Farley’s Feature – All Grain Myths

Rather than using malt extract, you can make beer exactly the way breweries do. Start with crushed grain, add some hot water, and make your own sweet wort – all by harnessing the power of science. Some of us rush headlong into it, others meticulously research before jumping in. Nevertheless, I thought it would be fun to share with you, faithful readers, some of the myths about All-Grain brewing.

MYTH #1: ALL-GRAIN BREWING IS HARD

Anything is hard if you don’t know what you’re doing! Thankfully, there are more resources available to help you make the leap than ever before including homebrewing forums (like The Northern Brewer Homebrewing Forum) and videos. Seeing the process, particularly in a video, makes the process really easy to understand.

MYTH #2: ALL-GRAIN BREWING IS EXPENSIVE

Well, it’s true you will need to add some key elements to your brewery. A large kettle ($100-$300), a wort chiller ($60), and a mashing system ($249). But once you’ve built out your brewery, each batch of beer costs less.

MYTH #3: ALL-GRAIN BREWING TAKES A LONG TIME

While it is true that All-Grain brew days are longer from start to finish (you’re looking at 4-6 hours instead of 2), the dirty little secret is that most of that time is spent sitting around and waiting. While your beer is mashing (60-90 minutes), you can be doing chores, running errands, watching football, reading Dostoevsky… whatever!

MYTH #4: ALL-GRAIN BREWING IS SEXY

Okay, this one is true.

MYTH #5: ALL-GRAIN BREWING MAKES BETTER BEER

Not always. If you’ve judged homebrewing contests, you may have had that not-uncommon experience where the best beer in the flight is an extract beer. What All-Grain does give you is a lot more control over the process, and the precise mix of grain that goes into making your wort. Plus there are certain techniques (decoction mashing, first wort hopping, mash hopping) that can only be done with All-Grain.