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I am a beginner and as a beginner almost everything tells you to use malt extracts to brew your beer. So after a few batches I think I am ready to move up but I am wondering if it's worth the extra work. Is the beer really better? Does it require a lot more work?

One big question I have is do most people progress onto all grain brews or do they stay with the extract brews for simplicity?

I ask because I am starting a service that will deliver a new recipe's ingredients to your door every month. I can't decide if the recipes should be for all grain or extract brews, so I am really trying to get a consensus. I may just let everyone pick which one they want if it is a mixed opinion.

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Made this a wiki. Not sure there is a right answer to this. Why not check out the recipes already offered by online resellers, like Nothern Brewer, More Beer etc. You may find the answer to the most popular way to brew is "all of them". –  mdma Oct 6 '13 at 18:05

3 Answers 3

According to figures from the American Homebrewers Assoc. and retail groups, most homewbrewers brew with extract. All grain requires more time, equipment, and effort. Obviously, a lot of people feel it's worth it, but more people have constraints on time, money and space. For those people, extract is the only way they can brew.

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I didn't realize they had stats on that kind of thing. Thanks! I know when I brew both time and space are a big deal. I live in an apartment, so space if very limited. Extract brews tend to be the easiest solution. –  Shane Oct 6 '13 at 18:31

I'd do extract and assume that people that have advanced to all grain get their ingredients themselves and formulate their own recipes. That said, do some market research and find out who your customers are. Check your competitor's web sites; after all, many people already sell beer kits.

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I think there's a lot of folks that stick with extract brewing and that's great. You can make awesome beer with extract.

All grain (and I'm only just beginning this myself) is about the level of control you can have over your recipe. For example, if I'm an extract brewer I can't use Fawcett Maris Otter as my base malt. I'm stuck using Briess or Muntons Light DME yet again.

If you can't go all grain then partial grain is a great option. You don't need any extra space or equipment and it gives you more control over your recipe. You might want to look into the brew-in-a-bag technique if you're looking to step up your game. Check YouTube for BIAB tutorials.

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