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Old 02-22-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default DME's Light Vs Dark?

Search is useless on this. Palmers book had zero on it.

What is the difference between light and dark DMEs? I need to replace the lost booster in a Mrbeer Irish Stout kit(final one, going AG). Would rather buy some DME than a booster and pay $20 shipping(MrBeer rapes you on that!)!

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:18 AM   #2
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For one, color. The second factor is amount of unfermentables. Light DME is more fermentable, meaning you would get more alcohol out of it, presumably...

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Old 02-22-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Malt extracts are nothing more than concentrated wort. The wort is generated in exactly the same way - basically - all brewers generate wort: by mashing grains in water. The paler the constituent grist, the paler the extract.

"Pale" or "Light" extracts are generally Pale Ale or Pilsner malts only.

"Amber" extracts generally have a little Munich and/or Crystal malt added.

"Dark" extracts are generally Amber grists with the addition of Black Patent or Roasted Barley.

If your recipe calls for Dark DME, use Dark DME.

Bob

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Old 02-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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Would it then follow that you'd want to use the same sort of malt in your yeast starter even if you were doing AG? That is, does the little amount of DME used in making a yeast starter really affect the character of the final been when pitched into say 5 gallons? If I wanted to buy a couple of pounds of DME strictly for use in starters, would I want one of each in case I was doing a range of beer styles?

Of would light DME serve as a good catch-all?

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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Shortly, pale extract is the standard for starter production.

The relatively small amount of extract will only impact the palest styles - in other words, you wouldn't want to use Dark DME to do a starter for Light American Lager - and even then the impact will not be severe.

This also assumes you're pitching the entire starter, which isn't necessary. You can decant the spent starter wort and pitch only an appropriate amount of slurry; in fact, this is (IMO) the best way to pitch a properly measured amount of yeast.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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I have a question to pose to the group on this subject. I never worked with extracts so its not something I would readily know. Lets say you are making a stout. Would it be better to buy dark extract, or to buy light extract and steep the character grains? I'm guessing either wouldn't really matter, but the latter would give you more control of the final flavor?

And to the OP's question, just use light extract in all starters.

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Old 02-22-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
I have a question to pose to the group on this subject. I never worked with extracts so its not something I would readily know. Lets say you are making a stout. Would it be better to buy dark extract, or to buy light extract and steep the character grains? I'm guessing either wouldn't really matter, but the latter would give you more control of the final flavor?

And to the OP's question, just use light extract in all starters.
The commonly-accepted standard these days is to approach extract-based recipes exactly how you'd approach an all-grain grist. Where you'd use pale or Pils malt, just sub in the appropriate amount of extract to make up the OG. As many of the specialty grains used in an all-grain grist are usable by merely steeping them, the result is the same - you're just skipping the bit where you mash. Thus you retain a considerable amount of control over the finished product.

That's not so with darker extracts. Darker extracts have supplemental malts/grains added in the extract manufacturer's mash, like I described above. And while they may tell you what they put in there, they're never going to tell you how much they've added. For example, Briess tells us plainly they use Base Malt (2-row pale), Caramel 60L, and Munich malt to make their Amber extract (which is nice; other manufacturers like Muntons don't). But they don't give us proportions. Why should they divulge their recipe?

The makeup of the grist also impacts fermentability, as any thoughtful all-grain brewer knows.

You dig?

Bob
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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Thanks, thats what I thought.

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Old 02-22-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
I have a question to pose to the group on this subject. I never worked with extracts so its not something I would readily know. Lets say you are making a stout. Would it be better to buy dark extract, or to buy light extract and steep the character grains? I'm guessing either wouldn't really matter, but the latter would give you more control of the final flavor?

And to the OP's question, just use light extract in all starters.


Didn't ask about starters(unless you mean something else by it). I am trying to find a way to use the lone can of Irish Stout so i don't waste 2.5gal of makeable beer. Planning to add a can of cherrys to it as well, some chocolate and brown sugar. making a Mocha Cherry stout.
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:36 PM   #10
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oh, sorry, that was JetSmooth's question.

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