first brew kit I can honestly say,
First it is the potential taste and ultimate control over what is going into your beer and how it is constructed .
and seconly.... it's all part of the sport. I've always got into my hobbies fairly well and once I got past liquid yeasts kits and bits like grumpy's etc AG was the next natural progression. I only ever did 2 partials which seemed senseless if the same time could be used for an AG brew Designing and building the gear to do it has been alot of fun but is obviously not everyones favourite thing, and now using all the equipmrnt I have crafted to craft some tasty beverages is great.
At the end of the day it's a whole lot more satisfying to me than dumping, mixing and pitching although that was good at the time too.

Cheers

Borret.
[post="84269"][/post]​
I agree with Borret mostly. If you're going to do something, then do it to the max. I made a few kit brews to start with, but was never totally happy with the result. I made a few "nice" beers, but most were below par. Then i stumbled across this site, and heard all these people crapping on about how their beer was better than commercial stuff, not worse.

So i took the plunge, and made a partial mash recipe posted by Jayse for a porter. Not only was i blown away with how good it was, so were all my mates (it lasted only a couple of days). From there, it was all an easy slide to AG, although i still make that same partial recipe from time to time, simply because it's oh so good, and takes substantially less time than AG.

I like the old comparison to home brew to milk. Kit beer is like drinking powdered milk, partial ranges from Trim to full milk, and AG is like fresh milk from the cow.
 

T.D.

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And if you don't get a chance to try an all grain home brew, pick yourself up some decent naturally brewed commercial ales. Coopers, Little Creatures or James Squire beers would be a good bet. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you couldn't brew beers of this quality using all grain methods. In fact, once you have mastered the art, you can churn out beers that are probably much better.
 

hupnupnee

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T.D. said:
And if you don't get a chance to try an all grain home brew, pick yourself up some decent naturally brewed commercial ales. Coopers, Little Creatures or James Squire beers would be a good bet. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you couldn't brew beers of this quality using all grain methods. In fact, once you have mastered the art, you can churn out beers that are probably much better.
[post="84282"][/post]​
Thanks everyone for your replies. I really do enjoy those beers you mentioned TD. Sounds like I'm going to have to start looking around for some of those strangely named contraptions and an enormous pot. My wife is going to be pleased with my new hobby. ;) .

Cheers
 

Stuster

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Don't do it hupnupnee! :excl: (what does hupnupnee mean anyway?) :huh:

Once you start you will never stop. It's an addiction. There is always more. I've only just started on AG but am already thinking of the bigger and better bits to add to the brewery, look up about different hops, different yeast, different malts. I even found myself looking at the Sydney water site for info on my water late one night. :(

Still, not bad as addictions go. I have surprised myself by handy I can be in making some of the gear. I know more about beer than I ever thought I would. Have had fun creating the recipes. And the beer tastes good (even if it is just because I make it.) :chug:

Have fun with it.

Cheers
Stuart
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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After going to the AG day at Ken's place I became convinced that it's better if you go to at least partial (which I just made one). They are that much nicer tasting and, as said before, expands your horizons because of how much you can experiment.

I also got tired of 'drop can contents in, drop malt in, mix water and yeast'.
 

Trough Lolly

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hupnupnee said:
...My wife is going to be pleased with my new hobby. ;) .

Cheers
[post="84291"][/post]​
Good luck...not with the brewing, but the missus!! :ph34r:

Now don't get me wrong, I've been brewing mainly kit and extract brews for the last 10 years and it's only recent that I've switched across (not up!) to grain brewing, but a good analogy, IMHO, is this:

Imagine you have a box of powdered milk and a carton of fresh milk. Make up a glass of the powdered milk and pour a glass of fresh milk. Try each one...Taste the difference? Well, the powdered milk is close, 'cause it's based on the real thing and it looks like normal milk, it might even smell like normal milk if you got the mixture levels right, whereas fresh milk is exactly that - the full flavoured milk you expect to drink that has depth and that freshness that you simply cannot replicate from a repackaged / dried or concentrated form. Now you might be happy to stay with powdered milk - it's convenient, easy to store and looks just like normal milk...but one day, you might get sick of it and want to find out what you've been missing out on. After all, there's only so much Milo you can chuck in a glass of powdered milk to disguise the taste... :blink:

Here ends the analogy!

