Extract - 11%
Partial-Mash - 14%
All Grain Single Infusion - 59%
All Grain Step Infusion - 14%
All Grain Decoction - 6%
Fly Sparge - 24%
Batch Sparge - 66%
No-sparge (BIAB) - 10%
I'm always amazed by the huge variety of ways in which homebrewers accomplish the same basic tasks. One of my favorite things about brewing at a friend's house is seeing what techniques/equipment they use (I've picked up a lot of things that have made my brewing easier and beers better).
It is interesting to see the high number of readers who primarily brew all-grain, and the decent percentage of those who perform multi-step mashes. I would like to know how these results compare to these percentages among all homebrewers (I tend to think this blog attracts a more advanced subset of brewers). I mostly do single infusion mashes although I certainly take the extra time to do multi-step infusion/decoction mashes when the malt needs it, but these days you really have to go out of your way to get malt that won't work well with a single infusion. It would be interesting to brew the same recipe only switching the mash regime to really find out for myself how much of an impact it really makes.
I'm also surprised at how many people batch sparge, I had assumed it would be closer to even with fly sparging. I tend to batch sparge because it is a bit quicker and lets me avoid worrying about the pH and gravity of the runnings. BYO and BBR did one of their collaborative experiments on sparging a few months ago, you can also listen to the full analysis of the results (overall there was a lot of consistency between the different methods). One of the great things about this hobby is that there is so much flexibility to create a process that works for you.
Part of the motivation behind this poll (besides curiosity) was that I've been considering posting extract equivalents for some recipes. However, most of my recipes include specialty grains that should be mashed due to the amount of starch they contain (and I figure most partial-mash brewers know how to swap out some of the base malt for extract). If you'd like me to post extract versions of my recipes when possible, please let me know.
Saturday, June 4, 2011