Enjoy the beer that you deserve.
Select Brewing Method
The homebrewer must select the brewing method to be employed to achieve the beer's desired characteristics. The choice of method defines how the beer will be made. The options for the homebrewer range from simple to complex, namely extract, extract-specialty grain, partial mash, and all-grain. Factors in the decision include the available equipment, ingredients, style goals, time available, and brewer experience.
Extract brewing is the easiest way to make beer at home. One merely boils extract with hops, cools the boiled mixture called wort, adds yeast, then about 1-2 weeks later, you have beer! Use of un-hopped extracts, whether dry powder or liquid syrup, is recommended as it provides you the brewer with more control over the finished beer.
Extract-Specialty Grain Brewing
Use of specialty grains takes extract brewing to the next level. By steeping specialty grains into your extract-based wort, you have more control over color and can add nuances of flavor to more closely match target styles. The addition of specialty grains will also help with head retention. Plus, you have something to crack between your teeth while waiting for the boil to finish.
Partial mash brewing is augmenting your extract beer with a supplemental mash of grains. It is an intermediate step on the path to all-grain brewing. It is a compromise that uses essentially the same steps as full-up all-grain brewing, but keeps the mash volume to a manageable size.
When you become an all-grain homebrewer, your friends and family will really take notice of your hobby! You are working entirely with the malts and grains, mashing to modify their sugars into something a feast for your yeast. You will start obsessing about mash schedules, and temperature rests. The amount of time you spend per batch of beer will grow to fill the afternoon. Your basement may even be overwhelmed with 50 pound bags of grain. But your beer will taste SO good! And, you will have the ultimate control over your final product.