Time, Money and Space. Your brew day from cleaning to brewing to cleaning will take you about 3 hours to do extract, if you are doing all-grain you can double that time. Extract brewing is a little more expensive to buy the ingredients, but because you do not need to buy all of the equipment cost is a lot less! With the hundreds you save on equipment, you can easily afford a few extra bucks per brew for the malt extract. Along with the money you save by not buying all the equipment for all-grain you also save all of the space needed to store and use all of the extra equipment.
Most people start homebrewing with “kit” beers, or with recipes based mostly or entirely on malt extract and sugar. There are several good reasons for this. First, brewing this way can be as simple as adding a can of extract to water and, pitching yeast. Also, because the extract is just concentrated wort, the extract brewer can use a smaller pot and the kitchen stove instead of larger and more expensive kettles that could take a long time to boil on the kitchen stove. The all-grain brewer has more equipment and requires more space and time. Extract brewing can seem to be more limiting that All-Grain especially when you are going for a specific style of beer. Later on I will show you how to convert an All-Grain recipe to an Extract recite.
Give two people identical equipment and ingredients and you will have two different beers. Your final beer is more than a sum of the parts; it is also how you put the parts together, the timing and temperature make a very big difference. The process is a vital part of how your beer turns out, you can make world class beer with extract and all-grain. If you have brewed more than one beer you have learned a trick or two and your process is getting better. If you have a Lot of Time, Money and Space you may want to do all-grain, if you are limited on any one of the three then extract is for you.
Tip: Pick a style of beer you like and brew it over and over tweaking only one thing at a time to learn your ingredients and process