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between extract and grain (partial/small mash and full mash) brewing. The moment in brewing that totally changed my whole outlook on this great hobby was when I tasted my first AG beer - it was a Maerzen from the reigning Nationals winner of that class - I can still recall that moment - it totally blew me away. As I said, this is in NO WAY a denigration of the fine extract brewers out there...You do whatever floats your boat!! :chug:

Cheers,
TL
 

nonicman

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AG is the way to go if that suits you. Drinking a flat room temp AG IPA tapped from the secondary at ESB Ranwick on one of Leon's brew days was a revelation. The extra time placed in the AG brewday will make your beer precious, so if you don't have a dedicated fridge or freezer for fermentation yet, you will be sourcing one soon. Then there will be keg systems. Beer will enchance you family holidays. Your eyes will soon adjust, evaluating every object for it's usefulness in your ever expanding brewery. You'll notice more books with titles referring to beer and brewing crowding your book shelves. There will be a brewing component to the household budget (assuming your partner is worthy). Many fruitful and intriguing hours will be enjoyed scouring the internet for brewing information. Besides malt extract cost's too much. AG is very rewarding.
 

Trough Lolly

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nonicman said:
AG is the way to go if that suits you. Drinking a flat room temp AG IPA tapped from the secondary at ESB Ranwick on one of Leon's brew days was a revelation. The extra time placed in the AG brewday will make your beer precious, so if you don't have a dedicated fridge or freezer for fermentation yet, you will be sourcing one soon. Then there will be keg systems. Beer will enchance you family holidays. Your eyes will soon adjust, evaluating every object for it's usefulness in your ever expanding brewery. You'll notice more books with titles referring to beer and brewing crowding your book shelves. There will be a brewing component to the household budget (assuming your partner is worthy). Many fruitful and intriguing hours will be enjoyed scouring the internet for brewing information. Besides malt extract cost's too much. AG is very rewarding.
[post="84332"][/post]​
Truer words were never written! Dontcha just love the way the missus eyes glaze over when you push past her to get into the Antiques shop to look for a $5 copper laying around in the back of the shop?! :ph34r: :p
 

warrenlw63

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Simpler analogy I heard somebody use once (name escapes me) :unsure:

Difference is like going from a Big Mac to a Filet Mignon. :blink:

Like I said, somebody else coined that one. ;)

Warren -
 

hupnupnee

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Wow! I'm a bit scared that I too will become outragously obsessed by this hobby. But the promise of Filet Mignoun for the price of a big mac is very appealing as is the great excuse to collect gear. Don't ya just love gear.



Stuster said:
Don't do it hupnupnee! :excl: (what does hupnupnee mean anyway?) :huh:
[post="84298"][/post]​
[/quote

Hupnupnee was the name of my Frilled neck lizard when I was a wee boy. I have no idea where or how I came up with the name.

Cheers :p
 

SJW

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A mate gave me a bottle of his first ever kit & can brew on the weekend. While I think he did it as good as a kit can be, it just reminded me why I AG brew. IT TATSES LIKE REAL BEER! Not to mention all the control u have over your brewing. I love it.


STEPHEN
 

Ross

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The milk analogy is good but I prefer the anology of instant coffee to fresh ground coffee. The aroma's, flavours, complexities of creating a coffee from your selection of fresh beans, is impossible to replicate with instant coffee - yes you can make a nice drink from instant & get improved results from a better brand - but there's no substitute for fresh beans - or as in beer - fresh grain... :D
 

MAH

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A lot of people hav ementioned the improvement in flavours they have achieved. I have no doubt that beer made with fresh grain will taste better than beer made with mlat that has been dried or concentrated (all other things being equall). However I also believe that a lot of the improvement in flavour stems from the brewers increased dedication as they switch to AG. It takes a lot longer and a lot more effort to make an AG beer over a simple kit and as someone mentioned it becomes very precious. Because of this I think most AGers, then to become very thoughtful of simple techniques like sanitation, fermentation temps, pitching rates, not to mention basic ingredients. They also seem to spend much more time try to understnd the beer they're replicating, doing large amounts of research. The sum of these simple improvements, plus fresh ingredients and an increased knowledge through personal research is what makes the big difference. If you are a crap brewer, you'll still make crap beer from grain.

For me the reason to go AG is the range of beers. Kits in particular are far to limiting in the variety of beers you can make. Even with extract it can be hard to replicate some of the more interesting styles of beers that rely heavily on malts like Vienna or Munich, or very pale beers.

Cheers
MAH
 
B

bindi

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Ross said:
The milk analogy is good but I prefer the anology of instant coffee to fresh ground coffee. The aroma's, flavours, complexities of creating a coffee from your selection of fresh beans, is impossible to replicate with instant coffee - yes you can make a nice drink from instant & get improved results from a better brand - but there's no substitute for fresh beans - or as in beer - fresh grain... :D
[post="84978"][/post]​
Ross you have nailed the anology....instant coffee to fresh ground coffee :rolleyes: Though I must be a cretin, I have a few partials I realy like. B)
 

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